9 Best Ways to Redeem Hawaiian Airlines Miles for Max Value

how to redeem Hawaiian airlines points and miles

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Hawaiian Airlines is the Aloha State’s largest carrier and the eighth largest commercial airline in the U.S. Although it’s not in any major alliance, Hawaiian has codeshare agreements with a dozen airlines in various alliances and serves many destinations, including Asia and Oceania.

HawaiianMiles is the airline’s frequent flyer program. Though many flagship carriers now award redeemable miles based on the cost of a ticket, HawaiianMiles still lets flyers earn miles based on the distance of their flight.

This helps program members earn miles more quickly! For example, Los Angeles to Honolulu would earn 2,556 redeemable HawaiianMiles, and New York to Honolulu would earn 4,981 redeemable HawaiianMiles.

If you’ve collected enough points for an award flight — either through credit card spending, by flying the airline, or by shopping and dining with its partners — keep on reading for some of the best ways to use Hawaiian miles.

Boost Your Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles With Partners

Amex Membership Rewards Credit Cards

Amex points transfer to Hawaiian Airlines at a ratio of 1:1. Look out for sporadic transfer bonuses that can Amex offer to Hawaiian too! The last major bonus offered a 25% bonus.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $2,700+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a HUGE welcome bonus of up to 100,000 points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 after you spend an additional $15,000, on purchases within the first 3 months.

We get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks.

This is the best business card for lounge access as you'll get into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a simple card that earns you 2x points on any business purchase, up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). That makes for an easy 100,000 points per year! The card has no annual fee. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

Hawaiian Airlines Credit Cards

The following cards also collect Hawaiian miles directly, but it’s not our preferred method because they’re not transferrable / flexible like Amex points are.

Loyalty ProgramCredit Card
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles Frequent Flyer ProgramHawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®
Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®

Marriott Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to Hawaiian at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 HawaiianMiles bonus.

Recommended Marriott Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

List of Hawaiian Airlines Partners

As mentioned above, Hawaiian Airlines is not part of an alliance, but does have a number of airline partners. These partners include:

Boost Your Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles With Partners

Passengers who hold a Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® (or have Hawaiian Mile elite status) are eligible for discounted flight awards.

The credit card typically offers a welcome bonus, but the annual fee of $89 is not waived the first year.

The 9 Best Ways to Use Your Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

1. Fly to the Neighboring Hawaiian Islands (As Low As 7,500 Miles Each Way)

hawaiian airlines
Easily fly between the Hawaiian islands on Hawaiian Airlines for a crazy low number of miles! Image Credit: hawaiianairlines.com.

If you’re already in Hawaii and want to take advantage of an opportunity to island hop, one-way flights in coach are  7,500-20,000 miles.

Hawaiian Airlines also offers premium cabin awards 15,000-30,000 miles.

Do you enjoy flying in style on short flights? Economy flights booked with cash can be upgraded to first class for for 7,500-15,000 miles.

All award upgrades must be processed through reservations and ticketed at least 26 hours before departure.

2. Fly From the Continental U.S. to Hawaii (from 40,000 Miles in First)

hawaiian airlines first class
Fly Hawaiian Airlines’ first class to make sure you arrive well-rested on your vacation or business trip! Image Credit: hawaiianairlines.com.

Most travelers looking to fly to Hawaii on points are likely located in the continental U.S. and will benefit from this redemption opportunity.

First class awards are as low as 80,000 miles round-trip, with a maximum of 160,000 miles round-trip from the West Coast, 260,000 miles round-trip from the East Coast.

Hot Tip: Not only does it provide miles you can transfer to HawaiianMiles, but The Platinum Card® from American Express also offers you great travel benefits like lounge access and airline fee credits to help pay for bags and other services!

3. Fly Round-Trip from Hawaii to Australia or New Zealand in First Class (From 130,000 Miles)

Fly to Australia and New Zealand in style with Hawaiian Airlines. Image Credit: Hawaiianairlines.com.

Hawaiian Airlines also connects the mainland with the land down under and presents some interesting redemption opportunities.

A round-trip flight from Hawaii to either Sydney or Auckland in first class ranges 130,000-260,000 miles.

In comparison, you’ll need 180,000 Delta SkyMiles to book a flight from Honolulu to either Sydney or Auckland at the lowest redemption level.

We’ve found availability for a round-trip ticket from Honolulu to Auckland at the Saver level on United.com for 140,000 MileagePlus miles. American Airlines requires 150,000 AAdvantage miles.

4. Fly to Pago Pago or Other Islands in the South Pacific (95,000 Miles Round-Trip in First Class From Hawaii)

Pago Pago
Visit stunning Pago Pago by using your HawaiianMiles with Hawaiian Airlines. Image Credit: nationsonline.org.

The South Pacific region includes far-flung tropical destinations such as Pago Pago, Samoa, and Papeete in Tahiti.

Many travelers put Tahiti and its gorgeous islands high on their bucket lists, and using HawaiianMiles to get there isn’t a bad redemption if you depart from the Hawaiian Islands.

A round-trip flight from Hawaii to Papeete in first class 95,000-190,000 miles round-trip.

Hot Tip: If you need more points for those big redemptions, try to get welcome bonuses or spend in bonus categories. Try the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.

5. Fly a Short Hop With Hawaiian Partner Japan Airlines (24,000 Miles Within Japan)

Japan Airlines 777 First Class Hibiki 17 Whisky
Is that not the most beautiful bottle of whisky you have ever seen? Image Credit: Stephen Au

Hawaiian has several partnerships with other airlines and offers a separate award chart for each of its partners. For example, Hawaiian uses a region-based award chart for flights booked on Japan Airlines, the second-largest airline in Japan after ANA.

Travelers will spend 24,000 HawaiianMiles on a round-trip flight within Japan in economy and 30,000 miles for premium economy. One thing to remember that each flight is priced by sector, meaning this price is only valid for nonstop flights. If you want to book a connecting flight, it’ll double in price for adding that extra segment.

The third option is flying round-trip on Japan Airlines between Tokyo and Hawaii. This will cost 80,000 HawaiianMiles in economy, 100,000 in premium economy and 150,000 miles in business class.

Hawaiian Airlines’ own redemption rate to Japan ranges from 80,000-280,000 HawaiianMiles round-trip.

Hot Tip: Looking to fly to Japan using points and miles? We’ve got you covered!

6. Fly Round-Trip Within Asia Using Hawaiian Partner Korean Air (60,000 Miles in Business Class)

Korean Air Business Class Bed
With direct aisle access and a lie-flat bed, you can rest peacefully when flying business class on Korean Air. – Image credit: KoreanAir.com.

Just as with ANA, it is possible to redeem HawaiianMiles for flights operated by Korean Air (but not Korean Air’s other partners). This award chart is region-based. At the moment, you can only redeem flights for:

  1. Roundtrip awards wholly within South Korea
  2. Roundtrip awards within Asia
  3. Roundtrip awards between the United States and South Korea

Passengers can book a round-trip flight within Korea for 15,000 HawaiianMiles in economy and 30,000 miles in business/first class. Flyers can also book a round-trip within Asia for 30,000 HawaiianMiles in economy and 60,000 miles in business/first.

A round-trip flight between Korea and the U.S. can be booked for 100,000 HawaiianMiles in economy and 200,000 in business/first class.

All the redemptions above can actually be booked with Korean Air SKYPASS miles for a bit cheaper: 10,000 miles for flights within Korea, 30,000 miles within Asia (China and Japan, for example), and 70,000 miles from Seoul to Honolulu—all in economy class.

Please note, awards on Korean Air booked through Hawaiian Airlines are based on round-trip travel only, while Korean Air allows one-way award bookings through its own program.

Hawaiian Airlines’ own redemption rate to Korea ranges from 80,000-280,000 HawaiianMiles round-trip originating in Hawaii.

Hot Tip: Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step guide to booking Korean Air business class.

7. Fly Hawaiian Partner Virgin Australia Within Australia (40,000 Miles Round Trip)

Virgin Australia in Business Class
Fly around Australia in style with Virgin Australia business class! Image Credit: virginaustralia.com.

This award chart is distance-based, meaning a longer flight will require more miles to book.

Flights within Australia can be booked for 20,000 miles in economy if they’re 1,000 miles or shorter, and 40,000 miles in economy for distances longer than 1,000 miles.

These rates increase to 30,000/60,000 miles for awards booked in premium economy, and 40,000/80,000 miles for business class flights.

International destinations served by Virgin Australia also vary. Passengers can book economy flights of 2,000 miles in length or shorter for 40,000 HawaiianMiles (60,000 in premium economy and 80,000 in first).

Travelers can book flights that are between 2,001-4,000 miles in length for 60,000 HawaiianMiles in economy, 90,000 miles in premium economy, and 120,000 miles in business class.

Flights longer than 4,000 miles can be booked for 100,000 HawaiianMiles in economy, 150,000 miles in premium economy, or 200,000 miles in first class. All mileage calculations are based on round-trip bookings.

Similar to airlines previously mentioned, these awards cannot be booked on flights operated by Virgin Australia’s other partners.

Hot Tip: Do you shop frequently in U.S. supermarkets? The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express earn points for spending in U.S. supermarkets, which can then be transferred to HawaiianMiles!

8. Fly With Hawaiian Partner JetBlue (10,000 Miles One-Way)

It is possible to redeem HawaiianMiles on JetBlue flights, and this award chart works a little differently. Redemption levels are directly correlated with a monetary ticket value, which is a little unusual considering most other partner redemptions are distance- or region-based.

JetBlue tickets that cost $99 or less require 10,000 HawaiianMiles. If the flight costs between $100-$179, then redemptions fall between 15,000 miles and 20,000 miles. Tickets that cost between $180-$259 will cost between 25,000 and 30,000 miles.

Flights costing $260-$339 require 35,000-40,000 miles to book, and a ticket that costs $340-$419 can be booked for 45,000-50,000 HawaiianMiles.

As you can see, redemption values are the poorest for the more expensive flights, coming in at about 0.8 cents per mile. Generally, redeeming TrueBlue points will return a better value of about 1.5 cents per mile.

9. Fly With Hawaiian Partner Virgin Atlantic From the U.S. to the U.K. (125,000 Miles Round-Trip in Upper Class)

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Cabin
Every seat in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class has direct aisle access. – Image Credit: AusBT

Redeeming rewards on this Hawaiian Airlines partner will be based on regions rather than distance flown or ticket costs. As with the other partners we mentioned, HawaiianMiles can be redeemed for flights operated by Virgin Atlantic only.

Flying round-trip from the United Kingdom to the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, or North American East Coast will cost 60,000 miles in economy, 100,000 miles in Premier Economy, and 125,000 miles in Upper Class.

For flights originating in the U.K., awards to India, Asia, Australia and the West Coast of North America come to 80,000 miles in economy, 130,000 miles in Premier Economy, and 160,000 miles in Upper Class.

It turns out that redemptions from the East Coast to the U.K. are on par with many U.S. carriers’ mileage redemptions, which makes this a decent use of HawaiianMiles. Expect to pay 60,000 miles in economy, 100,000 in Premier economy, and 125,000 miles in Upper Class for North America East Coast flights.

North America West Coast flights are slightly more expensive at 80,000 miles in economy, 130,000 miles in Premier economy, and 160,000 miles in Upper Class.

Another bonus of using HawaiianMiles to book Virgin Atlantic flights is that Hawaiian does not charge exorbitant fuel surcharges on these flights.

Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about what we feel are some of the best ways to use Hawaiian miles.

Hawaiian Airlines does not always present the most lucrative options for booking award flights, but there are a few sweet spots travelers can leverage if they’ve amassed a healthy balance of HawaiianMiles.

It is also possible to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Hawaiian if you need to top off a balance before booking one of these awards.

FAQ

What are HawaiianMiles?

HawaiianMiles are the miles associated with Hawaiian Airlines’ frequent flyer program.

What are HawaiianMiles worth?

The value of HawaiianMiles depends on how you redeem your points. It is easily possible to get at least $0.01 per point in value for your miles, but the value can be much higher.

Are HawaiianMiles taxable?

The short answer is no. The IRS and Tax Court decided to treat frequent flier miles and mileage awards as nontaxable.

Is it possible to transfer HawaiianMiles to other airlines?

No, but you can redeem your HawaiianMiles for flights on their partner airlines.

How can you earn more HawaiianMiles?

HawaiianMiles is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

There are more than 10 Membership Rewards credit cards: the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Platinum Card® from American Express, and more!

Hawaiian’s own co-branded Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® also offers the opportunity to earn more miles.

When do HawaiianMiles expire?

HawaiianMiles expire if you do not have activity in your account for 18 months.

Caroline Lupini

About Caroline Lupini

Caroline Lupini always enjoyed traveling, but it became her goal to do as much as possible after a 3-week trip around Europe in 2011. In March 2014, Caroline left her job and embarked on nearly full-time travels.  As a frequent traveler, frequent flyer miles have played a large role in planning her trips. Caroline has enjoyed discovering the ins and outs of how to maximize different types of miles, hotel points, and transferable points currencies.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

9 comments

  1. Renee Guevara · March 8, 2018 · Reply

    I have a question. When booking a flight and I have points on my account from flying and I have points from my Hawaiian airlines credit card, how do I bundle them to redeem? My daughter will be attending college there (from California) I want to be sure this can be done before being their credit card!

    • When you setup your Hawaiian credit card account, you likely put into your Hawaiian frequent flier number so that the points would deposit into there. If that’s not occurring, my recommendation is to call the CC company and request that your FF is added.

  2. I can’t find any reference to United being a partner with Hawaiian. I would love to use my Hawaiian miles to go non-stop from SFO to PPT on United. Do you have any more information on United partnership with Hawaiian as referenced at the top of this article?

  3. Linda Marsh · September 19, 2018 · Reply

    How do I use my Hawaiian air miles to fly from Portland,Oregon to Tucson,Arizona?

    • Christine Krzyszton · September 19, 2018 · Reply

      Hi Linda and thanks for the question. You can redeem Hawaiian Airline miles only on Hawaiian Airlines and partner airlines Jet Blue, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Korean Air. Some of these airlines don’t even fly out of Portland and none fly direct to Tucson. However, Delta, United, American, Frontier and Alaska Airlines frequently have flights for around $100 each way to Tucson from Portland, a very good value. Here are some examples: https://www.google.com/flights/#flt=PDX.TUS.2018-11-10*TUS.PDX.2018-11-14;c:USD;e:1;sd:1;t:f

  4. DaveS · May 5, 2019 · Reply

    My takeaway from this comprehensive and helpful article is that HA miles are just not very useful to me. As you say, a couple of potential sweet spots, but mostly values are inferior to other programs across the board. I have a decent balance and have been trying to find worthwhile redemptions, so this will help, but pretty much I’m at the point of taking what I can get and letting the program go.

  5. How do I avoid paying the $89 Annual Fee for the Hawaiian Airlines credit card? I want to save my 62,000 miles from expiring. Could I save them for 18 months by simply using my chase credit card and buying something for $5 thru the Hawaiian Airlines shopping portal? With each small purchase do I extend the expiration clock by 18 months?

    • Hi Kim,

      Yes, purchasing something through the Hawaiian Airlines Shopping Portal will keep your miles from expiring and re-set the 18-month clock.

      Thanks for reading!

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