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United has issued a sale on award tickets for domestic US travel — including Alaska and Hawaii. The 20% discount applies for round-trip itineraries booked by August 23 for travel through December 15 with some blackout dates around the Thanksgiving holiday.
United normally charges 45,000 miles for a round-trip award from the continental US to Hawaii, but with this sale it’ll only cost you 36,000 and $11. If you paid cash for this itinerary, it would cost you $768 for the round-trip ticket. Since TPG values United miles at 1.5 cents per mile, you’d be redeeming $540 worth of miles to book a flight that costs almost $800 — definitely a solid redemption.
We’re also seeing discounted award availability to Alaska — round-trip flights from Houston will cost you only 28,000 miles and $11, though many require a stop in each direction. If you were going to pay cash for this ticket, it would cost a total of $842. Using miles in this scenario is a great value, as you’ll have to redeem only $420 worth of miles to purchase this $800+ flight.
Flights within the continental US are discounted as well, although not every redemption is going to provide a great value like the Alaska and Hawaii flights. For example, a round-trip flight between Chicago (ORD) and San Francisco (SFO) will cost you 20,000 miles and $11, equal to $300 according to TPG’s valuations. The same flight costs just $231, so in this case it doesn’t make sense to redeem miles even with the discounted award rates — not to mention that you won’t earn miles for an award booking.
Remember, you can earn more miles by signing up for the United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase. You’ll earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can also transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to United MileagePlus instantly — helpful for those looking to snag a great award before they’re gone.
H/T: Wandering Aramean
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