Deal alert: Major airlines to Hawaii from $139 or 8,967 Southwest points each way
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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.
Everyone’s favorite Hawaii deals are back again.
The lowest fares are perfect for planning ahead, beginning at $139 one way or $278 round trip nonstop on Southwest, Alaska and Hawaiian, departing from many West Coast cities including San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, San Jose and Los Angeles.
These cheap rates are widely available between April and November 2020 outside of most of the summer peak season dates, so don’t just limit yourself to dates on the immediate calendar. According to Google, these fares are at least $150 cheaper than usual on some routes.
The cheapest award flights begin at just 17,934 Rapid Rewards points from Oakland direct to Honolulu.
The only drawback is that many of these fares begin in basic economy. Basic economy means different things to different airlines, but you may not have free use of the overhead bins for a carry-on bag, and you probably won’t be able to select your seat, get an upgrade, or earn PQM/PQS/PQDs. However, it’s possible to defeat many of basic economy’s negative aspects by having elite status or a cobranded credit card.
To find a deal, 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 an OTA like Orbitz or Expedia.
Airline: Alaska, Hawaiian, American, Southwest, United, Delta
Routes: SAN/OAK/SJU and many more to HNL/OGG/KOA/LIH/ITO
Cost: from $278 round trip
Dates: April to November 2020
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier℠ Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
The information for the Citi Prestige Card and Citi Premier Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Here are some examples of specific flights that are available:
San Diego (SAN) to Honolulu (HNL) for $278 round trip nonstop on Hawaiian via Google:
San Jose (SJC) to Honolulu (HNL) for $278 round trip nonstop on Alaska:
San Jose (SJC) to Maui (OGG) for $278 round trip nonstop on Southwest:
Oakland (OAK) to Honolulu (HNL) for $278 round trip nonstop on Southwest:
Oakland (OAK) to Honolulu (HNL) for 17,934 Rapid Rewards points and $11.20 round trip nonstop on Southwest:
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 Card, Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
Featured image by Zach Griff for The Points Guy.
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