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Transfer bonuses allow you to move your miles and points from one program to another and ultimately end up with even more points than you normally would. These periodic and basically unpredictable bonuses are a key part of my family’s strategy to maximize our miles.
Right now you can transfer Amex Membership Reward points from Membership Rewards earning cards such as The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card or Business Platinum® Card to Hawaiian Airlines with a 25% bonus to visit Hawaii and beyond for less! Normally, the transfer ratio from Amex to Hawaiian is 1:1, but until June 26, 2018, the transfer ratio is 25% better than normal. This means that 1,000 Membership Reward points = 1,250 HawaiianMiles.
In light of this limited-time transfer bonus, let’s take a look at the Hawaiian Airlines Award Chart and overall award availability trends. Some basics of the Hawaiian Airlines award chart are:
- Flights between neighbor islands: 7,500 miles for saver awards in economy 15,000 in first class
- North America – Hawaii economy: 20,000 miles for a saver award
North America – Hawaii first class: 40,000 miles for a saver award
In my searches, saver awards between islands at the saver award prices of 7,500 miles in economy or 15,000 miles in first class are generally easy to obtain. Economy saver awards from Hawaii to the US mainland at 20,000 miles each way are not a slam dunk, but they do exist even on the longest domestic route of Honolulu to New York’s JFK. First class saver awards are tougher to find, but the availability can be found on routes from the West Coast if you have enough date flexibility. The hardest Hawaiian route for finding first class saver awards in North America is Honolulu – New York. I saw prices of 130,000 miles each way on most of the dates I randomly checked, but that doesn’t mean better deals aren’t out there lurking.
However, even flights such as Honolulu – Los Angeles take five or six hours to fly, so a lie-flat seat may be a good investment. I found first class saver availability from the West Coast on select dates at the current equivalent of 32,000 Amex Membership Reward points each way for the 40,000 mile saver award.
When deciding if first class is worth it, take into account that these Hawaiian routes are said to have the new Hawaiian Airlines first class lie-flat seats:
• Los Angeles, California (LAX) and Oahu – Honolulu, HI (HNL)
• Los Angeles, California (LAX) and Maui – Kahului, HI (OGG)
• San Diego, California (SAN) and Oahu – Honolulu, HI (HNL)
• San Francisco, California (SFO) and Oahu – Honolulu, HI (HNL)
• San Francisco, California (SFO) and Maui – Kahului, HI (OGG)
• Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS) and Oahu – Honolulu, HI (HNL)
• New York (JFK) and Oahu – Honolulu, HI (HNL)
• Seattle, Washington (SEA) and Oahu – Honolulu, HI (HNL)
• Seattle, Washington (SEA) and Maui – Kahului, HI (OGG)
If the flight you are booking is operated by the A330 with the lie-flat first class seats, then the seat map should reflect those seats as shown below.
Generally speaking, I like to get at least a two cent per point return for my Amex Membership Reward points, which you are likely getting if you transfer 32,000 points to Hawaiian to book a first class saver award for 40,000 Hawaiian miles. You are usually getting at least a two cent per point return if you transfer 16,000 Membership Reward points to book a 20,000 mile saver award from JFK to Honolulu. As always, check cash prices before deciding to transfer points, but this 25% transfer bonus makes Hawaiian Airlines a more intriguing transfer partner through June 26, 2018.
If Hawaii isn’t on your radar, Hawaiian has other partners on which you can redeem your miles such as Korean, JetBlue, and Virgin Atlantic.
Finally, know that Membership Reward points typically transfer instantly to Hawaiian Airlines, but there is a $0.0006 per point fee when you transfer your Membership Reward points to a domestic airline. If you transferred 64,000 Membership Reward points to Hawaiian, that fee would amount to $38.40.
Have you flown Hawaiian’s new lie-flat first class seats and will you be able to take advantage of this current transfer bonus?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.