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How a Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card Can Get You Free Trips to Paradise

Updated Oct 13, 2021 | Published Jun 25, 20196 min read

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At a glance

Hawaiian Airlines offers two credit cards — one consumer card and one business card. Both charge an annual fee and provide solid rewards programs. Benefits depend on the card, but may include companion discounts, free checked bags, additional bonus mile opportunities, and more.

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Hawaiian Airlines has a streamlined offering when it comes to credit cards for its frequent flyers. As Hawaii’s biggest and longest-serving airline, it offers one regular consumer credit card and one business credit card.

These cards are the same in some ways, but with some big differences like:

  • Introductory bonuses
  • Bonus categories
  • No free checked bags with the business card
  • No annual companion discount with the business card

The new Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner,” expected to join the HA fleet in 2021. Image credit: Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard

Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard®
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securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$99
  • Purchase APR18.24%, 22.24% or 27.24% variable Variable

This Mastercard has some nice perks if you regularly fly Hawaiian Airlines. Here’s a quick look at the details:

  • Annual fee: $99
  • Introductory bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles for spending $2,000 in the first 90 days; 20,000 bonus miles for spending a total of $4,000 in the first 6 months.
  • Earn bonus points on purchases: Earn 3X HawaiianMiles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases; 2X miles on gas, dining, and grocery store purchases; and 1X mile on everything else.
  • Free first checked bag: Primary cardholders get their first bag checked for free when booking flights on Hawaiian Airlines with their card.
  • One-time 50% off companion discount: A single one-time 50% discount toward one published full coach round-trip fare for a companion between North America and Hawaii (good for 13 months from the time the card account is opened).
  • $100 companion discount each year: One discount for $100 off one companion ticket at each card account anniversary, good for 12 months after your account anniversary. It’s valid on coach roundtrip travel between Hawaii and North America, booked directly with Hawaiian Airlines through the primary cardmember’s HawaiianMiles account. Taxes, fees, and surcharges are not eligible.
  • No foreign transaction fees: Cardholders pay no additional fees for using the card internationally.
  • Other discounts: Discounts on Hawaiian Airlines flights with special promotions throughout the year.
  • Credit card issuer: Barclays

Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard

Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard®
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$99
  • Purchase APR17.99% or 26.99% Variable

This credit card offer may be a match for Hawaiian Airlines travelers who are small business owners, freelancers, or entrepreneurs. Here’s the scoop on the card, but you might not find it as enticing as the consumer version:

  • Annual fee: $99
  • Introductory bonus: Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles with a new account: 60,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days; 10,000 bonus miles if a purchase is made on an employee card in the first 90 days. (This is a really great value when it comes to credit card offers!)
  • Earn bonus points on purchases: Earn 3X HawaiianMiles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases; 2X miles on gas, dining, and office supply store purchases; and 1X mile on everything else.
  • One-time 50%-off companion discount: A single one-time 50% discount toward one published full coach round-trip fare for a companion. This discount offer is good for 13 months from the time the card account is opened.
  • Additional bonus mile earnings: Primary cardmembers can earn up to 20,000 bonus miles with $50,000–$99,999 in annual purchases, or 40,000 bonus miles with $100,000 or more in annual purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees: Cardholders pay no additional fees for using the card internationally.
  • Complimentary employee cards: Get additional employee cards to help you earn rewards faster and control business spending at no charge.
  • Credit card issuer: Barclays
Insider tip

While these perks are nice, other travel credit cards may offer more valuable benefits like lounge access and reimbursements or rebates for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry programs.

Flying With the HawaiianMiles Program

HawaiianMiles is the Hawaiian Airlines frequent flyer program. Travelers to and from Hawaii think pretty highly of the airline, as consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and TripAdvisor place Hawaiian Airlines among the top of all domestic airlines serving Hawaii.

HawaiianMiles Membership Levels

As you accumulate more frequent flyer miles, you can raise your status and earn more Elite privileges with the Hawaiian Airlines Pualani Gold and Pualani Platinum programs. You’ll earn a certain status level based on the Elite-qualifying flight miles or flight segments on paid trips on Hawaiian Airlines flights in a calendar year.

  • HawaiianMiles Membership: Anyone can sign up to earn miles.
  • Premier Club Membership: Pay a $299 annual fee or redeem 40,000 HawaiianMiles the first year. Subsequent years are $249 or 35,000 miles annually.
  • Pualani Gold: Earn this status by flying 30 segments or 20,000 miles in one calendar year.
  • Pualani Platinum: Earn this by flying 60 segments or 40,000 miles in one calendar year.

Premier Club Membership

The Premier Club, available for a $299 annual fee or by flying 40,000 miles, offers additional benefits above a regular membership (with not quite as many perks as Elite status). Some Premier Club benefits include:

  • More seats to choose from when you book a reservation
  • Priority routing & handling when calling Hawaiian Airlines Reservations
  • More flexibility and discounted awards when you book online
  • 500 HawaiianMiles for each Neighbor Island flight
  • No charge for your first two checked bags
  • Access to Premier Club/First Class check-in line at Honolulu, Kahului, Lihue, Hilo, Kona, select North America and International Airports
  • One complimentary in-flight movie or TV show selection on A330 and A321 flights when flying Hawaiian Airlines’ North America routes
  • Zone 2 Priority Boarding for the member and up to two accompanying guests

HawaiianMiles Pualani Elite Status Perks

The following are additional benefits you get as a Pualani Gold or Pualani Platinum member:

  • Exclusive reservations call-in line: Priority routing and handling when you call in for help.
  • Fare hold reservations: Get a one- to two-day complimentary hold on Neighbor Island, North America, and International flights.
  • First class check-in line: Access to the Premier Club / First Class Check-In Line in Honolulu and Neighbor Island airports (member along with two guests).
  • Complimentary seat upgrades (as available): Platinum and Gold members (members only, not companion travelers) receive complimentary upgrades to Extra Comfort or Preferred Seats based on availability, route, and aircraft type. Check out complimentary upgrade details here.
  • More free checked bags: Gold members get their first two bags checked for free. Platinum members get their first three checked bags free.
  • Use priority check-in lines at select airports: Use Priority Security Lines in Honolulu, New York, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. To use this perk, you must present your Elite membership card and boarding pass to the TSA agent.
  • Premier Airport Club Access: Enjoy Hawaiian Airlines Premier Clubs in Hawaii airports including Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Kahului, and Lihue.

Earning HawaiianMiles

Here’s how you can earn miles with Hawaiian Airlines:

  • When traveling with Hawaiian Airlines, you earn miles based on the distance you fly, not what you spend.
  • If you forget to attach your membership number to a trip, you can add it up to 120 days after your travel by visiting this Hawaiian Airlines page or calling a Hawaiian Airlines representative.
  • You can earn miles by flying on partner airlines including China Airlines, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia.
  • Hawaiian Airlines has several hotel partners to earn HawaiianMiles by earning or redeeming points from other rewards programs including Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy, Wyndham Rewards, and more.
  • Renting a car with Avis, Budget, or Payless will earn you HawaiianMiles. Special offers are sometimes available; for example, new cardholders can earn up to triple miles, depending on Elite status, on Avis or Budget car rentals for three consecutive days or more when you use your Hawaiian Airlines card.
  • Hawaiian Airlines has various retail and merchant partners you can earn HawaiianMiles with, both on the islands and online.
  • You can also earn HawaiianMiles on purchases made with a Hawaiian Airlines credit card, in addition to any other miles you earn.

If you need extra miles for a trip, you can purchase HawaiianMiles online.

Buying Hawaiian Miles with a bonus. Image credit: Hawaiian Airlines

Insider tip

Buying miles isn’t usually the most effective way to get them. However, Hawaiian Airlines sometimes offers promotions for bonus miles. Recently, it had a limited time offer of 40% more miles on purchases of up to 10,000 HawaiianMiles. So, check out the website to figure out if purchasing miles would be worthwhile for your situation.

Another handy benefit with HawaiianMiles is that you can share miles. Hawaiian Airlines cardholders can get miles from other members for free (up to ten times each year). If you don’t have a card with Hawaiian Airlines, there’s a fee to transfer miles. Details on the Share Miles program are laid out here.

Sample Earnings with Hawaiian Airlines

Here are some examples of the miles earned on common Hawaiian Airlines flights:

Miles earned on typical Hawaiian Airlines flights. Image credit: Hawaiian Airlines

Redeeming HawaiianMiles

There are no blackout dates when redeeming miles for award travel on Hawaiian Airlines. You can redeem miles for any seat in Main Cabin, or for upgrades to First or Business Class.

Award flights start as low as 7,500 miles one-way for travel within Hawaii (between islands), or 20,000 miles between Hawaii and the west coast of the U.S.

There are also exclusive award flight discounts for Pualani Elite members, Premier Club members, and Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard cardmembers (discounts are usually 15–25% off the regular award mileage needed for main cabin redemptions, depending on the flight).

You can also transfer American Express Membership Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to use as HawaiianMiles. Get details on transferring Amex Membership Rewards points here. (You can’t directly transfer Citi ThankYou Points or Chase Ultimate Rewards to HawaiianMiles, but there are some partners like Virgin Atlantic that you can transfer to from the Citi and Chase membership rewards programs.)

See details on the mile requirements for various flights to, from, and within Hawaii on the Hawaiian Airlines award chart page.

HawaiianMiles will expire after 18 months of inactivity, but you can prevent expiration by simply using your Hawaiian Airlines card or redeeming your points at least once every 18 months. You can also reinstate HawaiianMiles for a fee by calling the HawaiianMiles Service Center at 1-877-426-4537.

Is a Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card Right for You?

If you regularly travel on Hawaiian Airlines, one of the cards might be a good fit.

Even if you’re planning just one trip to Hawaii, adding one of these cards to your wallet may be beneficial for the welcome bonus points alone. But you should look for other ways to make the card worthwhile in the long run, like using it with airline partners, rather than getting it for the bonus and then cancelling.

Alternatives to a Hawaiian Airlines Card

If you don’t live in Hawaii or make regular trips to the islands, another airline credit card or a general travel rewards card may be a better fit.

Some other popular airline credit cards include:

And some of the best credit cards to check out for traveling in general are:

Insider tip

Not ready to travel? Wondering about other types of cards? Browse our picks for the Best Credit Cards in a variety of categories.

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For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Written by

Ellen Sirull

Ellen Sirull is a writer with over 15 years of experience, covering topics from personal finance to identity protection to credit and credit cards. Her work has been featured on CNBC, New York Daily News, Fox News, Yahoo! Finance, AOL Finance, Experian and the Identity Theft Resource Center. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible and is always thinking about how best to invest her own money for retirement and her family’s well-being.

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