20% United Mileage Discount, BlueBird/Vanilla Reload Update, General Blog Notes

There are a couple of messages/questions I want to get out, so today we’ll have a varied post that covers several travel topics and topics related only to this blog.

20% United Economy Mileage Discount to Europe

Between now and November 15th, you can book economy United award flights to Europe for 20% less.  If you’re mathematically challenged, that means you’ll need to redeem 48,000 miles for a round trip flight between the US and Europe.

Travel must be on United operated flights.  If you fly with Star Alliance partners, you will be required to pay the full mileage amount.

You can mix and match your travels.  For example, if you fly over with United, you’ll pay 24,000 miles going and to fly back on a Star Alliance partner, you’ll pay 30,000 for that segment for a total of 54,000 miles.

Travel must be completed between January 15th and March 13th.

There are no coupons or codes.  If you search award availability within the noted parameters, you’ll see the flights displaying at 24,000 miles per one way.

Get all the details and terms & conditions here.

Other Europe Off-Peak Options:

If you’re planning a trip to Europe during the off-peak season, there may be some better options (depending on flight availability).

  • American Airlines off-peak rates to Europe are 20,000 AAdvantage miles (Oct 15th – May 15th).
  • US Airways off-peak rates to Europe are 35,000 Dividend miles round trip (Jan 15-Feb 28th).  This must be only on US Airways flights.

Bluebird/Vanilla Reload Update

Several blogs came out and reported on Saturday (Nov. 10th) that Office Depot was no longer stocking Vanilla Reload cards.  Some Office Depots that still had the cards in stock would only accept a credit card payment of up to $200 on Vanilla Reload cards.

I haven’t personally confirmed with with my local store, but I did buy a Vanilla Reload card at an Office Depot in Denver on Saturday afternoon.

I want to be sure to mention that because if you were going to apply for the Ink Bold card with hopes of using Office Depot and Vanilla Reloads to help you reach your minimum spend, that might be an issue.

However, Office Depot has been selling OneVanilla cards (I can’t confirm if they still are).  Those can be loaded up to $500 and cost $4.95.  You can still purchase those to help you reach your minimum spend.  OneVanilla cards can be uploaded to Bluebird, but can be spent anywhere you can spend a credit card or debit card.

I was able to buy a Vanilla Reload card with a credit card at my local Walgreens store.  Obviously, I won’t get 5x miles like I would with the Ink Bold card.

To find other stores that sell reload cards, visit the Vanilla Reload site and hover your mouse over the “Reload Locations” tab.

The Future of Help Me Travel Cheap

Several months ago, I did a survey and the majority of readers only wanted two posts a week.  I’m finding it hard to stick to only two posts as I’d like to write on broader travel related topics.  As a result, you’ll probably get more posts every week.  I don’t know how often, but if there is nothing noteworthy to write about, I won’t write.  One thing I’m hoping to add is trip reports where I share pictures and stories from the trips I’m taking with my miles.  Also, I’m considering adding general travel advice about things to do once you’re on the plane and on the ground.

Webinar interest: Would you be interested in attending a webinar where I talk about the basics of getting nearly free travel with credit cards?  I’d have the opportunity to anwer your questions.  Is that something you’d be willing to invite a friend to attend?  I’m just trying to gauge your interest.  If you’d be interested in attending (online, of course), please leave a comment or email htcheap at gmail dot com.

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