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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Citi Prestige Card
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 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.
The Hawaii deals continue with another enticing attack fare. American Airlines is continuing to drop rates from Delta hubs (Atlanta, Detroit, Salt Lake City) and United hubs (Newark and Houston). And United is defending its Newark hub by matching prices. When airlines compete, you win.
While this is cheap enough to just pony up the (virtual) cash, you can book these flights for nothing out of pocket by redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can redeem UR points at 1.5 cents each. That means most of these options are under 26,000 points round-trip. For reference, most airlines are going to charge a minimum of 45,000 miles round-trip between the contiguous United States and Hawaii before taxes/fees — and that’s if you can find saver award space.
And here’s an advanced-level tip for American Airlines flights: You can earn extra award miles and AAdvantge Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) by booking Special Fares through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Plus, American Airlines elites get free upgrades on these flights through the 500-mile upgrade system. Combined, this deal makes for a great mileage run to an awesome destination.
Your best bet is to search Google Flights for desired dates, and then book through Expedia, Orbitz, directly with the airline or through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal if you want to redeem UR points for the flights.
Airline: American, Hawaiian, United
Routes: PHX/EWR/IAH/ATL/DTW/SLC to OGG/KOA
Cost: $363+ round-trip in economy
Dates: July-May 2019, depending on the route
Booking Link: Orbitz, Expedia, Chase travel portal or directly with the airline.
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (5x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
Phoenix (PHX) to Kahului, Maui (OGG) on Hawaiian for $363 round-trip:
Newark (EWR) to Kona (KOA) on United for $389 round-trip or 25,893 UR points via Chase Ultimate Rewards portal:
Newark (EWR) to Kona (KOA) on American for $394 round-trip or 26,253 UR points via Chase Ultimate Rewards portal:
Houston Intercontinental (IAH) to Kahului, Maui (OGG) on American for $394 round-trip or 26,253 UR points via Chase Ultimate Rewards portal:
Atlanta (ATL) to Kona (KOA) on American for $404 round-trip or 26,920 UR points via Chase Ultimate Rewards portal:
Detroit (DTW) to Kona (KOA) on American for $404 round-trip or 26,920 UR points via Chase Ultimate Rewards portal:
Salt Lake City (SLC) to Kona (KOA) on American for $404 round-trip or 26,920 UR points via Chase Ultimate Rewards portal:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Platinum Card (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Citi Prestige (5x 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 via Getty Images.
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