The Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard® is not one of our top-rated business credit cards. You can review our list of the best business credit cards for what we think are better options.
Full Review of Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard
Lucrative, easily earned one-time offers
Solid miles rewards
One-time 50% discount on a companion fare
$99 annual fee
No travel benefits
- Lucrative, Easily Earned One-Time Miles Offers: This card’s one-time offers provide a lot for relatively little. Your business earns 60,000 bonus miles for by spending $1,000 within the first three months with the card. That contrasts with the $3,000 or more in spending required by most other cards that offer bonuses of a similar size. A further 10,000 miles is awarded if an initial purchase is made on an employee card.
- Solid Miles Rewards: With each Hawaiian Air mile worth 1.26 cents when redeemed for flights based on our research, you earn a respectable 3.8 cents per dollar or so for purchases from Hawaiian and a decent 2.5 cents or so on gas, dining, and office supplies. The single mile per dollar earned on all other purchases is unremarkable, but businesses that spend heavily on the card may want to run up miscellaneous spending in order to reach one of the annual spending bonuses. Charging $50,000 earns you 20,000 bonus miles, and reaching $100,000 gives you a further 20,000 miles.
- One-Time 50% Discount on a Companion Fare: It isn’t the full companion ticket that some other airline cards offer as bonuses, but the Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard’s one-time 50% off discount on a companion round-trip coach travel between Hawaii and mainland North America is still a plus. Nothing special is required to qualify; this card benefit is included automatically. You will, however, have to pay for your own ticket, rather than acquiring it with miles, and cover the full taxes and fees for the companion ticket.
- No Travel Benefits: Relatively rare is the airline card that provides no benefits at all when you fly its carrier, but the Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard is among that group. It provides none of the niceties of some other airline cards, such as free checked bags and priority boarding. Nor does the card provide any common general travel benefits such as insurance on your trip against baggage loss and trip interruption, or on rental cars you might charge to it.
- $99 Annual Fee: There are plenty of pricier airline cards out there, but the annual fee for the Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard is still a drawback. After the first year and its valuable bonuses, you’d need to spend at least $2,605 a year with the card—and that’s on flights, which have the highest rewards rate—in order to fully justify the annual fee. And, as noted, the card has no travel benefits to help justify paying its cost.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Flies often for business or leisure
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
Earning a primary or side income from a small business
The Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard is best suited to businesses whose employees frequently travel to and from Hawaii—or make a number of intra-island flights. Since it offers no benefits, the card makes sense only if your business earns enough in rewards to justify most or all of the $99 annual fee. Achieving that goal would require charging an average of $217 or so in Hawaiian flights to the card every month, or about $330 in gas, dining, and office supplies. Businesses who travel a lot to the Aloha State may, of course, may already be spending that much and more. In fact, if annual credit-card charges routinely run to the mid- to upper- five figures in dollars, the Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard might be suitable as your main business credit card.That’s because those spending levels trigger miles bonuses that make the card’s rewards even more solid. The 20,000-miles bonuses at both $50,000 and $100,000 in annual spending essentially add about $250 apiece in annual value to the card.
Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard's One-Time Offers
This card offers up to 70,000 bonus miles, provided you meet two conditions.
First, you must spend at least $1,000 in the first 90 days to receive 60,000 bonus miles. To get the remaining 10,000 bonus miles, you must add an employee card to the account and record at least one purchase with that card in the first 90 days.
The miles are valued at 1.26 cents each when used for air travel, according to our valuations. That means the 70,000 bonus miles would be worth about $882 in award-flight credits.
Rewards Earning Details
There are a number of ways to earn rewards when making purchases with the Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard.
First, you earn three miles per dollar on Hawaiian Airlines purchases. Next, you can earn two miles per dollar at gas stations, office supply stores, and restaurants. You can earn one mile per dollar on all other purchases. You can sometimes beat the rates above by shopping at the HawaiianMiles Marketplace online. Some of the partners—which include hotels, gas stations, restaurants and major retailers—offer deals that allow you to bonus miles on your purchases.
Miles are unlimited, so the more you spend, the more you can earn. And spending more with this card each year is a good thing if you want to qualify for the 20,000-mile bonuses that kick in at $50,000 and $100,000 in annual spending.
Rewards Redemption Details
There are numerous ways to redeem miles earned with this card. For instance, you can redeem them for:
- Award flights aboard Hawaiian Airlines
- Flights with Hawaiian Airlines travel partners
- Hotels and rental cars with Hawaiian travel partners
- Charitable donations
- Shopping and dining
Generally, you'll get the most value from your miles when you use them for award travel with Hawaiian Airlines, where we estimate their value at 1.26 cents each. The points required for return awards flights in the main cabin from the U.S. range (according to availability and with discounts) from 35,000 to 180,000 miles from the west coast, or from 53,500 to 260,000 miles from eastern cities.
In addition to flights to and from the U.S, miles can be used for flights between Hawaiian islands and to:
- New Zealand
- Pago Pago and Papeete
Generally, you'll need the least amount of miles if you want island hop from one part of Hawaii to another. For example, you can book a Main Cabin flight between islands for as little as 7,500 miles.
The more far-flung your destination is from Hawaii, the more miles you'll need for an award flight. You'll need at least 40,000 miles for a Main Cabin fare to Japan, Korea, Australia or New Zealand. Study Hawaiian's award chart to see how many miles you'll need to book a flight.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Making the most of the Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard begins with ensuring you spend the required $1,000 within your first 90 days, and earn the card’s hefty 60,000-mile one-time offer. In addition, unless you’re a solo entrepreneur, consider adding at least one employee card and have that person use it once, to earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles. After that, this card’s rewards earnings are determined by how much you spend, and on what. It makes sense to charge at least all Hawaiian Air flights to the card, since it’s unlikely any other card will offer better rewards on those purchases. But beyond those, you may want to be more selective in how much you use this card, as these two reward scenarios highlight. (Our calculations do not include the value of the card’s one-time offers.)
Assume that you and one employee each takes two business trips each to Hawaii every year, spending an annual total of $5,000 with Hawaiian Airlines. With 3 miles per dollar spent in rewards, those ticket purchases earn you 15,000 miles. You also spend $10,000 on gas, dining, and office supplies, which yields a further 20,000 miles at the 2-miles-per dollar rate.
Altogether, you'd earn 35,000 miles. At our estimated value of 1.27 cents per mile, those miles would be worth an estimated $445.
This assumes that you and your employees make three times as many trips to Hawaii as our average Aloha-traveling enterprise. That spending, of $15,000 a year on Hawaiian Airlines purchases, would earn 45,000 points (at the 3-miles-per-dollar-spent rate). It further assumes that you use the Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard for a host of other business spending. You charge $20,000 a year on gas, office supplies, and dining expenses, which yields another 30,000 rewards miles. You also spend $15,000 annually on miscellaneous business purchases, for an additional 15,000 points.
In total, then, this is the spending/mileage your business would earn:
- $15,000/45,000 miles for Hawaiian Air purchases
- $20,000/40,000 miles for purchases of gas, office supplies, and dining
- $15,000/15,000 miles for miscellaneous purchases
At $50,000 in charges within the year, the business would also qualify for a bonus for spending at least that much within a year. The grand total: 120,000 miles, comprising 100,000 points from spending plus the 20,000-mile spending bonus. In all, those miles would be worth about $1,524 when used for Hawaiian Air flights. Put in different terms, those miles could allow you to receive two roundtrip flights between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, if you manage to grab some of the cheaper discounted awards seats.
- Chip technology
- Share miles with friends and family without a fee
- Complimentary employee cards
- Expense tracking controls
The Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard is issued by Barclays, which received a rating of 796 in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. That’s below the segment average of 810.
If you need help with your account you can call or write customer support. Account management can be done online or through the Barclays app.
Barclays keeps your card secure by including chip technology. You can also set up alerts to monitor your account activity for suspicious transactions.
The Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard is an undeniable value for its first year, thanks to generous one-time offers. Those bonuses alone might provide miles sufficient to earn a return economy flight from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii. After that honeymoon period, though, the card’s appeal may drop for many business owners. The card is a little light, to say the least, on travel benefits. Further, unless you travel a lot to Hawaii on business, or want to use the Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard as a main business credit card, you might not spend enough with the card for its rewards’ value to justify its $99 annual fee. And the card’s ongoing bonus opportunity—a 50% bonus voucher for a companion fare—requires spending by the cardholder, since he or she can’t use miles to acquire the ticket to accompany their companion.
Bottom line: Even some businesses whose employees travel occasionally to Hawaii might want to forgo this card. A general business travel-rewards card might be a better choice for such companies.