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Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard Review

overall rating
3.9

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The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard offers a bonus of 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days of account opening, and 3 miles per dollar spent on Hawaiian Airlines purchases. Unfortunately, the other miles earning rates for purchases aren’t great, and the card also comes with a $99 annual fee.

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

overall rating
3.9
Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®
On Barclaycard's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $99
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3x miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases. 2x miles on gas, dining and grocery store purchases. 1x miles on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard is not one of our top rated airlines credit cards. You can review our list of the best airlines credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard

Pros
  • Decent bonus with manageable spending requirement

  • First checked bag free on eligible flights

  • $100 companion discount annually

  • One-time 50% off companion discount

Cons
  • Miles can expire

  • Poor earning rates on non-Hawaiian Airlines purchases

Pros Explained

  • Decent Bonus with Manageable Spending Requirement: The 50,000 miles bonus requires spending $2,000 in the first 90 days. That’s only $667 per month, which is manageable for many families. Other cards with similar bonuses may require spending $3,000 or $4,000 in the first 90 days.
  • First Checked Bag Free on Eligible Flights: You can check one free bag on Hawaiian Airlines operated flights as the primary cardholder on flights to North America or neighbor island flights. International flights do not qualify. Authorized users do not qualify for this benefit, either. To get the free checked bag, tickets must be purchased directly through Hawaiian Airlines, using your Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard. Your HawaiianMiles account number must also be associated with the reservation prior to check-in.
  • $100 Companion Discount Annually: On each account anniversary, you will receive a companion discount worth $100 off one companion ticket. The discount is good for 12 months from the account anniversary. As long as you use this companion ticket each year, it can justify the $99 annual fee. This discount is valid only on round-trip coach travel between Hawaii and North America that is booked directly with Hawaiian Airlines using the primary cardmember's HawaiianMiles account. The primary cardholder must be one of the passengers, as well.
  • One-Time 50% Off Companion Discount: When you open your account, you’ll receive a one-time 50% discount toward a published full coach fare round-trip flight for a companion. It is good for 13 months from the time the account is opened and subject to the same restrictions as the $100 companion discount mentioned above.

Cons Explained

  • Miles Can Expire: The HawaiianMiles you earn can expire if you have no account activity for 18 months. Many other credit card rewards programs have points or miles that do not expire.
  • Poor Earning Rates on Non-Hawaiian Airline Purchases: Non-Hawaiian Airlines purchases earn at most 2 miles per dollar spent. Other rewards credit cards offer higher rewards values in their bonus and other purchases categories.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Loyalty Status Seeker Persona
    Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
    Loyalty Status Seeker
  • Avatar for Frequent Flyer Persona
    Flies often for business or leisure
    Frequent Flyer
  • Avatar for Frequent Diner Persona
    Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
    Frequent Diner
  • Avatar for International Traveler Persona
    Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
    International Traveler

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard may be a good fit for someone who lives in Hawaii or visits there often and prefers to fly Hawaiian Airlines. The 50,000 miles bonus, one-time 50% off companion discount, and annual $100 companion discount should justify this card's $99 annual fee as long as you can use these benefits before they expire. 

The regular rewards earning rates this card offers aren't amazing. That said, some of its other perks, such as a free checked bag and discounted award flights on Hawaiian Airlines, could be useful for frequent Hawaiian Airlines customers. 

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard Bonus

This card offers a bonus of 50,000 HawaiianMiles for spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of opening your account. This is a decent bonus for a card with an annual fee, but some other cards with similar bonuses waive their annual fee in the first year. 

The miles you earn with the bonus could be used to book four round-trip flights within the Hawaiian Islands or three one-way flights between Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States.

The bonus is only available to first-time primary cardholders with new accounts, and it may take six to eight weeks for the bonus miles to be deposited in your HawaiianMiles account.

Rewards Earning Details

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard allows you to earn 3 HawaiianMiles for every dollar you spend directly with Hawaiian Airlines, except for duty-free purchases made in-flight. You’ll also earn 2 HawaiianMiles per dollar on gas, grocery store, and dining purchases. Unfortunately, Target and Walmart are not included in the definition of grocery stores, and warehouse clubs, drug stores, and discount stores generally do not qualify, either. All other purchases earn 1 HawaiianMile per dollar. Depending on the value you get when you redeem your rewards, a 2% cash-back credit card may be a better option for all non-Hawaiian Airlines purchases after you earn the bonus.

There are no limits on the number of HawaiianMiles you can earn while your account is in good standing. You may not earn miles during a billing cycle if you fail to make the minimum payment by the payment due date, your account becomes delinquent, or your account is otherwise in default. Your miles do not expire as long as you have HawaiianMiles account activity, which is defined as either earnings or redemptions, every 18 months. 

Rewards Redemption Details

HawaiianMiles can be redeemed in many ways, but using them for flights will usually result in the best value. When you redeem your miles for flights on Hawaiian Airlines, the awards start at 7,500 miles for travel within Hawaii and 20,000 miles for flights between Hawaii and the West Coast of the U.S. There are no blackout dates for awards travel on Hawaiian Airlines. 

You can also redeem Hawaiian Miles for flights on partner airlines by calling the HawaiianMiles service center at 877-426-4537. Awards on partner airlines can only be used for round trips and are based on availability, which may be limited. Current partner airlines include:

  • Japan Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Korean Air
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

Other redemption options include hotel stays through the HawaiianMiles booking program, hotel gift certificates through Outrigger/Ohana Hotels, car rental gift certificates, select shopping and dining gift certificates, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, donations, and gifting Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club membership to others.

Transferring Miles

You can transfer your HawaiianMiles to the Hilton Honors program. Each HawaiianMile translates to 1.5 Hilton Honors points. Transfers start at 10,000 miles and must be made in 10,000 miles increments. Miles transfers may take two to four weeks for processing.

You can also transfer your miles to various rewards programs using Points.com. Miles transfer amounts through Points.com will vary.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

As with most programs, maximizing your rewards is a two-part process. First, you need to earn enough HawaiianMiles to redeem. Take advantage of the 50,000 HawaiianMiles bonus by spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. Putting all of your Hawaiian Airlines purchases on your card will earn you an additional 3 miles per dollar. The other spending categories only offer 1 or 2 miles per dollar. You could earn more in these categories with other rewards credit cards.

Once you have enough miles, you should focus on redeeming your rewards to get the most value per mile. Generally, you're best off redeeming your miles for flights.

Average Case

As of Nov. 7, 2019, if you want to fly between Honolulu and Maui, you can buy a round-trip ticket for $150. The same flight would cost you 15,000 miles plus $12 in taxes and fees. In this case, your miles would be worth 0.92 cents each.

Aspirational Case:

As of Nov. 7, 2019, if you save up your points, you could get a round-trip ticket in first class from Honolulu to Los Angeles for 120,000 HawaiianMiles plus $12 in taxes and fees. This ticket would otherwise cost you $1,361.61, so the miles you redeem are worth 1.12 cents each.  

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard's Outstanding Benefits

  • $100 companion discount annually after each account anniversary
  • Discounted flight awards
  • First checked bag free on eligible flights
  • One-time 50% off companion discount

Standard Benefits

  • No blackout dates
  • Send and receive miles from family and friends without a fee
  • Other World Elite Mastercard benefits as detailed in new account materials

Cardholder Experience

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard is issued by Barclays U.S., which scored 806 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. That score is the same as the national issuer average. 

You can contact Barclays U.S. customer service by calling the number on the back of your card, by calling 866-928-8598, or by sending a message through the message center after you log into your online account. Barclays also offers a mobile app.

This card provides a free FICO credit score monthly to help you keep up with your credit.

Security Features

This card is equipped for chip and PIN transactions, which provide added security and can be useful at unattended terminals in foreign countries where no other payment options are accepted. Additionally, you can lock and unlock the card from the bank's app if you temporarily misplace the card but don’t think it has been compromised. 

Our Verdict

If you fly Hawaiian Airlines often and can take advantage of the companion discounts it provides in the first and following years, this card might be a good fit for you. Its other benefits, such as a free checked bag and discounted award flights, could mean some additional savings. 

Unfortunately, this card doesn't offer strong miles earning potential beyond the initial bonus and Hawaiian Airlines purchases. Anyone looking to maximize their credit card rewards could likely find other credit cards with better earning rates and rewards values.

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For Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®
on Barclaycard's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®
overall rating
3.9
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $99
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3x miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases. 2x miles on gas, dining and grocery store purchases. 1x miles on all other purchases.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.