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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.
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.
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’s redemptions on Virgin America are distance based:
Hawaiian’s redemptions on JetBlue are revenue based:
As you can probably tell, none of these redemption rates are that great, even when factoring in the 25% bonus.
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.
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)