American Express Membership Rewards: 20% Transfer Bonus to Hawaiian Airlines

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Amex is offering a 20% transfer bonus when transferring Membership Rewards to Hawaiian Airlines through March 21, 2022. Amex has offered a transfer bonus to Hawaiian at least once a year for the past six years. But, is it a good deal? Let's take a look.

Membership Rewards transfer bonus to Hawaiian Airlines

Key Terms

  • 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 March 21, 2022.

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:

  • JetBlue
  • 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 round trip 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, but you'll want to avoid more than a few pricing tiers towards the more expensive awards if possible.

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 17,000 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:

transfer 25k Membership Rewards points to Hawaiian with a 20% transfer bonus

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 the points that can book a Hawaiian flight:

  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Korean Air Skypass

In addition, American, Delta, and United 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

A 25% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to HawaiianMiles has been offered 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.

So, this version of the transfer bonus is slightly worse than what we've seen multiple times in the past.

Our Take

A 20% transfer bonus is usually a good incentive, 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.

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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  • Thanks! I’ve an Amex, but they didn’t tell me about this bonus! You’re always one step ahead!

  • I wonder if Hawaiian Airlines allows stopovers on award tickets. If so, this could be a great opportunity for a flight from USA to one of Hawaiian’s destinations in the South Pacific or Asia (when they re-open) in First/Business class with a Honolulu stopover. After all, I understand that the Hawaiian Airlines inflight experience is significantly different from the US majors, more along the line of a flag carrier (as if Hawaii was their “flag”).

  • If you can find decent availability this may be a good deal normally, but Hawaii is just too over run these days with the slowdown in international travel….even the governor is asking folks to stay home….better to wait until things calm down in Hawaii.

    • Wow. Hadn’t heard that, but I guess it does make sense. I have to imagine most Hawaiians never thought they’d see the day where tourism was, albeit temporarily, actually discouraged. Weird days.

  • I’m really digging a trip to Hawaii with my gf, it’s been a rough year and we both need to go to some place where we can relax, enjoy the beach but also walk and revisit nature. I’m wondering about hotels there

  • Great info! I am a American Express Card holder, I haven’t received this information from AExpress. Always with the latest news on flights and deals!! Thank you so much
    Kind regards,

  • Awesome!!

  • If you’re heading to Hawaii soon anyway this may be a useful offer, but not enough to cause one to plan a special trip to Hawaii.

    • I kinda agree that it seems like a good offer but I’m not sure that that’s is enough for me to transfer my miles

  • Ethan Gulich says:

    This is great news and very timely. I am planning a trip to Hawaii now that I got the second vaccine, and this is very helpful in terms of planning the trip.

  • Highly recommend the direct flight to Honolulu. great experience a few weeks back

  • Emily Davidson says:

    I wish they did this with more airlines!