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How to fly to Hawaii with miles (free flights for 25k points)

by on Wed September 27, 2017 • 1 Comment
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hawaiisunset

Using frequent flyer miles to get to Hawaii can be a great use of your miles because cash prices tend to be quite expensive. There are many different mileage currencies that can be used to get to Hawaii, so depending on what you have available you might be able to save a significant number of miles by thinking outside the box. Here’s a summary of the main types of miles and points you might have available and what the mileage cost would be.

Best bets with Chase, Amex, or Citi points

We will look at the cheapest options available with different transferable currencies first. Transferable currencies have many different transfer partners, so knowing which partner to transfer to can save you quite a few miles versus booking with the airline that you are the most familiar with.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Singapore KrisFlyer for Alaska Airlines flights. If you live somewhere Alaska Airlines flies, you can transfer points to Singapore KrisFlyer and book Alaska’s flights to Hawaii for 11,500, 12,000, or 12,500 Singapore miles one way. Alaska has lots of flights from the West Coast to Hawaii, and you can connect to those from many other cities Alaska serves.

Korean SkyPass for Delta flights. Another good bet if you have Chase Ultimate Rewards Points is to transfer to partner Korean Airlines and fly Delta flights. A round trip award in Economy Class costs only 25,000 miles from the lower 48, an incredible deal.

Booking is easy – you can search for Delta award flights directly on the Korean site.

Alternatively, after verifying the space, call Korean on 1-800-438-5000 and they will put an award on hold for several days while you transfer points or think about your plans.

Korean Airlines also charges the lowest price in Business Class at 45,000 miles round trip.

British Airways Avios for American and Alaska flights. For those of you on or near West Coast, flights on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines can be booked from some cities for 25,000 British Airways Avios round trip, tying Korean’s prices.

The following routes are available at this price point.

HonoluluKahuluiKonaLihue
AnchorageAlaskaAlaskaAlaskaN/A
BellinghamAlaskaAlaskaN/AN/A
Los AngelesAmericanAmericanAmericanAmerican
OaklandAlaskaAlaskaAlaskaAlaska
PhoenixAmericanAmericanAmericanAmerican
PortlandAlaskaAlaskaAlaskaAlaska
San DiegoAlaskaAlaskaAlaskaAlaska
San JoseAlaskaAlaskaAlaskaAlaska
SacramentoN/AAlaskaN/AN/A

In Business Class, British Airways charges quite a few more miles at 75,000 miles round trip, so definitely look at Korean before British Airways in Business Class.

Both Korean miles and British Airways Avios transfer from Chase at a 1:1 ratio.

American Express Membership Rewards

If you have American Express Membership Rewards at your disposal, you have a couple of good options via transfer partners.

Singapore KrisFlyer for Alaska flights. Like with Chase Ultimate Rewards, if you live somewhere Alaska Airlines flies, you can transfer points to Singapore KrisFlyer and book Alaska’s flights to Hawaii for 11,500, 12,000, or 12,500 Singapore miles one way. Alaska has lots of flights from the West Coast to Hawaii, and you can connect to those from many other cities Alaska serves.

British Airways Avios for American and Alaska flights. If you are flying from the West Coast and in Economy, British Airways Avio will likely be your best option, especially if you are flying from any of the cities listed in the table above. British Airways redemptions start at 25,000 miles round trip in Economy for flights on American or Alaska Airlines.

British Airways transfers at a 1,000:800 ratio from American Express, making this not quite as good of a deal as using Chase Ultimate Rewards points as your transferrable currency.

Air France for Delta, or Singapore KrisFlyer for United flights. Air France/KLM Flying Blue lets you book Delta or Alaska flights for 30,000 miles roundtrip in Economy and half that for one way flights.

Singapore KrisFlyer lets you book United flights for 35000 miles roundtrip in Economy and half that for one way flights.

If you want to travel in Business Class, both programs charge 60,000 miles round trip.

Citi ThankYou Points

Like American Express Membership Rewards points, Citi ThankYou Points transfer to both Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Singapore KrisFlyer.

So the advice is the same.

If you live somewhere Alaska Airlines flies, you can transfer points to Singapore KrisFlyer and book Alaska’s flights to Hawaii for 11,500, 12,000, or 12,500 Singapore miles one way. Alaska has lots of flights from the West Coast to Hawaii, and you can connect to those from many other cities Alaska serves.

If you want to fly in Economy, Air France Flying Blue is going to cost the least, at 30,000 Flying Blue miles round trip for Delta or Alaska Airlines flights. Singapore Airlines doesn’t charge much more at 35,000 Singapore miles round trip in Economy on United. Both airlines charge 60,000 miles round trip in Business Class.

Best options by airline

If you’re have a specific airline in mind, or are having trouble finding space on your favorite airline, here are the routes each airline flies to Hawaii and the cheapest ways to book them with points.

Delta

delta air lines airplane

You can book Delta flights with a bunch of different mileage currencies. Below are the costs to book Delta flights with the listed currencies in both Economy Class and Business Class for round trip flights.

Booked WithEconomy Class PriceBusiness Class Price
Delta SkyMiles45,000 SkyMiles80,000 SkyMiles
Korean Air Skypass25,000 Skypass Miles45,000 Skypass Miles
Air France/KLM Flying Blue30,000 Flying Blue Miles60,000 Flying Blue Miles
Alaska Mileage Plan90,000 Miles160,000 Miles

Korean SkyPass, which is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, will be your best bet at just 25,000 miles roundtrip in Economy. The catch is no one-way awards are allowed, and booking family members is a little cumbersome, but it’s an outstanding deal and great use of points.

Delta award space to Hawaii can be pretty good if you plan ahead and there are plenty of routes, with direct flights from Honolulu to Seattle, Salt Lake City, New York City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.

There are direct flights from Kona and Maui to Seattle and Los Angeles.

There is also a direct flight from Lihue to Los Angeles.

United

unitedairlinesplane

Like with Delta, you have a few different options for booking flights on United from the contiguous U.S. to Hawaii. Below are the costs to book United flights with the listed currencies in both Economy Class and Business Class. Prices listed are based on round trip flights.

Booked WithEconomy Class PriceBusiness Class Price
Singapore KrisFlyer35,000 Miles60,000 Miles
United MileagePlus45,000 Miles80,000 Miles
ANA Mileage Club40,000 Miles68,000 Miles
Air Canada Aeroplan45,000 Miles80,000 Miles

You should try to use Singapore KrisFlyer, which is an easy transfer partner of Chase, Amex, and Citi. It’s the cheapest option, at 35,000 miles roundtrip in Economy.

From Honolulu, United has direct flights to Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

From Kona and Lihue, United offers direct flights to Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Finally, from Maui, there are direct flights to Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

American Airlines

American

American Airlines is a little bit more complicated when it comes to making redemptions because we need to talk about a distance based program – British Airways.

As a general rule, British Airways redemptions are only going to make sense if you are flying from the western U.S. For this reason, we will list the base price but know that British Airways redemptions can cost significantly more if you have longer flights or need to connect.

Below are the costs to book American Airlines flights with the listed currencies in both Economy Class and Business Class as well as how good American is about releasing low level award space and possible routes you can fly. Prices listed are based on round trip flights.

Booked WithEconomy Class PriceBusiness Class Price
British Airways Avios25,000+ Avios75,000 + Avios
American AAdvantage45,000 Miles (40,000 Off-Peak)80,0000 Miles
Alaska Mileage Plan45,000 Miles95,000 Miles


If you live in the west, British Airways is likely going to be your best bet to travel on American Airlines to Hawaii, at 25,000 points roundtrip for nonstop flights.

If you live elsewhere in the U.S., American Airlines offers pricing competitive with the other legacy U.S. carriers – and even a little better if you can snag that off-peak pricing. Off peak prices to Hawaii are valid from January 12 to March 13 and August 22 to December 15.

If you want to fly on American Airlines to Hawaii, you have the option of a direct flight to Honolulu, Maui, and Kona from any of Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Phoenix. You can fly directly to Los Angeles and Phoenix from Lihue.  

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines plane photo

Alaska Airlines has just about the entire West Coast covered to Hawaii. Prices listed are based on round trip flights, but all of the options except Korean SkyPass are available one way at half the price.

Booked WithEconomy Class PriceBusiness Class Price
Alaska Mileage Plan35,000 Miles80,000 Miles
American AAdvantage45,000 Miles80,000 Miles
Delta SkyMiles45,000 Miles80,000 Miles
Korean Skypass30,000 Miles60,000 Miles
Singapore KrisFlyer23,000 - 25,000 Miles84,000 - 94,000 Miles

Singapore Krisflyer via Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, or Citi ThankYou is your best bet. Flights cost 11,500, 12,000, or 12,500 miles one way depending on where you start your trip.

If you’re flying nonstop, British Airways Avios is your best bet at 25,000 miles roundtrip for Alaska flights. 

If you are flying to Honolulu with Alaska, you can do so from Anchorage, Oakland, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle.

From Kona, you can fly to Anchorage, Bellingham, Oakland, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle.

From Maui, you can fly to Anchorage, Bellingham, Oakland, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle.

From Lihue, you can fly to Oakland, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle.

Hawaiian Airlines

hawaiian

Hawaiian Airlines operates the nicest service to Hawaii, with lots of roomy wide body planes and a healthy dose of island hospitality.

Below are the costs to book Hawaiian Airlines flights with the listed currencies in both Economy Class and Business Class.Prices listed are based on round trip flights, but all of the options except Korean Skypass are available one way at half the price.

Booked WithEconomy Class PriceBusiness Class Price
Hawaiian Miles40,000 Miles80,000 Miles
Korean SkyPass30,000 Miles60,000 Miles

You’re getting a great deal if you have Chase points you can transfer to Korean SkyPass, and can fly for just 30,000 miles roundtrip.

Hawaiian Airlines offers direct flights from the Hawaiian Islands to Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and New York City as well as extensive flights between the islands.

Should You Use Bank Points as Cash Instead?

Fares to Hawaii vary widely – you can pay under $500 on many days, and closer to $1,000 on others.

If you can manage to snag seats for 25,000 or 30,000 miles roundtrip, you’re most likely getting the best deal you can with your points. That nets you a value of 2 – 4 cents per mile in value when fares are in the $500 – $1,000 range.

But it’s you should always check to see whether using your points like cash to pay for the flights via a booking portal like the Chase Ultimate Rewards website will cost you fewer points than trying to use a point transfer partner book an award flight.

 

 

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee

Yes

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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One thought on “How to fly to Hawaii with miles (free flights for 25k points)

  1. B H

    I’d like to think I’m not confused, but honestly I’m new to the points usage game, I’m more of a collector.
    Question I’d love to take my family (2 adults, 3 kids) on a Hawaiian vacation around Dec 28th (flexible). I reside in SLC, would like to go to Maui, and have about 200k Am-X miles, by way of a Platinum Business card.

    If helpful, my wife currently works for Jet Blue and gets airline discounts, but I’m not sure if I can combine my miles with her discounts… unless I can transfer points to our True Blue shared acct, then book on Alaska or ??? using her discount.

    Thanks in advance for your guidance.

    Boyd

    Reply

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