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The Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard®
is a credit card that offers benefits that easily justify the $99 annual fee for someone who takes at least one trip on Hawaiian Airlines annually. It’s especially handy for couples traveling together. But if you never fly on Hawaiian Airlines planes, there are better options.
The Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard® rarely makes anyone’s list of the best airline credit cards. But that doesn’t mean the card is a slouch.
It comes with a combination of useful benefits that you won’t find on nearly any other credit card. If you fly Hawaiian Airlines even once per year, this card could make plenty of sense.
First, the card comes with 60,000 bonus HawaiianMiles after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening. Along with that, you’ll also receive a single-use companion discount of 50% off a round-trip coach flight between North America and Hawaii.
The ongoing benefits are the reason a casual Hawaiian Airlines flyer will pay the $99 annual fee each year. You’ll get two free checked bags when you use the card to purchase your airfare (potentially $140 in savings per round-trip) — and you’ll also get an annual $100 companion discount. It even provides discounts of up to 25% on award flights.
Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t have a lengthy list of airline partners for which you can redeem your miles. If you almost never fly with Hawaiian Airlines, you should look into a credit card co-branded by another airline with a healthier list of partners, such as the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. You can redeem American Airlines miles to book flights on many more airlines (including Hawaiian) than Hawaiian Airlines miles allow.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
How to earn rewards with the Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card
The Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard® offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus HawaiianMiles after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening.
Aside from that, you’ll earn the following when spending on the card:
Insider estimates Hawaiian Airlines miles value to be an average of 1 cent each when used for travel — though you could potentially receive more value, depending on how you use them. That means this card effectively earns between 1% and 3% back on purchases.
How to use rewards
To get the most value from your miles, you’ll need to redeem them as they were intended — for award flights.
Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t fly to many destinations worldwide. You can use Hawaiian Airlines miles to fly between Hawaii and the mainland US, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and a handful of islands in the South Pacific. However, you can also use your miles to fly on the following partner airlines:
This opens up much of the world to you — including flights to Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, and Australia.
Hawaiian Airlines uses various award charts to price its flights. If you’re flying on a Hawaiian Airlines plane, you’ll use this award chart. If you’re flying on its partner airlines, you’ll use these award charts.
Unfortunately, the price you’ll pay in miles isn’t quite competitive with many other popular airline award prices. You can still get solid value from them, but you may have to work a little harder.
Here are a few good ways to redeem your miles:
All these trips will give you a value higher than Insider’s estimated average value of 1 cent each.
Benefits and features
Two free checked bags
This is a rare and valuable benefit among credit cards — and for a card that charges just a $99 annual fee, it’s unprecedented.
If you’re the primary cardholder, you’ll get your first two checked bags for free when you pay for your airfare with the Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard®. Hawaiian charges:
This benefit helps Hawaiian Airlines to compete with the likes of Southwest, its main competitor serving the Hawaiian islands. Southwest gives all passengers two free checked bags — no credit card necessary.
One-time 50% companion discount
When you open the Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard®, you’ll get a single-use discount of 50% off a round-trip coach flight for a travel buddy between North America and Hawaii. This companion certificate is good for up to 13 months after account opening.
Depending on where you fly, this could save you a good amount of money. Round-trip coach flights between Hawaii and East Coast cities like Boston and New York can cost over $700.
$100 annual companion discount
Each year you renew your card, you’ll receive a $100 discount for round-trip coach flights between North America and Hawaii. If you’ll use it, this perk will single-handedly offset the $99 annual fee each year.
Discounted award flights on Hawaiian Airlines
With the Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard®, you’ll receive a discount on coach awards when flying on Hawaiian Airlines. Discounts vary between 5% and 25%, depending on your route.
It appears that most often you’ll receive a discount of around 12.5%. That’s a healthy “rebate” just for holding a credit card.
Up to $100 in inflight purchases for elite flyers
If you have Hawaiian Airlines Gold or Platinum elite status, your Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard® can reimburse you for up to $10 per day in inflight purchases (maximum $100 per year).
Free miles transfers to friends and family
Primary cardholders can transfer Hawaiian Airlines miles to friends and family without a fee. Amazingly, there is no minimum number of miles you must transfer. So if you’ve got 800 miles you’ll never use, you can send it to someone who can.
Cell phone insurance
When you pay your monthly phone bill with the Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard®, you can receive up to $1,000 in cell phone protection each year. You’ll get up to $800 per claim, with a maximum of two claims in a year.
If you’re currently paying for phone insurance, this card is worth cash to you.
Various memberships and statement credits
World Elite Mastercard credit cards come with a handful of statement credits which, if you can use them all, translate to more than $100 in value:
World Elite Mastercard credit cards also come with a World Elite Concierge which can help you to book event tickets and hard-to-acquire dinner reservations.
Fees and costs
The Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard® incurs a $99 annual fee. You’ll also pay for things like balance transfers and cash advances.
This card does not charge foreign transaction fees.
Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card frequently asked questions (FAQ)