3-Easy Steps To Book a Family Trip to Hawaii Using Just Points

When it comes to any vacation analyzing which points to use and how is always a pain.

So, when Rewardopoly representatives created an itinerary to Hawaii for a family of four, using just points, we thought we’d share the process — so you can focus on your vacation and not the agitation. 

Step 1 – Search for your preferred itinerary.

We like using Kayak because Kayak allows us to search for flights within the same coalition, read more about it in our post, “Kayak Releases New Tool That Will Help Strategize Your Travel Rewards. ” This tool is important because if someone has points spread out between multiple airline carriers — identifying which points belong to the same network can be useful. 

REWARDOPOLY HINT – having some flexibility in your travel itinerary will be beneficial because you might be able to reduce the amount of points you use depending on what times or days you travel.  

Step 2 – Do you have any existing points that you can use towards your preferred itinerary? 

REWARDOPOLY HINTif you do have flexibility in your itinerary we suggest going with the flight carriers where you have points and looking at flights with stop-overs or longer layovers which sometimes can use less points.    

The family’s preferred flight itineraries included non-stop American Airline flights. One leg departing on a Wednesday from LAX to Kona (KOA) and the second returning on a Tuesday from KOA to LAX.  

This family had points with (1) Air France Account, (2) American Airline Accounts and (1) Virgin America account which happen to be part of the Virgin America & Alaska Airline Partnerships.

We analyzed how many miles it would cost using each of their respective accounts.    

LAX → KOA (one-way)

  • 40,000 American Airline Miles
  • Air France no award availability on preferred dates
    • 15,000 Air France miles if you depart on a Sunday  
  • 30,000 Virgin/Alaska Miles          

KOA → LAX (one-way)

  • 40,000 American Airline Miles
  • Air France no award availability on preferred dates
    • 15,000 Air France miles if you depart on a Thursday
  • 30,000 Virgin/Alaska Miles
    • 17,500 Virgin/Alaska Miles if you depart on a Thursday

Step 3 – Determine the best strategy.

The REWARDOPLY DISCOVERY = The family didn’t have enough points for any legs using their individual portfolio of reward accounts (neither one-ways or round-trips) so we took the next step in strategizing their points and ask ourselves these questions:

1. What’s the cost to combine American Airline Miles? American Airlines has a feature where you can “ShareMiles” but it would cost $0.0125 per mile and to get up to the 40,000 miles that is needed for a one-way ticket would cost $270.60

2. Can you transfer Air France Miles to Virgin or Alaska and what’s the cost? No. You can only transfer to other Flying Blue Members (the Air France loyalty platform).

3. Can we use credit card points? Yes. We analyzed the point redemption cost for each leg of the itinerary as a one-way and a round-trip and you end up using less points redeeming the itinerary as a round-trip.

  • LAX → KOA (one-way)
    • 33,520 American Express Points
  • KOA → LAX (one-way)
    • 45,620 American Express Points
  • LAX → KOA and KOA → LAX (round-trip)
    • 72,740 American Express Points

The family desired to save out-of-pocket monies for this family trip and analyzing their portfolio of rewards was the best strategy to fulfill their request.

The final outcome we purchased 4 round-trip tickets using 290,000 American Express Points. Now that’s a “rewarding” vacation.

Still sounds like much? Let us strategize by clicking here. While you capitalize. 


Rewardopoly, Monopolize Your Rewards  


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