If we had to say where most of our readers want to go with credit card points and miles, it would be Hawaii. And we get it, Hawaii is a dream destination. We’ve used a fair share of award redemptions ourselves for Maui and Kauai. Which are the best credit cards for a Hawaii trip is a question we are asked all the time! Here are some of our recommendations:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred gets our nod as a primary candidate to get you to Hawaii. We have used Ultimate Rewards to fly there on both United and Southwest Airlines and to stay in Hyatt hotels. Ultimate Rewards are the mainstay of our Hawaii plans and we are always trying to earn more of them. Being able to then get Chase Business Cards is a huge part of this plan too. What we love most about Ultimate Rewards is that they don’t lock us into one type of use – we can use them for select airlines or hotels which gives us a ton of versatility.
If you live near an airport that flies to Hawaii on a Southwest flight, then Southwest is a great choice! If you can get the Southwest Companion Pass, your flights can cost even less as one person will fly for free (minus taxes and fees). This is one of the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii because your luggage flies free too! Alex’s trick to saving on food costs in Hawaii is to pack a suitcase with some snacks for her kids. Check out this post to compare the Southwest credit cards.
The reason we like the United credit cards is that United flies from so many cities to Hawaii. The usual cost in miles is 45,000 miles roundtrip in economy. You can get the United Explorer Card, The United Quest Card, and the United Business card and earn miles for several trips. If you are playing in 2-player mode, your spouse can do the same.
Additionally, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards to United Airlines. I am pretty partial to United because I live near a United hub, though.
The Citi Premier Credit Card is one of our best credit cards to get to Hawaii because these points can be transferred to some airlines for cheap travel.
One way to use your points is to transfer them to Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, meaning you can book flights on United through Turkish. The great news is that a round-trip ticket to Hawaii on Turkish Airlines is just 15,000 points! Sometimes you can book online, but other times it requires calling or emailing Turkish Airlines to book these flights. Check out this post for everything you need to know about booking United flights using Turkish Miles and Smiles. My mom did this, and a few readers have reported to me that they did it as well. It definitely is a little more challenging to book, but if you follow the instructions in that blog post, it shouldn’t be too bad! The same flight would cost 45,00 points on United!
Avianca is a part of the Star Alliance, so you can book their partners, like United Airlines, using your Avianca LifeMiles. I did this one time when flying to Maui. My husband and I each used 22,500 Avianca LifeMiles to book a one-way ticket to Maui on United Airlines.
We love the ease of the Capital One Venture card and the Capital Venture X Card They are perfect everyday spend cards because they earn 2x on all purchases. It is possible to book tickets to Hawaii with these cards and “erase” the purchases with a statement credit.
You could also transfer to British Airways and book an American Airlines flight. You can transfer your Venture miles from your Capital One Venture Credit Cards to British Airways and book a roundtrip flight to Hawaii from the west coast for 26,000! At that price, you could get two roundtrip flights and have points left over! You’d be flying on an American Airlines plane or an Alaska Airlines plane, depending on which city you fly out of. We’ve got a whole blog post about how this works, so check that out for more information.
You could also transfer to Turkish Airlines and book as we talked about above.
The Venture cards are also a great option if you want to book an Airbnb/VRBO for your family. If you want to use your points towards an Airbnb, all you have to do is pay for the stay on your card and then log in to your account and apply your points to “erase” the purchase. It’s super simple!
Our favorite hotels in Hawaii are Hyatt Hotels. You could certainly use Ultimate Rewards transferred to Hyatt to get your lodging, but you might want to get a Hyatt credit card too. Especially because the personal World of Hyatt Credit Card comes with a free night certificate (category 1-4 hotel) on each anniversary. The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card is new and a great option because it has a higher welcome offer but, sadly, no free night certificates.
We have also stayed at several Marriott Hotels when we go to Hawaii, with the Wailea Beach Resort being one of our favorites. You can check out all the current Marriott offers here. Be sure and sign up when they increase their welcome offers (usually 2-3 times a year).
Hilton points aren’t as valuable as Hyatt and some of the others, but there are some nice Hilton options in Hawaii that you can book with points. The Waikoloa Village on the Big Island is one I have heard some great things about! Of course, The Grand Wailea on Maui is another great resort you could visit using points, but it will cost you 95,000 points a night. To see what the current Hilton offers are, you can check out this post.
These are just some of the best credit cards to help you get and stay in Hawaii cheaper. Hawaii is one of our favorite destinations, and we love that we can use credit card points and miles to reduce our costs.
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