Deal alert: Book tickets to Hawaii this fall for 10,000 Amex points with widespread availability
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With the end of the Hawaii Safe Travels COVID-19 QR code system, travel to Hawaii has become much easier. And if you’ve got American Express Membership Rewards points burning a hole in your pocket, getting there will be less costly.
With the current 40% bonus on transferring American Express points to British Airways Executive Club, you can use just 10,000 Membership Rewards points and $5.60 to book a nonstop flight from the West Coast to Hawaii on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines. Depending on your itinerary, you can get as much as 2.9 cents in value per Amex point, which is well above what TPG values them at.
There’s currently fairly widespread award space for travel this fall out of major airports like Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to and from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Kahului Airport (OGG), Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA) and Lihue Airport (LIH).
Let’s take a closer look at the availability and how to book it.
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Airlines: American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
Routes: Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Anchorage, Alaska; San Jose, California; Los Angeles; San Francisco; San Diego; and Phoenix to/from Honolulu; Kahului, Maui; Kailua-Kona, Big Island; and Lihue, Kauai.
Cost: 13,000 British Airways Avios in economy (or 10,000 Amex points transferred to British Airways).
How to book: Through British Airways Executive Club.
Pay taxes and fees with: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Premier® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve (3 points per dollar on air travel), American Express® Gold Card (3 points per dollar on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2 points per dollar on travel).
Related: On which airlines can I use Avios?
Los Angeles to Kailua-Kona on American Airlines: 2.5 cents per Membership Rewards point
Anchorage to Honolulu on Alaska Airlines: 2.9 cents per Membership Rewards point
Phoenix to Lihue on American Airlines: 2.3 cents per Membership Rewards point
San Diego to Kahului on Alaska Airlines: 2.3 cents per Membership Rewards point
How to book
As mentioned, American Express and British Airways are running a promotion where you can earn a 40% bonus when converting Amex points to British Airways Avios. There is widespread availability throughout the fall from West Coast cities on nonstop flights for 13,000 Avios in economy class on both American and Alaska.
To transfer your American Express points to British Airways, you will need to log in and go to the “Rewards & Benefits” tab. From there, select “Earn and Redeem” and then “Transfer Points.”
When you see the list of transfer partners, select “British Airways Executive Club,” and you will see the transfer bonus offer and terms.
You can then enter your British Airways Executive Club membership number at this stage. If you don’t already have a membership number with BA, you can sign up for free here.
The one-way airfare to Hawaii is 13,000 Avios. When converting points to Avios, it has to be in increments of 1,000. So 9,000 Membership Rewards points with the 40% bonus equate to 12,600 Avios, while 10,000 Membership Rewards points equate to 14,000 Avios.
If you’re booking a one-way flight to Hawaii, transfer 10,000 Membership Rewards points (14,000 Avios), and if you’re booking a round-trip flight to Hawaii, transfer 19,000 Membership Rewards points (26,600 Avios).
In theory, after selecting “Confirm & Transfer Points,” you should receive your Avios immediately; however, when I transferred some Amex points to BA last week, it took about five hours to receive my points in my BA account.
Once you receive your points, you can book your flight with Avios on the BA website by going to this webpage.
Maximize your purchase
Make sure to pay award taxes and fees with a card that earns bonus points on airfare and offers travel protections. Some cards that fit the bill include The Platinum Card from American Express, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Featured photo of Maui by M.M. Sweet/Getty Images.
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TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
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