There are limited redemptions with Hawaiian miles, and only two options for the Pacific. But I’d argue that using Hawaiian miles to/across the Pacific is the best use of Hawaiian miles.
This will be a relatively short post about:
1) Earning Hawaiian miles via the lesser known 50,000 mile card.
2) Using Hawaiian miles on Hawaiian.
and 3) Using Hawaiian miles on Virgin Australia.
Also, this is one piece of a series of posts on using miles to get to the Pacific – see Introduction to Using Miles to the South Pacific.
Earning Hawaiian Airlines Miles
Hawaiian 50k card
The current public offer is 35,000 miles, so there’s no reason not to get the 50k card (if you save this link).
I actually got the link idea from Frequent Miler’s post on the Hawaiian card. Basically, you just go through the booking process for a flight on Hawaiian, and then on the payment screen it had a link to the 50k card. I just copied the right version of it.
This is essentially a Barclay card now, and barclay is generous about giving you a card as long as you don’t have the same one currently open.
While there aren’t a ton of options when it comes to using Hawaiian Miles, there are actually a lot of Pacific related flights.
Obviously, Hawaiian Airlines itself is a flying option when redeeming their miles, and Hawaii itself is a Pacific island. So if you’re taking a Hawaiian flight at all, you’re on a Pacific flight.
Fly Hawaiian Airlines
The two big options in the Pacific are Pago Pago, Samoa (PPG) and Papeete, Tahiti (PPT).
Tahiti is super popular, but the more interesting option is Somoa!
Stefan of Rapid Travel Chai said “Samoa is a gem of South Pacific tourism“. And this is a guy who has been to 184 countries (of the 193 UN countries).
He said it in his post about how the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s is now an SPG hotel and only 7,000 points!
Award prices (in oneways)
- North America to the South Pacific = 47.5k/87.5k
- Hawaii to the South Pacific = 27.5k/47.5k
- North America to Australia / New Zealand = 60k/105k
You would route through Hawaii, given that you’re flying on Hawaiian.
However, I realized that for the exact same price you could book a stopover in Hawaii essentially.
- North America to Hawaii = 20k/40k
- then, Hawaii to South Pacific = 27.5k/47.5k
Total, the two tickets = 47.5k/87.5k
- North America to South Pacific = 47.5k/87.5k
Which is to say, that if you want to book a flight using Hawaiian Miles on Hawaiian Airlines, you could book a flight to Somoa or Tahiti with a stop in Hawaii for the same price.
Fly to Hawaii
And by the way, 20k/40k isn’t a bad price for a flight to Hawaii!
One 50k credit card could get a person a roundtrip to Hawaii. Sounds like a good deal. If nothing else, if you’re going to Hawaii, consider the 50k Barclay card.
(Note: I don’t earn any commission for the card, I got the link off the Hawaiian booking process. I’m just glad to have more Barclay options. Although, if I was new to miles and points this is hardly the card I’d be going for… I’d get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve way before this.)
Fly Virgin Australia
Perhaps the best use of Hawaiian miles is to fly Virgin Australia from the US to Australia for 100,000 miles (it’s 200,000 in business class).
Virgin Australia doesn’t have fuel surcharges, and it has a great network around Australia.
And after all, 100k is two Hawaiian cards, and it’s not that much more than most other programs.
LAX to SYD, BNE, or MEL (then anywhere)
The problem is that they only have flights out of LAX and Hawaiian’s award chart says the flights have to be operated by Virgin.
Perhaps the other annoying thing is that you ‘d have to call Hawaiian for partner awards, but not a big deal.
Intra-Pacific flights on Virgin
One option using Hawaiian miles is to redeem for Virgin Australia flights that are under 4,000 miles roundtrip, and it costs 60k miles.
That means you could fly Sydney to Fiji roundtrip on Virgin for 60,000 Hawaiian Miles. This is higher than AA or United, but you could argue that it’s still a decent use of Hawaiian miles.
Most of the routes on the following picture are under 4,000 miles roundtrip:
Flights to APW, SYD to TBU, and MEL to NAN, are all above 4,000 miles roundtrip and would thus cost 100,000 miles. And it’s only bookable as a roundtrip.
I suppose if I was paying 60k already, I might as well pay 100k and start in the US!
The real reason I want to get the 50k card is to get to Somoa. If Rapid Travel Chai loves a place, I should go.
The card is 50k (and with Barclay (that’s a perk)), so it would take two cards to get a person to Somoa, but you could book a stopover in Hawaii.