Everyone wants to know the cheapest miles to get to Hawaii. Doing the usual, I decided to make a chart of airline prices to Hawaii. This will show how many miles it takes to get to Hawaii on each airline, and which credit cards will get these miles. Then we’ll talk about the details.
Hawaii is not only a highly desired destination, it’s “domestic” in terms of fuel surcharges. Meaning; there are no fuel surcharges for flights to Hawaii. Plus, the prices are reasonable.
Prices in miles shown for roundtrips.
|Virgin Elevate||20,000||50,000||(partners /w HA)||Amex MR, SPG|
|Alitalia||30,000||60,000||SkyTeam||Amex MR, SPG|
|Singapore||35,000||60,000||Star Alliance||Amex MR, Chase UR, Citi TY, SPG|
|AA||35,000 – 45,000||75,000||OneWorld||SPG|
|Alaska||35,000 – 45,000||75,000||SPG|
|Hawaiian||40,000||80,000||Amex MR, SPG|
|United||45,000||80,000||Star Alliance||Chase UR|
|Air Canada||45,000||80,000||Star Alliance||Amex MR, SPG|
|Delta||45,000 – 90,000||80,000 – 190,000||SkyTeam||Amex MR, Citi TY, SPG|
Update: I’m told that Air France is roundtrip to Hawaii for 30,000 miles. Air France is a new Citi transfer. (Air France is a transfer partner of Citi, Amex and SPG).
For distance based programs, let’s take a look at some popular flights so at least we can get an idea of prices.
Distance Based Programs
Example: LAX – HNL
|BA Avios||25,000||75,000||OneWorld||Amex MR, Chase UR, Citi TY, SPG|
|ANA||43,000||68,000||Star Alliance||Amex MR, SPG|
|Asia Miles||60,000||80,000||OneWorld||Amex MR, Citi TY, SPG|
Example: NYC – HNL
|BA Avios||50,000||100,000||OneWorld||Amex MR, Chase UR, Citi TY, SPG|
|ANA||55,000||85,000||Star Alliance||Amex MR, SPG|
|Asia Miles||85,000||115,000||OneWorld||Amex MR, Citi TY, SPG|
Basically, my rule on credit cards is to wait until a bonus is at least above 50,000 miles… in general. Hotel points I have different standards for and I mostly save for last.
So if you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, you can use the chart above to figure out how many miles you would need on each airline and then check to see if there are any significant bonuses for that airline or bank points that transfer to it.
The details of each program can’t be explained in a chart, but the charts may at least give a good idea of which programs are the best.
Update: Virgin Elevate does roundtrip to Hawaii for 20,000 miles!
After all, who would have thought that Alitalia and Singapore would be the best prices for roundtrips to Hawaii!? For both Economy and Business (30k/60k). Pretty phenomenal and Singapore is a transfer partner of all the major bank rewards programs. Chase, Citi, Amex, plus SPG! And Alitalia is at least an Amex and SPG transfer.
The Distance Based programs are the ones that are hard to represent. Direct flights from the west coast to Hawaii with British Airways Avios are only 25,000 miles/avios roundtrip and 50,000 miles/avios for business class. And BA is the only other airline to be a transfer partner of Chase, Citi, Amex and SPG.
This is extra great because not only do you have AA flights from the west coast, but with BA you can also redeem your miles on Alaska.
- Los Angeles – Honolulu
- Los Angeles – Kona
- Los Angeles – Lihue
- Los Angeles – Kahului
- Phoenix – Honolulu
- Phoenix – Kona
- Phoenix – Lihue
- Phoenix – Kahului
But with Alaska Airlines you add a bunch of routes:
- Bellingham – Honolulu
- Bellingham – Kahului
- Seattle – Honolulu
- Seattle – Kona
- Seattle – Lihue
- Seattle – Kahului
- Portland – Honolulu
- Portland – Kona
- Portland – Lihue
- Portland – Kahului
- Oakland – Honolulu
- Oakland – Kona
- Oakland – Lihue
- Oakland – Kahului
- Sacramento – Kahului
- San Jose – Honolulu
- San Jose – Kona
- San Jose – Lihue
- San Jose – Kahului
- San Diego – Honolulu
- San Diego – Lihue
- San Diego – Kahului
- Anchorage – Honolulu
- Anchorage – Kona
- Anchorage – Kahului
As you can see, Alaska added a lot of options.
Basically, when using BA Avios on any of these 33 direct flights from any of the 9 west coast cities (and Alaska) will cost 12,500 Avios each way. But you make one connection and you jack the price up.
For anything not from one of these cities, it’s cheaper just to use Alitalia or Singapore miles.
AA off peak
When using AA miles, or Alaska miles on AA flights during off-peak, it’s 17,500 miles each way. Off-peak times are Jan 12 – Mar 8 and Aug 22 – Dec 15. This is nearly half the year but avoiding peak holiday times like summer and winter break.
All 3 Alliances
And there you have it folks. A few great options on three different alliances and Alaska. Singapore is Star Alliance, AA & BA are OneWorld, and Alitalia is SkyTeam. Between the three of those and all their transfer partners, surely you can find availability.
But the best part is, you can check availability before transferring. See which airline has availability and then transfer your points.
It’s a bit of a brief overview when I’ve written so much more on many of these programs. Still, I think this could start someone off in the right direction. And hopefully the decision is simple. What’s the cheapest way to get to Hawaii? Can I easily get enough miles? Is there availability?
And again, since there aren’t fuel surcharges, it’s a bit of “what you see is what you get”.
Hopefully this helps a few people figure out or discover the actual cheapest way to get to Hawaii, since I know so many people go there so often.