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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?
- 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.)
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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