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Hawaii is a one-of-a-kind destination offering the warmth and exotic experience of a trip to the South Pacific without any of the hassle and expense of international travel. At the same time, 2,000 miles separate the Hawaiian Islands from the US mainland, and it can be an expensive trip.
Thankfully, there are multiple ways to use points, miles, and perks to book a trip to our 50th state, and if you're looking for the best deal, we've got it below.
The Best Way to Get to Hawaii With Points and Miles
|Rewards Program||Operating Airline||Round-Trip Economy||Round-Trip Business/First||Transfer Points From|
|Turkish Miles & Smiles||United||15,000||25,000/|
|• ThankYou Rewards
• Marriott Bonvoy
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||Alaska Air||23,000-25,000||84,000-96,000||• Ultimate Rewards
• Membership Rewards
• ThankYou Rewards
• Capital One Rewards
• Marriott Bonvoy
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||Southwest||20,000/|
|N/A||• Ultimate Rewards|
|Korean Air SKYPASS||Delta||25,000||45,000||• Marriott Bonvoy|
|British Airways Executive Club||American + Alaska |
(Price varies based on distance)
|25,000||75,000||• Ultimate Rewards
• Membership Rewards
• Marriott Bonvoy
|Korean Air SKYPASS||Alaska + Hawaiian Air||30,000||60,000||• Marriott Bonvoy|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||Delta + Alaska||35,000||60,000||• Ultimate Rewards
• Membership Rewards
• ThankYou Rewards
• Capital One Rewards
• Marriott Bonvoy
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||United||35,000||60,000||• Ultimate Rewards
• Membership Rewards
Capital One Rewards
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||Hawaiian Airlines||40,000/|
|80,000||• Membership Rewards
• Marriott Bonvoy
|United MileagePlus||United||45,000||80,000||• Ultimate Rewards
• Marriott Bonvoy
|American Airlines AAdvantage||American Airlines||45,000||80,000||• Marriott Bonvoy|
|Delta SkyMiles||Delta||45,000||80,000||• Membership Rewards
• Marriott Bonvoy
Fly to Hawaii for 7,500 Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
Recently uncovered by Nick Reyes over at FrequentMiler, this Hawaii sweet spot allows you to redeem Turkish Airlines miles for United flights to Hawaii for a super-low 7,500 miles each way in economy! No, that is not a typo. That is just 15,000 miles for a round-trip flight from anywhere in the US to Hawaii. If you are lucky enough to find saver level award space on United, business-class awards will set you back 12,500 miles one-way, or 25,000 miles round-trip. While Turkish passes on carrier-imposed charges on award tickets, in this case, you're flying United, so the fees and taxes are a paltry $5.60 each way.
Until recently, Turkish Airlines classified Hawaii as a part of Oceania, which includes locations such as New Zealand, Australia, and Guam. However, Turkish now lists Hawaii (Honolulu at least) in the North America region, and treats flights between the Mainland and Hawaii as domestic itineraries.
Turkish allows you to book one-way awards for half the price of a round-trip award, so one-way awards cost just 7,500 miles in economy, and 12,500 miles in business-class. Don't have a stash of Turkish miles to throw at flights? Miles & Smiles is a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Rewards, and a 3:1 transfer partner of Marriott Bonvoy (you get an extra 5,000 miles for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred), so you can transfer points earned on cards like the Citi Premier® Card or Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. In fact, the current 60,000 point welcome offer on the Citi Premier will fly a family of four to Hawaii, round-trip from anywhere in the continental US, for free.
- Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
- Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.
- 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
- 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
- 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
How to Book Miles & Smiles Awards to Hawaii
A couple of things to bear in mind when booking this award. First, you can't book online. Traditionally, you had to call Turkish to have the award put on hold, then visit a Turkish ticketing office to complete the transaction in person. But, Nick reports in a different post on how to book Turkish awards via email. You need to nail down the exact flight details you want to book, including flight numbers (you can search for saver-level award space on United.com), then email a Ticket Sales Office with your Miles & Smiles account details and all the flight details, then wait to hear back.
When an agent confirms availability, you need to transfer your Citi or Marriott points to Turkish to get the booking underway. Transfers are not instant from either partner, typically taking around 2 days for the miles to land in your account. You'll need to fill out and return all the paperwork before Turkish confirms your award is ticketed.
West Coast to Hawaii for 12,000 Singapore KrisFlyer Miles Each Way
There is more than one way of getting to Hawaii with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles. The cheaper option is via a direct partnership with Alaska Airlines. KrisFlyer has a separate award chart for redeeming miles on Alaska which features lower award prices to Hawaii than if you redeem Singapore miles for United flights.
The downside is that it only applies to flights from the West Coast, Midwest, and the Rocky States, with all the cities in Zone 4 excluded from redeeming flights to Hawaii with KrisFlyer. Note that you need to book Alaska awards over the phone, you cannot book them online.
There are no such restrictions, however, if you redeem Singapore miles on United, although you pay a little more for your flights. KrisFlyer charges 17,500 miles each way to fly United to Hawaii from any of the lower-48 States, with a round-trip award costing 35,000 miles + $11.20 in fees and taxes. The ease with which you can book United redemptions on the KrisFlyer website makes it much less hassle than booking over the phone or email, and you can redeem miles for nonstop flights from many United hubs including Newark, Chicago-O’Hare, Washington-Dulles, Houston-International, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver.
A big part of the value of Singapore KrisFlyer is that you can transfer points from Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, ThankYou Rewards, Capital One, and Marriott Bonvoy, making it an ideal solution if you have points spread across multiple rewards programs.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
- 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
- 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Use the Southwest Companion Pass to Fly to Hawaii
Although the 737 Max grounding has slowed Southwest's rollout of services, Rapid Rewards members can finally redeem points for flights on Southwest to/from Hawaii! With Southwest joining the fight for our holiday dollars, fares to the Hawaiian Islands are set to get more competitive as new routes are added. And thanks to Southwest's policy of no blackout dates, that means much more award availability coming online over the next year.
Rapid Rewards is a revenue-based rewards program, so the cost of award flights is tied directly to the cash price of a ticket. In peak season, when the cost of tickets is traditionally high, the cost of award tickets also rises, so you'll likely get better value from one of the fixed-value rewards programs like Singapore KrisFlyer or Flying Blue. However, during the off-season, the cost of Southwest tickets falls, both for cash and points fares.
Where that value explodes is if you hold a Southwest Companion Pass, which gives you two-for-one flights on Southwest for up to two years. In the example below, flying Oakland to Honolulu, the lowest fare looking six months out was $159 or 10,527 points. with the majority of flights hovering around the 14,000-15,000 point range. If you hold the Southwest Companion Pass, you could book flights to Hawaii almost any day of the week for two people for ~15,000 points, or 7,500 points each. That's an exceptional value.
As with most carriers on this list, there are a few options for redeeming rewards on Southwest. If you hold a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can purchase this flight through the Chase Travel Portal for 10,600 points using Ultimate Rewards points, redeeming for a fixed-value of 1.5¢ per point. The flight will be treated as a revenue fare, and you'll earn roughly 840 additional Rapid Rewards points.
You could also transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Rapid Rewards, and redeem 10,527 points plus $5.60 in taxes for the same flight. If you hold a Companion Pass, that price drops down to 5,300 points, or $79.50 each! An incredible value. As the cash price of the ticket is $159, you are getting ~1.5¢ per point for the transferred UR points, but you won't earn any additional points or miles on the purchase. Transferring points makes a lot more sense if you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, which only return a fixed-value of 1.25¢ per point when you redeem via the travel portal, in which case, the flight would cost 12,720 UR points through the travel portal.
Southwest is not always going to deliver the best price, but it's a great benchmark program to ensure you are getting good value from your points and miles. Short of Southwest points? The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is currently offering a great introductory welcome offer that could potentially take the whole family to Hawaii.
- Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
- 9,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
- 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases.
- 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available
- Inflight WiFi Credits
- Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® Fee Credit
- Employee cards at no additional cost, earn points on employee spending.
- 3X points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
- 2X points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services
- 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Fly West Coast to Hawaii for 25,000 British Airways Avios
One of the most well-known and high-value redemptions for flights to Hawaii from the West Coast comes courtesy of BA Executive Club. British Airways, which counts both American and Alaska as partners, offers a distance-based award chart with flights of under 3,000 miles costing just 12,500 Avios points one-way—25,000 Avios round-trip.
This includes non-stop flights to Hawaii operated by American and Alaska from Oakland, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Bellingham, San Jose, Portland, Seattle, and even Anchorage. Read through our guide on how to redeem British Airways Avios and check out the latest credit card offer for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card if you're looking to take more people to Hawaii. British Airways even allows you to pool points in their loyalty program, Executive Club, with others.
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
- Plus earn a Travel Together Ticket after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 5 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 3 Avios.
- Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 2 Avios. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
- Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
- Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
- Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It's fast, easy and secure!
- 3X Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL
- 2X Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations
- 1X Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Don't Use American, Delta, or United Miles. Instead, Use Partners for a Better Value!
While more people than ever before are utilizing frequent flier miles, when it comes to leveraging different programs, the majority of us still focus on legacy airlines that are now merged into just three carriers; American, Delta, and United.
United offers flights to Hawaii from the mainland United States, Alaska, and Canada starting from 45,000 miles round-trip in economy class, and 80,000 in first or business class. Plus another 7,000 miles for any inter-island flights on airline partners if needed.
With American, you'll need the same 45,000 miles for economy and 80,000 for a first-class AAdvantage saver award. Unfortunately, while Delta no longer offers an award chart (meaning the miles required will be unpredictable), the best rates you can expect to find using SkyMiles are similar to what you'd see with American and United.
Outside of Hawaiian airlines, the only domestic carrier which offers top value to Hawaii on points (when the cash equivalent fares are low) is Southwest Rapid Rewards. Southwest only started servicing Hawaii in 2019, and with Rapid Rewards being a revenue-based rewards program, the award price in points is tied directly to the cash price of the ticket. In peak season when fares cost more, awards cost more points. In the low season when flights are comparatively cheap, the points cost also goes down.
When Southwest really comes into play for trips to Hawaii is for folks that have a Companion Pass. Already one of the most valuable perks in award travel, if you have a Companion Pass, you can now use it to get 2-4-1 flights to Hawaii on Southwest, both on points or when paying cash!
Use Flexible Rewards Programs to Fly to Hawaii
Our preferred method of collecting miles to get to Hawaii is with flexible rewards programs that offer transferable points. This strategy gives you the opportunity to transfer travel rewards into mileage programs with airlines that have available award flights at the lowest rate.
There are five primary flexible rewards currencies:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- American Express Membership Rewards Points
- Citi ThankYou Points
- Capital One Rewards
- Marriott Points
Our favorite program for flights to Hawaii is Chase Ultimate Rewards, which offers 20 different ways to redeem points. Points can be earned with Chase's Ultimate Rewards earning cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. You can transfer these points at a ratio of 1 point:1 mile (in 1,000-point increments) to 7 different airlines including United, Southwest, JetBlue, Singapore, Air France/KLM, and British Airways.
- Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
- With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.
- With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
- Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
- Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- $95 Annual Fee
- 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year
- 1X point per $1 on all other purchases
Get to Hawaii with American Express Membership Rewards
Using points from American Express Membership Rewards, you have the option of transferring points to miles with 16 different carriers including the options previously mentioned for Delta, Singapore, and British Airways.
Additionally, Hawaiian Airlines offers Coach SuperSaver awards starting at 20,000 miles one-way from the West Coast, along with more available Saver and Flex awards at 30,000 and 40,000 miles each way, First class with Hawaiian starts at 40,000 miles each way.
Despite recent changes to the program, another option is Flying Blue, the frequent flyer program for Air France and KLM which offers award flights to Hawaii operated by Delta for as low as 35,000 miles round-trip in economy class. Flying Blue is one of only three airlines that partner with Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Rewards, making it one of the easiest programs to fund a balance for redemption.
You can earn Membership Rewards points with many American Express cards including:
- The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business Green Rewards Card from American Express
- American Express® Business Gold Card
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Transfer Marriott Bonvoy Points to Korean Air SkyPass
Using Korean SkyPass miles, you can book awards to Hawaii on Delta for just 25,000 miles round-trip in economy class or 45,000 miles in first, which is a fantastic deal. If you used SkyMiles for the same flights and same seats, Delta would charge you at least 45,000 and 80,000 miles. You can transfer points from Marriott Rewards to SkyPass, and be sure to check out our post on how to redeem miles within the Korean SkyPass program.
Get Your Flights Booked
The key is knowing which points make the most sense for your unique situation. If you value flexibility, it's hard to beat Chase Ultimate Rewards with some of the best transfer partners available at the best rates. The bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card on its own is enough to get you one round-trip first-class ticket, or round-trip economy fares for you and a companion! We also need to add ThankYou Rewards into the mix when discussing the best points for flights to Hawaii. While not traditionally one of the best programs for this route, the discovery of the Turkish sweet spot and the ability to redeem KrisFlyer miles on Alaska make ThankYou points from cards like the Citi Premier® Card some of the most valuable points to get to Hawaii.
Have a preferred travel rewards currency for trips to Hawaii? Let us know in the comments!
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