If you have a lot of United miles and have been saving them for a big trip, this is the time to go shopping. That’s because in some cases, your miles will lose a lot of their value beginning February first of the new year.
There’s no change in the 30,000 miles you need to get a coach ticket in the 40 states—that excludes Hawaii, of course. But if you want a round-trip, business class ticket for travel in the US, it’ll take you 57,500 miles; today it’s 50 thousand.
The big jump is the cost of a first class ticket. That’s 67,500 miles now; on February first, you’ll have to spend 80,000. And if you’re shopping for first class space on one of United’s alliance partners, what costs you 80,000 miles through the end of January will cost you 42% more—110,000 miles after that.
It’s simple: If you know you’ll want a United ticket or a first class ticket on one of its partners sometime in 2014, book now.