Now that honeymoon planning season is underway, I am usually asked how to best convert points to flights to tropical destinations like Hawaii. As with most point transactions, typically the best method is by transferring or using miles with the airline. This is critical as you usually can gain a multiple on your points by transferring them to an airline partner.
In this example we will assume that the passenger(s) are flying from NYC to Maui.
To get the best conversion we suggest using Singapore Airlines to book a reward flight on United as they are both part of the Star Alliance. Economy will run you 35k points roundtrip compared to $2,090 per ticket on the Chase UR portal or 45k points booking through United directly. This is more or less a 6x multiplier on your points. Not too shabby at all!
How to search for availability
Before transferring points searching for availability is a must. To determine if award seats are available, go to united.com and search for flight as usual. Just be sure to click ‘search for award travel’ before clicking the search button (you may also contact Singapore Airlines at 1 (800) 742-3333 to verify). Once availability is confirmed, you will need to transfer points to your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyers account (if you do not already have SA miles). Simply log into your Chase, Amex, Citi, or SPG account and go to the transfer partners page and follow the directions. Keep in mind, it takes 24 hours typically for points to post when transferring from a portal.
Once the points have posted to the account, call Singapore Airlines at 1 (800) 742-3333 to book the reservation. That is it!
You’re now traveling like a pro, saving thousands of points and dollars by using the most favorable point conversion rate.