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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 and miles to book a trip to our 50th state, and if you're looking for the best deal, we've got it below.
If you don't already have points and miles in the programs listed or need to top up your account, you can jump-start your way to a Hawaiian vacation by focusing on a few key strategic signup bonuses. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, or if transferred to the right travel partner, enough points for two round-trip economy fares.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is especially valuable if you want to get to Hawaii!
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 for as low as 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 first class for an AAdvantage sAAver 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.
The Solution: Flexible Points to Hawaii
A better way to earn miles towards a trip to Hawaii is with credit card reward programs that offer points which transfer to airline miles at a 1:1 ratio. 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 four primary flexible rewards currencies:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- American Express Membership Rewards Points
- Citi ThankYou Points
- Starwood Preferred Guest Points
Our favorite program for flights to Hawaii is Chase Ultimate Rewards, which offers 19 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, JetBlue, Singapore, Air France/KLM, and British Airways.
Ultimate Rewards is the Best Program for Flights to Hawaii
Chase Ultimate Rewards are the best points to use for flights to Hawaii as they offer the ability to redeem for flights with transfer partners at the best rates.
- 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, so 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, Sacremento, Bellingham, San Jose, Portland, Seattle, and even Anchorage. Step 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.
- With Singapore Krisflyer miles, you can book an award with their partner United, on flights operated by United, for 35,000 miles round-trip, and 60,000 miles in business (on a three-cabin aircraft). If you need a hand with Krisflyer, we've put together a post on how to redeem miles with Singapore Krisflyer.
- ALSO with Singapore Krisflyer miles, you can book an award with their partner Alaska, on direct flights operated by Alaska, for as low as 12,000 miles one-way. Alaska operates direct flights to Hawaii from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Anchorage, and Bellingham. Outside of these airports, you'll get better value redeeming Krisflyer miles on United as you'll pay by segment to fly Alaska.
Also Look to 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, 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 which partner with Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, ThankYou Rewards, and SPG, 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 OPEN
- The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
Get Your Flights Booked
There are plenty of options available to get to Hawaii; if you've got points from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, there are over 40+ transfer partners available. If you've got Citi ThankYou Points, you can also leverage their transfer partners.
The key is knowing which points make the most sense for your unique situation. If you value flexibility, it's hard to go past Chase Ultimate Rewards with some of the best transfer partners available at the best rates. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card on its own is almost enough to get you one round-trip first-class ticket, or round-trip economy fares for you and a companion! Remember
Have a preferred travel rewards currency for trips to Hawaii? Let us know in the comments!
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