Or, consider other cards for 50,000 or more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
$750 for air / hotel / car bookings. Or transfer points to United, Southwest, Hyatt, and more.
No annual fee.
Hawaiian Airlines has expanded rapidly recently, and it now serves Hawaii from 11 cities in the mainland U.S. using wide-body 767 planes. Free meals available for all passengers and uniquely Hawaiian hospitality have earned it the #1 rating for customer satisfaction.
Flights can be expensive ($700 or more) but you can snag an award for as few as 30,000 miles roundtrip if you use the right program, and you can earn those miles quickly thanks to some good intro offers.
There’s even one with no minimum spending requirement, which means you can get an award ticket right away.
We’ll talk about them below.
Hawaiian has several award prices to Hawaii, but the one you want to snag is the lowest possible ‘Super Saver’ price, not the inflated prices on busy days and flights. These are also the awards available for booking with the miles of Hawaiian’s partners like Korean Skypass and American AAdvantage, which can be cheaper than booking with Hawaiian miles.
We checked flights to Hawaii from each of the mainland U.S. cities Hawaiian serves for dates June 2014 – March 2014 to see how often flights are available for a pair of travelers at the Super Saver price. Here’s what we found for Economy Class awards:
Overall, Hawaiian is more generous than the big airlines like United and Delta for award seats to Hawaii, thanks in part due to the fact that with Hawaiian you have fewer people funneling through big hubs onto its flights, leaving more award space for you.
If you’re planning to travel in the summer, don’t expect to find award seats at the lowest prices unless you plan well ahead (we’re checking now in April, so a lot of people have booked).
But if you’re in a city that Hawaiian Airlines serves and are willing to go anytime but the summer and Christmas holiday, you’ll find lots of availability which make for great bargains that can save you $700 or more in airfare.
The exception is if you live in New York or Phoenix. We wouldn’t advise banking your travel plans on finding award seats on Hawaiian Airlines from those cities.
Here is the best deal for Hawaiian flights.
For just 30,000 Korean SkyPass miles you can book Hawaiian Airlines roundtrip flights (they are partners).
There’s an offer for 30,000 Korean miles through the end of May with no spending requirement via the SkyPass Visa from US Bank (card link). It has an $80 annual fee.
That’s the fastest way to an award ticket on Hawaiian and it means you could have the miles you need for a flight in a month.
You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Plus Business Card into Korean SkyPass miles and take advantage of the 30,000 mile deal to Hawaii. The latest intro offers for those cards are here.
If you apply for both the SkyPass Visa and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card you could have enough for two roundtrip tickets very quickly.
Just call the Korean SkyPass hotline here in the States on 800-438-5000 and they’ll be happy to look up availability and walk you through the process of booking, which involves faxing or emailing a form.
The catch with using Korean SkyPass miles is you can’t mix and match other airlines in your award like Alaska Airlines, and they only allow round-trips. And if you have a connection, say in Honolulu to get to Kauai, you’ll have to pay an extra 10,000 miles.
You can also earn Hawaiian miles with the Barclaycard Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard, which at the time of this post is offering 35,000 miles as an intro offer. That’s 5,000 miles short of an award ticket, so the deal is not as great as the limited time 30,000 mile Korean Skypass Visa offer, but it still gets you close.
It has an $89 annual fee, but also offers a waiver of first checked bag fees on Hawaiian flights.
Hawaiian lets you book awards as one-way flights, as well as pay cash in one direction and miles in the other.
This may not always be the cheapest way to take advantage of Hawaiian’s good award availability. But it’s easy to earn a lot of AAdvantage miles thanks to the 50,000 mile and 100,000 mile offers at the time of this post. We list the latest here.
You’ll pay just 35,000 miles roundtrip if you travel January 12 – March 13 or August 22 – December 15 thanks to American’s off-peak award prices.
And you can mix Hawaiian flights with American’s own flights when you book awards, though the only American Airlines / US Airways hubs served by Hawaiian are New York and Phoenix, which don’t have a lot of award seats available to Hawaii.
This isn’t the best use of American miles – you’re better off trying to earn with the SkyPass Visa or Hawaiian MasterCard intro offers, but it’s good to know it’s available if you’re in a bind. And you’ll be flying an airline that still puts a little fun into getting to Hawaii.
Follow @MileCards on Twitter for the latest updates and new offers
Foreign Transaction Fee Waived
Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?
Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.
"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."