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American Express is starting 2023 on the right foot with a new transfer bonus. For the month of January 2023, Amex is offering a 20% transfer bonus when transferring Membership Rewards points to Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles.
If this transfer bonus sounds familiar, there's a reason for that. Amex has offered two transfer bonuses to HawaiianMiles per year for the past couple of years. But, is this Hawaiian Airlines transfer bonus a good deal? Let's take a look.
- Get a 20% bonus on American Express membership rewards transfers to Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles.
- The transfer ratio with this promo is 1,000 Amex points to 1,200 Hawaiian miles.
- Transfers must be made in 1,000-point increments.
- The minimum transfer is 1,000 Amex points.
- Bonus expires at midnight ET on January 31, 2023.
Hawaiian Airlines Program Overview
HawaiianMiles isn't one of the most popular Amex transfer partners, so here's a quick refresher on the program. Since Hawaiian Airlines isn't a member of a global alliance, its loyalty program has a limited set of redemption partners. In addition to Hawaiian-operated flights, you can redeem your HawaiianMiles on:
- Japan Airlines
- Korean Air
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
Of these, JetBlue is probably your worst option for redeeming your HawaiianMiles.
The partner pricing is about average (here's the partner award chart). So, there aren't any huge opportunities to know about with partners. Another drawback of these awards is the requirement that you have to book roundtrip awards on most partners.
If you're looking to book a flight operated by Hawaiian Airlines, prices can be found in the HawaiianMiles award chart. As with many frequent-flyer programs, you'll see that Hawaiian offers the opportunity to pay more miles for additional availability with standard award pricing. There are up to eight pricing tiers within the Hawaiian Airlines rewards system. The saver prices are quite competitive with other programs. However, award prices quickly climb to outrageous levels after a few pricing tiers.
What's a Good Deal?
With the variable award mile redemptions that Hawaiian Airlines implemented in 2019, it's a lot hard to find a great flight using your miles. It's no longer just 20k for economy tickets from the West Coast and 30k economy from the East Coast.
West Coast flights now start at 17,500, but I personally didn't find any below 20k. Flying from Seattle or Portland is relatively easy to find for 20k or 40k round-trip (assuming you want to come home). With the current 20% transfer bonus, that's only 17k Amex Membership Rewards points each way:
If you're flying from the East Coast, it's still possible to find one-way award flights for 30k in economy:
That means an award flight from Orlando to Honolulu can cost just 25k Membership Rewards each way during this promotion:
Other Ways to Redeem on Hawaiian
Before you transfer any points, you'll want to look at pricing for other loyalty programs that can book Hawaiian Airlines flights. Here are some other mileage programs that you can use to book a Hawaiian Airlines flight:
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Korean Air Skypass
In addition, American, Delta, and United all allow you to book a connecting intra-island flight. However, none will let you use miles to book a flight from the mainland U.S.
Membership Rewards to Hawaiian Airlines Transfer Bonus History
American Express Membership Rewards offered a 25% transfer bonus to HawaiianMiles at least six times in the past:
- 25% transfer bonus through June 21, 2016.
- 25% transfer bonus through June 21, 2017.
- 25% transfer bonus through June 26, 2018.
- 25% transfer bonus through October 7, 2019.
- 25% transfer bonus through June 30, 2021.
- 25% transfer bonus through September 30, 2021.
- 20% transfer bonus through March 31, 2022.
- 20% transfer bonus through September 30, 2022.
- Now: 20% transfer bonus through January 31, 2023.
So, this 20% transfer bonus is slightly worse than what we've seen Amex offer in the past. However, it matches the two transfer bonuses offered last year.
A 20% transfer bonus is a good incentive to transfer miles to Hawaiian Airlines. But this is definitely a situation where you want to have a specific booking in mind before you transfer. Also, you'll want to check award rates on other airlines. American, Alaska, Delta, Southwest, and United all have plenty of flights to Hawaii. And with dynamic award pricing, you might be able to find awards to Hawaii under 10k miles each way.
If you can find saver space on American, Alaska, or United, you may be better off transferring Amex to British Airways Executive Club or Singapore KrisFlyer. Since Delta award pricing fluctuates with demand, some dates may be far better with an Amex transfer to Delta SkyMiles.
However, availability with the mainland U.S. carriers can be hard to find, so it's great to have access to more seats on Hawaiian-operated flights with the HawaiianMiles program. If you can nail down plans before the deal ends, the Amex 20% transfer bonus could work out nicely.
If you're looking for more detail, check out our resource on the best points and miles to use for awards to Hawaii.
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