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Hawaiian Airlines has announced some major changes to its HawaiianMiles awards chart. Here are three things you need to know.
1. There are fewer award categories
Previously, travelers could select between "flex" fares and "saver" (or even "super-saver") fares, generally at a set amount of points for each tier. The new award chart combines the saver tiers and the flex tiers into one bucket, with a wide points range applied to each bucket.
Fewer tiers make things clearer, in some ways. But with these changes, the number of miles needed for some award flights will increase dramatically. Prior to this change, if you wanted to book a flight from New York using your HawaiianMiles, you could get a one-way "super-saver" ticket for 20,000 miles. Under the new chart, that same flight would cost no fewer than 30,000 miles.
Here's a look at the old HawaiianMiles chart for one-way flights:
And now the new HawaiianMiles chart for one-way flights:
2. The redemption ranges are wider
These changes make it a bit tougher to know exactly how many miles you'll need to get to or from Hawaii. For example: Previously, if you wanted a business-class seat to or from the West Coast, you knew a saver fare would cost exactly 40,000 miles each way. Now, according to the chart, it could cost anywhere between 40,000 and 80,000 miles.
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3. North America is split
North America is now split into two pricing areas: North America East Coast and North America West Coast. If you live on the East Coast, your range for a coach award flight was 20,000 to 60,000 miles each way under the old system. Now, it's 30,000 to 130,000 miles. For those on the West Coast, things aren't quite as bad — your award flight will now cost 20,000 to 90,000 miles each way.
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East Coast passengers in particular could wind up spending many more miles on their award flights to Hawaii. And no matter where you're flying from, the new points ranges could complicate the redemption process.
If you find yourself needing more Hawaiian miles (and a new credit card), it could be worth looking at the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®. It offers the following sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 90 days you have the card.
Cardholders have access to a special discounted award chart, which is also available to certain members of Hawaiian's frequent flyer program.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards Travel loyalty program reviews Want to know how much your points and miles from these loyalty programs are worth?