Picture courtesy of vacationsintahiti.blogspot.com
There is an interesting option to get from the US West Coast (East Coast works as well for more mileage) to get to Tahiti for just 37,000 AMEX Rewards Points. This number includes making use of the transfer bonuses that American Express runs.
Travel will be made out of 2 awards in Economy – each for 25,000 miles and minimal fuel surcharges.
1) Use 25,000 BA Avios to travel on Alaska or American Airlines to Honolulu
British Airways has a distance based award chart. Thankfully awards from the West Coast on their partner Alaska Airlines or for direct flights from the West Coast cost just 25,000 Avios plus minimal fees (often less than $10).
To look up availability use aa.com or the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan website. Note that all flights avaable on 'Saver' level should be accessible to BA.
You can spend as much time in Honolulu as you like. Scott would call it two free one-ways 🙂
2) Use 25,000 Virgin America Elevate points to travel to Tahiti (PPT) from Honolulu
Hawaiian Airlines flies every Saturday (and only Saturday) to and back from Papeete (PPT). Availability is pretty good in Economy.
Virgin America charges 25,000 miles + $54 for the Round Trip.
3) Why is this good value?
In the 'worst case' you'll pay 50,000 AMEX membership rewards points for this trip. American Express frequently runs bonus transfer options for both programs. In fact there were times when the Avios bonus was continuous.
Here's what other programs charge for the Round Trip in Economy:
United Mileage Plus – 70,000 (but almost no availability on partner Air New Zealand)
AAdvantage 75,000 miles
Delta Skymiles 100,000 miles
Alaska Airlines Mileage – 80,000 miles
American Express Rewards Points only transfer to DeltaSkymiles on a 1:1 basis.
It's a great option to use your AMEX points and to see Tahiti while you are on a long vacation in Honolulu.