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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.
Flights from the West Coast to Hawaii are back on sale with fares dropping as low as $285 round-trip. Competition is strong in these markets and it seems that airlines have last-minute seats to fill. However, there are some deals that are stretching out into Spring 2019.
Make sure to check the fare rules for these options. Sun Country and United basic economy fares aren’t going to include a carry-on bag, but thankfully the United option from LA to Hilo is booking into regular economy — meaning you can choose a seat, carry on a bag and elites even get an upgrade.
To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or through an OTA like Priceline or Expedia.
Airlines: Hawaiian, United, Delta, Sun Country, Alaska
Routes: OAK/LAX/PDX/SAN/SFO to KOA/ITO/HNL/OGG
Cost: $285+ round-trip
Travel Dates: November 2018 to March 2019 (depending on the route)
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Premier Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare plus trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Oakland (OAK) to Kona (KOA) for $285 round-trip on Hawaiian:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Hilo (ITO) for $289 round-trip nonstop on United (NOT basic economy):
Los Angeles (LAX) to Kona (KOA) for $289 round-trip nonstop on Hawaiian:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Kona (KOA) for $289 round-trip nonstop in Delta Basic Economy:
Portland (PDX) to Honolulu (HNL) for $297 round-trip nonstop on Sun Country:
San Diego (SAN) to Kahului, Maui (OGG) for $333 round-trip nonstop on Alaska basic economy:
San Diego (SAN) to Kahului, Maui (OGG) for $333 round-trip nonstop on Hawaiian:
San Francisco (SFO) to Kona (KOA) for $333 round-trip nonstop on Alaska:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
Featured image by bjonesmedia via Getty Images
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The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at Marriott and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,200 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees