Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card Review: Get to Hawaii for Free

Hawaiian Airlines credit card

The Hawaiian Airlines credit card is a good card to consider if you’re looking to cut down the cost of your next Hawaiian vacation. With that in mind I’m doing a Hawaiian Airlines credit card review to go over how you can get you to the islands for less or, better yet, free. Barclays recently took over the Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard and have added some new features from the previous version that make it even better.

Who wouldn’t want to go to Hawaii for cheap, or even free? Stupid question, maybe, but I know we would. We’re looking for places to go for our anniversary next year and the new Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard could be a great option for us to consider if we were to choose to go to Hawaii. With the average cost of a plane ticket, as of 2012, coming out to just over $600 it’s obvious that cost is going to be a detractor for many wanting to fly to Hawaii but dealing with a limited budget.

Personally speaking, I’ve researched flights to Hawaii from Omaha and most are around the $800 mark. I certainly don’t want to spend that much, which is what makes the Hawaiian Airlines credit card a solid option to reduce that cost.


Fly to Hawaii for free. Sign up for the Hawaiian Airlines credit card now!


Before I get on with the Hawaiian Airlines credit card review, I will give the obvious disclaimer that if you’re struggling with credit card debt then credit card churning should be the last thing on your mind as no free trip is worth the added debt. So, if you don’t pay your credit card bills each month, then the card isn’t for you. Now with that out of the way, let’s get on with the review of the Hawaiian Airlines credit card.

Features of the Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card


  • As a Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard holder, you earn 35,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. These miles are enough to get you one free coach ticket from North America! Although the ticket requires 40,000 miles, card holders get a 5,000 mile discount. Beyond that, you earn 5,000 bonus miles after spending $10,000 annually on the card.
  • What about the other ticket? Well, if you go with the Hawaiian Airlines credit card, you qualify for a one-time 50% off companion ticket. Essentially, you get to fly to Hawaii for the cost of half a ticket!
  • After the 50% off one-time companion ticket, you qualify for a $100 off companion ticket each anniversary year with the Hawaiian Airlines credit card.
  • With the Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard, you get 2X miles on all purchases made directly from Hawaiian Airlines and 1X miles on every other purchase.
  • There are no blackout dates with the Hawaiian Airlines credit card – so you can fly whenever you want!
  • You get a complimentary checked bag with the Hawaiian Airlines credit card, which saves you $50 per trip.
  • The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard has no foreign transaction fees, which is nice to have if you travel internationally.
  • Hawaiian Airlines has a fairly nice partnership program matched with their program that allows you to earn up to 10X miles on your Hawaiian Airlines credit card. You can find a list of the partners here.
  • The final feature of the Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard is that it employs smart chip technology that provides for more security using your card. I’ve read that this is compatible with card readers in Europe and is a nice little feature to have in light of recent security issues.

Drawbacks of the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard


  • As with many other rewards credit cards, there is an annual fee with the Hawaiian Airlines credit card. The fee comes in at $89 annually and is not waived the first year. Yes, I’m not a fan of annual fees but you also need to take a look at the value received.

Hawaiian Airlines credit card review – my take


After taking a look at the Hawaiian Airlines credit card, I do think for many it could be a good card to consider. This is especially the case if you’re considering going to Hawaii in the near future. In that event it’s a no-brainer, in my opinion, to use a card like this to significantly lower the overall cost of your trip. You can even take the reduction a step further and add in a card like the Barclaycard Arrival or the Starwood Preferred Guest card in order to reduce your lodging costs or even eliminate them altogether.

Like I pointed out, I don’t like having an annual fee, but you also have to take a look at the value you’re receiving from what it gives you. In this case you receive a free coach ticket, half off a companion ticket, and some other nice bonuses.




What is your new favorite credit card that you’re churning? Where are you planning on traveling next?


Photo courtesy of:  Aero Icarus



John Schmoll
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Hawaiian Airlines credit card
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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and would love to help out if you have the need. If you're wanting to grow your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.


  • Ooooh awesome! I have a friend that lives in Hawaii so this would make that trip incredibly cheap, and I always LOVE going to Hawaii. I’ve already been there 4 times and could keep going over and over! That does suck though that the fee is not waved…even the first year like most of them are doing.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Back from IcelandMy Profile

    • John says:

      I know, I think this would make it really cheap to get there. I wish it was waived as well, but still a pretty good value overall.

  • Hmm, I might have to consider this one. But I’m wondering if you can use these miles even if Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t fly into your local airport. We live in a fairly small city and the number of airlines that service our airport is limited and I’m quite sure HA is not one of them. I wonder if that means you would have to pay for the flights to the airport that HA flies out of?
    Dee @ Color Me Frugal recently posted…Weekly Money Roundup #17My Profile

    • John says:

      That’s a good question Dee. From my research, it only applies to flights to one of the islands. You could potentially match it with another card, like the SW card of the Frontier card to get you somewhere on the West Coast for free, then use the Hawaiian card for the final leg.

  • Daisy says:

    I don’t think we have a Hawaiian Airlines card here in Canada, which is unfortunate because it does actually look like a pretty good card. I haven’t been to Hawaii since I was just a kid, so I’d like to go again sometime within the next couple of years. I am sure I can use my basic rewards points to get there but it may take me a bit longer to accumulate enough points.
    Daisy recently posted…Composting for BeginnersMy Profile

  • My husband and I were hoping of going to Hawaii in April of 2015 so this is the perfect card! They offer non-stops to Hawaii from NYC via Hawaiian Airlines (long flight!) so this would enable us to go for much cheaper. :)
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted…Are we bad at math or are we in a self-fulfilling prophecy?My Profile

    • John says:

      Yea, I can imagine that would be a long flight – but at least you’d be going somewhere nice. :) If you can get it for cheaper, then even better!

  • I have a post coming up on this card too!

    It’s a great one to get to Hawaii- even with the annual fee. FREE is always best but cheap is the next best thing =)

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