British Airways has a loyalty program with a lot of high value awards available to Americans. One of my favorites is that for only 25,000 Avios + $5 roundtrip, you can book direct flights from the west coast to Hawaii on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines flights.
This deal featured prominently on my list of the Cheapest Ways to Get to Hawaii.
LAX-HNL for 25k miles roundtrip per person
But even with such a cheap miles price to Hawaii, it may be a better deal to use Arrival miles from the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases to get to Hawaii.
The Arrival World MasterCard comes with a 40,000 mile sign up bonus after spending $1k on the card in the first 90 days. Arrival miles can be redeemed for literally any flight on any airline with no blackout dates (in addition to any hotel or car rental) at a rate of 1 cent per Arrival mile.
That means a $400 ticket would cost 40k Arrival miles.
But cardholders receive a 10% rebate on the miles used for each travel redemption, so on that 40k mile redemption, you’d get 4k Arrival miles back in your account, for a net outlay of 36k Arrival miles for a $400 ticket. This is why I value Arrival miles at 1.11 cents each.
Furthermore, since you buy the ticket with your Arrival World MasterCard (and then go online to redeem miles to remove the charge), the airline treats the flights like paid tickets, which means you earn miles and status on the flights. On a roundtrip from Los Angeles to Honolulu, this would be about 5,100 redeemable and status miles, which combined would be worth well over $100 to me.
If this sounds like a complicated list of things to take into account, I’ll break it down to a simple calculation you can do on your phone with a few taps.
When should you use Arrival miles and when should you use Avios to get to Hawaii?