Sweet Spot Sunday: Fly to Hawaii from 10,000 Avios each way (for a limited time)
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Hawaii continues to be a TPG reader favorite. Its landscapes are enthralling, visiting doesn’t require a passport for U.S. citizens and it recently dropped all coronavirus restrictions. It’s the perfect time to visit.
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Luckily for readers, Hawaii participates in one of the best sweet spots in award travel. You can fly there from the West Coast for as little as 13,000 points one-way if you’ve got any of the following currencies:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
- Capital One miles.
- Citi ThankYou points (indirectly — I’ll explain later).
- British Airways Avios.
- Iberia Avios.
- Aer Lingus Avios.
- Qatar Airways Avios.
Why it’s special
British Airways Avios are one of the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii using points and miles. The British Airways distance-based award chart prices economy flights lasting between 2,001 and 3,000 miles at just 13,000 Avios. On nonstop domestic U.S. award flights, such as those between the West Coast and Hawaii, the taxes and fees are just $5.60 each way.
When you book these flights with Avios, you’ll fly on British Airways partners American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. As a reference, these programs generally charge the following for the same routes:
- American Airlines — 20,000-plus miles.
- Alaska Airlines — 15,000-plus miles.
You may occasionally find sale fares lower than this. But the ability to book for 13,000 miles any time is a great deal — and 10,000 miles is a coup.
Through May 15, you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to British Airways in increments of 1,000 and receive a 40% bonus. In other words, you can transfer 10,000 Amex points to British Airways and receive 14,000 Avios — enough for a one-way flight from the West Coast to Hawaii.
These flights frequently sell for $260-plus, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting an outsize value for your rewards. When redeeming 13,000 Avios, you should average a value of 2 cents each. That’s a solid 33% more value than TPG’s valuation of Avios.
And TPG estimates the value of Amex points to be 2 cents each. During this transfer bonus, you should be able to get a value of 2.6 cents per point — 30% higher than TPG’s valuation.
How to book this award
American Airlines and Alaska Airlines offer a handful of routes to the four main Hawaiian islands — though some are seasonal. Here are the nonstop routes under 3,000 miles that you can book for 13,000 Avios each way in economy class.
|Oahu (HNL)||Maui (OGG)||Kauai (LIH)||Big Island (KOA)|
|Anchorage (ANC).||Anchorage (ANC).||Los Angeles (LAX).||Anchorage (ANC).|
|Los Angeles (LAX).||Los Angeles (LAX).||Phoenix (PHX).||Los Angeles (LAX).|
|Phoenix (PHX).||Phoenix (PHX).||Portland (PDX).||Phoenix (PHX).|
|Portland (PDX).||Portland (PDX).||San Diego (SAN).||Portland (PDX).|
|San Diego (SAN).||San Diego (SAN).||San Jose (SJC).||San Diego (SAN).|
|San Francisco (SFO).||San Francisco (SFO).||Seattle (SEA).||San Jose (SJC).|
|San Jose (SJC).||San Jose (SJC).||Seattle (SEA).|
|Seattle (SEA).||Seattle (SEA).|
You can search and book American- and Alaska-operated awards on the British Airways website. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1. Log in to the British Airways site
Sign in to your British Airways account and hover over the “Book” tab at the top. This is where you’ll find “Book a flight with Avios.”
Step 2. Enter your travel details
Enter your origin and destination according to the above table outlining eligible routes. For this example, we’ll search from Los Angeles to Honolulu.
Step 3. Select your ideal flight
Hopefully, you’re staring at loads of availability for your desired date. If you can’t seem to find any, you can head to the American Airlines or Alaska Airlines website and look for saver availability in a monthly calendar view, then return to the British Airways site once you find dates that work for you.
Step 4. Click ‘Continue’ to pay for your flights
You’ll now see flight details and an award cost of 13,000 Avios plus $5.60. Click “Continue” to move forward with booking your award.
This exact flight costs 7,000 miles more when booked through American Airlines — 20,000 American Airlines miles and $5.60. You could save a whopping 14,000 miles round-trip by booking through British Airways!
How to earn points for this award
- American Express Membership Rewards points at a 1:1 transfer ratio (currently with a 40% bonus).
- Capital One miles at a 1:1 transfer ratio.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 transfer ratio.
- Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1 transfer ratio.
You can also transfer Qatar Airways Avios to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. This is an important detail, because Qatar is a transfer partner of Citi ThankYou points. Therefore, Citi ThankYou is a 1:1 transfer partner of British Airways by proxy.
There are plenty of cards that earn these types of points, such as:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months of card membership.
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
- Citi Premier® Card: Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Hawaii is just about as international as you can get without leaving the country. And a stash of British Airways Avios is one of the best ways to get there for (nearly) free.
You can even fly an open jaw to see two (or more) Hawaiian islands when using British Airways Avios since there’s no pricing benefit to booking a round-trip award with this sweet spot. Just be sure to check cash rates before you book. Sometimes airlines publish fire sales that make booking through the Chase travel portal a better deal. If you’re unsure how to decide, check out our post on when to book travel through Chase and when to transfer points.
Additional reporting by Sarah Hostetler.
Featured photo by Madison Blancaflor/The Points Guy.
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