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Hawaiian Airlines and Barclays just rolled out a whole new benefit structure for their Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard and Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard. These travel reward cards definitely got an upgrade. The goal: to help cardmembers rack up miles faster and book travel sooner. But are these new updates for the Barclays Hawaiian Airlines credit cards worth it?
The New Barclays and Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card benefits
First of all, there’s a shiny new welcome bonus. New cardholders can claim up to 50,000 HawaiianMiles if they spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. That’s for the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard, the personal consumer card.
To earn the bonus on the Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard, you only have to make a purchase. Any purchase, apparently. That’s a sizeable upgrade from the old benefits. The personal card, for example, used to only offer 35,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months. So the spending threshold did increase, but so did the payoff. The business card only offered 40,000 miles at the get-go before.
The business card’s anniversary offer remains largely the same – an additional 40,000 bonus miles if you spend at least $100,000 on the card in the first year. However, the ability to earn 20,000 extra miles for spending between $50,000-$99,000 is off the table with the new card. It’s all or nothing from here on out. That means smaller businesses with lower spending totals might not see any benefits at all on their cardmember anniversary.
Both cards come with a $99 annual fee, which is $10 more than they cost previously. It’s not waived the first year, which detracts slightly from the initial value of the bonus.
Other Barclays and Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card benefits
As for benefits that have carried over, there’s still the tempting companion fare discount. New cardmembers earn a one-time half-off companion discount for round-trip travel between Hawaii and North America.
You do have to book directly through your HawaiianMiles account using your Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard and it’s only for the primary cardholder. Any secondary cardholders aren’t eligible to redeem the discount. You can book any time in the 13 months after account opening. That goes for both Barclays and Hawaiian Airlines credit cards.
One checked bag is also free when you book and pay with the new card. Inexplicably, the business card offers no such benefit, though it never did. The personal card also offers an anniversary benefit: a $100 discount on a companion fare for travel between Hawaii and North America.
Both cards come with no foreign transaction fee and the ability to share miles with friends and family, which is a plus. Other benefits include access to discounted award flights on the website.
The new earning structure for Barclays and Hawaiian Airlines Credit Cards
The earning structure is getting a facelift, too. Whereas you used to earn 2X miles on Hawaiian Airlines purchases and 1X miles on everything else, you can now earn more points faster with the 3-2-1 earning structure.
The 3-2-1 structure offers 3X miles on Hawaiian Airline purchases, 2X miles on gas, dining and either groceries (except at Target and Walmart) for the personal card or office supply stores for the business card, and 1X mile on everything else. It’s very similar to the new Frontier Airlines card from Barclays that was announced a few weeks ago. Time will tell if more of the Barclay lineup will go that way.
Redeeming Hawaiian Airlines Miles
Hawaiian Airlines states that the sign-on bonus offers enough miles for a round-trip flight between Hawaii and the West Coast of the U.S. Reward flights start at 40,000 miles round trip for Coach Super Saver seats and go up to 160,000 and beyond for first or business class. If you book a cheap coach ticket, you should even have enough miles left over (once you factor in miles earned from the initial spend limit) for a 15,000-mile round-trip flight between Hawaiian islands.
You can also redeem miles for seat upgrades, which start at 15,000 miles for a round-trip flight, or even a Premier Club membership for 40,000 miles. That gets you your first two check-in bags for free, access to clubs on the Hawaiian islands, priority security lines, complimentary in-flight entertainment, and priority boarding (which means early access to overhead bins). Or, opt to renew your membership for 35,000 miles.
You can also transfer miles to Hilton Honors on a 1:1.5 ratio if it’s free hotel stays, not flights, you want. You can also use your miles to book JetBlue, Virgin America and Korean Air flights, which are some of Hawaiian Airlines’ partners. Note that you may have to call to get on those flights though.
While many airlines are changing flight earning structures to be based on how much you spend, Hawaiian still offers one mile for every mile flown.
Bottom Line on the Barclays Hawaiian Airlines Credit Cards
The new offers from Barclays and Hawaiian Airlines credit cards are definitely an upgrade. Whether applying is worth it depends on your travel plans for the next year. Anyone who flies between Hawaii and the mainland a few times a year would certainly benefit from the new benefits and earning structures.
Even those planning a Hawaiian vacation will find the card worth the annual fee. And if the islands in the Pacific aren’t on your travel schedule, partners like Hilton and partner airlines make HawaiianMiles and these new offers from Barclays and Hawaiian Airlines credit cards fairly valuable.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.