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Hawaiian Airlines has a lot going for it. The carrier has enjoyed the best on-time record of any North American airline for sixteen years in a row and it is also one of the few airlines to still offer complimentary hot meals in economy class on its longer domestic flights. Even better, its HawaiianMiles program has some sweet-spot deals in its award chart that are worth exploring.
Whether you live in the 50th state or just like to visit it, Hawaiian’s program can pack a punch. Hawaiian also operates a transpacific hub in Honolulu connecting passengers from the mainland to destinations in Asia and the South Pacific.
Earning HawaiianMiles is easy. The program still awards travelers miles based on distance flown. You can also sign up for the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®, which carries some hefty bonuses for new members. Hawaiian Airlines is a transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards, which is another way to build up your account.
Here are some of the best mileage bargains worth exploring with HawaiianMiles.
When Southwest Airlines started flights to Hawaii last year, Hawaiian Airlines suddenly had some fierce competition — especially on interisland flights — which has helped lower the cost. Still, if you are looking for ways to save cash, try redeeming HawaiianMiles for an interisland flight. Seats start as low as 7,500 miles each way (going as high as 20,000 miles), which can be a bargain when ticket prices are high.
Flights from the West Coast
Hawaiian Airlines divides its award chart into West Coast and East Coast regions. If you’re flying from the West Coast, Las Vegas or Phoenix, you can get award seats as low as 17,500 miles if you can score one of the airline’s discounted tickets.
Flights from the East Coast are understandably more expensive given the length (and it would be nice if other airlines had charts that, like Hawaiian’s, are based on distances flown). The cheapest discounted one-way award to Hawaii goes for 26,250 miles from New York and Boston.
Fly down under for less
Heading to Australia? Hawaiian charges as few as 130,000 miles round trip for a business class award. The same chart applies to award tickets to Japan, Korea and New Zealand.
If South Pacific islands are your destination, business class award tickets from the Hawaiian Islands cost 95,000 miles round trip. This includes flights to Pago Pago, Nadi and Papeete, which have limited service.
Even if you don’t plan to visit Hawaii, HawaiianMiles can get you award seats to other countries.
For example, you can redeem miles on Japan Airlines for domestic flights within Japan. This award redemption has its own chart, and Hawaiian gives a mileage price for each flight, making connecting flights more expensive. Still, for 24,000 miles, you can book a round trip domestic economy class ticket on Japan Airlines. This can be a great deal for longer flights to places like Okinawa.
Hawaiian also partners with Korean Air, which offers flights within Asia for 60,000 miles round trip in business class. You can really get your miles’ worth if you take longer flights, like between Seoul and Singapore, for example.
Virgin Australia is another Hawaiian Airlines partner, which means travelers can redeem HawaiianMiles for domestic flights within Australia. For a flight less than 1,000 miles, it costs 20,000 HawaiianMiles one way.
HawaiianMiles members can also redeem their miles for flights on JetBlue. The cost in miles is linked to the monetary cost of the JetBlue flight and there’s a chart based on JetBlue cash fares that shows how many miles you need. For flights that cost less than $100, you need 10,000 miles for a flight. More expensive flights from $340 to $419 cost 45,000 to 50,000 HawaiianMiles. This is another way HawaiianMiles can save you from having to spend cash.
Fly to the United Kingdom
You can use HawaiianMiles on partner Virgin Atlantic for Upper Class tickets to England. Based on an award chart that divides Virgin Atlantic cities by region, a round-trip award from an East Coast city like Boston or New York costs 125,000 miles.
The bottom line
As you can see, Hawaiian Airlines miles can be valuable for global travel beyond visiting the island paradise. Whether you want to visit Asia, the South Pacific, Australia or the United Kingdom, with a little advance planning, you can turn your HawaiianMiles into a variety of different trips.
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