Award Challenge: How to Get A Trip to Hawaii For Less Than $20

Welcome to another edition of travel award. I will be heading out to Oahu for a wedding and I will show you how I booked an award travel for 1 individual for less than $20. You can duplicate this for your own award trip and it can be done from other west coast airports to Hawaii.

Itinerary overview:
Outbound route: SJC – HNL (Alaska Airlines)
Inbound route: HNL – SJC (Alaska Airlines)
Hotel: Hyatt Place Waikiki (4 nights)

Alaska Air

Alaska Air is a partner of British Airways

 

Airfare: Alaska Airlines
Route: SJC – HNL
Retail Cost: $644 round-trip (Expensive since this was during mid march and a non-stop flight)
Out-of-Pocket Cost: 25,000 British Airways Avios + $19.20 (Round-trip)

Recommended Card
Points Earning: British Airways Visa Card

  1. Sign up Bonus: 50,000 Avios points after meeting $2,000 within 3 months.

Alternatives
Points Earning: Chase Sapphire Preferred

  1. Sign up Bonus: 40,000 Chase UR points after meeting $4,000 within 3 months + 5,000 bonus for adding an authorize user.

Points Earning: Chase Ink Plus

  1. Sign up Bonus: 50,000 hase UR points after meeting $5,000 within 3 months.

By getting just the British Airways card. The sign up bonus is already good enough for two round-trip flights from the west coast region. I would like to remind you again that this route doesn’t necessarily have to originate in San Jose. Since the BA avios rewards chart is a distance-based chart. It can originate anywhere in West Coast region that falls in the tier of less than 3,000 flight distance miles. Additionally, this will need to be a hub for Oneworld airlines or Alaska Airlines and has a direct flight to Hawaiii. The reason why you can’t have a connecting route here is because you’ll have to pay per segment. Some great locations you can fly directly from the west coast are Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

West Coast Airports that fly directly to Hawaii

Only 12,500 Avios needed for one way flights to Hawaii

You may notice when trying to book most of these flights that you don’t see availability on British Airways. The reason why is because a majority of them will need to fly on Alaska Airline. Which is a partner airline of British Airways. So you will need to search availability on Alaska Air website then call British Airways and book the flight over the phone.

Hotel: Hyatt Place Waikiki
Retail Cost: $940 ($235 per night)
Out-of-Pocket Cost: 48,000 Hyatt Points (12,000 per night)

Recommended Cards
Points Earning: Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP)

  1. Sign up Bonus: 40,000 sign-up bonus after meeting $4,000 within 3 months + 5,000 bonus for adding an authorize user

Points Earning: Chase Ink Plus

  1. Ink Plus – 50,000 sign-up bonus after meeting $5,000 within 3 months.

You don’t necessarily have to choose Hyatt Place. There are other hotels such as the Hyatt Regency Waikiki (20,000 points a night), JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort & Spa (40,000 points per night), Marriott Courtyard Waikiki Beach (35,000 points per night). However, the Hyatt Place you get to stretch your points so you can have more nights to stay. It all depends on your preference. I personally would rather stretch my points out since I rarely will be staying in the hotel anyways. 

Results:

Grand Total Retail Cost: $1,584 ($644 Airfare, $940 Hotel)
Out-of-Pocket Cost: 25,000 BA Avios + 48,000 Chase UR Points + $19.20 cash
Savings: Over $1,564!

Let me know if you have a travel destination in mind and would like me to do an award challenge to see what is your best and cheapest options on getting there.

Jon Jovi

Jon Jovi Olaveja is the founder and editor in chief of Points of Early Retirement. He is passionate about saving money by traveling the world on points and teaching others how to accomplish this. He loves to write about travel and personal finance.

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  • Samanthatmly

    Award challenge: Japan! Like me, you must know of others who want to head to japan, especially for the Spring!

    Sent from my phone, please excuse any brevity

    >

    • Looking forward to that.@Grant- Transferring UR pniots to Southwest, BA or United at a 1:1 ratio could be a great deal since you could book flights higher than the 1 cent per point value of the UR point if you redeem for cash back. With the Sapphire Preferred you get a 1.25 cent value when redeeming for flights through the Ultimate Rewards portal which is different from transferring to an airline partner.@Mo Karney You also have to factor in a $250 fuel surcharge per leg so ~$1,000 for a coach redemption to India if you use Avios pniots which doesn’t make this such a good deal in coach. I suggest using United.com to see if there are any flights to India for 80K miles roundtrip in coach.

  • Very nice!

    • Add me to those whose UA transfers do not show up intntasly. The first time I did it a month ago, the points took an overnight for the points to show up. Subsequently 2 more transfers yielded 2 different experiences first one it was instant like it should have been, second one the total of UA balance on the front page reflected the points coming in, but the activity details did not show it and the detailed account page total did NOT include the points coming in. It took a few hours for the activity page to update and the total on the detailed page changed to match the total on the front page.Tonight I did a 1K to test and it was instant. Then I thought it was good to go to transfer a 12K amount and it hit the glitch like before the front page total reflected the 12K coming in, but the activity page as well as the detailed page did not show the 12K. Hopefully it would be like last time that it would self-correct itself in a few hours time. Why it would behave in such peculiar way, especially after a successful test? This is truly frustrating.