Convert Amex Points To Hawaiian With A 25% Bonus

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The US Amex Membership Rewards program is offering a 25% transfer bonus to HawaiianMiles through June 21, 2016. These are points earned with cards like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card and Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.

Hawaiian-Airlines-Miles

The bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, meaning the bonus posts instantly and you can earn it as often as you’d like — 1,000 Membership Rewards points convert into 1,250 HawaiianMiles.

It has been a while since we’ve seen a transfer bonus from American Express to HawaiianMiles. The last bonus was in December 2015 for 25%, and prior to that in June 2014 and June 2013 for 20%.

Overall HawaiianMiles isn’t a very lucrative frequent flyer program, unfortunately, so there are few circumstances under which this represents a good value.

HawaiianMiles does have quite a few partner airlines, including All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, China Airlines, JetBlue, Korean Air, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia. In some instances their partner awards are zone based, in other instances they’re distance based, and in other instances they’re revenue based, so it’s not a very straightforward program.

For example, Hawaiian’s redemptions on Virgin Atlantic are zone based:

Hawaiian-Virgin-Atlantic

Hawaiian’s redemptions on Virgin America are distance based:

Hawaiian-Virgin-America

Hawaiian’s redemptions on JetBlue are revenue based:

Hawaiian-JetBlue

As you can probably tell, none of these redemption rates are that great, even when factoring in the 25% bonus.

Here’s Hawaiian’s chart for travel on their own flights:

Hawaiian-Award-Chart

This probably represents the best value of any HawaiianMiles redemptions. One-way saver awards cost:

  • 7,500-10,000 miles between islands in economy class
  • 20,000 miles between North America mainland and Hawaii in economy class
  • 40,000 miles between North America mainland and Hawaii in first class

Previously it was possible to redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel on Hawaiian between the US mainland and Hawaii, though that redemption opportunity was eliminated last year.

Hawaiian’s first class product is better than the average US domestic first class product, and will get even better, as Hawaiian is in the process of installing flat bed seats on their A330s, though it’ll be a while before many planes have these seats.

Hawaiian-Airlines-First-Class

Do keep in mind there are some other exceptional values for award travel to Hawaii through other programs:

  • British Airways Executive Club has extremely lucrative redemption rates for nonstop economy travel between the west coast and Hawaii on Alaska and American (they charge just 12,500 Avios each way thanks to their distance based award)
  • Singapore KrisFlyer also has great rates for travel in first & business class on United, in particular from the east coast

For more on redeeming miles for travel to Hawaii (which can be tough), see this post from Tiffany.

AmEx HawaiianMiles 25% transfer bonus bottom line

I wouldn’t be speculatively transferring points from American Express to HawaiianMiles just because of the 25% bonus. For the most part I find Hawaiian’s redemptions on partners to not represent an especially good deal, even with the 25% transfer bonus.

I’d say the better value is for travel on Hawaiian between the mainland and Hawaii. With the 25% bonus you’re looking at paying 32,000 miles for a roundtrip in economy, or 64,000 miles for a roundtrip in first class. That’s still not an amazing deal, though Hawaiian does have a better than average product, at least for routes which would otherwise be operated by domestically configured aircraft. If you can snag their new first class product and are planning on going to Hawaii, it might be worthwhile.

Do you plan on transferring any points from Membership Rewards to Hawaiian to take advantage of this offer?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

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Comments

  1. I need some Hilton points ,will transfer 24k MR to get 30K HWN this will get me 45k Hilton that I need to get 5th nite free- not great at all – but tops me off with Hilton

  2. HA is the only way to get to American Samoa on miles; so this is definitely of interest to me

  3. I think the only way you come out ahead with HA versus BA would be to fly to the East Coast. Of course Skypass has them both beat by only requiring 45,000 RT in First Class to the mainland. I think it is only on DL for that rate, but not HA. However, on HA, Skypass only requires 60,000 for RT in first and 30,000.
    Man the more I look at it, Skypass seems to be a really valuable program for HNL based travelers, too bad their redemption process is such a pain, and you can’t let miles sit in Skypass indefinitely (they expire if not used even with continual account activity).

  4. Related, Lucky, I wonder if a member of your team has time to look at Hawaiian Award Space trends. One of the great things about the program was you could book an itinerary that included an inter-island flight for no additional miles. PHX-HNL-OGG for 20k/17.5k (w/CC). It seems as though they have done a shadow devaluation of that unique benefit because pricing for both segments will be available at the lowest rate, but married together prices out higher. So if HNL-OGG is at the lowest level, that doesn’t mean I can add it at no cost to the PHX-HNL at the lowest level. This is a disappointing development, along with the disappearing of a calendar view of award availability/pricing that was in their old system. We can now only see 5-6 days at a time in a linear week view after selecting a day on the general booking screen. Thoughts? If not you, do you recommend a blogger who could generate traffic by doing this research and sharing with the community?

  5. Tried to do a transfer as we go to Hawaii annually and love Hawaiian air. Amex stopped it to ‘validate that the bonus miles which were earned in my account last year were legitimate’. They said corporate had to audit any account that had bonus miles posted before they could be used. Told me to call back in a week to see if I could transfer the points.
    I have NOT been churning, buying gift cards, returning anything etc. they said it was standard procedure for all accounts that have earned bonus miles now. Trouble is, if they don’t complete their audit before the 25% bonus offer expires, I cannot get it. They DO NOT automatically do the transfer after the audit but expect me to call back to learn result of said audit and reapply for the transfer, which ends the 21st. Annoying.

  6. Tried to do a transfer as we go to Hawaii annually and love Hawaiian air. Amex stopped it to ‘validate that the bonus miles which were earned in my account last year were legitimate’. They said corporate had to audit any account that had bonus miles posted before they could be used. Told me to call back in a week to see if I could transfer the points.
    I have NOT been churning, buying gift cards, returning anything etc. they said it was standard procedure for all accounts that have earned bonus miles now. Trouble is, if they don’t complete their audit before the 25% bonus offer expires, I cannot get it. They DO NOT automatically do the transfer after the audit but expect me to call back to learn result of said audit and reapply for the transfer, which ends the 21st. Annoying.

  7. Hawaiian Airlines has nonstop service from Phoenix, where I live, and Honolulu. It has nonstop to PHX for the return flights as well. My husband and I really like HA and find the first class service to be very enjoyable, although it’s not what some might describe as, swank. We fly to HI as often as our schedules permit so this 25% bonus offer appeals to us as we know very well what product we are aspiring to experience time and again. That being said, we are travelers who focus on earning miles/points for very specific trips. Earn’em and burn’em.

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