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How to get to Hawaii with credit card rewards

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

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked
A flight to Hawaii can get expensive. That’s why it’s so fun to get to this remote paradise using credit card points or miles. Welcome offers, a little bit of everyday spending and choosing the right card can get you there for less than you might expect.

The best credit cards for Hawaii travel

One of the best ways to get to Hawaii using points or miles is to use a credit card welcome offer or signup bonus.

The idea is simple: Spend a certain amount of money within a period of time, and you’ll receive a healthy haul of points or miles. Redeem these for an award flight and you’re on your way. A few of our picks below are also great for ongoing travel usage, making it easy to return to the Aloha State in the future.

Our pick for getting to Hawaii

United℠ Explorer Card

  • $0 first-year intro annual fee, then $95.
  • Signup bonus: 60,000 miles after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus an additional 10,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months.
  • 2x miles on United purchases, hotel stays and restaurant purchases.
  • Credit every four years for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
  • 25% back as statement credit on United inflight purchases. Plus, priority boarding and your first checked bag free on United-operated flights.
  • 2 United Club one-time passes each card anniversary.
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See Rates & Fees

One thing to remember when booking award flights

When you book a flight with points or miles, you’ll also be subject to fees and taxes. For domestic flights, these can be as low as $5.60 each way.

Best for flexibility:
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
Up to 5x
Points
60,000
Points welcome offer
A popular choice for all manner of travelers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card brings flexibility to the table. You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to several travel programs, letting you find an airline deal that best suits your preferences or location. You'll also earn 5x points on Lyft rides and 2x points on travel and dining – a solid workhorse for building points for future travel.
  • Rewards. 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022. 2x points on travel and dining. 1x points on everything else.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards boost. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for eligible travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 1:1 point transfers. Transfer points to airline and hotel programs at a 1:1 ratio.
Annual Fee $95
Purchase APR 15.99% to 22.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.99% to 22.99% variable
Welcome offer 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $750 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Rewards 5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases

Flying to Hawaii from the West Coast

Transfer your points to British Airways Avios. If you fly from the West Coast, you can get to Hawaii in economy on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines. The cost according to the Avios site as of January 2019: 25,000 Avios.

Another option to fly to Hawaii

You can also transfer your points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles. According to the United Airlines website as of January 2019, you can use 35,000 miles to book a United Airlines flight to Hawaii in economy.

How do I earn the points?

You’ll earn 60,000 points by spending $4,000 or more with your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card within the first 3 months of card membership.

The card has a $95 annual fee.

Best for luxury travelers:
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$550
Annual fee
Up to 10x
Points
75,000
Points welcome offer
If Hawaii is just one of several big-ticket destinations on your list, the The Platinum Card® from American Express could be just what you need. Though it carries a large annual fee, it possesses a wide variety of luxury perks that can help make up for or even exceed the cost.

You can also transfer rewards to a partner airline — perhaps for more than one flight — because American Express regularly produces welcome offers that can net you a large influx of Membership Rewards points.

  • Fee credits.
    $200 airline fee credit each calendar year. Up to $200 in Uber savings each calendar year. Fee credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application every four years.
  • Airport lounge access. Access more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world, including the Centurion Lounges.
  • Rewards. Earn 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. 1x points on other eligible purchases. Starting January 1, 2021, however, your 5x points on flights will be capped on up to 500,000 annually, reverting to 1x points after that.
  • Complimentary perks at Fine Hotels & Resorts properties. Enjoy benefits such as daily breakfast for two, room upgrades upon availability, 4 p.m. late checkout and property credits.
Annual Fee $550
Purchase APR See rates & fees
Balance transfer APR See rates & fees
Welcome offer 75,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
Rewards 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases. Starting January 1, 2021, your 5x points on flights will be capped on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points).

How many American Express miles will you need to fly to Hawaii?

You can transfer Membership Rewards points to a few different airlines.

Transfer points to … Conversion ratio Fly on … Miles needed to fly round-trip to Hawaii for as low as
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1:1 United Airlines 40,000 miles for a Hawaiian Airlines Coach SuperSaver fare
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 1:1 Hawaiian Airlines 40,000 miles for a Hawaiian Airlines Coach SuperSaver fare
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 1:1 Delta 15,000 miles on economy with better availability from the West Coast
British Airways Executive Club 250:200 Alaska Airlines or American Airlines 25,000 Avios on economy when flying from the West Coast

All point information is current as of January 2019 according to each airline’s respective website.

How do I earn the points?

You’ll earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points by spending $5,000 with your The Platinum Card® from American Express within the first 6 months of account opening.

The card has an annual fee of $550.

Best card for frequent visitors:
Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$99
Annual fee
Up to 3x
Miles
60,000
Miles welcome offer
The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® is a great choice for travelers who frequently visit Hawaii and are able to fly with Hawaiian Airlines to make the trip. On top of solid rewards on Hawaiian Airlines purchases, you can also take advantage of companion fare discounts for additional savings. This is perhaps one of the best Hawaii credit cards available.

And even if you don't fly Hawaiian Airlines often, this card can still help you earn bonus miles on gas, dining and grocery store purchases.

  • Rewards. Earn 3x miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases. 2x miles on gas, dining and grocery store purchases. 1x miles on all other purchases.
  • One-time companion discount. Get a 50% discount when you buy a companion fare for a round-trip coach trip between Hawaii and mainland United States.
  • Companion discount every year. Each card year, receive one discount for $100 off a companion ticket.
Annual Fee $99
Purchase APR 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 15 billing cycles (then 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable)
Welcome offer 60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days
Rewards 3x miles on Hawaiian Airlines, 2x miles on gas, dining and groceries and 1x miles on all other purchases

How many Hawaiian Airlines miles will you need to fly to Hawaii?

According to the Hawaiian Airlines website as of January 2019, you’ll need 40,000 HawaiianMiles for a round-trip Coach SuperSaver fare to Hawaii from anywhere in the continental US.

How do I earn the miles?

Earn 60,000 HawaiianMiles by spending $2,000 or more with your Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® within the first 90 days of card membership.

The card has a $99 annual fee that you’ll need to offset with rewards and benefit usage if you want to make the most of it. Luckily the companion discount you can earn each year takes care of it as long as you take advantage of the perk.

Best for signup bonus:
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$75
Annual fee
Up to 3x
Miles
40,000
Miles welcome offer
While not everyone in the United States can take advantage of Alaska Airlines, the airline and its credit cards are well known for generosity. This card's signup bonus has a low spending requirement and a secondary bonus: a chance to purchase a round-trip coach ticket and receive a second ticket for just the price of taxes and fees. The card's companion pass opportunity can also turn into value for those traveling with a partner.
  • Rewards. Earn 3x miles on direct Alaska Airlines purchases. 1x miles on everything else.
  • Additional signup bonus. When you reach the spending requirement for the signup bonus, you'll also qualify to buy a round-trip coach ticket on Alaska Airlines and receive another one for just taxes and fees.
  • Alaska's Famous Companion Fare. Every card year, a companion can book a fare on the same flight for as low as $121 when a ticket is purchased at full price.
Annual Fee $75
Purchase APR 15.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.99% to 23.99% variable
Welcome offer 40,000 miles and companion pass after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days
Rewards 3x miles on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases

How many Alaska Airlines miles will you need to fly to Hawaii?

According to the Alaska Airlines website, as of January 2019, you’ll need 30,000 miles for a round-trip Main Cabin flight to Hawaii from anywhere in the continental US.

How do I earn the miles?

You’ll earn 40,000 miles by spending $2,000 or more with your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card within 90 days of account opening.
The card has a $75 annual fee, which you can easily balance if you use its perks.

Best for American Airlines travelers:
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® logo
Finder Rating: 4.1 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Read review
740
Min. credit score
$99 ongoing
Annual fee
Up to 2x
Miles
50,000
Miles welcome offer
While the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® has a relatively low rewards earning rate, it also has a relatively low spending requirement for its signup bonus. That means you'll be able to enjoy that mileage windfall fairly quickly after obtaining the card. This card also offers a solid selection of travel perks, including free first checked bags and preferred boarding on American Airlines flights.
  • Rewards. Earn 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases. 2x miles on gas and restaurant spending. 1x miles on everything else.
  • American Airlines perks. First checked bag free, preferred boarding on American Airlines flights and 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases.
  • 125 American Airlines Flight Discount. To earn this discount, spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card year, then renew your card.
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Purchase APR 15.99% to 24.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.99% to 24.99% variable
Welcome offer 50,000 miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
Rewards 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, at gas stations and restaurants and 1x miles on all other purchases
The information about Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® has been collected independently by Finder and and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

How many American Airlines miles will you need to fly to Hawaii?

According to the American Airlines website as of January 2019, you’ll need 40,000 miles for a MileSAAver off-peak round-trip fare to Hawaii from anywhere in the continental US.

You’ll need 45,000 miles for a MileSAAver round-trip fare.

How do I earn the miles?

You’ll earn 50,000 AAdvantage Miles by spending $2,500 or more with your Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® within the first 3 months of card membership.

The card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year. Starting the second year, the annual fee is $99.

Compare similar travel credit cards

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express
10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases. Starting January 1, 2021, your 5x points on flights will be capped on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points).
See rates & fees
$550
One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $4,500, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
16.99% to 23.99% variable
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2x for all other purchases
15.74% to 24.74% variable
$450
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 or more within your first 3 months, plus earn 25,000 after the first anniversary of card membership (offer expires 1/13/2021). Rates & fees
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
14.99% variable
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
12x points on Hilton Portfolio spending, 6x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
15.74% to 24.74% variable
$95
With a big welcome offer worth up to $650, up to 12x points on spending, and free Gold status, this is an upgrade from the entry Hilton card. Rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

If you want to take advantage of a rewards flight to Hawaii, several credit cards can deliver. Consider how easily you’ll reach the spending requirement for a card’s welcome offer. Furthermore, consider each product’s perks, annual fee and rewards structure.

Not sure one of these cards is right for you? Look into another travel credit card and find the one that’s going to best fit your spending.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is there a fee to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points?
    You’ll pay a 0.06-cent fee per point transferred when you transfer points to domestic airlines.
  • Is there a fee to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points?
    No.
  • What fees might I pay when I book award flights?
    You’ll need to pay federal security fees for flights that originate in the US, as mandated by Congress. You might also encounter airport fees.

    Airlines might tack on extra charges to your ticket, such as fuel surcharges and close-in ticketing fees.

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