Hawaiian Airlines Miles transfer to Hilton points at a ratio of one Hawaiian Miles to two Hilton points. This is the same ratio as Virgin Atlantic miles transfer to Hilton points.

While I recommended transferring Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton points–I personally transferred 45,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles to Hilton points last month–because of the huge fuel surcharges imposed on Virgin Atlantic awards, I don’t generally recommend transferring Hawaiian Miles.

Hawaiian Miles are valuable because Hawaiian releases incredible amounts of award space on its flights and flies to more mainland destinations from Hawaii than any other carrier. (American Airlines miles can be used to book flights on Hawaiian, but AAdvantage members don’t have access to anywhere near the space Hawaiian Miles members can access.)

Hawaiian Miles can also be used to get into Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class without huge surcharges.

I haven’t done a complete valuation of Hawaiian miles, but my estimate is 1.5 cents per mile. Generally that makes transferring them to Hilton–even at a 1:2 ratio–a bad deal since Hilton points are worth in the 0.4 cent range.

But these average values don’t tell us anything about the marginal value of a transfer in certain situations like when you’re 15,000 points short of a Hilton AXON redemption. (More on Hilton’s alphabet soup tomorrow.)

A few weeks ago, I was 15,000 Hilton points short of a four-night redemption at the Sydney Hilton for next January. I decided to transfer Hawaiian Miles to Hilton to make the reservation. Here was the process:

On July 30, I transferred 7,500 miles from my sister’s Hawaiian Miles account to my own, which was almost completely empty, using the awesome Share Miles feature I’ve discussed before. Hawaiian is one of the very few airlines that allows free transfers of miles among members’ accounts, as long as the receiver has a Hawaiian Miles credit or debit card.

The transfer between Hawaiian Miles accounts was instant.

I called 877-HA-MILES, where agents only work between 8 AM and 4:30 PM HST. I informed the agent I wanted to transfer 7,500 miles to Hilton, and he informed me that transfers must be in blocks of 5,000. Oops.

I transferred 2,276 more miles from my sister’s Hawaiian account to my mine. Odd-lot transfers are OK between Hawaiian accounts, and this one also posted instantly.

I called back, and I told the agent I wanted to transfer 10,000 miles to Hilton. He took my phone number and said, “Expect a call back from our marketing department within two days.”

Nine minutes later, the marketing department called me.

The marketing department rep took my Hilton number and the exact name on my Hilton account. He told me that it would take 2-4 weeks for the Hilton points to appear.

The next day, July 31, my Hawaiian miles disappeared, leaving me a balance of exactly 0. (No orphaned miles!)

Today, August 11, the Hilton points appeared, 12 days after I initiated the transfer. I received 20,000 Hilton Points for transferring 10,000 Hawaiian Miles.

Recap

Hawaiian Miles like Virgin Atlantic miles transfer to Hilton points at a 1:2 ratio.

To make a transfer from Hawaiian miles, call 877-HA-MILES. The agent will have a member of the marketing department call you back to get your Hilton information.

The transfer will take  “2-4 weeks,” but in my case took 12 days.

Transfers must be made in blocks of 5,000. To get your Hawaiian Miles account to have exactly blocks of 5,000, you can transfer miles between Hawaiian Miles accounts using Hawaiian’s Share Miles feature.

Over 9,500 miles of the 10,000 I transferred had just been transferred into my account within an hour of their transfer out, so there doesn’t appear to be a restriction on how you got the Hawaiian Miles you transfer to Hilton.

 

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