Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Reward nights start at 10,000 points. Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more).
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
If you want to get to Hawaii in First Class and aren’t lucky enough to live on the West Coast, you don’t have a lot of great options.
Or, consider a mileage upgrade with American AAdvantage miles.
You’ll pay $175 each way plus 15,000 miles, or $350 plus 30,000 miles roundtrip, and you can fly in an international style flat seat on American’s Dallas to Honolulu flights.
Compare that to United where you’ll pay $500 plus 30,000 miles one way if you want to upgrade on one of its long flights from Newark, Houston, or Washington, D.C. to Hawaii.
And for flights departing June 1 or later Delta wants 55,000 miles one way to upgrade the cheapest fares.
Upgrading has a few advantages over relying on a regular award ticket:
American runs two widebody Boeing 767 aircraft from Dallas to Honolulu each day, and they feature international style flat seats.
They’re not American’s newest planes, so they’re not fully flat beds, but they are much nicer than the seats you’ll usually find on flights to Hawaii.
Cash tickets in coach to Hawaii are often very cheap, and with AAdvantage you can upgrade the very lowest fares, so it’s possible to sit upfront for less than $1,000 cash out of pocket.
Unforutnately American doesn’t make it easy to search for flights that have upgrade seats available. You can search with a paid subscription to ExpertFlyer.com or call AAdvantage on the phone. American uses the ‘A’ fare code for upgrades, and you’ll often find lots of upgrades available on the Saturday afternoon departure out of Dallas.
And if you want to use all miles one way and cash plus an upgrade another, Hawaii is a great place to try that strategy, as one way cash tickets are often just half the price of a roundtrip, giving you the flexibility to use a mix of cash one way and miles another.
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