Hawaiian Airlines Business Card Spend Threshold Bonus Worth It?

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Update: This offer for the Barclays Arrival Plus(TM) World Elite Mastercard® is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.


Hawaiian Airlines has offered some reasonably lucrative co-branded credit cards over the years. Up until last year their co-branded credit cards were primarily issued by Bank of America, and then overnight the cards disappeared. Then this year the cards reappeared, except now they’re issued by Barclays.

Hawaiian Airlines Barclays sign-up bonus

The cards offer fairly lucrative sign-up bonuses of 35,000 miles. The personal card offers the bonus after spending $1,000 within 90 days, while the business card offers the bonus after the first purchase. The annual fee on each card is $89, and isn’t waived for the first year.

Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard spend bonuses worth it?

Over the weekend I received an email from a reader asking me about the value of one of the benefits that makes the business card unique.

Specifically, The Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard® offers spend threshold bonuses, whereby you receive:

  • 20,000 bonus miles with $50K-$99K annual spend, or
  • 40,000 bonus miles with $100K or more annual spend

Hawaiian Business Card

Basically that means you can earn up to 1.4 miles per dollar spent, if you’re spending enough on the card and in the right increments.

1.4 miles per dollar on everyday spend sounds like a good return for everyday spend on a fairly low annual fee card, but is it, even if you’re a big credit card spender?

In general I’d say no, and wouldn’t put much spend on this card.

Hawaiian Airlines miles used to be incredibly useful for Virgin Atlantic redemptions, for example. You could redeem 140,000 miles to fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to anywhere in the world without fuel surcharges. So you could book Los Angeles to London to Hong Kong to Sydney and back for 140,000 miles. Then they devalued that award chart overnight, so that’s no longer an option.

Still, there are plenty of decent uses of Hawaiian miles:

  • 125,000 miles for Virgin Atlantic Upper Class between the US east coast and London without fuel surcharges
  • 20,000 miles for Hawaiian Airlines economy one-way between the US mainland and Hawaii
  • 7,500 miles for Hawaiian Airlines economy one-way between the Hawaiian islands

There are some other decent partner redemptions available as well. Even so, I value Hawaiian Airlines miles at maybe 1.2 cents each, so even at 1.4 miles per dollar, that’s only a return of ~1.68 cents per dollar spent.

Meanwhile the Barclays Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® offers a return of ~2.22% towards the cost of travel (2%, plus you get a 10% refund on redemptions), so is a better option even without any threshold bonuses or bonus categories. See my previous post on the cards with the best threshold bonuses for more options.

Decent sign-up bonus, though other Barclays offers to consider as well

In terms of the sign-up bonus, I do think both the personal and business cards are worth considering, especially if you’re someone that has most of the other major cards. If you don’t, there are plenty of other cards to consider first.

Just on the Barclays front, I think both the Barclays Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® and US Airways® Premier World Mastercard® offer more compelling sign-up bonuses and overall value propositions.

Bottom line

Definitely don’t spend $50,000+ on the card, in my opinion. But do consider signing up for the card, if you’ve exhausted most of the other good bonuses out there.


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  1. I am always amazed as to how many referral links you can add in one post. This was on a Hawaiian airlines card yet you were able to add 2 other referral links and link to numerous other posts too. I genuinely think that this is a skill which requires a lot of creativity so well done 🙂

  2. @ Krishan, let’s not complain about the Lucky’s number of links in the article. It’s his job for which he’s getting paid. Besides, as a critical active reader I am the one who choses what to apply for or not. Anyway, we’re still receiving a lot of information from all those articles 🙂

  3. Lucky,

    You write too well to “tweet” your headings. A simple “Is” would have made your title a real question. There are some of us that are used to questions being posed in correct English. (But I still like the text of your writing!)

  4. I believe the readers were promised a post about why you’re keeping the Barclays World Elite card in your wallet after one year, instead of picking up the Fidelity cashback card!

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