The MileagePlus Members’ Guide for United Flights to Vegas

Flexibility and checking against the cash rate are key to finding the best United deals on flights to Vegas.
Alisha McDarrisNov 16, 2021

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Are you planning a trip to the Las Vegas Strip? Well, if you're considering one of the many United flights to Las Vegas, be prepared. It pays to know not only where you can fly from, but what to expect at the airport and how to know if you're getting a good deal on award travel if you're booking with miles.

So buckle up and dive into our unique guide for United MileagePlus members flying to Las Vegas.

The United flight experience at Harry Reid International Airport

Whether you're flying to Las Vegas or back home after a thrilling visit, it's helpful to know what to expect at the airport.

  • Terminal: United operates out of Terminal 3 at LAS for both arrivals and departures, but it's always wise to check your boarding pass beforehand to ensure you're where you're supposed to be. If you end up at the wrong terminal, inter-terminal shuttles run every 15-30 minutes.

  • Lounges: There is a United Club located in Terminal 3, Concourse D, which offers a full-service bar, snacks and free Wi-Fi.

  • Other things to know: In addition to shops and cafes, there are two non-airline specific lounges in Terminal 3. Passes start at $39 per passenger.

The value of MileagePlus miles

It's important to know what a mile is worth before we get into the nitty-gritty of cheap flights to Vegas. Since United flight prices and award redemption rates change frequently, the value of a mile does so as well.

Generally, NerdWallet values United MileagePlus miles at 1 cent per mile. But that’s an average, so do some math to decide whether an award flight is a good deal or if you should save your miles and just pay cash.

Nerdy tip: To figure out the cash value of an award mile for a flight you're considering, divide the price of the cash ticket minus taxes and fees (which is $5.60 per one-way domestic flight on United) by the cost of the award ticket in miles. Then multiply the result by 100. That will give you a cent-per-mile value.

For example, if a ticket costs $300 or 25,000 miles, including $5.60 in taxes and fees, the math would be (300-5.60) / 25,000 = .012. Multiply that by 100 to get 1.2 cents per mile. That's slightly above average, which means you're getting a good award rate. Any result under 1 cent per mile means you're getting less than the baseline value.

Cheap cities to fly to Vegas from on United

There are plenty of affordable ways to fly United Airlines to Las Vegas, especially if you plan to redeem points and miles. Many of those are from the airline's hubs:

  • Chicago-O'Hare.

  • Denver-International.

  • Guam.

  • Houston-Intercontinental.

  • Los Angeles-LAX.

  • Newark.

  • San Francisco.

  • Washington-Dulles.

Next, check for good deals and do the math. Here are a few cheap United flights to Las Vegas to get the ball rolling. Prices are one-way.

Departure city

Cost in points to book an economy award ticket 90 days in advance

Cost in cash to book an economy award ticket 90 days in advance

Value per mile

Chicago-O'Hare

9,200.

$114.

1.2 cents.

Denver

6,400.

$84.

1.3 cents.

Washington-Dulles

11,900.

$143.

1.2 cents.

Los Angeles-LAX

5,500.

$74.

1.3 cents.

Other tips for booking cheap MileagePlus flights to Vegas

Of course, flying with United isn't the only way to earn lots of MileagePlus miles in a brief time. Here are some other ways to rack up miles so you can hit the strip sooner.

  • Open a co-branded credit card: New MileagePlus credit cardholders can earn a boatload of points via sign-up bonuses. MileagePlus members have several options when it comes to credit cards, including:

    • The United Gateway℠ CardEarn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

    • The United℠ Explorer CardEarn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

    • The United Quest℠ CardEarn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • Shop: You can also earn miles for every dollar you spend or purchases made by shopping online or in person. Use the United MileagePlus shopping platform to earn at over 900 online retailers or use the MileagePlus X app to purchase digital gift cards from hundreds of local retailers.

  • Dine: Sign up on the MileagePlus Dining platform online. Link a preferred credit card to your account, search for participating restaurants in your area, then dine and pay with your linked card to earn miles for every meal.

  • Transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards®: If you have a participating Chase credit card that offers Ultimate Rewards®, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can transfer those points to your MileagePlus account at a 1:1 ratio. That means 100 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points equals 100 MileagePlus miles.

If you want to fly United to Vegas

If you want to fly to Vegas on United, whether you plan to pay with miles or cash, there are plenty of good deals to be had. Just remember to stay flexible to score the best deals and do the math to ensure that the award rate is as great as you may think it is.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

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