Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard® Review: Is It Worth Its $89 Annual Fee?

Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard® Review: Is It Worth Its $89 Annual Fee?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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Quick facts

  • Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, and an additional 10,000 miles after a purchase is made on an employee card.
  • Earning rate: Earn 3X HawaiianMiles for every $1 spent on eligible purchases made directly from Hawaiian Airlines; 2X HawaiianMiles for every $1 spent on gas, dining and office supply store purchases and 1 HawaiianMile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $89
  • Companion certificate: Earn a one-time 50% off companion discount for round-trip travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines
  • Annual perks: Earn up to 40,000 annual bonus miles after meeting specific spending thresholds.
  • Hawaiian Airlines benefits: Share miles for free with friends and family.

Pros

  • Generous sign-up bonus offer
  • Companion discount coupon for travel to Hawaii
  • Bonus miles for meeting annual spending thresholds
  • Increased earning on Hawaiian Airlines, gas, dining and office supply purchases
  • 0% foreign transaction fees
  • Share miles for free with friends and family

Cons

  • Have to pay an annual fee
  • Locked into earning HawaiianMiles
  • Earning rates aren't as good as other cards
  • No travel insurance protections
  • Limited partner airlines for redeeming miles
  • Redeeming miles for non-travel options is poor value
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Is the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® worth it?

The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® is worth it for business owners who travel to Hawaii often enough to take advantage of its benefits and hefty welcome offer of 70,000 bonus HawaiianMiles.

The bonus miles alone could be enough for two round-trip tickets between the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii.

In addition to the miles, the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® provides a one-time 50% companion discount coupon, and you can also earn bonus miles every year with your card, depending on your annual spend. If vacationing in Hawaii is your goal, this small business card could be one for your wallet.

That being said, the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® comes up short in other ways. Its ongoing earning rates fall short of similar products, and there are limited options for redeeming your miles if you're not interested in free travel to Hawaii.

Earn 70,000 bonus miles

This sign-up bonus can easily score you a round-trip flight to Hawaii.

The current welcome offer for the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® allows you to earn up to 70,000 bonus miles:

Earn 60,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, and an additional 10,000 miles after a purchase is made on an employee card.

We value HawaiianMiles at 1.2 cents each, so this generous bonus is worth around $840 when redeemed for Hawaiian Airlines award flights. With the access to discounted Hawaiian Airlines awards that your Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® provides, the 70,000 bonus miles are enough for:

  • Two round-trip tickets between the West Coast and Hawaii
  • A one-way business class ticket from Hawaii to Japan, Korea, Australia or New Zealand

HawaiianMiles are on the average-to-lower end of the range of airline mile values, but the welcome offer competes well with other airline business cards. Comparable card welcome offers for Delta and American co-branded business credit cards are worth a similar amount.

How easy are these miles to redeem? Read more below

money icon

What it's worth: Around $840 in Hawaiian airlines fare

Who's eligible to earn this offer? Applicants must meet the credit score and income criteria to qualify for the card. The offer is not available to current cardholders and previous cardholders who closed their accounts in the past 24 months.

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Earn 3X miles on Hawaiian Airlines purchases

With the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® you can earn 3X HawaiianMiles for every $1 spent on eligible purchases made directly from Hawaiian Airlines; 2X HawaiianMiles for every $1 spent on gas, dining and office supply store purchases and 1 HawaiianMile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® is pretty rewarding for an airline credit card. But you can earn more rewards with a flexible travel card like the American Express® Business Gold Card.

Based on typical consumer spending patterns, the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® earns $0.016 per $1 spent in ongoing rewards. This is a decent earning rate for a co-branded airline credit card, though the actual return could be better or worse depending on how much of your spending falls into the bonus categories.

Here's how the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® stacks up against the competition. Note that the American Express® Business Gold Card and the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express can potentially be much more rewarding, since they allow you to transfer points to a variety of airline loyalty programs (including Hawaiian Airlines):

Average Rewards per $1 spent

$0.038
American Express® Business Gold Card
$0.033
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
$0.021
United℠ Business Card
$0.018
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
$0.016
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card
$0.016
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
$0.016
Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®
$0.015
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

How much are HawaiianMiles worth?

money icon

By our estimates, Hawaii miles are worth around 1.2 cents each on average — that's a pretty good return on your dollar.

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Redeeming miles

HawaiianMiles are fairly simple to redeem, though the number of miles required for a flight can vary drastically, depending on the date. However, Hawaiian offers a handy chart with award prices.

Hawaiian Airlines makes redeeming your HawaiianMiles a cinch at hawaiianairlines.com. The number of miles required for free flights depends on your origin, destination and date of travel.

Award flights start at 7,500 miles for the cheapest Main Cabin award between any of the Hawaiian Islands and can be as expensive as 140,000 for the most expensive Main Cabin category for flights between Hawaii and destinations in Japan, Korea, Australia or New Zealand. There are no blackout dates for Hawaiian Airlines award tickets; however, with variable award tiers, you can expect higher priced awards when revenue fares are higher.

Hawaiian Airlines uses variable award pricing — which means the number of miles required for a flight fluctuates depending on demand. However, the airline is transparent about what things should cost. Hawaiian publishes an award chart that lists the range of miles required for each flight class and region (for instance Main Cabin flights from the West Coast range between 20,000 and 90,000 miles):

One-Way Hawaiian Airlines award prices
CategoryU.S. West - HawaiiU.S. Central - HawaiiU.S. East - Hawaii
Main Cabin 120,00025,00030,000
Main Cabin 230,00030,00040,000
Main Cabin 340,00040,00050,000
Main Cabin 450,00050,00060,000
Main Cabin 560,00060,00080,000
Main Cabin 680,00080,000100,000
Main Cabin 790,000100,000120,000
Main Cabin 8N/A110,000130,000

One cool feature of the Hawaiian Airlines credit cards is that they provide access to discounted economy awards — you can save at least 2,500 miles each way between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii as a Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®holder.

We've researched a good number of popular Hawaiian Airlines routes and have determined the typical value you can get for your miles for each.

Class
Origin
Destination (Hawaiian Island)
Mile value
First ClassLas VegasHonolulu (O'ahu)1.5 cents
CoachPortlandHonolulu (O'ahu)1.1 cents
First ClassNew YorkKahului (Maui)1.7 cents
First ClassPortlandKona (Hawaiʻi)1.1 cents
First ClassSan FranciscoHonolulu (O'ahu)1.1 cents
Show All Rows

Beyond free flights on Hawaiian Airlines, there are actually a handful of other ways you can redeem HawaiianMiles. Options include partner airlines award flights, gift cards, hotel stays and car rentals.

Hawaiian has the following airline partners:

  • Japan Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Korean Air
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

For non-flight redemption options, the value you receive is very poor. If you redeem for gift cards, hotel credit, car rental or in other ways, you'll receive just 0.5 cent per HawaiianMile.

Finding Hawaiian Airlines award flights

To search for award flights, you'll need to log into your HawaiianMiles account and key in your origin, destination, travel date(s) and number of passengers. The site provides features that make researching award flights easy:

  • You can toggle between dollars, miles and "dollars and miles" (if applicable) to quickly determine the value you're getting for your miles.
  • The search also supplies a one week ribbon at the top so you can quickly see which day(s) offer the cheapest awards.
Finding Hawaiian Airlines award flights

Other benefits

Besides the ability to earn valuable HawaiianMiles that you can redeem for free flights, the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® offers a variety of additional perks.

In addition to the welcome offer, you’ll receive a one-time 50% companion discount toward one published full coach round-trip fare for a companion:

  • Valid on roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and North America, booked directly with Hawaiian Airlines through your HawaiianMiles Account.
  • The cardholder must travel with their companion on the same flight itinerary.
  • The offer expires 13 months after the account is opened.
  • The offer is not valid on neighbor islands or international flights.
  • The offer is not valid on codeshare flights with Hawaiian Airlines partners or on multicity itineraries.
  • The offer is valid for revenue fares and cannot be combined with an award itinerary.

You can earn bonus miles each year by meeting the following spending thresholds within your card membership year:

  • 20,000 bonus HawaiianMiles after making $50,000 in net purchases within a card membership year.
  • 20,000 more bonus HawaiianMiles after making $100,000 in net purchases within a card membership year.

The bonus miles are based on total spending within the card membership year and will be applied at the end of your anniversary month.

The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® does not levy foreign transaction fees when you make purchases internationally. Credit cards often charge foreign transaction fees of typically up to 3%.

Do you run a business where your employees make purchases? The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® offers complimentary employee cards linked to your account that can help you keep track of business spending and earn additional rewards.

The consolidated statement offered by the Hawaiian business credit card shows all expenses for all cards under the primary account, making tracking business expenses much easier.

Drawbacks

  • Annual fee of $89. There are business credit card options that don’t charge an annual fee, so if your business doesn't make a high volume of purchases, it could be difficult to justify this expense.
  • Locked into earning HawaiianMiles. If traveling to Hawaii is high on your list, the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® is likely worth it. However, there are other products that let you earn flexible points, some of which allow you to transfer your points to HawaiianMiles if you want other rewards options.
  • No free checked bag. Unlike the consumer version of the card, the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® does not give you any free checked luggage when flying on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • No 0% APR offer. The card does not offer any introductory 0% APR window for purchases or balance transfers if you're looking to carry an interest-free balance for several months.

How does the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® compare to other cards?

If you're not sure whether the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® is the right product for you, here's how it compares to a few other similar products.

Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® vs. Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card

Verdict: A good alternative for West Coast travelers

For travelers based on the West Coast, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card is a great option. Alaska Airlines operates many routes from the U.S. West Coast to Hawaii, which makes their business credit card a decent alternative to the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®.

Aside from a large sign-up bonus, the card offers various benefits when flying Alaska Airlines, including a free checked bag, 20% off in-flight purchases, travel accident and auto rental insurance coverages and an annual companion fare certificate.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $50 for the company and $25 per card (Better)
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 Bonus miles when you make at least $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. (Better)
  • Rewards earned/$1 spent: $0.016 (Same)
  • Other benefits: First free checked bag, annual companion certificate, travel insurance coverages, 20% off inflight purchases (Better)

Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® vs. Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

$199

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 9,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • NEW! Earn 4X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 3X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services and 1X points on all other purchases.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit.

Verdict: The better option if you want more travel choices

The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, issued by Chase, is an excellent choice for those who frequently fly with Southwest or want to use their miles for North American destinations besides Hawaii.

Hawaiian Airlines is limited in the number of mainland U.S. destinations they serve, while Southwest serves around 100 domestic and international destinations. As the airline with the second-largest domestic market share, Southwest Airlines is a popular carrier for many. They launched flights to Hawaii in 2019 and serve five Hawaii destinations.

The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card allows you to rack up Rapid Rewards points for free flights to Hawaii. In addition, the card provides 9,000 bonus points every cardmember anniversary and in-flight Wi-Fi credits, plus other excellent perks.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $199 (Worse)
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. (Better)
  • Rewards earned/$1 spent: $0.018 (Better)
  • Other benefits: Four upgraded boardings per year, 9,000 annual bonus points, 365 annual Wi-Fi credits, one Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every 4 years, $0 foreign transaction fees and travel and purchase insurance coverages (Better)

Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® vs. American Express® Business Gold Card

Verdict: A more rewarding travel card

Looking for flexible points instead of HawaiianMiles? The American Express® Business Gold Card is a card worth considering. While the annual fee of $295 is much steeper, the card offers far better earning potential. With the American Express® Business Gold Card you can Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month*. The cool part is that you can transfer Membership Rewards to HawaiianMiles, if needed.

The card also gives you 25% of your points back when you book flights through American Express Travel on your selected airline and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Finally, you can enjoy peace of mind when traveling, as the card provides baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance and trip delay insurance.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $295 (Worse)
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.* (Better)
  • Rewards earned/$1 spent: $0.038 (Better)
  • Other benefits: Receive 25% of your points back when you book flights through American Express Travel on your selected airline, no foreign transaction fees, baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance and trip delay insurance (Better)
  • Terms apply.

Should you apply for the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®?

For small business owners looking for a card that can get them free flights to Hawaii from a destination served by Hawaiian Airlines, the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® is a decent pick. The points from the welcome offer alone are enough for two round-trip Discounted Award tickets between the U.S. West Coast and any of the Hawaiian islands, and the one-time discount can also save you a bundle on another trip.

But the card may come up short for people who hardly fly to Hawaii or don't live near a city served by Hawaiian Airlines. The ongoing return for the card also falls short of other products, especially those that earn flexible points you can transfer to a variety of airlines beyond Hawaiian. If you prefer flexibility, you're better off with the American Express® Business Gold Card or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, or another of our picks for best small business cards.

Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® FAQs

How do I keep Hawaiian miles from expiring?

Effective April 12, 2021, HawaiianMiles no longer expire and qualifying account activity is not required. HawaiianMiles earned by program members will be available for use at their discretion.

What bank issues the Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®?

The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® and personal credit card are both issued by Barclays Bank Delaware. The cards also include Bank of Hawaii branding.

What is the best business credit card for airline miles?

The best business credit card for airline miles is highly dependent on the travel needs of the company or individual consumer. Check out our list of best business credit cards for travel which includes some cards that earn airline miles.

The information related to Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®, American Express® Business Gold Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, United℠ Business Card , Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card and Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

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).