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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 program||Earning potential||Earning potential||Round-trip business or first class||Round-trip taxes and fees||Credit card transfer partners|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||Depends on fare you purchase:||Starts at 18,400 points from California||Not available||$65.67|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan||Starts at 35,000 miles||Starts at 80,000 miles||$48.10|
Many planes offer recliner seats for first-class passengers.
|American Airlines AAdvantage||The higher your membership tier, the more miles you earn:||Starts at 80,000 miles||Starts at 180,000 miles||$48.13|
Offers reclining or lie-flat seats for business and first-class passengers, depending on plane configuration.
|United MileagePlus||Earn miles that never expire for every dollar you spend on the base fare, including bonuses for Premier members:||Starts at 45,000 miles||Starts at 180,000 miles||$48.10|
Boeing 767-787 planes allow business and first-class passengers to fully recline in its flat bed seats.
|Delta SkyMiles||Rack up miles on Delta and partner flights, on Lyft rides and even on Airbnb stays:||Starts at 61,000 miles||Starts at 188,000 miles||$48.10|
Many business and first-class flights offer reclining or full lie-back seats, depending on the plane configuration.
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
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
- Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Earn now. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel.
- Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
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
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
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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