Best Ways To Use Points and Miles To Travel To Honolulu (Oahu)

Visiting Honolulu is a lifelong dream come true for many people. Given the combination of a dynamic urban center and stunning island setting, it’s like having two vacation spots in one.

The good news is that getting to Honolulu is much easier than you might imagine, whether you’re planning to unwind on the beach, swim, or surf. To get to Honolulu for a fraction of the cost, you can use points and miles from a travel credit card or a travel loyalty program. In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to use reward points and miles in Hawaii, from scoring deals on airline tickets to bargaining your way into your accommodations.

What We'll Cover

The Best Time To Visit Honolulu

It’s not uncommon for travelers to come to Hawaii while the rest of the country is experiencing the worst weather. As a result, the peak travel period runs roughly from the middle of December to the middle of March or April. This is the priciest time of year, and resorts are at their busiest.

Spring (mid-April to mid-June) and autumn (Sept to mid-Dec) are the best times to visit the islands because of fewer crowds and lower prices. This is the best time to go if you want to save money and avoid the rush. The cost of lodging and travel is substantially less expensive, and vacation packages are frequently available. During this period, it’s also easier to obtain point redemption promotions in Honolulu.

Regardless of what time of year you visit, you’re likely to see plenty of sunny weather. However, traveling from November to March increases the chance of rain ruining your trip. May and October are the perfect months to travel to Honolulu for the best value, the loveliest weather conditions, and the ideal ocean temperatures.

Traveling To Honolulu

To get ready for your Honolulu vacation, here are some important details regarding airports and flights:

Airports

When arranging a visit to Honolulu using rewards points or miles, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is the only airport on Oahu accessible with nonstop flights from the mainland United States. Waikiki, the most popular tourist destination in Honolulu, is just around nine miles away from this airport. Most Hawaiian islands, such as Maui and Kauai, also have nonstop flights that will take you there.

Airline Companies Serving Honolulu

There are about two dozen carriers that fly to Honolulu coming from Asia, South Pacific, and the Americas. Honolulu is served by several major American airlines, including:

    • American Airlines
    • Hawaiian Airlines
    • United Airlines
    • Southwest Airlines

If you don’t have enough points in any single program to earn a round-trip reward flight to Hawaii, you can redeem your miles for a one-way flight instead. You can utilize frequent flier miles from one program for your incoming ticket to Honolulu and another for your return flight since there are so many prominent airlines serving so many routes.

There are plenty of nonstop flights from the United States mainland to Hawaii. For those who don’t reside near an airport where nonstop flights to Hawaii are available, you may need a connecting flight to make the trip. Although most loyalty programs only allow non stop trips, consider arranging an additional flight to take advantage of certain rewards programs.

Traveling to Honolulu using Miles and Rewards Points

Using these points and miles, you can get cheap tickets to Honolulu:

American Airlines AAdvantage

In off-peak periods, members of American Airlines AAdvantage can obtain one-way flights in economy for 20,000 points. However, tickets at the 22,500 mile rate are significantly more common. The AAnytime rate for economy flights will cost you 40,000–50,000 AAdvantage miles per trip. The cost of a business class ticket from the United States mainland to Honolulu ranges between 55,000–110,000 miles.

Because passengers from the East and Midwest are charged the same as those originating in the West, American Airlines AAdvantage is a particularly attractive option.

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

Compared to the larger airlines, Hawaiian Airlines does not fly to as many domestic airports on the mainland. In the past, the majority of their flights to Honolulu, Hawaii, have taken off from western locations such as Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. However, thanks to new routes being added by the airline, you may now fly from New York, Boston, Austin, and Orlando to Honolulu nonstop.

You’ll use fewer HawaiianMiles flying out of the west than you will flying out of the east. Nonstop flights from the West to Honolulu begin at 17,500 HawaiianMiles for economy class, while a first-class ticket is likely to run you about 40,000 HawaiianMiles.

Flights from the Eastern and Central United States are awarded at different rates. Eastern area travelers may book economy tickets for as little as 26,250 HawaiianMiles, while those in the central area can do so for as low as 22,000 HawaiianMiles.

United MileagePlus

For those coming from the East Coast or the Midwest and planning to fly to Oahu, United Airlines MileagePlus is also another excellent choice. Whether you’re flying from San Francisco or New York, a one-way economy seat to Oahu from United typically costs 22,500 MileagePlus miles. With some United-branded credit cards, you’ll be able to track down more award tickets, as the airline makes some trips limited only to cardholders. Flights to Honolulu in business class typically cost between 40,000 and 95,000 United Miles per trip.

Southwest Rapid Rewards

In 2019, Southwest Airlines launched several new flights to and from Hawaii, both domestic and inter-island. Southwest Companion Pass holders rejoiced, as they can now fly with a friend or family member for only the taxes on the additional ticket. As with Southwest’s renowned affordable tickets, the volume of points you’ll require for a trip to Honolulu changes with demand. Travelers who are willing to be flexible can get nonstop flights for much lower than 10,000 points per flight.

Points Earned Through Banks

If you’ve ever used a bank’s travel rewards points program, you’re already familiar with the convenience of booking flights directly through the bank’s website. This means that members of the Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards, Bank of America Travel Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou will be able to arrange travel through the booking sites of their respective loyalty programs.

However, before using your bank’s own travel gateway to buy a ticket, think about moving your credits to an associated airline program. The reason for this is that airline partnerships can occasionally offer fantastic deals that save you a substantial amount of points.

For instance, you would have to spend around 45,000 AAdvantage miles traveling to Honolulu from Los Angeles on American Airlines. Alternatively, you can transfer merely 26,000 points on Chase Ultimate Rewards into British Airways and then purchase round-trip tickets for economy class on American Airlines for only 26,000 British Airways Avios.

Become familiar with your convertible point program’s airline partners, and figure out where their best offers are.

Booking Accommodations In Honolulu With Points

Members of hotel loyalty programs in Honolulu have the option to spend their points at hotels operated by Best Western, Hyatt, Hilton, IHG, Marriott, and Wyndham. Hotel chains like Outrigger and Aqua-Aston in Hawaii cater to travelers with points earned through banks like Amex Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards. Hence, options when booking with bank-based points are even more diverse.

However, it’s common knowledge that resort rates and parking charges in Hawaii hotels are high. For instance, the daily resort charge at Hilton Hawaiian Village can be as high as $50, with an overnight parking fee of $49. This cost is charged by several hotels like Marriott Bonvoy hotels, even when paying with a free night voucher or points for your stay. To avoid a nasty shock, prepare for these expenses in advance.

Here are a few Honolulu hotels that offer good value for money when using points to reserve a stay:

Hilton Hotels

Members of Hilton Honors can choose from eight hotels on the island of Oahu, not including the many vacation condos located on the same grounds as the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort. Here are a few notable places to stay:

    • Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort: Staying a night at this world-renowned destination will run you about 60,000 points. It’s important to note that this enormous beachside resort is not to be confused with the nearby Hilton Waikiki Beach, which is more compact and busy.
    • DoubleTree by Hilton: You can book a room here for as low as 39,000 points.
    • Embassy Suites: Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast and a poolside reception at the Embassy Suites. You may be able to get a suite for as little as 64,000 Honors points each night.
    • Hilton Waikiki Beach: This modest resort has accommodations starting at 39,000 Hilton points each night (with a discounted resort charge of $30).

Marriott Hotels

Members of Marriott Bonvoy can pick from ten different properties, which include but are not limited to:

    • Royal Hawaiian Resort: For between 50,000–70,000 points a night, you can stay at this beautiful beachfront Marriott Bonvoy property.
    • Sheraton Princess Kaiulani (PK): With Bonvoy points, you may stay at this modest yet lovely Category 5 accommodation for as little as 30,000 per night. There is also a good chance this hotel will accept your Marriott credit card’s free night voucher.

The Sheraton PK is a good place to start your trip, but it’s not the only place to stay. From this hotel, you can stroll to the heart of Waikiki in only a few minutes. Use your voucher to stay one night at this affordable hotel and then go to half a dozen different Marriott Bonvoy locations, like the enchanting Royal Hawaiian and the iconic Moana Surfrider.

Hyatt Hotels 

Members of the World of Hyatt can pick from three resorts within a short walk of one another and the beachfront.

    • Hyatt Centric: You can stay a night in this fresh and modern World of Hyatt hotel for as little as 15,000 points.
    • Hyatt Place Waikiki: This hotel is just a few minutes from the beachfront and offers complimentary breakfast in a room that costs 13,000 points each night.
    • Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa: This World of Hyatt Category 5 hotel, right across the road from a renowned beach, offers accommodations for 20,000 World of Hyatt points each night.

IHG Rewards

Holiday Inn Express Waikiki is the only IHG property in Honolulu because the Holiday Inn Beachcomber joined the Outrigger network a few years ago. It’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, but close enough to the beachfront and a slew of gourmet options and stores to be easily accessible on foot. Breakfast is included in the price of basic accommodations; however, rooms are small. In addition, there is a lovely pool area with mini golf, a human-sized chess board to play on, and even a hot tub. It costs 35,000 points and the $29 overnight resort charge to arrange a night at this hotel.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve shared ways on how to travel to Honolulu on points and miles. With these tips, your holiday in paradise will be even more delightful. Even if you have specific dates in mind, it’s important to keep an open mind when using miles and points to get to Honolulu. 

You can find out if you’re getting a decent bargain on your redemption by doing some research and comparisons. Additionally, this will help you decide whether or not you should book your Honolulu ticket and accommodation immediately. It’ll also offer you a sense of the price ranges of various hotels you’re interested in.

However, your dream vacation would be incomplete without transportation arrangements within Honolulu. If you’d like to reserve a limo service in Honolulu, you don’t have to look further than Royalty Hawaii. Give us a call at (808) 650-5050 or reserve online today. Be sure to charge it on your rewards card to accumulate more points!

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