Best Mileage Values to Get from US Mainland to Hawaii

There’s obviously something magical about Hawaii because that’s where so many of my readers want to go.

Getting enough miles to get to Hawaii is one thing, but finding the best mileage value is the fun part of the challenge.

Best Option: One Way Add-On to an International Trip

I’ve previously written about this because there is $0 cost in adding a one way trip to Hawaii.  In fact, if you can combine it with two international trips, you won’t find a cheaper way.

Here’s what we did:

Trip One:  San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina to Dallas/Fort Worth // STOP OVER IN DFW // DFW – HNL (two months later)  Cost from Argentina to US = 20,000 miles.  That doesn’t matter if you go to Hawaii, Denver, or St. Louis.  The total mileage required is the same.

Trip Two: Honolulu – Miami – Quito, Ecudor.  Cost was 17,500 miles each.

Free one way add-ons are possible with international trips on American and United.

Second Best Option: Avios LAX – HNL 12,500 Avois + $2.50 

If you can easily position yourself from Los Angeles, then you can redeem Avios points to fly direct from LAX – HNL on American Airlines for 12,500 Avois + $2.50 each way.

Other Mileage Options to Hawaii

US Airways 35,000 miles

As a US Airways credit card holder, you’ll get a 5,000 mile discount (per ticket).  That reduces the regular required mileage from 40,000 to 35,000.

US Airways does have an award processing fee of $50.  This makes the cost of a ticket more expensive than airlines without an award processing fee.

Hawaiian Airlines 35,000 miles

As a Hawaiian Airlines credit card holder, you’ll be able to get flights for 35,000 miles round trip instead of the regular 40,000 miles required.

American Airlines 35,000 miles

American has off-peak award flights to Hawaii for 35,000 miles.

United is about the worst redemption to Hawaii with 40,000 miles required.

Best Uses of American Express Rewards to Hawaii:

If you can take advantage of a British Airways point transfer, then you can use those points for the second best option listed above.

If you aren’t able to find a cash option as explained below, then your best option may be transferring the miles to Singapore Airlines and using 35,000 KrisFlyer miles from the mainland to Hawaii.  The other option would be to transfer 35,000 American Express Rewards flights to Hawaiian airlines if you are also a Hawaiian credit card holder.

Best Uses of Ultimate Rewards to Hawaii:

You may be able to snag a cheap revenue ticket, and by applying the 25% travel discount, you might be able to get a deal.  Otherwise, look into British Airways transfer options.

Additional Non-Mileage Based Hawaii Options

If you don’t have the miles you need for a trip, you can still find some great fares to Hawaii.

  1. Alaska Airlines credit card holders get a Companion Ticket for $99 (plus taxes and fees).  I just checked random dates from SEA – HNL, and you can get a ticket for $467.  With a companion, that would work out to just under $600 for two tickets.  Of course, that would depend on your departure city and the season you plan to travel.
  2. Allegiant Air has cheap flights from select US cities to Honolulu (HNL).  I priced flights for two from Las Vegas to HNL in the Spring, and it would cost $611.96 for two passengers.  However, Allegiant Air does change for carry-on ($50 RT) and checked bags ($70 RT).
  3. Subscribe to Flight Deal blog and watch for great fares to Hawaii.  For even greater savings, you can use your Ultimate Rewards (25% bonus) or Thank You Premier points (33%).
  4. Use ITA Matrix and book with points.

As an example, I did an April search for flights from PHX, LAX, and SFO to HNL.  The lowest price for 7 nights is $315.  If I use my Ultimate Rewards points, I could get that flight for 25,200 points.


  1. Chris says

    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for answering my last question. This is a unrelated question. I noticed that in the Hawaiian airlines site, when I was looking for discounted fares (I have the BOH Visa Signature) they no longer have 17.5 K fares (from mainland to Hawaii) any more since they offered the 20% bonus on transferring points to HA from the membershiprewards website. Have you or anyone noticed this change. It has been two weeks since this change has occurred.


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