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Amex is offering a 25% transfer bonus when transferring Membership Rewards to Hawaiian Airlines through June 30, 2021. This offer has come around at least once a year for the past six years, but is it really a good deal?
- Get a 25% bonus on American Express membership rewards transfers to Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles.
- The transfer ratio with this promo is 1,000 Amex points to 1,250 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 June 30, 2021.
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. The main 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 25% transfer bonus, that's only 16,000 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 24k 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 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.
A 25% 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 25% 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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