Transfer Amex to Hawaiian Airlines with a 25% Bonus

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Amex is offering a 25% bonus when transferring Membership Rewards to Hawaiian Airlines through October 7th, 2019. This offer has come around at least once a year for the past four years, but is it really a good deal?




Key Terms

  • Get a 25% Bonus on Membership Rewards transfers to Hawaiian Airlines miles
  • 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
  • Minimum transfer is 1,000 Amex points
  • Bonus expires at midnight ET on 10/7/2019

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 miles on Jetblue, Japan Airlines, Korean, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia. 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 for round trip travel on several 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?

Here are the saver awards for one-way travel to the continental U.S:

  • West Coast 20K Economy
  • West Coast 40K Business
  • East Coast 30K Economy
  • East Coast 40K Business

If you're looking for first class, this award is a solid value at 40,000 miles. With the transfer bonus, you'd be paying only 32,000 Amex points.


But you can see that price can go up quickly when saver space isn't available. 80,000 points is still 64,000 Membership Rewards, which is a pretty steep rate considering all the other Amex Transfer Partners.

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 (but they won't allow you to use miles to book a flight from the mainland U.S.)

Our Take

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. American, Alaska, Delta and United have plenty of flights to Hawaii, and Southwest has recently joined the club with a few new routes.

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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  • Avatar
    mary lazzara says:

    I was just approved for Hawaiian Air credit card which required only one purchase (no minimum $$ spend) to be awarded 60,000 miles. Sounds great – was hoping to get a transcontinental flight NY-LAX on JetBlue with the points only to discover upon telephoning Hawaiian Air that the one-way flights for this route are fixed at 90,000 miles!! Outrageous!!! These flights cost under $200 – wondering if I am misinformed by the agent I spoke to.

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    Thank you for this
    Great timing for us !

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    So many wonderful ways to get to Hawaii. I sure hope the crazy New Green Deal never happens. It would be such a shame to limit our accessibility to our 49th and 50th states!

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    Damn, wish I saw this offer earlier…like 2 days ago…hopefully it will return soon, never flew with Hawaiian airlines

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    Stacy Y Liu says:

    I’m glad there’s options to redeem on Hawaiian like JetBlue which has no expiration on miles. Great incentive.

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      Hey Stacy, just to clarify, the mile expiration rule is determined by the program (the type of miles you have). So if you have Hawaiian miles, they will still expire according to the Hawaiian 18 month rule even if you plan to redeem them on JetBlue. On the other hand, if you want to redeem JetBlue miles on a Hawaiian flight, you don’t have to worry about the JetBlue miles expiring.

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    A good promo. It’s good to know that it has occurred the last few years. Maybe then it’ll continue on in the future years and I’ll be able to take advantage of it. I like that it’s an option. If my days are flexible then it’ll be a good choice. I like to use miles with the carrier I have the program with. I do see the advantage of using partners within a program but I find that it’s difficult to find space on those partners when I want to change. Then if I must change my date/flight, etc I don’t really have an option. I like that I have the choice to use more miles to get the date, etc I would need.

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    I note that many flights have become cheaper. Perhaps the worldwide economic slowdown has caused a reduction in the number of airplane seats flying full.

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    If you want to book Hawaiian awards, it’s better to use partner miles.

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    I’m on the east coast and Hawaiian just massively devalued their award chart to the point that this isn’t worth it to me. Not only are award rates much higher now, but they don’t have any first class availability all winter on BOS-HNL.

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    Although not as lucrative as it used to be, one (seemingly) common use of Hawaiian miles is the transfer to Hilton points. In any event, folks should be aware that AmEx MR points transferred cannot then be transferred again to Hilton. However, perhaps somewhat bizarrely, points transferred from other rewards programs to Hawaiian via, can be transferred to Hilton.

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      Why would you transfer points to Hilton? They’re basically worthless and are a third to a quarter the value of other points rewards currencies.

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    I wish Chase would do promos like this.

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    Tim Cathcart says:

    Lots of options for HI flights.. How does Hawaiian Air stack up the bigger carriers???

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    I will also say that flights to Hawaii have become very cheap! So there might be times that “buying” the ticket through Amex by paying with points would be a better deal anyway. Especially when you factor in the ability to earn points and status with this flight.

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    Great point about other carriers having plenty of flights to Hawaii. It is not difficult to get to Hawaii these days with decent availability.