Is the AMEX 25% Transfer Bonus to Hawaiian Airlines Worth It? Until June 26, 2018, American Express is offering a 25% transfer bonus to Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, so 1000 AMEX Membership Rewards points transfer to 1250 Hawaiian Miles. The problem? HawaiianMiles award redemptions are expensive.
Let's look at a few examples.
Example 1: JFK to HNL in Hawaiian Airlines First Class: 130K Miles or $1767
From my home airport, NYC JFK, to Honolulu HNL, Hawaiian Airlines charges $1767 in lie flat first class, or 130,000 HawaiianMiles. That's a redemption value of only 1.35 cents per mile. With the AMEX 25% transfer bonus, 104,000 Membership Rewards points transfer to 130,000 miles, but that's still only a redemption value of 1.7 cents per AMEX point. Everyone has a different valuation of AMEX Membership Rewards points, but I value them at 2 cents or more per point, and I rarely redeem them for less than 4-5 cents per point, so this isn't a redemption I'd make.
Example 2: JFK to HNL in Hawaiian Airlines Economy: 20K Miles or $438
I personally wouldn't want to fly economy for 11.5 hours, but if you don't mind, you do get more value per point with this award: 2.16 cents per HawaiianMile, or 2.7 cents per AMEX point, with the 25% transfer bonus.
3. Example 3: SEA to OGG in Hawaiian Airlines First Class: 80K Miles or $933
This is even worse value than the JFK-HNL first class award above, yielding a redemption value of only 1.16 cents per HawaiianMile, or 1.45 cents per AMEX Membership Rewards point, taking into account the 25% transfer bonus.
Do HawaiianMiles Award Rates Vary By Date?
Yes; as you can see in the HawaiianMiles Award Chart, if you can find a First Class Saver Date, the award would be only 40,000 miles one way between Hawaii and North America.
Don't count on getting that rate, however–I've never seen 40,000 between NYC and Hawaii, and I haven't seen it offered recently on the San Francisco routes, although I haven't done an exhaustive search. I have seen it on some of the LAX-HNL and SEA-OGG flights, however.
Do AMEX Membership Rewards Points Transfer Instantly?
Yes, typically points transfer instantly, although terms state to allow up to 48 hours for the transfer.
Is There Tax on the Transfer?
Yes; because Hawaiian Airlines is a U.S. airline, excise tax of $0.0006 per point, with a maximum fee of $99, is charged to your AMEX account. In other words, a $60 fee applies to a transfer of 100,000 AMEX points to 125,000 HawaiianMiles.
What Are the Other Flat Bed Business Class Options to Hawaii?
How Much is the Kilauea Volcano Affecting Air Quality in Kona?
Currently Kona air quality is “moderate” at 61 on the air quality index, which ranges from 0 to 500, with 0 being best. This compares to “good” air quality of 24 in Wailea, Maui, and even better air quality of 10 in Honolulu. Moderate air quality means that those who are very sensitive, such as infants, elderly people, and those with asthma or respiratory difficulties should limit their time outdoors. The air quality can of course change daily, depending on trade winds that affect where the volcanic gases are blown.
What are the Best Hawaii Luxury Hotels?
My top recommendations are Four Seasons Lanai and Four Seasons Hualalai. Other resorts clients have enjoyed (although not as much as Four Seasons Lanai and Hualalai) are Montage Kapalua Bay, Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina, the Ritz-Carlton Waikiki Residences, the Fairmont Wailea, and the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.
Do you plan to transfer AMEX points to HawaiianMiles, or are you saving points for a higher value redemption?
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