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Currently, you can earn over 50,000 United miles on their premium credit card, so this post is an example of what you can do with a little over 50,000 United miles. So what can you do with 55,000 United miles?
Domestic United Awards
Domestic economy award flights on United will run you 20,000 – 25,000 United miles round-trip. So you could fly yourself and a companion round-trip for under 55,000 United miles in the States. It would cost you 50,000 miles and $22.40 to fly LAX-DFW, or you would pay $624.40.
Domestic business awards are double the price of economy, so you could get one business class award seat for 50,000 United miles. However, I don’t recommend flying business class in the States, because it’s not really worth the miles.
Hawaii awards are a little more expensive than domestic awards for the landlocked States. A round-trip economy ticket to Hawaii will cost you 45,000 miles and $11.20.
This same route in business class would cost 80,000 United miles, plus taxes.
International United Awards
The 55,000 miles will basically get you to Europe and back! Round-trip economy award tickets to Europe on United (or their Star Alliance partners) will cost you 60,000 United miles. The cost for a round-trip flight to Europe would easily run you over $1,000, so that’s nice savings.
Here’s an example of a flight from Dulles to Paris in economy for 60,000 miles and $90. The cash price of this ticket would’ve been $1,200.
You could also fly this route in business class one way for 57,500 United miles, plus taxes.
South America routes are another international opportunity to burn your United miles on. For example, you can fly one way in business class from Houston to Buenos Aires for 55,000 United miles and $5.60.
This same route round-trip in economy would cost you 60,000 United miles.
United Star Alliance Partners
When United devalued their award chart last year, it mostly impacted premium cabin partner awards. By partner awards, I mean flights on other Star Alliance airlines that you can use your United mile for since they’re in the same alliance.
You can still fly to Europe on a partner airline in economy for 60,000 United miles round-trip. Not too shabby. However, it’s now 140,000 United miles to fly business class on a partner airline, like Lufthansa, to Europe. And first class is even more expensive, at 220,00 United miles. Ouch.
It’s much cheaper to fly on United metal in premium cabins to Europe. Yeah, it’s not as fancy or sexy, but it’s cheaper, at 115,000 for a business class seat and 160,000 for a first class ticket. Still pricey, imho.
Honestly, I would probably rather pay 70,000 United miles for a one-way business class seat on Lufthansa’s 747-8i. Jordan and I really enjoyed our experience a couple of years ago.
You can see the full United award chart here, and here’s a post on maximizing your United miles even more.
Ways to Get More United Miles
There’s the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card that can definitely get you places, but it’s always nice to have more miles. One way we maximize our rewards is by applying for the same cards. Just a perk of being married. By applying for the same cards, we are essentially doubling our household miles.
Conclusion on Redeeming United Award Miles
Although United miles have lost the sexiness of premium cabin partner flights, there are still a lot of ways to utilize 55,000 United miles for insane travel experiences!
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.