New Hawaiian Airlines Card Sign-Up Bonus & Benefits

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Link: The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Up until last year Hawaiian Airlines’ co-branded credit card was issued by Bank of America. Then oddly overnight the card disappeared, and for several months Hawaiian was left without a co-branded card.

Well, it appears the reason for the sudden disappearance is that Hawaiian Airlines instead decided to have their card issued by Barclays, and it recently entered the market.

Hawaiian Miles Credit Card

Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard Sign-Up Bonus

You earn 35,000 HawaiianMiles after spending $1,000 on the card within 90 days. Furthermore, upon account approval you receive a 50% companion discount for roundtrip revenue travel between Hawaii and the lower 48.

That’s not a mega sign-up bonus like we’re seeing on some other cards right now, though at the same time the minimum spend required is fairly low. Holders of a HawaiianMiles credit card also receive 5,000 miles off roundtrip award fares between North America and Hawaii, so this offer would actually give you enough points for a roundtrip economy ticket at the SuperSaver level.

The annual fee on the card is $89, and not waived for the first year.

Hawaiian Airlines Mileage Earnings Rates

The Hawaiian credit card offers 2x miles per dollar spent directly on Hawaiian Airlines purchases, and 1x mile per dollar spent on everything else. For everyday spend it’s not the most compelling card either, compared to cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example.

However, HawaiianMiles has quite a few shopping and restaurant partners in Hawaii, along with a handful in the continental US, so there is some potential for bonus points if you frequent those retailers.

Hawaiian Airlines Mileage Benefits & Perks

The card offers a few perks and other benefits:

  • Complimentary checked bag for the primary cardmember when you use your card to purchase eligible tickets directly from Hawaiian Airlines
  • Get $100 off a companion ticket for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and North America at each account anniversary
  • Earn 5,000 annual bonus miles after $10,000 in annual spend
  • No foreign transaction fees

Now unless you’re actually a Hawaiian frequent flyer, the perks aren’t all that useful. The complimentary checked bag is of course nice. And the $100 off a companion ticket is nice as well, but hardly as lucrative as some of the other credit card “companion” discounts/tickets out there.

I don’t think it’s worth putting $10,000 of spend on the card to earn 5,000 bonus miles, meaning you’re basically earning 1.5 miles per dollar for the first $10,000 spent. Ultimately I think there are better threshold bonuses out there and more valuable points to accrue.

The waived foreign transaction fees are nice, but as I said above, this isn’t a card I would be putting a ton of spend on.

Hawaiian Airlines Award Charts

Hawaiian has several airline partners, some of which offer pretty good redemption values. Here are their award charts:

Hawaiian’s airline partners are as follows:

All Nippon AirwaysChina AirlinesVirgin America
American AirlinesJetBlueVirgin Atlantic

What’s interesting is that Hawaiian’s award charts for travel on partner airlines are structured differently — redemption costs on some carriers are zone based, while they’re distance based for others.

Hawaiian Share Miles Option

One of the unique aspects of Hawaiian’s program is that they let you share miles for free between accounts. This is only valid for those with their co-branded credit card, and you can only do it 10 times per calendar year. But this is great, since it means if you have multiple people sign up for the credit card (be it friends or family) you can pool all the miles towards a single award.


The best uses of Hawaiian Airlines miles

As I said above, Hawaiian has six airline partners, though I’ll just touch on what I consider to be the best redemptions:

  • Inter-Island economy one-way award ticket: 7,500 miles
  • Lower 48 to Hawaii economy one-way award ticket: 20,000 miles
  • Lower 48 to Hawaii first class one-way award ticket: 40,000 miles
  • East Coast to UK in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class: 125,000 miles

The Virgin Atlantic redemption rates might sound high, but it’s worth noting that Hawaiian is the only airline which doesn’t impose fuel surcharges for award travel on Virgin Atlantic and has access to all their award space (Delta also doesn’t impose fuel surcharges for travel on Virgin Atlantic, but only has access to a subset of their award space).


Comparing the The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® to the Barclays Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®

I’ve written in the past about the Barclays Arrival, which I consider to be one of the most rewarding credit cards for everyday spend. The sign-up bonus is worth ~$440 towards the cost of travel, while you earn ~2.2% cashback towards travel for everyday spend, which is an overall value proposition that’s tough to beat.

If I could only have one Barclays product I would choose the Arrival Card, but the Hawaiian Card is certainly a nice option for someone that already has the Arrival Card and is looking for another nice sign-up bonus from Barclays. It’s worth noting that while the annual fee is waived for the first year on the Arrival Card, it isn’t on the Hawaiian Card.

If you already have a Hawaiian Airlines Classic, Signature, or Platinum Visa:

Existing HawaiianMiles cards issued by Bank of America will automatically be converted to the new The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®, issued by Barclays, in April of 2014.

However, you won’t receive the sign-up bonus on the Barclays if your account is converted.

If you currently have a HawaiianMiles card, I would probably go ahead and apply for the the new Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® now, especially if you are a Hawaiian flyer, and are using the other card benefits.

Bottom line

This isn’t a “must have” card or the biggest sign-up bonus ever.

While I wouldn’t use this card for everyday spend, I do think this card has some valuable award redemption opportunities, and the ability to share miles is especially valuable if you’re eying a first or business class award redemption on a partner airline.

Ultimately my favorite Barclays product remains the Barclays Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®, given both the ~$440 sign-up bonus (good towards travel) plus the amazing ~2.2% return on everyday spend.

Link: The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

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  1. so one-way awards are allowed on Virgin Atlantic?
    LHR-SYD for 80k in biz is not terrible… sans the surcharges.

  2. DL also doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on VS award redemptions, though it might be more accurate to say that HA is the only airline that doesn’t impose fuel surcharges and also (apparently) has access to the same award inventory that VS makes available to their own members.

  3. You also get reduced awards in coach from the mainland to Hawaii. So, the 20k level if available is 17.5k. You also get a discount on the two higher tiers if saver is not available,

  4. @ Tony — Sorry, that’s not something I’ve heard of. Do you have a link to that, by chance? Or are you referring to Hilton transfers?

  5. By the way — one more point to add to try to get Lucky some referral credit. As far as I know, this is the only mass market rewards card issued by any of the major banks that has true chip and pin capability. It uses chip and signature as the primary method, but will revert to chip and pin, so it has more functionality than all the chip and sig cards, with no pin back up, issued by all the other US issuers like chase, amex, citi. Also, it has no forex fee. So, it’s every bit as good as some of the credit union cards, like Andrews, etc., that people are getting to have chip and pin. It is not quite as good as the very small handful of cards that have true chip and pin as the primary verification method, like USAA, but if you don’t have access to one of those cards, this is a great second choice.

  6. Does the “Share Miles” program include the new Business credit card too? That would make it even more desirable as a couple with one business could earn 105,000 Hawaiian miles with a very small spend. If it applies to the new Business credit card too, Lucky, can you post a link for us? Thanks a bunch

  7. @Lucky – Just found (1) new Transfer Miles to Hilton start at 10,000 mile increments and the ratio was reduced from 1:2 to 1:1.5 Hilton points. Also (2) under “Share Miles” tab, Hawaiian Airlines business Mastercard cardholders are included in share, but not cardholders with the Hawaiian Airlines corporate/business check card, who are ineligible.

  8. For current HA card holders I wonder how this new barclays card will be reported to our credit report. Do you think it will be a new credit line from Barclays ? And the current card reported by FIA CS will be a closed account. what do you think?

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