Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard from Barclays review

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard from Barclays review

Published: September 6, 2019
Published: September 6, 2019
Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
4 rating
4 rating
4 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.6
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.7
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 3.5

In a Nutshell:

This premium airline card offers a hefty sign-up bonus in the first year and attractive perks, such as a companion discount, but it comes with a high annual fee. This offer is no longer available on our site.

Rewards Rate

  • 3 miles per dollar on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases
  • 2 miles per dollar on gas, dining and grocery store purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases

Sign-up Bonus

  • Limited-time offer: 60,000 miles if you spend $2,000 in first 90 days
  • 50% off a companion ticket for round-trip airfare between Hawaii and North America

Annual Bonus

$100 off a companion ticket for round-trip airfare between Hawaii and North America

Annual Fee
$99

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$724

APR
18.24-27.24% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire as long as card is used every 18 months
  • No blackout dates
  • No round-trip requirements
  • Share miles with family and friends
  • Can transfer miles to Hilton HHonors at 1:1.5 ratio

Cons

  • Limited options for travel outside of Hawaii
  • High award redemption levels on Hawaiian and partner airlines
  • High fees for changes and cancellations

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: $100 off a companion ticket yearly, one-time 50% discount on a companion ticket, highest World Elite Mastercard benefits, concierge service, lost luggage insurance, travel assistance, car rental insurance, VIP events and experiences, discounts on hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, cruises, shopping

If Hawaiian Airlines is your carrier of choice – and especially if you often find yourself boarding its intra-island flights – you will love what this card has to offer. You get a great sign-up bonus, companion ticket discounts, free bag, and other perks that more than offset the annual $99 fee. In addition, Hawaiian Airlines offers a free option to transfer your miles to and from other Hawaiian accounts – an option for which most airlines charge a lot of money.

On the other hand, the earning scheme can only be described as average. Also, the benefits are a bit underwhelming compared to some of the best co-branded airline cards. Most co-branded airline credit cards waive the annual fee for the first year and offer better terms for a free checked bag and/or companion ticket. Most importantly, major U.S. legacy airlines generally offer a better redemption scheme, both for their own flights and those of their partners.

Earn 60,000 miles for a limited time

The card comes with a very generous 60,000-mile sign-up bonus, and the spending threshold is relatively low — you only need to spend $2,000 in the first 90 days to earn the bonus. Since we value Hawaiian Airline miles at around 1.3 cents per mile, this amounts to around $780 in airfare — enough to cover the cheapest SuperSaver ticket from the continental U.S. to Hawaii, and it can take you even further if you use it to travel between the islands. Now is a great time to sign up for the card, since this is higher than the card’s typical offer, which ranges between 35,000 and 50,000 miles.

Fair earning scheme

Though not the best earning rate on an airline card, the Hawaii Airlines card makes it pretty easy for users to rack up miles. You’ll earn 3 miles per dollar on Hawaiian Airlines purchases, 2 miles per dollar on gas, dining and grocery store purchases and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases. The biggest upside here is that you can earn good miles on the purchases you make every day — rather than just flights.

Limited redemption options

The largest drawback of the card is that, outside of a smattering of hotel and merchandise options, miles are only good for travel on Hawaiian Airlines or one of its six partners. The geographic range of this airline network is limited and is mostly designed for travel to and from the Hawaiian islands. If you are not a frequent visitor to Hawaii, you will find limited benefit in this card.

High interest rate

Do not apply for this card if you intend to carry a balance. The APR starts at 18.24 percent (variable) for people with good credit and goes up to 27.24 percent (variable). Compared to other rewards cards – which already to tend to charge a high interest rate – that’s really high.

Share miles for free with friends and family

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard holders can transfer Hawaiian miles to and from the frequent flier accounts of friends and family members free of charge. This is a great benefit, as most airline frequent flier programs charge some serious fees for the privilege.

50 percent off and $100 off companion discounts

One of the most valuable of the card’s benefits is a one-time 50 percent discount on a companion ticket. If you are flying to Hawaii with a partner, you can easily save up to $350. The card also offers $100 off companion discount once per year upon your anniversary as a cardholder. This discount is also valid for all published coach bucket fares.

Great travel benefits

In addition to the companion discounts mentioned above, card members also receive a free checked bag on Hawaiian Airlines flights. The card also comes with some other useful benefits, such as car rental insurance and concierge service. You can freely use the card when you’re abroad, since it doesn’t charge the typical 2 to 4 percent fee for foreign transactions.

Why get the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard?

  • You fly a lot on Hawaiian Airlines or travel frequently to Hawaii.
  • You value perks like the 50 percent off companion discount, $100 off a companion ticket, and a free checked bag.

How to use the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard:

  • Pay cash for cheap flights, redeem miles for expensive flights.
  • Use the 50 percent off companion discount for an expensive flight, use the $100 off for a cheap flight.

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