10 Best Ways To Redeem Hawaiian Airlines Miles for Max Value [2017]

how to redeem Hawaiian airlines points and miles

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!

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Platinum Card® from American Express

More Info?
> Don't Miss These 18 Valuable Card Benefits
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Card Review
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 points.
  • 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $195
  • Card Review
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Card Review

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

Stacked with Benefits
> 41 Benefits You Need To Know About This Card
  • Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Card Review
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

More Info?
> Don't Miss These 11 Valuable Card Benefits
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Card Review
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Card Review

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards

SPG also transfer to Hawaiian airlines at a 1:1 ratio, but for every 20,000 SPG points that you transfer to any of their partners, you’ll receive a 5,000 point bonus.

For example, transfer 20k SPG points and you’ll receive 25k Hawaiian miles!

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Not Sure?
> Don't Miss These 7 Valuable Card Benefits
> Here's 45 Best Ways To Use SPG Points
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Card Review
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Card Review

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 or SPG points are.

Loyalty Program Credit Card
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles Frequent Flyer Program Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®
Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®

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:

The 10 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 courtesy of 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 just 7,500 miles at the SuperSaver level (the lowest mileage coach award).

The next lowest economy options can be booked if the SuperSaver awards aren’t available: Coach Saver flights are 10,000 miles, and Coach Flex flights are 15,000 miles per leg.

Hawaiian Airlines also offers premium cabin awards: First Class Saver at 15,000 miles and First Class Flex at 30,000.

Do you enjoy flying in style on short flights? Economy flights booked with cash can be upgraded to First Class Saver for an additional 7,500 miles, or to First Class Flex for additional 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 (75,000 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 courtesy of 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.

A round-trip flight to the islands from U.S. cities comes to 40,000 HawaiianMiles at the SuperSaver level, 60,000 HawaiianMiles at the Coach Saver level, and 80,000 at the Coach Flex level.

First Class Saver costs 80,000 miles round-trip, and First Class Flex can be booked for 160,000 miles. Economy flights booked with cash can be upgraded to First Class Saver for 50,000 HawaiianMiles and to First Class Flex for 100,000 HawaiianMiles more.

In comparison, a round-trip flight to Hawaii costs 40,000 AAdvantage miles at the MileSAAver level (off-peak) and 45,000 at the MileSAAver level (peak) on American Airlines.

You can also get there for 45,000 Delta SkyMiles or the same number of United MileagePlus miles at the Saver level.

Passengers who hold a Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® are eligible for a discount on award flights and can save 5,000 miles per round-trip between North America and Hawaii, meaning a SuperSaver award can be booked for just 35,000 miles.

Likewise, First Class Saver can be booked for only 75,000 miles round-trip after considering the 5,000-mile discount. The credit card typically offers a welcome bonus, but the annual fee of $89 is not waived the first year.

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 to Australia or New Zealand for 80,000 Miles in Economy (or 130,000 Miles in First When Originating in Hawaii)

Fly to Australia and New Zealand in style with Hawaiian Airlines. Image courtesy of 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 comes to 80,000 HawaiianMiles at the SuperSaver level, 120,000 HawaiianMiles at the Coach Saver level, and 160,000 at the Coach Flex level.

First Class Saver costs 130,000 miles round-trip, and First Class Flex can be booked for 260,000 miles.

Economy flights booked with cash can be upgraded to First Class Saver for additional 90,000 HawaiianMiles, or to First Class Flex for an additional 180,000 HawaiianMiles.

In comparison, you’ll need 90,000 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 70,000 MileagePlus miles. American Airlines requires 75,000 AAdvantage miles.

The award chart also includes a route between North America and Australia/New Zealand, which is a bit more costly than the option to fly from Honolulu.

Australia/New Zealand to North America requires 120,000 HawaiianMiles for round-trip tickets in economy class, and a whopping 420,000 HawaiianMiles in first class.

The previously mentioned award requirements with the 3 U.S. carriers work from the mainland also, so it’s best to save those HawaiianMiles for a different redemption.

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 courtesy of 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 comes to 55,000 HawaiianMiles at the SuperSaver level, 85,000 HawaiianMiles at the Coach Saver level, and 110,000 at the Coach Flex level.

First Class Saver costs 95,000 miles round-trip, and First Class Flex can be booked for 190,000 miles.

Economy flights booked with cash can also be upgraded to First Class Saver for 60,000 HawaiianMiles, or to First Class Flex for 120,000 HawaiianMiles.

In comparison, you’ll need 75,000 AAdvantage miles to book a flight from Honolulu to Papeete at the Economy MileSAAver level. If you’re able to find any awards at the SuperSaver level on Hawaiian, it’s a pretty good use of your HawaiianMiles.

Flights to Pago Pago or Papeete originating on the mainland U.S. are a bit more expensive than those originating in Hawaii. These come to 95,000 HawaiianMiles at the SuperSaver level, 145,000 HawaiianMiles at the Coach Saver level, and 190,000 at the Coach Flex level.

First Class Saver costs 175,000 miles round-trip, and First Class Flex can be booked for 350,000 miles. Economy flights booked with cash can be upgraded to First Class Saver for 110,000 HawaiianMiles or to First Class Flex for 220,000 HawaiianMiles.

Hot Tip: If you need more points for those big redemptions, try to get sign-up bonuses or spend in bonus categories. Try the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

5. Fly a Short Hop With Hawaiian Partner All Nippon Airways (18,000 Miles Round-Trip Within Japan)

ANA Business Class
Experience the comfort and luxury of ANA business class for your next vacation by using your HawaiianMiles! Image courtesy of ana.co.jp.

Hawaiian has several partnerships with other airlines and offers a separate award chart for each of its partners. For example, Hawaiian uses a distance-based award chart for flights booked on All Nippon Airways (ANA), the largest airline in Japan.

Travelers will spend 18,000 HawaiianMiles on a round-trip flight that is fewer than 600 miles from Tokyo Haneda Airport within Japan, and 22,500 HawaiianMiles on a round-trip flight longer than 600 miles.

No premium class options are available on these short-haul intra-Japan flights.

Award flights are limited to Hawaiian codeshare routes operated by ANA to the following Japanese cities: Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kagoshima, Oita, Okinawa, Osaka, and Sapporo.

The third option is flying round-trip on ANA between Tokyo Haneda and Hawaii. This will cost 90,000 HawaiianMiles in economy and 155,000 miles in business class.

In comparison, the same flight booked with ANA miles comes to 40,000 miles in economy, 65,000 miles in business, and 120,000 miles in first class, which is a better redemption.

Hawaiian Airlines’ own redemption rate to Japan is 80,000 HawaiianMiles round-trip at the SuperSaver level, which is a little cheaper than booking an ANA-operated flight.

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

Korean Airlines First Class
Indulge yourself with Korean Airlines first class, which is a wonderfully luxurious product. Image courtesy of 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.

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 is 80,000 HawaiianMiles round-trip at the SuperSaver level originating in Hawaii, and 120,000 HawaiianMiles originating in North America.

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 courtesy of virginaustralia.com.

Once again, 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 first 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.

8. Fly With Hawaiian Partner Virgin America (20,000 Miles Round-Trip)

Hawaiian Airlines offers a distance-based award chart on flights operated by Virgin America, and the prices vary among cabins.

Round-trip flights shorter than 750 miles between origin and destination come to 20,000 HawaiianMiles in Main Cabin, 30,000 in MainCabin Select, and 40,000 in first class.

For round-trip flights between 750-2,000 miles in distance, passengers can book in Main Cabin for 30,000 miles, MainCabin Select for 45,000 miles, or first class for 60,000 miles.

Travelers can book flights longer than 2,000 miles for 40,000 miles in Main Cabin, 60,000 miles in MainCabin Select, and 90,000 in first class.

Although flight availability can be limited, some of these redemptions can save you a lot of miles! This is because Virgin America requires a lot more miles to fly long distances in first class when you book with miles from its own program, depending on the route.

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 be transferred to HawaiianMiles!

9. 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-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.

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

Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class
Use your Hawaiian Airlines miles to fly in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class. Image courtesy of virgin-atlantic.com.

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.

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

In Conclusion

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.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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Don’t miss out on these 7 valuable benefits & perks that you’ll get access to as a cardholder!

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 and Starwood Preferred Guest.

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!

You can also get the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

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.