Advertiser Disclosure

5 Things to Know About the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard

Feb. 10, 2020
Airline Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard: Escape to Paradise
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best airline cards

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?

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.
  • Transfer to partners: Redeem a minimum of 10,000 points to transfer to Hilton Honors at a rate of 1.5 Hilton Honors points to 1 HawaiianMile.

4. There’s a free checked bag benefit

With the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®, you can check your first bag for free. Normally, checking a standard-sized bag would cost up to $30 each way on domestic flights. However, unlike with other airline cards, only the primary cardholder gets this benefit. Your companion will have to pay for their checked bag.

» MORE: Airline credit cards that offer free checked bags

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 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar spent on travel (you’ll earn a total of 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022) and restaurants and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. The annual fee is $95.

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.

About the authors