Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® review: Everyday earnings on specific airline travel

A card worth a look for frequent flyers to the Hawaiian islands

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Snapshot

4.2

Bankrate rating
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Bottom line

This niche travel rewards card is geared toward consumers who spend a lot of time flying with Hawaiian Airlines and its travel partners. You’ll have the opportunity to earn travel miles on everyday purchases like gas and eligible grocery store purchases. You’ll get some solid perks via companion passes and a lucrative welcome offer, but these perks do come at a cost with the card’s $99 annual fee.

Barclays Image

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Rewards rate

1X–3X

Annual fee

$99

Intro offer

N/A

Regular APR

15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on your creditworthiness.

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® overview

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard is a Barclays credit card that earns rewards for the Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles loyalty program. If you fly frequently with Hawaiian Airlines, you may also be interested in this credit card offer because of the extra airline perks. If you find yourself flying with Hawaiian at least a few times per year, see if the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard makes sense in your wallet.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • Bonus HawaiianMiles welcome offer is currently worth about $700 in travel
  • Earn miles on everyday purchases including gas, eligible grocery and dining purchases
  • Primary cardholders are eligible for one free checked bag when booking travel with their card

Cons

  • Popular superstores like Walmart and Target are not included in the grocery purchases reward category
  • There is a $99 annual fee on this card, which may not be worth it if you don’t travel with Hawaiian airlines too often
  • No welcome purchase APR or balance transfer offer

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: Earn 3X miles per $1 on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases and 2X miles per $1 on grocery store (excluding Target and Walmart purchases), gas and dining transactions; 1X mile per $1 on all other transactions.
  • Welcome offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Annual fee: $99
  • Purchase intro APR: None
  • Balance transfer intro APR: None
  • Regular APR: 18.24 percent, 22.24 percent or 27.24 percent variable

Current sign-up bonus

Currently, new Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard cardholders can earn 70,000 bonus miles after making $2,000 worth of transactions in the first 90 days of account opening. According to Bankrate’s latest point valuations, HawaiianMiles are valued at 1 cent per point, or just under 1 cent each. At that valuation, the welcome bonus would be worth approximately $700 when redeemed for travel.

Rewards rate

Every dollar spent with the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard earns miles automatically. You’ll also earn points on everyday purchases thanks to bonus categories like gas, dining and eligible grocery store purchases.

How you earn

Cardholders earn 3X miles on eligible purchases with Hawaiian Airlines and 2X miles on grocery store, gas and dining transactions (excluding Target and Walmart purchases). All other transactions earn 1X miles.

You can also get additional bonus points by shopping with participating partners through the HawaiianMiles Marketplace. Finally, you’ll also earn HawaiianMiles through partner airline flights and stays at partner hotels.

How to redeem

To redeem miles for flights on Hawaiian Airlines, log into your HawaiianMiles Account at HawaiianAirlines.com. You can also call 877-426-4537 to redeem miles for a flight booking. You could also redeem your miles for flights on Hawaiian’s partner airlines (JetBlue, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, China Airlines and Virgin Australia).

You may also redeem HawaiianMiles with partners for car rental gift certificates, magazines and more, but these will rarely help you get the maximum value out of your miles.

How much are points worth?

HawaiianMiles are roughly valued at around 1 cent per point. Based on this valuation, the 70,000 bonus mile welcome offer boasts a $700 value, which is significant and could cover at least one round-trip vacation depending on your itinerary. Partner airlines could also help you get more value from your miles via higher transferred point values.

Other cardholder perks

The main benefit of having the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard is how card membership improves your experience with Hawaiian Airlines. In addition to using miles earned to pay for flights with no blackout dates, there are some other Hawaiian Airlines-specific perks that come with the card.

Free checked bag

Cardholders get their first checked bag free on eligible bags when using the card to purchase domestic Hawaiian Airlines flights directly through the airline.

Save on companion tickets and more

Get a one-time, 50 percent-off companion discount for round-trip travel between North America and Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines. Every year, cardholders also get a $100 companion discount for round-trip travel between North America and Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines.

Cardholders could also be eligible for discounted award flights on Hawaiian Airlines.

Free miles transfers

Cardholders can send and receive miles from friends and family through HawaiianAirlines.com without a fee.

No foreign transaction fees

When you fly abroad, you can use this card to make purchases without being hit by foreign transaction fees.

Rates and fees

The variable APR for both purchases and balance transfers with the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard is between 18.24 percent, 22.24 percent and 27.24 percent, based on creditworthiness. The APR for cash advances is a 27.49 percent variable.

The card comes with a $99 annual fee. The balance transfer fee is either 5 percent of the transfer amount or $5, whichever is more. The cash advance fee is either 5 percent of the cash advance amount or $10, whichever is greater. Penalty fees are up to $40 for a late payment or returned payment.

There are no foreign transaction fees with this card.

How the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard compares to other airline credit cards

If you enjoy traveling across more than just a singular airline, you may be better off considering different travel credit cards or airline credit cards. The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard is ideal for loyalists of Hawaiian Airlines and its partners and it’s here where you’ll get the most out of your card. There are still plenty of other notable options to consider when trying to find the best travel card for you.

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The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

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4.2

Annual fee

$99

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

1X–3X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Capital One Image

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

75,000 miles

Rewards rate

2X–5X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Discover Image

Discover it® Miles

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

Discover Match®

Rewards rate

1.5X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers transferrable miles you can redeem with a wider array of airlines, as well as a few hotel partners. For an annual fee of $95, a few dollars shy of the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite’s $99 annual fee, you earn unlimited 2X miles on general spending. The Venture Rewards card also offers a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel. This intro offer beats out the Hawaiian Airlines card once more, but the required spend for the intro offer is a few thousand dollars higher for a $50 increase in value. This difference could be marginal to some, so you may look to other card features to help you choose the best travel card.

One more significant difference between these two cards in particular is the rewards rate. While the highest earning category for the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite is 3X miles and limited to Hawaiian Airlines purchases, the Capital One Venture Rewards card will reward you 5X points on hotels and rental cars you book through the Capital One Travel portal. Both have certain restrictions you must adhere to, but the Capital One Venture Rewards gives you a bit more bang for your buck. Also, the base rewards rate for the Capital One Venture is one point higher than the base rate for the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite, making the Venture Rewards card a bit more lucrative overall. The Capital One Venture Rewards might save you a little more interest if you have to carry a balance, but it’s important to note that neither card has intro APR offers, so carrying a balance on either will be quite expensive.

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard vs. Discover it® Miles

The Discover it Miles is a no-annual-fee option represented among cards with annual fees. Though it charges no annual fee, it’s still a fairly flexible travel card. You exchange the annual fee for a lower, flat-rate rewards rate and no bonus categories, but this might be ideal for someone who doesn’t want a high-maintenance card that requires more strategizing to maximize the rewards. The ongoing APR range is also a bit more forgiving on the Discover it Miles if you have to carry balances. The ongoing APR range starts fairly below the current average credit card interest rate at 14.99 percent variable on the low end and still comes out lower than both the Capital One Venture Rewards and the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite on the high end at 25.99 percent variable. The Discover it Miles also has intro APR offers for both balance transfers and purchases, which could save you even more on interest. These offers are something that’s missing for both the Capital One Venture Rewards and the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite.

There are two sizable drawbacks for the Discover it Miles. The Discover credit card network is not as widely accepted internationally, so this card might not be ideal for travel abroad despite its lack of a foreign transaction fee. Also, the miles you earn with this card cannot be transferred to any partner loyalty programs, which is one of the main perks of the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite.

Depending on what you’re after — no annual fee, flexibility with how you can redeem your miles, a 0 percent introductory purchase APR offer — you may want to consider a few different travel credit cards before landing on a final decision.

Best cards to pair with the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard

If you’re a frequent flyer, you may want to pair your Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard with a no-annual-fee travel card such as the Discover it Miles. You could use the miles you’ve accumulated with a general travel credit card to fly with a much larger array of airlines.

If you predominantly fly Hawaiian Airlines but not too often, you might consider a cash back card to balance out the rewards you’re getting for your purchases. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card has no annual fee and offers 5 percent cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025) and travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, as well as 3 percent cash back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5 percent cash back on general purchases.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard worth it?

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard is only worth it if you fly Hawaiian Airlines at least once a year, maybe more. Since it charges an annual fee, you’ll only see a return if you’re consistently taking advantage of the savings from the checked bag credit and companion discount, or are redeeming enough flights to benefit from this card’s miles rewards structure.

If you don’t fly on Hawaiian Airlines frequently, typically fly alone and can’t take advantage of the companion discounts or simply want more flexibility with who you fly, you may be better off with a general travel credit card. If you’re not a frequent traveler at all, a cash back credit card may be more rewarding.

All information about the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® credit card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.