How to Travel to Honolulu on Points and Miles

Visiting Hawaii can add up quickly, but getting there with travel rewards can help you save some cash.
June Casagrande
By June Casagrande 
Edited by Meg Lee

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Honolulu is two vacation destinations in one — a vibrant, cosmopolitan city on the shores of one of the most beautiful islands on earth. Plus, your visit there doesn't have to break the bank. If you participate in travel loyalty programs or earn rewards through a travel credit card, you can find cheap and simple ways to get to Honolulu using points and miles.

From flights to hotel bookings, here’s our go-to advice on how to travel to Honolulu with points and miles.

When to visit Honolulu

The most expensive times to travel to Hawaii are when kids are out of school: winter, summer and spring breaks. It’s easier to find points redemption deals in Honolulu for the rest of the year. Chances are you’ll get plenty of sunshine no matter when you go, but the risk that rain will ruin your vacation is greater if you travel between November and March.

For the lowest rates, the most beautiful weather and the warmest ocean temperatures, the best times to visit Honolulu are around May and October.

Getting to Honolulu

Nearest airports

When you’re planning your trip to Honolulu with points and miles, there’s only one airport on the island of Oahu that can be reached nonstop from the U.S. mainland: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. This airport is on the southern coast of Oahu, about nine miles from Honolulu’s main tourist area, Waikiki. Besides serving a wide array of airlines, it also has no shortage of airport lounges.

You can also get to Honolulu nonstop from other Hawaiian islands, including Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii.

Major airlines flying into Honolulu

Nearly two dozen airlines fly into Honolulu from the Americas, Asia and the South Pacific. The major U.S.-based carriers flying into Honolulu are:

  • American Airlines.

  • United Airlines.

  • Delta Air Lines.

  • Southwest Airlines.

  • Alaska Airlines.

  • Hawaiian Airlines.

With so many major airlines flying so many routes to Honolulu, it’s easy to use miles from one frequent flyer program for your inbound flight and a different airline for your flight home. For travelers who don’t have enough miles in any one program for a round-trip award flight, these one-way redemptions can get you a Hawaii trip even sooner.

Here are the best points and miles for cheap flights to Honolulu.

Flying to Honolulu on points and miles

American Airlines AAdvantage miles

American discontinued MileSAAver and AAnytime fares in 2023 amid its shift to fully dynamic awards pricing. While award rates will vary based on demand, we found one-way economy fares starting at 22,500 miles, which isn't a bad place to start for American Airlines AAdvantage members.

United MileagePlus miles

United Airlines MileagePlus is another good option for East Coast and Midwest travelers headed to Oahu. A one-way United economy class ticket often costs 22,500 MileagePlus miles whether you’re traveling from New York or San Francisco. East Coast travelers may have a harder time finding award seat availability, but travelers with certain United-branded credit cards will have more flights to choose from; the airline makes some award flights available only to cardmembers.

Business class flights to Honolulu usually range from 40,000 to 95,000 United miles each way.

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t serve as many mainland airports as the big carriers. Historically, most of their routes to Honolulu have been from western cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix. But Hawaiian keeps rolling out new routes reaching farther inland: You can now fly nonstop to Honolulu from New York; Boston; Austin, Texas; and even Orlando, Florida.

Departing from the West will cost fewer HawaiianMiles than you’ll need if you’re departing from somewhere farther east. Nonstops in economy from the West Coast start at just 17,500 miles. In first class, you could pay as little as 40,000 miles.

Central and Eastern U.S. flights have separate award prices, which you can see on the handy chart on Hawaiian Airlines’ website. The lowest-cost East Coast flights start at 26,250 HawaiianMiles, while Central zone travelers can book economy flights starting at 22,000 miles.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Know someone who will be flying Hawaiian Airlines anytime soon? Ask them to grab you a special-offer application for a Hawaiian Airlines credit card. The flight crew often hand out paper applications for credit cards with special welcome bonuses you can’t get without that piece of paper. For example, the official Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® had this welcome bonus: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.. But the onboard offer via the paper application included a 60,000-mile bonus after just one purchase in any amount.

Southwest Rapid Rewards points

Southwest flies nonstop to Honolulu from California destinations including Long Beach, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland and San Jose. The number of Rapid Rewards points you’ll need for a flight to Honolulu fluctuates with demand, mirroring Southwest’s famously low cash fares. Flexible travelers can find nonstops for less than 10,000 Rapid Rewards points each way.

Chase, AmEx or other bank-based points

If you collect travel rewards currencies like Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, you already know that you can book flights directly from the Chase website travel portal. Members in American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, Bank of America® Travel Rewards, Wells Fargo Rewards and Capital One can also book travel through these programs’ booking sites.

But don't book a flight in your bank’s own travel portal until you’ve considered transferring your points into a partner airline program — especially an international partner airline that doesn’t fly to Hawaii. The reason: Partnerships between airlines can sometimes offer amazing “sweet spots” that can save you a ton of points.

For example, if you want to fly American Airlines from Los Angeles to Honolulu, you could spend about 45,000 AAdvantage miles. Or you could convert just 26,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to British Airways, then book a round-trip economy class flight on American for a total of 26,000 British Airways Avios.

Get to know the airline partners for your transferable points currency program and learn where their sweet spots are to find deals.

Beware, Honolulu resort fees

Hawaii hotels are notorious for exorbitant resort fees and guest parking rates. Think: a daily $50 (plus tax) resort fee at Hilton Hawaiian Village, plus another $49 per night for parking. Many properties, including Marriott Bonvoy hotels, will charge these fees even if you pay for your room with points or a free night certificate.

Budget for these costs in advance to avoid an unpleasant surprise. Or, if you want to avoid resort fees on principle, consider this: there are some surprisingly good options for Oahu hotels without resort fees including Halekulani and its sibling property Halepuna Waikiki. There's also Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa (located just west of Honolulu). Though it's a Disney Vacation Club property, it also sells rooms to non-members at cash prices.

Hotels on points in Honolulu

Hotel loyalty program members in Honolulu can redeem points at Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Wyndham, Prince Resorts and Best Western hotels. There are no Radisson Rewards- or Choice Privileges-participating properties on Oahu. Travelers with Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, American Express Membership Rewards and other bank-based points have an even wider selection of accommodations to choose from, including Hawaii-specialist hotel groups like Outrigger and Aqua-Aston.

Here are some solid-value hotels to book with points in Honolulu.

Honolulu Marriotts

Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach (Photo by Sally French)

Marriott Bonvoy members have nearly a dozen hotels to choose from in Honolulu. That includes the stunning (and very pink!), beachfront Royal Hawaiian Resort, which will generally run around 65,000 points per night but will change depending on demand. Or, there's the Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach. Famous for its Victorian architecture, the legendary property is often referred to as the “First Lady of Waikiki.”

(Photo courtesy of Sheraton Princess Kaiulani)

At the other end of the points price spectrum, there’s the modest but charming Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, which runs around 38,000 points per night. If you've Marriott Bonvoy free night certificate earned with a Marriott credit card, your best bet is using it at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. After all, that's the only place you’re likely to find a night bookable with your certificate.

This more affordable property sits right behind the aforementioned Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach. Despite not being a beachfront hotel though, many rooms offer impeccable views, looking out onto either the Pacific Ocean, Leahi (aka Diamond Head State Monument) or the Waikiki skyline and cityscape.

🤓Nerdy Tip

If booking the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, consider requesting a room in the Ainahau Tower. That's because 664-room tower is nearing completion (targeted for June 2024) of a massive renovation that includes modern, tropical redesigns of its guest rooms. That renovation entails interior colors inspired by the hues of papaya, mocha and blue skies. Plus, expect updated wall coverings, drapes and flooring. Rooms also have local touches, such as upholstery from native Hawaiian designer NOHO Home.

Hilton hotels in Honolulu

Photo courtesy of Hilton Hawaiian Village

Hilton Honors members have eight properties to choose from on Oahu, not counting multiple vacation condo buildings that share the same resort property as the Hilton Hawaiian Village. There’s an Embassy Suites with free made-to-order breakfast and an evening poolside reception. You can sometimes find suites here starting at 64,000 Honors points per night. The DoubleTree by Hilton can be found starting at 39,000 points, and the world-famous Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort sometimes starts at 60,000 points per night. Don’t confuse this sprawling beachfront resort with the more modest Hilton Waikiki Beach, which is several blocks away and on a more crowded stretch of shoreline. At Hilton Waikiki Beach, rooms sometimes start at around 39,000 Hilton points per night (and carry a lower resort fee of $30 per night).

Honolulu World of Hyatt hotels

Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa

World of Hyatt members have three properties to choose from, all within walking distance of each other and the beach. Across the street from a popular stretch of sand, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa is a Category 5 World of Hyatt property with rooms for 20,000 points per night. A few blocks from the beach, Hyatt Place Waikiki serves free breakfast with rooms available for 13,000 points per night. The fresh, modern Hyatt Centric is a Category 4 World of Hyatt hotel with rooms starting at around 15,000 points per night.

IHG Rewards in Honolulu

Since the Holiday Inn Beachcomber resort left IHG to join the Outrigger family a few years ago, there’s just one IHG property on Oahu: the Holiday Inn Express Waikiki. It’s set back from the busy parts of Waikiki, yet still easily walkable to the beach, Hilton Hawaiian Village and lots of restaurants and shops. Basic rooms are tiny, but they come with free hot breakfast. Plus, there’s a cute pool deck with a hot tub, mini golf, shuffleboard and a human-size chess board. An award night here goes for 35,000 IHG points plus the $29 nightly resort fee.

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Honolulu on points and miles: is it doable?

Using points and miles to book an affordable Honolulu trip makes your vacation in paradise even more enjoyable.

Be sure you search for different dates, even if your dates are set, to travel to Honolulu on points and miles. Comparison shopping will give you an idea of whether you’re getting a good deal for your redemption, and whether you should wait to book or reserve your Honolulu flight and hotel right away. It will also help give you an idea of how the rates vary at different properties you might be considering.

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 2024, including those best for:

Travel Cards from Our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.


Intro offer

Up to $300

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.


Intro offer


Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

See more travel cards
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