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4 Top Ways to Redeem 50,000 United Miles

Feb. 10, 2017
4 min read
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Currently, the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card and the United MileagePlus Club Card are offering elevated sign-up bonuses of 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. While the business card offers some solid elite-style perks like priority boarding and a free checked bag and the more premium Club Card gets you a full United Club membership, another big draw is the healthy stash of travel rewards you can earn by meeting that spending requirement.

In today's post, I'll take a look at some great ways you could redeem the 50,000 miles you can earn with either of these cards. Check back soon for a post on the best ways to redeem 100,000 miles, which you could get by signing up for both cards and earning both sign-up bonuses.

1. Round-Trip Domestic First or Business Class

Enjoy a comfortable transcon flight between Newark and LAX or SFO.

This option might not appeal to you if you're looking to book an exotic adventure, but if your travel plans take you within the US, you can use the 50,000-mile sign-up bonus to book a round-trip first-class (or business-class) award at the Saver level. It'll cost you exactly 50,000 miles, and this redemption can be an especially good value on United's p.s. transcon routes (Newark to Los Angeles and Newark to San Francisco), where business-class ticket prices usually go for more than $1,200 and the premium cabin includes lie-flat seats.

2. One-Way First Class Between Sydney and Asia

If you want to experience some in-air opulence and can work a hop between Thailand and Australia into a larger itinerary, 40,000 miles for a first-class flight on Thai's 747 is one of the best deals out there. The flight between Bangkok (BKK) and Sydney (SYD) is more than nine hours, giving you many hours to take in Thai's great service and plenty of Dom Perignon. Plus, Thai's first-class lounge in Bangkok is quite impressive; you can enjoy a variety of Thai dishes and even book a complimentary hour-long massage. This redemption will cost you 40,000 miles, leaving you 10,000 toward your next trip.

3. Round-Trip Economy From the US to Hawaii

Reach Waikiki for just 45,000 miles round-trip. Image courtesy of M Swiet Productions via Getty Images.

Hawaii's an ever-popular vacation destination, and you can get there and back from just one sign-up bonus. At the Saver level, it costs just 45,000 miles round-trip in economy. Sure, it's not a particularly luxurious redemption, but if you're traveling from the West Coast, it might not be worth the extra miles to book a premium-cabin award. United offers nonstop service to Honolulu (HNL) from Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and you can fly nonstop to several other island destinations, too.

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4. One-Way From the US to Australia or New Zealand

If you really want to travel far with your miles, you could choose to redeem 40,000 of them for a one-way economy Saver award from the US to either Australia or New Zealand. United currently flies a 777 nonstop from San Francisco to Auckland (AKL), and if you can find partner award space you could use your miles to book the same route on Air New Zealand's 777, which offers economy seats with an extra 1-2 inches of pitch and 1.7 inches of recline compared to United's main cabin.

Bottom Line

As you can see, whether you prefer to stretch your travel rewards as far as possible or redeem them for a bit of luxury, 50,000 United miles is enough for a variety of appealing awards. If you're interested in earning this sum, sign up for the United MileagePlus Club Card or the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card sooner than later — it's not clear how long the elevated offer will be sticking around.

What's your favorite way to redeem 50,000 United miles?