You can save or throw away thousands of points flying to Hawaii. One airline offers round trip flights for 25,000 points and another is charging 45,000 points. Doing your homework and planning ahead will help you achieve your vacation goals quicker and help you save points for your next vacation. These tips for flying to Hawaii on points will help you begin to make a plan.
Tip #1 – FlyerMiler
FlyerMiler is a great place to start. Enter your home airport and your destination airport (HNL if you’re going to Aulani). FlyerMiler will tell you how many miles it will take you for a one-way flight from most, if not all, airline mileage programs.
If you’re trying to decide what mileage program to invest in, FlyerMiler can give you a good sense for your best options.
Tip #2 – Off-Peak Travel
You’re more likely to find some great options for using points on flights during off-peak times of year. Our upcoming trip to Aulani is scheduled for October when most kids are in school. We found a lot of options for a minimal number of miles.
Tip #3 – Sample Bookings
Do a lot of sample bookings before you decide to invest in earning miles in a particular program. Just because a certain program offers flights for very few points doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find flights at that price. Some airlines have some cheap flights on points, but the inventory is so minimal you’ll struggle to find flights that will work for you at those cheap prices.
Tip #4 – Flexible Points
Cheap flights to Hawaii will likely cost you between 25,000 and 40,000 points round trip. For a family of four, you’ll be looking at 100,000 to 160,000 points. What if you start investing in earning American Airlines points, for example, and then there aren’t any cheap award flights when you want to travel? You could end up being stuck with a lot of points and trying to figure out how to spend them.
Flexible point programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards have many airline transfer partners and ways to book flights based on the cash cost of the flight. This kind of flexibility means you won’t get stuck with points you can’t use.
Tip #5 – Google Flights
Some points are redeemed for the cash value of a flight. Each point has a fixed value. For example, one point might be worth one cent, so 10,000 points would be worth $100 toward your flight. This is how the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, Capital One Venture Card and others work. Many of the flexible rewards programs mentioned above also have options to book travel at the cash value.
If you earn points with cash value, you’ll want a great way to search for cheap flights. One thing we love about Google Flights is how easy they make it to quickly search for cheap airfare. In particular, we love the price graph pictured above. When you enter the length of travel you want, you can scroll up to 6 months out and quickly scan for cheap prices.
We’ve written all about using Google Flights. You can find that post HERE.
Tip #6 – Credit Card Sign Up Bonus
A great credit card sign up bonus is often enough points for two round trip flights to Hawaii. Sometimes they’re even more. Don’t neglect this simple easy way to get a significant boost toward your vacation goals.