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Similar to April’s promotion, United has rolled out yet another MileagePlus award sale to Hawaii. United normally charges 45,000 miles round-trip for economy flights between the mainland US and Hawaii, but with this promo, you can book round-trip economy awards for 36,000 miles. Read on to see why it’s probably still a better deal to pay cash.
You have to buy your round-trip ticket by November 5, 2015, and your travel dates must be between October 19, 2015 and March 3, 2016. A three-night minimum stay may be required, and it’s valid for travel on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Blackout dates are November 20 through December 3, and December 16 through January 5, 2016.
United is also running a sale on cash bookings, with fares as low as $413 round-trip, such as with the flight from San Diego (SAN) to Kona (KOA) above. Since TPG values United miles at 1.5 cents each, you’d be redeeming $570 worth of miles to book a $413 flight (and you wouldn’t earn miles, to boot). Not a very good deal.
While West Coast flights but not be a great deal, this mileage sale could be worthwhile for flights from East Coast cities. Take this Newark round-trip above. You can either redeem 36,000 miles (worth $570) or pay $712 for the round-trip. Generally, you’ll get a better deal by redeeming miles — if you’re trying to qualify for status, however, the paid flight could still make sense.
Don’t forget: If you need more United miles, you can transfer points instantly from Ultimate Rewards, earned with cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred, which is currently offering 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within the first three months.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards