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Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard Credit Card Review

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Who Is the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard Good For?

If you want to go to Hawaii with miles, signing up for the Hawaiian Airlines World MasterCard is a good way to get yourself and a companion there quickly. The card not only automatically gives you enough miles for a round-trip flight, but it also includes a certificate and an automatic discount on Hawaiian Airlines award flights.

HawaiianMiles and its credit card are good for much more than just getting you to Hawaii, thanks to the airlines partnership with eight partner airlines, including Virgin Airlines and partners on the mainland and in Asia. In fact, using HawaiianMiles is actually one of the cheapest and best ways to fly Virgin America.

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard was long issued by Bank of America, but is currently transitioning to Barclays in much the same form. If you have the Bank of America version of the card, you will automatically receive a new Barclays card, though not the sign-up bonus, which is reserved for new cardholders.

Sign-Up Bonus:

A 35,000 mile bonus after a $1,000 spend in the first 90 days the account is open is the current offer for the new Barclays version of this card. With the discount on award flights for account holders, this is enough for one round-trip economy seat between Hawaii and the  rest of the U.S.

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

In the past, a 25,000 mile sign-up bonus was standard. New cardholders also receive a one-time 50 percent discount on a round-trip companion ticket valid 13 months from when the account is opened.

Points Earned:

  • 2 miles per dollar on Hawaiian Airlines purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on everything else

What Do Your HawaiianMiles Get You?

Redemptions using HawaiianMiles on Hawaiian Airlines-operated flights are very straightforward, though they can be costly if you don’t snag the lowest redemption level called Coach SuperSaver.

Hawaiian operates three levels of economy award pricing SuperSaver, Saver and Flex and just Saver and Flex options in first/business class.

Saver awards cost a touch more than SuperSaver (usually between one-third and one-fourth more depending on the route), while Flex awards, which do not confer any additional benefits such as American Airlines AAnyTime awards, cost twice the SuperSaver redemption rate.

HawaiianMiles get you flights not only on Hawaiian Airlines, but also on these airline partners:

  • All Nippon Airways
  • American Airlines
  • China Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • JetBlue
  • Virgin America
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

Unfortunately, partner flights cannot be booked online, and each partner airline has its own award chart. Some charts are advantageous, and some aren’t. Its best not to use HawaiianMiles on ANA, American Airlines, Korean Air or JetBlue.

Usage Perks:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free checked bag for the cardholder on flights operated by Hawaiian Airlines
  • 5,000 bonus miles each year with a $10,000 spend
  • $100 discount on one coach companion ticket each year
  • Discounts on award flights
  • Chip technology
  • One-way awards available
  • Low taxes and fees on partner flights
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard usage perks
Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard perks

Usage Quirks:

  • Miles expire after 18 months with no activity on the account
  • Partner award flights cannot be booked online
  • One-way awards are not available through partners
  • Partner awards cannot be priced out unless you have the required miles in your account

How Far Do Your Points Dollars Go?

On Hawaiian, if you use your miles to fly to a neighboring island, you’ll pay 7,500 HawaiianMiles each way for a Coach SuperSaver award. A flight like this in cash, say between Honolulu and Maui, typically costs around $85, so you’re getting around a 1.1-cent value for your HawaiianMiles. Its not great, but its a savings on what you’d pay for that route with other types of miles.

When you use your HawaiianMiles for a long-distance U.S.-to-Hawaii flight, between Washington, D.C. and Honolulu for instance, you get a much better rate for your miles. In low season, this flight costs $850, giving you a 2.4-cent value for your miles, while in high season, when flights are regularly $1,500 per person round-trip, you can get more than a 4-cents-per-mile value.

Additional Cardholder Benefits:

  • Zero liability
  • Identity theft resolution services
  • Price protection
  • Extended warranty
  • World MasterCard Elite concierge services
  • Access to MasterCard airport concierge services
  • MasterCard travel services
  • World Luxury Hotels & Resorts benefits

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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