Which is the Best Airline to Fly to Hawaii With Points and Miles?

Hawaii is pricey enough already. Save some cash and use points instead.
Which is the Best Airline to Fly to Hawaii With Points and Miles?


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What are travel credit cards, and how do they work?

Travel credit cards are financial products that offer various rewards and benefits geared towards frequent travelers. They typically earn you points or miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. These rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses. Travel credit cards may also include perks like travel insurance, airport lounge access, and no foreign transaction fees.

How do I choose the best travel credit card for my needs?

Choosing the best travel credit card depends on your travel habits, spending patterns, and preferences. Consider factors like the type of rewards offered (points, miles, or cash back), the card’s annual fee, sign-up bonuses, earning rates, redemption options, and additional travel perks. Analyzing these features will help you find a card that aligns with your lifestyle and offers the most value.

What are the benefits of using a travel credit card over other types of credit cards?

Travel credit cards provide unique advantages for travelers, such as earning rewards specifically tailored to travel expenses. Additionally, many travel credit cards offer travel-related perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and travel insurance. Some cards also waive foreign transaction fees, making them ideal for international travelers.

What is a sign-up bonus, and how can I qualify for it?

A sign-up bonus is a promotional offer provided by the credit card issuer to entice new cardholders. To qualify for a sign-up bonus, you usually need to meet specific spending requirements within a certain timeframe after opening the account. The bonus can be in the form of points, miles, or cash back, and it’s a great way to jump-start your rewards earning.

Do travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees?

Not all travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees. Many of the top-tier travel cards waive these fees, making them ideal for international travel. However, it’s essential to read the card’s terms and conditions to confirm this before using it abroad.

How can I maximize the rewards earned with my travel credit card?

To maximize rewards, use your travel credit card for everyday expenses and large purchases. Take advantage of bonus categories and special promotions to earn more points or miles. Consider combining your travel credit card with loyalty programs to stack rewards and get even more value out of your purchases.

Hawaii is, without a doubt, one of the most popular destinations for US tourists. Its combination of natural wonders, unique cultures, tremendous food, and some of the most luxurious hotels on the planet place it high on many Americans’ bucket lists.

But the unique experience it offers wouldn’t be possible without its isolated position in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Despite being an American state, it’s over 2,500 miles from the contiguous US, gifting it a foreign atmosphere without international restrictions.

But that distance means even the best airline to fly to Hawaii can be expensive. And with prices in Hawaii already sky-high, you’ll want to save where possible. Points and miles can help with that.

But which is the best airline to fly to Hawaii with points and miles? Let’s take a look.

The best airline to fly to Hawaii with points and miles

Finding the best airline to fly to Hawaii with points and miles can take some prerequisite research. While we can direct you to some of the best options, you’ll need to check your nearest airport’s routes and operators. Once you’ve done that, you can see if the advice we’ve offered can be applied to your situation.

It’s impossible for us to cover every city, but we’ve done what we can to utilize reliable airlines with redemptions that can be replicated from multiple destinations.

The best airline to fly to Hawaii with points and miles – Best overall – Turkish Airlines

You might find it odd, but the best airline to fly to Hawaii with points and miles isn’t an American carrier. It’s Turkish Airlines.

What might be even stranger is that you won’t actually fly on this airline either. You’ll fly with United. And that’s because you can use Turkish Airlines miles to redeem flights with United—often far cheaper than you could on United’s portal.

To highlight how impressive Turkish Airlines’ deals are, we should search for a United flight first. The average redemption rate for a one-way direct flight from New York to Honolulu is 25,000 miles plus $5.

The same flight redeemed through Turkish Airlines is only 7,500 miles plus $5.60.

If you wanted to fly business class, it would only be 12,500. You could get a return business class ticket with Turkish Airlines for less than a one-way economy ticket on United’s portal.

This rate is the same for any domestic flight within the US, as Turkish utilizes a zonal award chart. This is why Turkish Airlines is the best airline to fly to Hawaii with points and miles.

How to earn enough Miles&Smiles

To earn Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, you’ll either need to fly with the airline or its partners or open a credit card that transfers points to your Miles&Smiles account. Currently, only Capital One and Citi allow their customers to do this. Here are some cards you could use to do this.

card_name

The Capital One Venture X is one of the best premium cards on the market, offering a stellar 75,000-mile intro bonus after spending $4,000 within three months of opening the card. Do the math on that: you could fly to Hawaii and back five times with the bonus alone.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee: $395  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Citi Premier® Card

Another outstanding but often overlooked option is the Citi Premier Card. Its low annual fee combined with a 60,000-point intro bonus after spending $4,000 within three months of opening the card make it an excellent choice. You could fly to Hawaii twice in business class and still have leftover points.

Citi Premier® Card

60,000 Bonus Points

after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

The best airline to fly to Hawaii with points and miles – Best for West Coast – British Airways

Another contender for the best airline to fly to Hawaii with points and miles is British Airways. Yet again, this non-American carrier won’t be the actual airline you’re flying with, but its rates are favorable to most domestic carriers and extremely easy to earn.

In this situation, you’ll fly with one of British Airways’ partners, American Airlines or Alaska Airlines

British Airways uses a distance-based awards chart for its partners, so you can expect to find roundtrip flights with either of these airlines for around 16,000 Avios each way. Unlike Turkish Airlines, these redemptions are tied to the distance flown, so you can only score this value if you’re flying from the West Coast. Those in other parts of the country will have to spend more Avios.

How to earn enough British Airways Avios

Thankfully, earning Avios is easy. The airline has a number of different transfer partners to use, on top of spending money with the airline and its alliance members.

Here are just a few of the cards you can earn Avios with.

American Express® Gold Card

One of American Express’s best cards, the Gold, comes with an excellent 60,000-point intro bonus, earned by spending $6,000 within six months. When you account for the spending required to hit that bonus, you’ll have at least 66,000 points—enough for two roundtrips to Hawaii.

American Express® Gold Card

60,000 Membership Rewards® Points

after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 6 months of card membership

Annual Fee: $250  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

card_name

The Capital One Venture X appears for the second time in this article, highlighting its adaptability. Once again, its 75,000-mile intro bonus can be earned by spending $4,000 within three months of opening the card and will leave you plenty of points to spare after getting you to Hawaii.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee: $395  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Another option is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Instead of opting for one of the cards above with a higher annual fee, the Preferred is only $95 a year. Despite the lower fee, it still boasts an incredible 75,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 within three months.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn 60,000 bonus points

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Annual Fee: $95  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

The best airline to fly to Hawaii with points and miles – Best for no blackout dates – Southwest Airlines

Our third option is a little different to the others. Instead of using an airline’s points or miles to book flights with a partner, Southwest Rapid Rewards can only be used on its own routes. Despite the lack of transferability, it can often be the best airline to fly to Hawaii with points and miles.

It’s different because its award redemptions are tied to the cash value of a flight, unlike Turkish Airlines and British Airways, which use awards charts. 

For example, if a flight to Hawaii costs $500 on a Tuesday and $600 on a Wednesday, the points redemptions could be 75,000 and 90,000, respectively. The points are worth roughly 1.5 cents per dollar.

While these redemptions may not seem great compared to the other options we’ve provided, they can be useful for two reasons:

  1. They are seldom bad value because of the fixed rate
  2. There are no blackout dates or availability problems.

So, if you have a store of Rapid Reward points, and other airlines’ availability is low or doesn’t work with your dates, Southwest can come to the rescue. If you have a super-valuable Companion Pass, you can even bring someone along for almost nothing.

How to earn Rapid Rewards points

The only ways to earn Southwest Rapid Reward points are to fly with the airline or open one of its co-branded cards. Here are the details.

 Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

This excellent co-branded card is currently offering an 85,000-point intro bonus after spending just $3,000 within three months of opening the card. It also comes with solid perks like a couple of early check-ins, bonus anniversary points, and an annual Companion Pass qualification boost.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Earn 85,000 bonus points

after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Annual Fee: $69  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

The point

As shown, travelers have a number of different ways to fly to Hawaii and barely spend a penny. These might be the most lucrative overall, but do your own research, and you might stumble across some outstanding deals.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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