Aloha from Hawaii! As you may have noticed from my Instagram page, I am currently on Oahu on behalf of Hawaiian Airlines and Barclays to celebrate the announcement and launch of the refreshed and improved Hawaiian Airlines® Credit Cards
Yesterday, we had a visit to the Hawaiian Airlines corporate headquarters to learn all about the new credit cards and had the opportunity to dive deep into the HawaiianMiles loyalty program with Q&A’s with the airlines’ executives.
You might remember that the first Hawaiian Airlines co-branded credit cards were issued by Bank of America. Barclays revamped and took over the Hawaiian Airlines cards in 2014 in partnership with Bank of Hawaii.
It’s no secret that Hawaii is a popular aspirational destination using miles and points. I first flew with Hawaiian Airlines in June 2012 when the airline had introductory fares of only $212 each way to celebrate their new nonstop service from JFK to HNL.
I got to experience the beauty of Hawaii myself for the first time thanks to that awesome summertime fare, and the trip was very memorable in the air and on the ground from start to finish.
I really enjoy the beauty of Hawaii, the amazing food on the islands (absolutely obsessed with poke), and the incredibly warm, welcoming, and rich culture. Hawaii is a destination I will always be drawn to, and I can’t wait to give my children Hawaiian memories!
I flew Hawaiian Airlines again this time around and I experienced the same friendly and welcoming service that I vividly remember from my first trip over 6 years ago.
So much has changed for Hawaiian in a good way since then too, including the introduction of their new A330 first class cabin design that debuted last year, featuring 18 fully flatbed seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. On a 10 hour flight, landing in paradise and feeling rested really does make all the difference!
Details about the New Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®
While the new Hawaiian Airlines cards are not quite available yet to new applicants and existing cardmembers until July 11, I wanted to pass along the news about the improvements to the consumer and business versions of the card and some creative ways to use HawaiianMiles as soon as I was allowed to, so you can see for yourself firsthand if this is a card is aligned with your travel goals.
New cardmembers earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the first 90 days. Primary card members also receive a free checked bag (normal checked bag fee is $25) on Hawaiian Airlines-operated flights when you use the card to purchase your ticket.
There is also a new 3-2-1 Rewards Structure:
Cardmembers can earn 3x HawaiianMiles for each dollar spent on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases, 2x HawaiianMiles for each dollar spent on gas, dining and grocery store (excluding Target® and Walmart®) purchases and 1x HawaiianMiles on all other purchases. This is an improvement to the old version of the card that only allowed you to earn 2x on Hawaiian Airlines purchases and 1x on all other purchases
The new card also comes with a one-time 50% off companion discount for round-trip coach travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines and a $100 flight discount off one coach companion ticket after each credit card account anniversary, valid for round-trip coach travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines. Cardmembers also have access to discounted award flights on Hawaiian Airlines.
The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® can be used abroad with no foreign transaction fees and comes with a $99 annual fee.
The card also comes with Mastercard® World Elite Benefits including: concierge service, free two-day shipping with ShopRunner, extended warranty (original manufacturer warranties for 24 months or less are extended on covered items you purchase), purchase assurance, price protection, satisfaction guarantee (return protection), travel accident insurance, trip cancellation insurance, baggage delay insurance, and auto rental collision damage waiver.
With this new refresh, we say hello to a much better earnings structure for everyday spend and goodbye to the 5,000 mile anniversary bonus after spending $10,000 or more annually, which was a feature of the old version of the card.
The business version of the card comes with an almost identical 3-2-1 earnings structure, except that it will offer 2X on office supplies stores in place of grocery stores. The new business version of the card also currently offers 50,000 bonus miles after your first purchase with the ability to earn 40,000 additional miles after spending $100,000. The annual fee on the business version of the card matches the personal card at $99.
Best Uses of HawaiianMiles
Share Miles is a unique perk, allowing cardmembers to send and receive miles to and from family and friends through HawaiianAirlines.com, without a fee. There are no transaction fees for HawaiianMiles transfers, no charges per mile, and no minimum or maximum number of HawaiianMiles that can be transferred.
This is a fantastic way to accumulate and pool HawaiianMiles with family and other traveling companions.
Hawaiian Airlines offers nonstop service to 12 US gateway cities and 10 international destinations.
You can fly in Hawaiian’s new A330 first class award between New York and Honolulu (or vice versa) for 40,000 HawaiianMiles each way if a saver level award is available.
If you stretch aspirational travel a little further, you can head to Tahiti from Honolulu in a flatbed on Hawaiian Airlines for just 30,000 HawaiianMiles each way (though that route only operates once a week, on Saturdays). You can view the full HawaiianMiles award chart here.
You can also redeem HawaiianMiles on partner airlines, including JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Korean Air.
If you have a partner redemption in mind, you’ll have to pay close attention to the partner award charts. For instance, HawaiianMiles redemptions on Virgin Atlantic are zone-based, and redemptions on Virgin Australia are distance-based, so it could get confusing.
You can also use HawaiianMiles on JetBlue-operated flights (including Mint), and that chart is revenue-based.
It’s not uncommon to sometimes see Mint Fares for under $500, so even if you have no immediate plans to fly to Hawaii or are far from a Hawaiian Airlines hub city, the 50,000 point sign-up bonus could possibly score you a seat in JetBlue Mint or can be used to to fly your entire family somewhere if you book a great fare during JetBlue’s many fare sales throughout the year.
Another “out of the box” use of Hawaiian Miles is the Hilton partnership. 1 HawaiianMile = 1.5 Hilton Honors points, which can be transferred in 10,000 mile increments.
The 50,000 HawaiianMiles public sign-up bonus can net you 75,000 Hilton points, which is definitely an option worth exploring especially now that all of the cobranded Hilton American Express cards come with “once in a life time” welcome bonus restrictions.
Overall, I think these are an improvement to the existing Hawaiian Airlines credit cards, since the new cards are designed to earn more miles faster with its 3-2-1 refreshed rewards structure. I wouldn’t rush to say that I’d recommend shifting all of your everyday spend to the card though since other cards that may offer more flexibility.
Hawaii in a flatbed is a popular aspirational travel redemption for miles, and the 50,000 point sign-up bonus from the new Hawaiian Airlines® Credit Cards is a great tool to get you there faster.
Even if Hawaii is not on your list or you don’t live in the proximity of a Hawaiian Airlines gateway city, there are other creative ways to use HawaiianMiles that might be a better fit for your travel goals.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re flying Hawaiian Airlines soon, listen up for the inflight credit card announcement, as there is an even better [and higher] 60,000 HawaiianMiles sign-up bonus offer after spending $2,000 within the first 90 days. I’ll try to get my hands on a few of those if anyone is interested when I fly back home in a few days!