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Best ways to fly to Hawaii

Book a flight with points or miles, plus fees and taxes.

Even from the West Coast, a flight to Hawaii can get expensive. With the right rewards card and airline awards, you can score a sweet deal on your next flight to paradise.

What you need to know

Several strategies can help you save a bundle off the cost of airfare to Hawaii. You can rack up points or miles through airline loyalty programs focused on this tropical destination. And you might find generous rewards by booking through your credit card’s travel portal.

Shopping around is another way to find a cheap flight without the bells and whistles of reward programs.

Book a flight to Hawaii using flight rewards

Airline loyalty programs reward your repeat business with points or miles for every dollar you spend on a qualifying flight. You can use these rewards to cover some or all of the cost of your next getaway to Hawaii.

Accelerate your flight rewards with a credit card that earns you points on everyday spending that you can transfer to airline partner programs. Some cards also offer a generous signup bonus to jump-start your savings.

Airline rewards programs that offer flights to Hawaii

We narrow down five popular flight rewards programs by earning potential, redemption options and the ability to transfer your credit card rewards.

Rewards programEarning potentialEarning potentialRound-trip business or first classRound-trip taxes and feesCredit card transfer partners
Southwest Rapid RewardsDepends on fare you purchase:
  • Wanna Get Away — 6 points per dollar
  • Anytime — 10 points per dollar
  • Business select — 12 points per dollar
Starts at 18,400 points from CaliforniaNot available$65.67
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards
  • Diners Club
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Earn miles with Alaska Airlines and 18 partner airlines, including American Airlines and British Airways
  • Earn 1 mile for every mile you fly on Alaska, with different mile conversion rates for partners.
  • Once you’ve accumulated 5,000 miles, you can redeem your miles with Alaska or any of its global partners around the world.
Starts at 35,000 milesStarts at 80,000 miles$48.10

Many planes offer recliner seats for first-class passengers.

  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
  • Diners Club
American Airlines AAdvantageThe higher your membership tier, the more miles you earn:
  • AAdvantage — 5 miles per dollar
  • Gold — 7 miles per dollar
  • Platinum — 8 miles per dollar
  • Platinum Pro — 9 miles per dollar
  • Executive Platinum — 11 miles per dollar
Starts at 80,000 milesStarts at 180,000 miles$48.13

Offers reclining or lie-flat seats for business and first-class passengers, depending on plane configuration.

  • AAdvantage cobranded cards
  • Marriott Bonvoy
United MileagePlusEarn miles that never expire for every dollar you spend on the base fare, including bonuses for Premier members:
  • Basic — 5 miles per dollar
  • Premier Silver — 7 miles per dollar
  • Premier Gold — 8 miles per dollar
  • Premier Platinum — 9 miles per dollar
  • Premier 1K — 11 miles per dollar
Starts at 45,000 milesStarts at 180,000 miles$48.10

Boeing 767-787 planes allow business and first-class passengers to fully recline in its flat bed seats.

  • United Airlines cobranded cards
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Marriott Bonvoy
Delta SkyMilesRack up miles on Delta and partner flights, on Lyft rides and even on Airbnb stays:
  • Basic — 5 miles per dollar
  • Silver Medallion — 7 miles per dollar
  • Gold Medallion — 8 miles per dollar
  • Platinum Medallion — 9 miles per dollar
  • Diamond Medallion — 11 miles per dollar
Starts at 61,000 milesStarts at 188,000 miles$48.10

Many business and first-class flights offer reclining or full lie-back seats, depending on the plane configuration.

  • American Express
  • Diners Club
  • Banco de Chile
  • JCB

These programs also serve Hawaii but didn’t make the cut:

  • Turkish Miles & Smiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Korean Air Skypass
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Air France KLM Flying Blue
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Top pick for airline rewards
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Book a flight to Hawaii through your credit card’s travel portal

When you book a flight through your credit card’s booking portal, your issuer operates like an online travel agency. The issuing bank books the flight on your behalf and gives you points on every dollar that you can redeem on a future flight — called an award flight.

If you use your airline rewards miles to book a ticket directly with the airline, you won’t earn or accumulate miles on that flight. But you can earn miles on a flight booked through your credit card’s travel portal — whether you pay cash or apply your card’s rewards points toward it. In either case, your credit card’s issuing bank pays for the ticket on your behalf. As long as your frequent flyer number is connected to the reservation, you’ll earn miles on the flight as a bonus.

You might get a better value for your points booking through your credit card’s portal rather than transferring your points to the airline. It’s worth checking both options to choose the method that works better in your favor.

Credit cards that have their own travel booking portal

Major credit cards that offer travel portals include:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel
  • Capital One Venture Miles Rewards
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Citi Premier® Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy
Top pick for flexible travel rewards
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Find a cheap flight deal to Hawaii and book with cash

It’s possible to find a cheap flight to Hawaii just by shopping around. Even if you belong to a loyalty program or have a credit card with a travel portal, it’s a good idea to compare the equivalent value of your points to dollars to see if you can find a better flight deal by purchasing directly.

For example, an Alaskan Airlines flight from New York City to Honolulu might cost 55,000 points at a value of $1,050. If you opt for Hawaiian Airlines, you might end up paying $810 for the same flight, saving your points for a better value on a flight down the road.

Here’s what you might pay to fly to Hawaii from major US cities:

  • New York to Hawaii — $810 nonstop round-trip
  • Chicago to Hawaii — $760 nonstop round-trip
  • Los Angeles to Hawaii — $400 nonstop round-trip

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