Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite® Mastercard Review [2021]: A Dream Vacation Can Be Yours With This Card

Earn valuable Hawaiian Airlines miles to use for travel to one of the most beautiful locations in the world.
Last updated Apr 29, 2021 | By Kevin Payne

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If you’re like many people, you’ve fantasized about a trip to the Hawaiian islands. With near-perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and lush scenery, Hawaii has so much to offer travelers. And one of the best ways to travel to Hawaii is to fly with Hawaiian Airlines.

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite® Mastercard could be your ticket to deeply-discounted travel to this dream locale. With a $99 annual fee, does this card provide enough value to continue using it over the long-term? Let’s take a closer look at its benefits as well as some other, more versatile travel credit cards.

Earn Miles to Fly Hawaiian

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Intro Offer

70,000 bonus miles

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

up to 3X miles

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 70,000 bonus mile sign-up offer
  • Earn 3X miles on Hawaiian Airlines purchases
  • First checked bag free
  • One-time half-off companion discount

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No intro APR for purchases or balance transfers
Card Details
  • Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • 3X miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases; 2X miles on gas, dining, and grocery store purchases; 1X miles on all other purchases

In this Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite® Mastercard review:

Who should get the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite® Mastercard?

If it’s your dream to visit Hawaii, the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite® Mastercard is an excellent way to earn miles to get there. It offers generous rewards on more than just flights, so you can rack up miles quickly to redeem for travel to Hawaii.

Frequent Hawaiian Airlines flyers who have Pualani Platinum & Gold status can take advantage of extra perks like up to $100 a year in credits for in-flight purchases like meals, beverages, and onboard entertainment.

The real value of this card is for people who make more frequent trips to Hawaii, at least once a year. You’ll earn more miles on Hawaiian Airlines purchases than any other spending category.

This card comes with an annual fee of $99. It does offer some travel perks like a free first checked bag on Hawaiian Airlines flights and a $100 companion discount on your cardmember anniversary. However, if you don’t think you’ll use your miles for travel to Hawaii, it might not be the best airline credit card for your needs. In fact, you may be better off with a more versatile rewards credit card that’s not tied to a specific airline.

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite® Mastercard basics

Card type Travel
Card issuer Barclays
Annual fee $99
Intro bonus Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Reward rate 3X miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases; 2X miles on gas, dining, and grocery store purchases; 1X miles on all other purchases
Foreign transaction fee None

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Companion Pass discount: You can get a one-time 50% off companion pass for round trip travel between Hawaii and the Mainland. Plus, you’ll receive a $100 companion discount each year on your card anniversary.
  • Free checked bag: You’ll get your first checked bag free when using your card to purchase eligible Hawaiian Airlines tickets, avoiding costly baggage fees.
  • No caps: There’s no limit to the number of HawaiianMiles you can earn.
  • Miles sharing: Cardmembers can share and receive miles from friends and family without a fee.

Card drawbacks

  • Limited transfer options: While this card is great for travelers who visit the Hawaiian Islands frequently, it’s not your best bet if you prefer to travel elsewhere. Airline transfer options are limited because Hawaiian Airlines isn’t part of the three major airline alliances.
  • Annual fee: If you don’t vacation in Hawaii often and take advantage of the annual companion pass, this card may not be worth its $99 annual fee.
  • Miles can expire: If you don’t purchase anything on your card for 18 months, your account will be rendered inactive and you’ll lose your miles.

Earning & redeeming HawaiianMiles

Best ways to earn

There are multiple ways to earn HawaiianMiles with your Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®. The best way to maximize earnings is through eligible direct eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases, which will earn you 3X miles per dollar spent.

This Mastercard’s earning power doesn’t stop with airline purchases. Cardmembers also earn 2X miles per dollar spent on gas, dining, and grocery store purchases. You’ll add miles quickly by using your card exclusively on these types of purchases. All other purchases will net you 1X miles per dollar spent.

Categories Rewards rate
Eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases 3X
Gas, dining, and grocery store purchases 2X
All other purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

The best use of HawaiianMiles is to fly to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines flights. Redeem miles for main cabin seats on Hawaiian Airlines flights or for upgrades to first or business class.

Flights are the best use of miles but aren’t the only option available. Miles can also go towards hotel stays, hotel and car rental gift certificates, and Hawaiian Airlines’ grocery, dining, and shopping partners. If desired, miles can be shared, gifted, or donated as well.

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® transfer partners

You can redeem your HawaiianMiles for flights on Hawaiian Airlines or its partner airlines. Partner airlines include:

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

If you’d rather redeem your HawaiianMiles for a discounted hotel stay, you can also use them to book with several hotel partners, including:

  • Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
  • Ambassador Hotel Waikiki
  • Kaanapali Beach Club
  • Maui Coast Hotel
  • Pearl Hotel Waikiki
  • Turtle Bay Resort

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® FAQs

How many miles does it take to fly to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines?

Award flights within Hawaii start at 7,500 miles. Flights between Hawaii and the West Coast start at 20,000 and East Coast flights to Hawaii begin at 30,000.

Do Hawaiian Airlines miles expire?

Hawaiian Airlines miles expire after 18 months of inactivity. This can be prevented by using your Hawaiian Airlines WorldElite MasterCard®, shopping with HawaiianMiles partners, purchasing Hawaiian Airlines flights using miles, or making a purchase using the Hawaiian Airlines MileFinder.

How do I redeem HawaiianMiles?

HawaiianMiles can be redeemed online at hawaiianairlines.com or by phone.

Can I use HawaiianMiles on other airlines?

Yes, HawaiianMiles can be used for flights on partner airlines, like JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Korean Air, and Japan Airlines.

Can I Use HawaiianMiles for hotels?

Yes, HawaiianMiles can be used to book rooms at several partner properties.

Other cards to consider

If you’re looking for a more versatile travel rewards credit card with a comparable annual fee, check out the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. It offers more flexibility than the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® because you can transfer your miles to 15 travel partners. Plus, you’ll receive up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck fees, which isn’t a benefit you get with the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®.

The often-overlooked Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is worth considering if you’re concerned about the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®’s annual fee and limited travel redemptions. The Wells Fargo Propel comes with a $0 annual fee; plus, it offers a higher rewards rate in popular spending categories and more flexible travel redemptions.

Earn Miles to Fly Hawaiian

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Special Offer

Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

See how these cards compare:

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • 60,000 bonus mile welcome offer
  • 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
  • 3X points on several popular categories
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction or currency conversion fees
  • Terms apply

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.