Or, consider other cards for 50,000 or more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Citi®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard.
Options to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points from your Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus / Bold Card are plentiful for normal domestic flights, but they are also hugely advantageous when booking flights to Hawaii. With a little legwork, and taking advantage of Chase airline transfer partners, you’ll be rewarded with sunshine and big savings.
Here’s a MileCards.com summary of your options with explanations of how to find seats and book below. If airline point transfer using your Chase points is new to you, here is a basic illustration of how it works.
I’ve talked about this at greater length in this post (link), but it’s important to know the huge savings you can garner by transferring your Chase points to BA Avios and booking flights on American and Alaska Airlines if you can fly from the West Coast.
Because Hawaii falls within the 2,500 mile-range from the West Coast, you can fly on Alaska Airlines or American Airlines round-trip to Hawaii for 25,000 Avios points or one-way for 12,500 points, and can depart from Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Bellingham, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, or Seattle.
The only trick is that those Alaska flights are not listed on the BA website, so you’ll have to book tickets over the phone.
You can do a search search for award flights on the American Airlines website at AA.com and if they show up there at the ‘MileSAAver’ level they will be available for booking with BA Avios. You can ignore the price AA.com displays as you’ll pay the BA Avios price when you use Avios to book.
If you’re interested in First Class from the West Coast you’ll pay 37,500 points one-way (75,000 points round-trip).
There are also nice values to be found for flights to Hawaii in transferring points to Korean Skypass and booking Hawaiian Airlines or Alaska Airlines flights, which you can read about here.
Flights to Hawaii cost 30,000 points round trip in Economy from West Coast hubs, meaning you’ll still be better off booking with BA Avios if you can find a nonstop Alaska Airlines flight.
But if you are connecting on Alaska (say, Seattle to Maui via Portland), or coming from the East Coast, booking through Korean Skypass may be your best best for savings because it costs 30,000 points regardless of whether you are connecting or not.
And if you want to travel in First Class you’ll pay just 60,000 points round-trip, the best value available in First Class with your Chase points.
The only catch is you can only fly one airline for your entire trip, so you can’t mix Alaska and Hawaiian flights.
You’ll want to look for availability of Alaska and Hawaiian flights on the American Airlines website, and if they appear there, you can book with Korean points. Note that you can ignore the point price set by American as you’ll be paying with Korean miles.
Booking through Korean Skypass is especially convenient for those living in the Hawaiian destinations of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle; or the Alaska destinations of Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Bellingham, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, and Seattle.
There are a few other caveats to keep in mind when booking through Korean, namely only round-trip flights can be booked, and that booking must be made over the phone (1-800-438-5000).
The trick is to call Korean, verify that the award is available, then transfer the points while on the phone.
Korean also lets you book Delta flights for 35,000 miles in Economy and 75,000 miles in First Class, but award seats are rarely available.
While United isn’t always the cheapest option, their flights are plentiful and if you’re lucky you can find Saver price seats for 45,000 miles round-trip or 22,500 miles one-way in Economy, and 80,000 miles round-trip or 40,000 miles one-way in First Class.
Plus, United connects to Hawaii from just about anywhere in the country, making it the most viable option if you don’t live on the West Coast or in a city Hawaiian Airlines serves.
It’s easy to check for flights by going to United.com and doing an award search with no login required. If you find seats on the days you want to travel you can transfer your points instantly from Chase to your United account online.
But if you can’t find a seat for 45,000 miles, you’ll probably want to consider other options like booking directly via the Chase website.
If none of the above work out, it’s beneficial to check the Chase Ultimate Rewards website itself due to the ability to book any airline, as well as the bonus of earning additional points with the purchase of each ticket.
To gauge how many points a ticket will cost, simply multiply the price of the ticket by 80.
So a $700 ticket will cost 56,000 points. It’s not the greatest deal in the world, but if you’re flying on a peak day and don’t have other places to use your points it’s a no-hassle fall back to have at your disposal. And you can mix and match points and cash, using as many or as few points as you’d like.
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