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Whether you’re island- or mainland-based, flying between the two can earn a lot of Hawaiian Airlines miles in a hurry. If you’re sitting on a pile of them, you’re probably wondering how much they’re worth.
Based on our research, the short answer is this: NerdWallet values Hawaiian miles at 1.1 cents each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1.1 cents or more in value from your Hawaiian miles.
With the calculator below, you can figure out how much your boatload of miles (real or hypothetical) is worth, based on this value.
What does this value mean?
Our estimated value of 1.1 cents per Hawaiian mile provides a baseline value you can compare against your own redemptions.
In other words, this is the value you can expect to get from your Hawaiian miles by booking an arbitrary award flight. This means you can get more value by comparing options and using more advanced search techniques. It also means you can get less value than this if you’re not careful.
» Learn more: Guide to booking award flights with Hawaiian Airlines
How flexible are Hawaiian miles?
Although Hawaiian miles can be used to book flights on a few partner airlines like JetBlue and Japan Airlines, Hawaiian lacks the deep partner roster of other U.S. carriers.
On the plus side, Hawaiian maintains relatively simple award charts for its partners, so it should be easy to know how many miles it will cost to fly with them. On the other hand, Hawaiian only allows round-trip award bookings with partners, which limits the usefulness of using miles in this way.
How do Hawaiian miles compare to other airlines?
Hawaiian falls in the middle of the airline pack with its mile value:
However, the value of the miles themselves only tells half the story. The other half comes from the rate at which you earn these miles. Combining these rates gives us the “rewards earning rate,” which basically means the amount you can expect to earn back in the form of rewards for every dollar spent with the airline.
Hawaiian scores above average in this more important “bang for your buck” metric:
How did we determine the value of Hawaiian miles?
We collected hundreds of data points comparing the cash value to award (mile) value for the same routes and dates. That is, we compared the cost of a given ticket in either cash or miles, across many tickets.
This method differs from others in that it looks at actual redemptions rather than hypothetical, maximized redemptions. The advantage of this approach is that it provides a real-world indication of how much these miles are worth, on average. That said, it doesn’t take into account the high-value redemptions that some points enthusiasts seek.
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 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card