Alaska Airlines buys Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 Billion opening up a temporary backdoor to transfer Alaska’s loyalty program

a group of airplanes in the sky

We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as and CardRatings. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit to learn more Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

This was surprising and welcomed news! Alaska Airlines has announced that they will purchase Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 Billion in a mix of cash and debt. The anticipated deal expected to take 12 to 18 months and here are a few key takes from the full press release here

  • Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian will continue to preserve their own brands
    • They will be under one umbrella, but you’ll still see their planes fly independently
  • One loyalty program
    • Ostensibly those with Hawaiian loyalty accounts will ultimately be folded into Alaska Mileage Plan accounts
    • This is very good to Hawaiian loyalists – I value the Alaskan program much more than the Hawaiian one.
  • Alaska will dominate the Hawaii market
  • Flying Hawaiian will soon have One World benefits

a row of seats in an airplane

A temporary window to transfer into Alaska

While it isn’t 100% official that the miles from Hawaiian will transfer 1:1 into Alaska, I suspect that as long as the deal closes, they will. For years, I’ve held the belief that Alaska has some of the most valuable points in the business – they just changed their program and made pricing more expensive, but I still highly value Alaskan Miles. But…you can’t transfer in from any bank program.

Enter…the Hawaiian Airlines Backdoor.

Both Amex and Bilt are transfer partners of Hawaiian ( Bilt even had a 100% bonus to Hawaiian earlier this year ).

  • Ostensibly, you could move points into Hawaiian, with the anticipation of those, at some point in the future, being converted into Alaska miles.

A temporary window to earn more Alaska via Hawaiian credit card

As noted on my Best Offers Spreadsheet – there are currently two awesome offers on Hawaiian Airlines credit cards.

Hawaiian Airlines Personal 65k after 1 purchase in 90 days ( any 6 digit code works )
Hawaiian Airlines Business $99 “70k” 60k after $2k spend in 3mos + 10k after AU makes purchase

There was language in the press release that they will merge under one single credit card. So… I’d guess that these Hawaiian cards will go away and you’ll be left with only Alaska cards to sign up for in the not so distant future. If you nabbed both cards above you’d get 135k Hawaiian/Alaska miles with just $2k spend. Not too shabby!

This is something I did when AA and US Air merged. You could pick up US Airways credit cards ahead of the merger, and since those cards would be discontinued and points combined, you could backdoor yourself into boosting your balances.


Consolidation is usually bad for competition, but Hawaiian has been in trouble for quite some time with a falling stock price, and this will hopefully keep the brand alive. While I’ve never flown Hawaiian, I know many people love it, and they offer some great lie flat options. Additionally, this buyout presents Alaska with some true international capabilities given Hawaiian’s 787-9 wide body purchases. I’m here for this.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

a blue credit card with blue lines and white text

Learn More

Affiliate LInk

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  • JR December 6, 2023

    This is bad advice. The transaction hasn’t closed and needs to clear regulatory approval which won’t be complete for at least the next 12 months.

    • Miles December 7, 2023

      Not advising anyone to do it, just saying should the deal close, it’s highly likely they will be 1:1 and it’s an option if you’d like more “potential” Alaskan Miles.

  • derek December 5, 2023

    There is some risk because the Biden administration generally opposes airline mergers, even JetBlue + Spirit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.