Hawaiian Airline miles guide: Award flights to paradise

Young woman smiling as she enjoys her Hawaiian vacationImage: Young woman smiling as she enjoys her Hawaiian vacation
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With Hawaiian Airlines miles, you can earn award travel to one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Hawaiian Airlines’ HawaiianMiles is an airline rewards program that offers rewards based on how far you fly, not how much you spend. The program includes no blackout dates and allows you to redeem miles for any seat in the main cabin.

And if you want more benefits, you can work toward earning Hawaiian Airlines Pualani elite status for extra perks.

How to earn Hawaiian Airlines miles

The best way to earn HawaiianMiles is by using the airline’s co-branded credit cards. The airline has two cards, both issued by Barclays. We’ll cover each card in turn, along with other ways you can earn Hawaiian Airlines miles.

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for consumers

New cardholders with the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® can rack up miles fast. You’ll earn 60,000 bonus HawaiianMiles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening. Plus, you can earn an additional 20,000 miles after spending $4,000 total on purchases in the first six months. You’ll also earn three miles per $1 spent on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases, two miles per $1 spent on gas, dining and eligible grocery store purchases, and one mile per $1 spent on everything else.

For more savings, the card also offers a one-time 50% discount on a round-trip flight between Hawaii and North America, plus a $100 annual discount on a companion fare to and from Hawaii from North America. The card charges a $99 annual fee.

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Business Mastercard®: Best for small-business owners

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Business Mastercard® offers similar features and benefits as the consumer version of the card.

It also comes with a sign-up bonus: You’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening, plus an additional 40,000 miles after spending $6,000 total on purchases in your first 12 months with the card.

You can also earn bonus miles every year, depending on how much you spend. You’ll get 20,000 bonus miles if you spend between $50,000 and $99,999 in annual purchases, or 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $100,000 or more.

Other ways to earn Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

While the airline’s co-branded credit cards offer an easy way to rack up miles fast, there are other ways to supplement your spending and maximize your award balance.

  • Fly with Hawaiian Airlines: For every mile you fly with Hawaiian, you’ll earn a mile for your loyalty account. The airline provides service to and from North America from Hawaii, and it also serves destinations in Asia and the South Pacific.
  • Earn with partners: Hawaiian Airlines partners with various airlines, hotel brands, car rental companies, shopping and dining programs, making it easier to earn HawaiianMiles every time you travel, shop and dine — even if it’s not with Hawaiian Airlines.
  • Buy miles: You can purchase miles in 500-mile increments up to a total of 10,000 miles. But this option can be expensive, so it’s generally best to avoid buying rewards points unless you’re planning to make a reservation and you’re falling a bit short.
  • Transfer miles from other rewards programs: You can potentially get Hawaiian Airlines miles through other travel rewards credit cards. You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to HawaiianMiles at a 1-to-1 ratio. And you can also exchange Marriott Bonvoy points for HawaiianMiles at a 3-to-1 ratio.

How to redeem Hawaiian Airlines miles

The value you can get for your miles will vary depending on how you redeem them.

Also, the good news is that Hawaiian Airlines miles no longer expire, so you don’t have to worry about earning and redeeming constantly to keep your miles balance active.

Here are some of the different ways you can use your HawaiianMiles.

Familiarize yourself with the award chart

Use Hawaiian Airlines’ award chart to understand how many miles you’ll need to book a flight. Note that if you have elite status or one of the airline’s credit cards, you qualify for discounted award flights.

If you live in Hawaii or are planning a trip to multiple islands, you can get to neighbor islands for as little as 7,500 miles in the main cabin and 15,000 in first class one way.

On flights between Hawaii and North America, you can book a one-way flight for as little as 20,000 miles (or 17,500 if you qualify for discounted award tickets) in the main cabin and 40,000 in first class. But the number of miles required increases the farther east you fly in North America.

Flights to Asia and the South Pacific can vary depending on where you’re flying, so read up on the award chart to find the best ways to use your miles.

Fly with partner airlines

Hawaiian Airlines has partnered with a handful of domestic and international airlines, and you can use your miles to fly with them by calling the HawaiianMiles service center.

  • Japan Airlines: Starts at 12,000 miles one way
  • JetBlue Airways: Starts at 10,000 miles and is based on the cash value of the ticket
  • Korean Air: Starts at 15,000 miles roundtrip
  • Virgin Atlantic: Starts at 60,000 miles roundtrip
  • Virgin Australia: Starts at 20,000 miles roundtrip

Redeem in other ways

While it’s generally a good idea to use your airline miles to book flights, Hawaiian offers several other options to give you more flexibility:

  • Hotel stays
  • Car rental gift certificates
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers

You can also share your miles with friends and family members or donate them to a charitable organization.

Next steps

You don’t have to be a frequent flyer with Hawaiian Airlines to earn miles. And if you like the idea of an occasional getaway to paradise, getting one of the airline’s co-branded credit cards can be an excellent way to achieve your goal.

The HawaiianMiles program is also a solid choice for people who live in Hawaii and travel often between neighbor islands or to other destinations the airline serves.

About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.