70,000 Hilton Points With The Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card

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There’s nothing like an, umm, stern lecture from Emily (entirely justified in hindsight) to concentrate my mind on getting more hotel points.

We have millions of airline miles, but only a few hundred thousand hotel points.

Last July we used 40,000 Delta miles each to visit San Fransisco, Napa, and Sonoma together with Emily’s dad.  We rented a house in San Fransisco for a week, but needed a 1 night hotel stay around Sonoma.

I booked us in a Rodeway Inn using Wyndham points, because I wanted to “save” my Hyatt, SPG, and Priority Club points for a “better value” location.

The more experienced readers have probably already guessed what the outcome of this calculation was.

Hey, it was one night, and we would arrive at 8:00 pm and leave by 8:00 am.  Also, the regular rate for the Rodeway Inn was $200+, so I figured that the hotel couldn’t be that bad.

How bad could it be?

Very bad!

The Rodeway Inn was dirty and the carpet was damp and smelled of mold.  There was even graffiti on the walls.  Emily found stains and loose hairs on the blankets, and the lumpy mattress kept her up almost all night.

Ever since then, I  thoroughly review hotels before we visit to ensure that we don’t have such an experience again.

I’m also on the look out for quick ways to rack up hotel points.

70,000 Hilton HHonors miles With The Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card

I recently applied for the Bank Of America Hawaiian airlines credit card which will get me 20,000 Hawaiian Miles after the first purchase and an extra 15,000 miles after spending $1,000 within 4 months.

More importantly, I hope to convert these to Hilton HHonors points at a 1:2 ratio, which will get me a total of 70,000 Hilton HHonors points.

This is a MUCH better sign-up bonus than the 40,000 HHonors points you get after spending $1,000 on the Citi Hilton HHonors card or the 40,000 HHonors points after the first purchase on the American Express Hilton HHonors surpass card.

Now the Citi HHonors card gets you Silver elite status and the American Express Surpass card gets you Gold elite status with the option to earn top-tier Diamond status after spending $40,000 a year.

However, I’m more interested in maximizing the sign-up bonus with each of my credit card applications than on the elite status benefits.


There are a few different ways to use HawaiianMiles, but the transfer to Hilton is a quick way to rack up hotel points.

1.   Hawaiian Airlines

The HawaiianMiles award chart, with 3 award tiers,  Coach SuperSaver, Coach Saver, and Coach Flex, makes it expensive to redeem for award tickets.

A 1-way award from the Continental US to Hawaii costs either 20,000, 30,000 or 40,000 HawaiianMiles depending on the award tier used.

Also, Hawaiian Airlines flies from only a few US cities.

2.   Partner Airlines

You can also redeem Hawaiian Miles on partner airlines such as Delta, Continental, Virgin Atlantic, and Korean Air.

However, good luck with finding an award at the low level with Delta since you can’t use partner airlines and Delta has to be the operating carrier.

You can only redeem for a roundtrip US award on Continental airlines for 40,000 miles which is not a good value.

But you can redeem 100,000 HawaiianMiles for an Upper Class trip from the US to the UK on Virgin Atlantic which seems like a good use of Hawaiian Miles.

You could also redeem 50,000 HawaiianMiles for an economy trip on Virgin Atlantic to the UK, but the fuel surcharges would be very expensive.

3.   Other Transfer Partners

Most of these options are a waste of points.  For example, 10,000 HawaiianMiles for a $50 gift certificate to Alamo.

However, you can redeem HawaiianMiles, in increments of 5,000 points, for Hilton points.

This seems like the best use of HawaiianMiles to me since 35,000 Hawaiian Miles will most likely transfer to 70,000 Hilton points.

I say “most likely” transfer, because I haven’t yet done the transfer from Hawaiian Miles to HHonors points.

Here’s what the terms say (bolding mine):

“Please allow 10-15 business days for processing. The name on the Hilton HHonors account must match that of the HawaiianMiles account. Miles are sent in increments of 5,000 miles and will create 10,000 Hilton HHonors points. Per the terms and conditions, third-party loyalty program mileage transfers are not allowed.”

I doubt that miles earned on the Hawaiian Airline’s credit card will be considered a “third-party loyalty program,” but I wanted to alert you to the slight liklihood that you may not be able to transfer Hawaiian miles to Hilton.

The above restrictions for “third-party loyalty programs” was likely put in place to prevent American Express Membership Reward points being transferred from American Express to Hawaiian Airlines at a 1:1 ratio and then from Hawaiian Airlines to Hilton points at 1:2 ratio, instead of the lower 1:1.3 ratio which Membership Rewards offers for transfers directly to Hilton.

Bank of America Hawaiian Airline Credit Card Benefits
  • 20,000 bonus HawaiianMiles or40,000 Hilton points after first purchase
  • 15,000 bonus HawaiianMiles or 30,000 Hilton points after spending $1,000 within 4 months from card approval
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all purchases except Hawaiian Airline tickets which earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • 2,000 bonus HawaiianMiles on your account anniversary date which is not worth the $79 annual fee for Signature cards
Watchouts $79 fee NOT waived for the first year.

There is a 3% foreign transaction fee, so don’t use this card overseas.

Bank Of America may NOT approve you for the Visa Signature credit card which offers 20,000 miles after first purchase and 15,000 miles after spending $1,000 within four months.

You may instead receive the Platinum Visa card which offers only 10,000 HawaiianMiles after the first purchase if you do not qualify for the Signature card.

I hate this type of bait and switch wording in the fine print, and want to make you aware of the possibility of only getting 10,000 HawaiianMiles instead of 35,000 miles if you don’t qualify for the Signature card. Bottom Line:

If you are short of hotel points, the Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines credit card may get you 70,000 Hilton points to have Big Travel with Small Money!

This is a good deal because it is the largest amount of Hilton points available as a sign-up bonus for a credit card.

Update: Iowan points out that you could get 90,000 Hilton points by applying for the Virgin Airlines credit card and transferring the 45,000 mile bonus to Hilton at a 1:2 ratio. Update 2: adam pointed out that the ratio on the Virgin Atlantic website still shows a 1:1 transfer rate. I checked and the UK Virgin Atlantic website shows a 1:2 transfer rate, but the US Virgin Atlantic website shows a 1:1 rate.  I’m not sure which rate is accurate, so use caution if you decide to transfer Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton. Update 3: Virgin confirms that the transfer ratio from Virgin to Hilton is 1:1, so the Hawaiian Airlines credit card would give you the highest amount of Hilton points as a sign-up bonus.

The $1,000 minimum spending required, within 4 months, on the Bank Of America Hawaiian Airlines credit card to get the sign-on bonus is also smaller than the spending required on other cards such as the Citi American Express 75,000 AAdvantage card, the 50,000 point Chase Sapphire credit card, or the 30,000 point American Express SPG card.

Have you transferred Hawaiian Airlines miles to Hilton points?  Tell us about it in the comments?

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