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United’s answer to American Airlines’ Reduced Mileage Awards and Delta’s SkyMiles Deals is back!

Flyers booking saver economy award trips to top winter destinations and Hawaii can score a discount of up to 40% when booking travel by December 22 and flying between January 9 and March 6, 2019 (excluding flights on February 14, 15, 18, 23 and 24).

This time around, United’s offering savings on flights to its five destinations in Hawaii, plus a handful of ski resorts out west, including hotspots like Sun Valley, Utah and Jackson, Wyoming. The full list of eligible airports includes:

  • Sun: Honolulu (HNL), Maui (OGG), Lihue-Kauai (LIH), Kona (KOA), Hilo (ITO)
  • Ski: Aspen (ASE), Bozeman (BZN), Vail (EGE), Gunnison/Crested Butte (GUC), Hayden (HDN), Jackson Hole (JAC), Montrose (MTJ), Sun Valley/Hailey (SUN), Mammoth (MMH)

Discounts vary depending on flight length, elite status and your destination. However, you can fly from any United airport in the mainland US to the discounted destinations and still save some miles. United’s elite members who also carry a co-branded credit card — including the United Explorer Card and United MileagePlus Club Card — will score the full 40% discount on some itineraries, while non-elites without a card can expect a maximum discount of 20%.

As always, be sure to check cash pricing before you pull the trigger. 27,000 miles round-trip to Hawaii may seem like a no-brainer…

But the math gets a bit foggy when you’re only getting 1.35 cents per mile in value, and not earning elite-qualifying credits and a higher spot on the upgrade list by paying cash or booking with 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points through Chase portal (if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve), instead:

Still, great value can be had — we’re seeing nonstop awards between Newark (EWR) and Honolulu (HNL) for as low as 27,000 miles round-trip whereas basic economy cash fares are going for $777. That means your United miles are worth about 2.9 cents apiece, much higher than TPG’s valuations of 1.4 cents each. While United’s basic economy fares will have you shelling out for any sort of add-on, United award tickets include a free checked bag and seat selection.

Also note that you need to book round-trip flights in order to qualify — from and back to the same city — but you can mix in standard awards as well, with the discount only applying to saver segments. United’s usual change/cancellation and close-in booking fees apply with any award flights booked as part of this sale.

Featured image by M Swiet Productions / Getty Images.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
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Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
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Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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