7 Award Sweet Spots Using HawaiianMiles

High-value redemptions can be found on flights to and within Hawaii and on partner routes in Japan and Australia.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 
Updated
Edited by Meg Lee

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Hawaiian Airlines is a partner of several transferrable point currencies. While it's often overshadowed by better-known award programs, there's still value to be found in the quirky program.

From island-hopping through Hawaii for 7,500 miles to flying Hawaiian's lie-flat first class for 40,000 miles, here are some of the best sweet spots of the HawaiianMiles program.

Basics of the HawaiianMiles award chart

HawaiianMiles is one of the few U.S. airline loyalty programs that still publish an award chart. With that said, HawaiianMiles doesn't have a simple award chart.

For economy award flights on Hawaiian Airlines, awards can fall under up to eight pricing tiers. And the published Hawaiian first class award prices are effectively a minimum and maximum amount.

HawaiianMiles award prices on Hawaiian's eclectic group of partners vary by the partner. For example, awards on Japan Airlines are region-based awards, while HawaiianMiles awards on JetBlue are generally priced based on the cash price of the flight.

The best HawaiianMiles redemptions

1. Intra-Hawaii from 7,500 miles each way

Let's start with the cheapest award on the HawaiianMiles award chart. HawaiianMiles members can book award flights between Hawaiian islands for as few as 7,500 miles each way.

The HawaiianMiles award chart notes that these prices are for "neighbor island flights." However, you aren't actually limited to flights between adjacent islands.

For example, you can fly across the archipelago from Lihue, Kauai, to Kona for just 7,500 miles.

Hawaiian Airlines flies directly between most of the Hawaiian destinations it serves. However, you can still book award flights between Hawaiian islands for as few as 7,500 miles, even if you need to connect.

For example, you can fly from Lihue to Hilo via Honolulu for 7,500 miles each way.

2. Continental U.S. to Hawaii from 20,000 miles each way

Award flights between Hawaii and the continental U.S. start at 20,000 miles each way for flights to "West Coast" destinations. While "West Coast" isn't defined by HawaiianMiles, we've found that it includes flights as far east as Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Note that certain HawaiianMiles members can book award flights for even fewer miles. The following members get access to discounted award pricing on Hawaiian Airlines flights: 

  • Pualani Platinum elite members.

  • Pualani Gold elite members.

  • Premier Club Member — a paid membership program that grants free checked bags, priority boarding and access to lounges.

  • Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard® cardholders.

For flights between the islands and the continental U.S., this award discount drops prices as low as 17,500 miles each way on "Main Cabin 1" fares that would otherwise cost 20,000 miles.

3. First class between the continental U.S. and Hawaii from 40,000 miles each way

First-class awards between all regions of the continental U.S. and Hawaiian islands start at 40,000 HawaiianMiles each way — even in lie-flat first class seats.

However, that's just the starting price. If you're searching peak times or popular routes, the one-way price of Hawaiian Airlines first class can soar to the maximum price of 130,000 miles.

We've found the trick to finding 40,000-mile awards to search for last-minute award availability. It seems HawaiianMiles is one program where it pays to procrastinate.

4. Virgin Atlantic flights to the U.K. from 60,000 HawaiianMiles round-trip

HawaiianMiles offers an appealing option for those wanting to fly to the United Kingdom. You can redeem HawaiianMiles for award flights on Virgin Atlantic at the following round-trip rates:

Between the United Kingdom and …

Economy

Premium economy

Upper Class

North America East Coast

60,000 miles.

100,000 miles.

125,000 miles.

North America West Coast

80,000 miles.

130,000 miles.

160,000 miles.

Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East

60,000 miles.

100,000 miles.

125,000 miles.

India, Asia and Australia

80,000 miles.

130,000 miles.

160,000 miles.

While a 60,000-mile round-trip to Europe is solid, the real value is found at the pointy end of the plane. Booking Virgin Atlantic Upper Class — what the airline calls its business class — for as few as 125,000 HawaiianMiles is a great deal.

While Virgin Atlantic is infamous for charging high fees on its awards, HawaiianMiles awards on Virgin Atlantic aren't as painful on the wallet.

Travelers have reported paying around $400 round trip out-of-pocket for Virgin Atlantic Upper Class between the U.S. and the United Kingdom. That's much less than the out-of-pocket cost for Upper Class awards booked through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

For travelers based in the U.S., flights to the United Kingdom will be the most practical. But more adventurous travelers might consider flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class from London to South Africa's Cape Town or Johannesburg for 125,000 HawaiianMiles round-trip.

5. Hawaii to anywhere in Japan with a free stopover in Tokyo

For travelers based in Hawaii, you can take advantage of a unique benefit of Hawaiian's partnership with Japan Airlines. Travelers can book a free stopover in Tokyo on HawaiianMiles awards between Hawaii and Japan.

That means you can fly Japan Airlines from the Hawaiian islands to Tokyo and stay as long as you want before flying to another Japanese destination.

One-way awards on Japan Airlines from Hawaii to Japan cost:

  • 40,000 HawaiianMiles in economy.

  • 50,000 HawaiianMiles in premium economy.

  • 75,000 HawaiianMiles in business class.

Unfortunately, Japan Airlines first class awards aren't available through HawaiianMiles.

6. Intra-Japan flights for 12,000 HawaiianMiles each way

Once in Japan, you can continue to utilize Hawaiian's partnership with Japan Airlines to get around. Intra-Japan flights cost 12,000 HawaiianMiles each way — no matter how far you go.

Just note that you need to book a nonstop flight to get this price. Connecting flights will price as two separate awards.

7. Intra-Australia flights on Virgin Australia from 20,000 HawaiianMiles round-trip

Here's how you can optimize HawaiianMiles' partnership with Virgin Australia: HawaiianMiles members can redeem as few as 20,000 miles round trip for economy awards on destinations up to 1,000 miles apart. That covers all routes of the so-called "Golden Triangle" from Sydney to Melbourne, Melbourne to Brisbane and Brisbane to Sydney.

Intra-Australia routes over 1,000 miles each way price at double that rate: 40,000 HawaiianMiles round trip. Or, if you're building a more complicated trip, you can fly Virgin Australia between Sydney or Brisbane and Fiji for 40,000 HawaiianMiles round-trip.

How to accumulate HawaiianMiles

If these HawaiianMiles sweet spots have you a lot more excited about the program, the good news is that it's easy to accumulate HawaiianMiles — even without flying Hawaiian Airlines.

HawaiianMiles offers two credit cards — one for consumers and another for small businesses. Rack up HawaiianMiles by earning the sign-up bonus on one or both of these cards:

  • Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

  • Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard®: Earn 60,000 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, and earn an additional 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card.

Or, you can transfer points to HawaiianMiles from the following transferable point programs:

  • American Express Membership Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio).

  • Bilt Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio).

  • Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 transfer ratio with 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred).

If you're looking to redeem HawaiianMiles for great value

HawaiianMiles offers a wide range of award pricing on its own flights and some quirky pricing on partners. It's a program that you really need to look closely at to find outsized value. But that value is there.

Save on more-expensive intra-Hawaii flights by redeeming 7,500 HawaiianMiles each way. Score a last-minute award flight to Hawaii in a lie-flat seat for as few as 40,000 HawaiianMiles one-way. Or use HawaiianMiles to hop through Japan or Australia for reasonable rates.


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