Earn a 25% bonus when transferring Amex Membership Rewards to Hawaiian Airlines

Sep 23, 2019

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American Express is back with another incentive to move your points to one of its transfer partners.

Amex is now offering a 25% bonus when transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to Hawaiian Airlines’ HawaiianMiles mileage program. This is similar to the promo that’s been run once a year for the past four years — each of which has offered a 25% bonus. To qualify for the bonus, you’ll need to transfer your points by Oct. 7, 2019.

Normally you can convert Membership Rewards points to HawaiianMiles at a 1:1 ratio, although you have to transfer points in increments of 1,000 points. With the new incentive, you can convert 1,000 Amex points to 1,250 HawaiianMiles.

Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t have the strongest award chart but it can make more sense to redeem through them with this bonus. In April 2019, HawaiianMiles moved to a variable award chart and created different award charts for West Coast vs. East Coast — which eliminated some sweet spots.

You can fly from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii from as little as 35,000 miles round-trip in coach and 80,000 miles round-trip in first class. That means you’d only need to transfer 28,000 Amex MR for a round-trip economy award and 64,000 points for a round-trip first-class award.

Flying inter-island would only run you 15,000 miles or 12,000 Amex MR for a round-trip coach award.

Earlier this year, TPG’s Wallace Cotton flew on Hawaiian’s A330 on what is now the longest U.S. domestic flight. He found that Hawaiian offered incredible service with excellent attention to detail, but the inflight entertainment system had some flaws.

On the way back to the mainland U.S., he flew in economy on the same aircraft type and found it to be a positive experience.

Hawaiian Airlines economy (Photo by Wallace Cotton / The Points Guy)
Hawaiian Airlines economy. (Photo by Wallace Cotton/The Points Guy)

Hawaiian has a handful of partners that you can use its miles on like Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Korean Air and JetBlue. Unfortunately its partner award charts aren’t anything spectacular, but there are a few silver linings.

You can fly between the East Coast and U.K. on Virgin Atlantic for 60,000 HawaiianMiles round-trip in economy, or 48,000 Amex MR with the transfer bonus. The best part is that Hawaiian doesn’t pass on the hefty fuel surcharges that Virgin normally charges.

Additional reporting by JT Genter

Featured photo courtesy of Hilton Hawaiian Village

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