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Until June 23, 2014, you’ll get a 20% bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Hawaiian Airlines.
Points transfer instantly, and you can use Hawaiian Airlines miles to fly on their partner airlines, like American Airlines, JetBlue, and Virgin Atlantic.
How Does It Work?
Link: Hawaiian Airlines
Usually, American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to Hawaiian Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. But until June 23, 2014, you’ll get 20% more miles on each transfer. So if you transfer 1,000 American Express Membership Rewards points, you’ll get 1,200 Hawaiian Airlines miles.
What Can You Do With Hawaiian Airlines Miles?
You can book award tickets for as few as 7,500 miles 1-way (for an inter-island flight) on Hawaiian Airlines. Flights to or from North America cost 20,000 miles each way for low-level coach class award tickets.
Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t have fuel surcharges, so you’ll just pay $2.50 in taxes and fees each way.
To compare, a 1-way low-level coach award ticket between North America and Hawaii costs 22,500 miles on Delta and United Airlines, so Hawaiian charges fewer miles. But American Airlines only costs 17,500 miles for their lowest coach class award ticket.
With this deal, you’d only need to transfer 17,000 American Express Membership Rewards points for a 1-way ticket between Hawaii and North America. You’ll get 20,400 Hawaiian Airlines miles (but you must transfer in 1,000 point increments, so you’ll have a little extra left over.)
Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t just fly to Hawaii and North America. Their other destinations include
- Pago Pago
- Australia (Sydney and Brisbane)
- New Zealand (Auckland)
- Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Sendai, and Sapporo)
- Korea (Seoul)
- Taiwan (Taipei)
- China (Beijing)
If you’re not planning a trip to Hawaii, you can use Hawaiian Airlines miles to fly on their partner airlines. They’re not a part of any alliance, but you can use your miles on:
- All Nippon Airways
- American Airlines
- China Airlines
- Korean Air
- Virgin America
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
Here’s their partner award chart. I like using Hawaiian Airlines miles on partner airlines because they don’t add fuel surcharges. Emily and I used Hawaiian miles to fly to London on Virgin Atlantic, which was a great deal because Virgin Atlantic usually adds fuel surcharges of over $400 per ticket.
Other partner award tickets aren’t always a good deal. For example, you’ll need 30,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles for a low-level coach class round-trip ticket within North America on American Airlines. American Airlines only charges 25,000 miles for the same ticket.
Distance-based award tickets, like on Virgin America, may or may not be a good deal, but you’ll have to look at the number of miles needed for your specific route and make the comparison.
You can’t book partner airline award tickets online with Hawaiian Airlines. You have to call them at 877-426-4537 from Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Hawaii time. And their call center isn’t the easiest to deal with!
Transfer Hawaiian Airlines Miles to Hilton Hotels
You can transfer Hawaiian Airlines miles to hotels at a ratio of 1 Hawaiian Airlines mile to 1.5 Hilton points. This used to be a better deal (when it was a 1:2 ratio), but Hawaiian Airlines changed their transfer policy earlier this year. You have to call Hawaiian Airlines at 877-426-4537 to make the transfer, and it can take 10 to 15 business days for the Hilton points to post to your account.
Note: Unfortunately, you can NOT transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Hawaiian Airlines and then from Hawaiian Airlines to Hilton. The terms and conditions state, “third-party loyalty program mileage transfers are not allowed.”
How Do You Get American Express Membership Rewards Points?
Remember, points must be transferred in 1,000 point increments. But the points transfer instantly so you won’t have to wait (and hope your award ticket doesn’t vanish!).
You’ll get a 20% bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Hawaiian Airlines until June 23, 2014.
You can fly inter-island in Hawaii for as few as 7,500 miles. And Hawaiian Airlines miles can be used on their partner airlines, like American Airlines, JetBlue, or Virgin Atlantic.
Using Hawaiian Airlines miles to fly on airlines that normally add big fuel surcharges (like Virgin Atlantic) is 1 of the best ways to use Hawaiian miles. Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t add fuel surcharges to their own or partner award tickets.
Will you take advantage of this American Express transfer bonus? How will you use your Hawaiian Airlines miles?