5 Things to Know About the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard helps you earn enough Hawaiian Airlines miles to leave winter behind.
Claire Tsosie
Sara Rathner
By Sara Rathner and  Claire Tsosie 
Edited by Kenley Young
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard: Escape to Paradise

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The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® is a strong option if you regularly travel to or from the Aloha State — especially if you generally bring a plus one.

It offers significant annual discounts for traveling with a partner, a potentially valuable perk that's quite rare among airline cards, for an annual fee of $99. It also packs a good sign-up bonus and useful ongoing rewards. And like all good airline cards, it doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.

Here are five things to know about the card.

1. It offers discounts for traveling with a partner

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® is one of the very few airline cards that offer savings on companion tickets, making it an incredibly valuable choice for those who travel to or from Hawaii with others.

You'll receive a one-time discount of 50% off round-trip coach airfare between Hawaii and North America for a companion in the first 13 months of card membership. If you plan to use this card for the long term, you’ll also get a $100 discount on a companion ticket each year once you reach your first anniversary.

2. The bonus rewards aren't just for airline purchases

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® offers something you don't always see on an airline card: elevated rewards in everyday categories — not just on purchases made with the airline. You get:

  • 3 miles per dollar spent on Hawaiian Airlines purchases.

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on gas, dining and grocery store purchases.

  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

That gives you a good reason to use this card for spending outside of airfare, making it easier to rack up miles faster for your next trip. Can you feel the ocean breeze yet?

🤓Nerdy Tip

NerdWallet values Hawaiian miles at 1 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1 cent or more in value from your Hawaiian miles.

3. Miles are versatile

Cashing in miles for flights is the obvious choice, but you have some flexibility in how you use your rewards. You may not get the highest value per mile, but the options are there nonetheless:

  • Hotel stays: Redeem as few as 1,000 miles for stays at 300,000 hotels worldwide. You can opt to combine points and cash. You can also buy gift certificates for Outrigger Resorts and Ohana Hotels, and your miles would be worth about half a penny each.

  • Car rentals: Exchange miles for gift cards to Avis and Budget at a value of half a penny each.

  • Gift cards and merchandise: Miles are worth half a penny each when redeemed for gift cards at a limited number of merchants. Fun fact: 25,000 miles will get you a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses — or it'll get you an upgrade to first class. Your choice.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Southwest Airlines also offers nonstop flights from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii, and that airline offers several co-branded credit cards. Find out which one might be right for you.

4. It offers two free checked bags

With the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®, you get two free checked bags, and that's a potentially valuable perk for loyalists.

Normally, checking a standard-sized bag with Hawaiian Airlines would cost up to $30 each way on domestic flights, and a second bag would cost an additional $40 each way. So depending on how light you pack, you could save up to $140 round trip with this card. (To qualify, you must use your Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® when buying tickets directly via the airline.)

However, unlike with other airline cards, only the primary cardholder gets this benefit. Your companion will have to pay for their checked bag.

5. Hawaiian Airlines' partnership with JetBlue makes this card more flexible

In the U.S., Hawaiian Airlines only offers nonstop service from Hawaii to a handful of cities on the mainland. But thanks to the airline's partnership with JetBlue, more cities have access to Hawaii (albeit with layovers).

You can earn HawaiianMiles on JetBlue flights, earn TrueBlue points on Hawaiian Airlines flights, and redeem points from one award program for flights on the other airline. You can't, however, earn both HawaiianMiles and TrueBlue points on the same flight — you must pick one or the other.

Also consider: Not totally sold on a Hawaiian vacation? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, a general travel card, may be a better fit: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You'll also earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar spent on dining, select streaming services and online grocery purchases. You'll earn 2 points per dollar on travel and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. The annual fee is $95.

You can find even more options on NerdWallet's roundup of the best credit cards to get.

Information about the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the issuer of this card.

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