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Hawaiian Airlines Credit Cards Upgrade Rewards, Raise Fees

July 12, 2018
Airline Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Promos, Travel, Travel Credit Cards
Hawaiian Airlines Credit Cards Get Rewards Upgrades
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  • Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

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This article refers to changes made to the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® in summer of 2018. The card’s terms have updated since then. See our details page for the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® for the current offer. 


Hawaiian Airlines and Barclays have upgraded rewards on the airline’s consumer and business credit cards to make them more useful for everyday purchases, a growing trend recently among airline cards. But annual fees for the two cards also have increased.

Higher rewards, higher annual fee

The new rewards structure for Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® rolled out in July 2018:

  • 3 HawaiianMiles per dollar spent on Hawaiian Airlines purchases.
  • 2 miles per dollar spent on gas, dining and grocery store purchases.
  • 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else.

Previously, rewards were double miles on Hawaiian Airlines spending and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else.

The change follows other airlines, such as United Airlines and American Airlines, which have added everyday spending bonus categories to their reward structures.

The new version of Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® has an annual fee of $99. Before the 2018 changes, the fee was $89.

Bonus for new cardholders

At the time of the change, new applicants for Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® were eligible for 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. That’s enough miles for a round-trip flight between the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii. The bonus was an increase from the previous offer of 35,000 miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Bonuses can change often. The current sign-up bonus is: Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

New cardmembers earn a one-time 50% off companion discount for round-trip coach travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines.

Cardholders continue to get the important benefit of a free checked bag. Other benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $100 annual companion discount.
  • Low introductory APR on balance transfers.
  • World Elite Mastercard perks.

Business card

The upgraded business card, The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®, offers a similar new 3-2-1 tiered rewards structure, but it swaps in office supply stores, rather than grocery stores, as a double-miles category. The business card’s annual fee also has increased to $99 from $89. 

The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® retains an additional feature for big spenders:

Cardmembers can earn up to 40,000 additional miles after spending $100,000 or more in purchases during their card membership year.

These cards are not currently offered through NerdWallet. For more potential credit card options, see NerdWallet’s best airline credit cards or best travel credit cards.

Information related to The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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