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Pricey in paradise: There's another new tax on stays in Hawaii

Dec. 17, 2021
2 min read
Honolulu Waikiki Hawaii Hyatt
Pricey in paradise: There's another new tax on stays in Hawaii
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Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the beaches (of Oahu) comes the pain of a new hotel tax in this part of Hawaii.

This week, the mayor of Honolulu signed a 3% transient accommodations tax (labeled TAT) into law that applies to all short-term rentals.

Related: Visiting Hawaii now: Safe Travels to stick around as restrictions ease

You will pay the tax not only at hotels, but also at Airbnbs, timeshares and any other vacation rental on the island of Oahu. (Honolulu is a city-county that includes Honolulu and the rest of Oahu.)

Keep in mind that the new tax is in addition to the 10.25% hotel tax already imposed by the state.

Local officials claim state actions are responsible for the new tax. Last year, the state legislature voted to stop sharing a portion of the state hotel tax with counties. That opened the door for local counties to impose their own tax, which they have promptly done.

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Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties had already adopted the surcharge.

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Revenue for the counties will, of course, depend on the health of the tourism economy. Hawaii has changed its entry requirements and restrictions with frequency throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser estimates that Oahu will receive anywhere from $86-$99 million per year from the new tax by the end of the fiscal year 2027.

Related: My top 5 things to do in Oahu, Hawaii

Those numbers are good news for Honolulu county, which is experiencing large budget deficits. One of its biggest headaches is a major shortfall in funding for the 20-mile light metro rail line set to run to the Ala Moana Center from East Kapolei.

Of course, traveling to Hawaii using points and miles will help offset the burden of those extra hotel taxes.

Featured image by Honolulu Waikiki Hawaii Hyatt (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023