|Kauai, Hawaii Coast, photo by Andrew Ingersoll|
This week I thought I found another great award redemption, then I hit a brick wall. I’m hoping some of you may be able to provide some insight.
In my last credit card batch of credit card applications, I received the Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines card (35,000 bonus frequent flier miles) in addition to the Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines card (also 35,000 bonus). I made my minimum spends on both of them and now have more than 70,000 miles in my newly created account.
The award table for partner airlines on the Hawaiian Air website is HERE. What struck my interest was a round-trip coach ticket between mainland US and anywhere serviced by Virgin Atlantic for 70,000 miles.
Virgin Atlantic flies daily from Sydney to Hong Kong, then continues on to London Heathrow as Flight 201. The return to Sydney from London is Flight 200, again via Hong Kong.
|Overwater Fishing Village, Lamma Island, Hong Kong, photo by Andrew|
What I wanted to know was: Could I use my Hawaiian Airline miles to fly from Sydney to New York via Hong Kong and London for the 70,000 miles as stated on the Hawaiian Air website? Or alternatively, and importantly, could my father, mother, brother, sister, friends, or whoever fly from any of Virgin Atlantic’s US cities to Sydney for 70,000 miles (Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, or Washington DC). I also wanted to know if such an award allowed for a stop-over in either London or Hong Kong.
So I rang the Hawaiian Airline Miles number and made my inquiries. Disappointingly, I received this response: “Virgin Atlantic has not provided us with this as a schedule for use with Hawaiian Airlines miles.” I was a bit confused as to what the agent meant by the word “schedule.” “Route” would make more sense. I asked about Sydney to New York and vice versa and received the same “computer says no” response.
Hawaiian made it seem as Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin group were not providing Hawaiian with seats for redemption. Or, really, was Hawaiian advertising an award redemption option that is not possible?
So my appeal to you, the readers, is this: What sort of luck have you had in redeeming Hawaiian Airlines Miles on Virgin Atlantic?
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49