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While Delta issues SkyMiles Deals weekly and American Airlines has its ongoing Economy Web Specials, United doesn’t release award sales very often. But when it does, it makes up for the lack of quantity with some quality deals.

In the past, we’ve seen 40% off deals to ski and sun destinations and 50% off deals to Europe. And today, February 8, United has released just as impressive of a flash sale: up to 40% off flights to Tahiti. Note that you must book flights today to take advantage of the sale. Here’s a quick run down of this deal:

Airline: United
Routes: US/Canada to Papeete, Tahiti (PPT)
Cost: 42,000+ miles plus $57+ round-trip in economy
Travel Dates: March 26 to May 30, 2019
Booking Date: Tickets must be booked no later than 11:59 p.m. local time of origin airport (first departure airport) on February 8, 2019.
Pay Taxes and Fees With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare), Citi Prestige (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express® Gold CardCiti Premier Card (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

The exact amount of your discount is going to depend on your United Premier status and whether or not you have a Chase co-branded credit card. Premier Platinum and top-tier Premier 1K elites that have a co-branded card can book one-way flights for just 21,000 miles plus $5.60 in taxes and fees:

Cardholders that don’t have elite status can book round-trips for 30% off the standard price: 49,000 miles plus $57-$62 in taxes and fees round-trip:

But even if you don’t have United elite status or a co-branded card, you can still score a 20% discount off the normal award price:

Here’s how the discount chart breaks down:

Chase Co-Branded Cardholders Non-cardholders
Elite Status Level Round-Trip Mileage Discount Rate Round-Trip Mileage Discount Rate
Member 49,000 30% 56,000 20%
Premier Silver/Gold 45,500 35% 52,500 25%
Premier Platinum/1K 42,000 40% 49,000 30%

Eligible co-branded cards include:

If you currently don’t have one of these cards, it’ll be difficult to take advantage of the deal. However, you can sign-up for one with a fair bit of confidence that it’ll pay off in a future sale.

Before booking, check the cash fares for the flight to make sure you’re getting a good deal. United is facing quite a bit of competition from San Francisco (SFO) to Papeete, Tahiti (PPT). You can currently book nonstop United cash fares for as little as $618 round-trip.

After factoring in the $57 taxes and fees on the nonstop award, non-elite non-cardmembers will only get around 1 cent per mile even through this discount ($618 cash price minus $57 award taxes/fees divided by 56,000 miles = 1.00 cents per mile). Cardholder 1K elites would only get around 1.33 cents per mile from booking these awards. TPG values United miles at 1.3 cents each, since you can get more value from your miles when redeeming for a business class ticket on United or one of its Star Alliance partners.

Hotels and Tips for French Polynesia

If you’re wondering where to stay when in French Polynesia, TPG‘s got you covered with numerous hotel reviews:

InterContinental Resort and Spa Moorea - overwater bungalow on land
The InterContinental Resort and Spa Moorea. (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

For tips about how to maximize your time on the ground, read about How to Take a Cheap Ferry From Tahiti to Moorea and Eating Your Way Through Tahiti’s Famed Food Trucks. Or, if you’d rather listen than read, check out TPG‘s first-ever Miles Away podcast which featured all things French Polynesia.

H/T: Dan’s Deals

Featured image courtesy InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora

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