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Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®: Is It Worth Getting?

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®: Is It Worth Getting?

Top pick if you're planning a trip to the islands.
Editor's Rating: 4.0/5.0
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

Editor's Rating

{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

4.0/5.0

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® is one of the best cards to have in your wallet if you plan on making a trip to Hawaii anytime soon or if you're a frequent visitor. That's mainly due to the card's strong mile-earning structure and its competitive sign-up bonus. While the card is great for travel, it's important to compare it to other cards on the market to see just how it stacks up. For some, it may make sense to go with a broader travel credit card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Review: Is the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® worth it?

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® underwent a complete makeover not too long ago, making it one of the most competitive travel credit cards on the market. For starters, cardholders can earn miles in popular bonus categories:

  • Earn 3 miles per dollar spent on Hawaiian Airlines purchases.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on gas, dining and grocery store purchases.
  • Earn 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Most competing credit cards simply offer 2 miles per dollar spent with the co-branded airline and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. So the true value of the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® lies in the ability to earn bonus miles in these bonus categories.

On Barclays' Secure Website

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

On Barclays' Secure Website
Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • First checked bag free on eligible bags for the primary cardmember when you use your card to purchase eligible tickets directly from Hawaiian Airlines
  • One-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines
  • Earn 3X miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2x miles on gas, dining and grocery store purchases
  • Earn 1X miles on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees means you don't pay additional transaction fees on international purchases
  • Receive an annual $100 companion discount for roundtrip travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines after each account anniversary
  • Share Miles allows you to send and receive miles from family and friends through HawaiianAirlines.com, without a fee
  • No blackout dates
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • First checked bag free on eligible bags for the primary cardmember when you use your card to purchase eligible tickets directly from Hawaiian Airlines
  • One-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines
  • Earn 3X miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2x miles on gas, dining and grocery store purchases
  • Earn 1X miles on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees means you don't pay additional transaction fees on international purchases
  • Receive an annual $100 companion discount for roundtrip travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines after each account anniversary
  • Share Miles allows you to send and receive miles from family and friends through HawaiianAirlines.com, without a fee
  • No blackout dates
  • See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$0 intro annual fee first year, then $99
Regular APR
18.24%, 22.24% or 27.24% variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good/Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

An impressive sign-up bonus

There are two things we like about the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®'s sign-up bonus: It's relatively easy to reach and it's highly valuable. Currently, cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 within 90 days of account opening. While spending $2,000 in 90 days might seem difficult, some other cards require you to spend $4,000 or more within the same time frame.

What can you do with 60,000 Hawaiian miles?

The number of miles you need will vary by flight, but flight awards start at 7,500 miles for one-way travel within Hawaii or 20,000 miles between Hawaii and the West Coast. Therefore, it's possible to purchase a round-trip flight to Hawaii from the West Coast using the sign-up bonus and still have some miles left over. Hawaiian Airlines lets you redeem miles for any seat, meaning you can fly main cabin or first class.

Hawaiian Airlines companion discount and baggage perks

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® is offering a one-time 50% companion discount for round-trip travel between Hawaii and North American locations when you fly Hawaiian Airlines. The companion discount is valid for 13 months from the time the account is opened and is only good for coach class.

Cardholders will also receive a $100 discount on each account anniversary for a companion ticket between Hawaii and the mainland. The primary cardholder can also check their first bag for free on Hawaiian Airlines flights.

Should you apply for the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®?

This card isn't a good fit for you if you're not traveling to Hawaii anytime soon. There are other airline cards that are more versatile.

That said, if you frequently travel to Hawaii, the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® can be an excellent choice. The card has a $99 annual fee, but it's waived in year one and we think the card offers enough value to justify that fee in year two. The sign-up bonus alone can net you a round-trip flight to Hawaii, which is a unique benefit.

How does the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® compare to other credit cards?

To get a good sense of whether this card is worthwhile, it's important to consider it in the context of all other options. We matched the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® against some other popular choices to see where it shines or falls short.

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

When it comes to offering great short-term travel rewards, there are very few cards that do it as well as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. We value the card's sign-up bonus at $750. To receive the bonus, you'll have to spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.

The types of purchases you'll earn points for aren't as robust as those offered by the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®. However, we consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card's points currency, Chase Ultimate Rewards®, to be among the most flexible. Points can be transferred to several airlines and even hotel partners. This makes for a highly versatile travel rewards credit card. Therefore, if your travel plans extend beyond Hawaii, we recommend applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® vs Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

On American Express' Secure Website

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

On American Express' Secure Website
Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn one mile for every eligible dollar you spend on other purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $240 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn one mile for every eligible dollar you spend on other purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $240 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
Annual Fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Regular APR
17.74%-26.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good, Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers a weaker mile-earning structure than the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. Therefore, if you're looking for just a single card that you can use on all purchases, you'd likely be better off with the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®.

In terms of annual fees, the cards are almost identical. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year and then $95 each year after (See Rates & Fees). We recommend the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express if your travel plans extend beyond Hawaii. That's because Delta is part of one of the largest airline networks, meaning finding flights to your preferred destinations should be relatively easy.

For rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

Compare credit card offers

If you want to see how the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® performs against other credit cards based on your specific spending habits, you can use our tool below. Enter your estimated monthly budget, and our tool will calculate the expected two-year net rewards for each credit card.

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Assumptions based on $1,430 monthly spend
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Comments and Questions

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).