Review: Barclay (BoH) Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

Let’s start at the beginning. This is the credit card that graces the majority of cardholder’s back pockets and purses in Hawaii. It’s the World Elite MasterCard issued by Barclays but administered locally by Bank of Hawaii. This card enables trips to see tutu and Las Vegas, so it’s basically invaluable, right? Well, let’s take a look:

Barclay Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

Barclay (BoH) Hawaiian Miles World Elite MasterCard. Image Credit: courtesy of Barclay, Bank of Hawaii and MasterCard.

Benefits:

  • 35,000 mile bonus after spend of $1,000 in 3 months (standard offer)
  • 50,000 mile bonus may be achieved by going to the Hawaiian Airlines website and booking a domestic flight without logging in, or by in-flight promotional brochure handed out by flight attendants
  • Earn 2x miles (per dollar spent) on direct purchases from Hawaiian Airlines and 1x miles on all other purchases
  • Earn 2x to 10x miles on purchases at participating partners, both brick-and-mortar and online
  • Earn 200 HawaiianMiles for every $250 spent at Foodland with Maika’i Points; earn 3 HawaiianMiles for every reusable bag used at checkout
  • Earn 5,000 miles after $10,000 spend annually
  • Opportunity for additional 5,000 mile spending challenge initiated by postcard offer or a call to Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card customer service.
  • One-time 50% off companion discount, roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and mainland
  • One-time low intro APR on balance transfers, 0% APR for 15 months (3% fee)
  • Free first checked bag for primary cardholder
  • $100 discount on a companion roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and mainland
  • For current Pualani Platinum and Gold members, in-flight purchase credits, $10 per day, up to $100 annually
  • No foreign transaction fee on purchases
  • ShareMiles benefit for primary cardholder, may receive HawaiianMiles from friends and family without additional fees
  • World Elite MasterCard benefits

Damage:

  • $89 annual fee
  • 16.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% APR variable based upon creditworthiness
  • Limited earning potential for non-Hawaiian Airlines spending, unless with participating partners
  • This card may not be churnable (to be able to receive the offer multiple times). The terms and conditions states: “this offer is available only to applicants who are residents of the United States, with the exception of Puerto Rico and the US territories, and may not be available if you already have or have had an account with us.” That being said, there are reports of cardholders cancelling and applying for the same card.

Analysis:

This is an average card with added benefit only to Hawaii residents that frequently fly the airline or shop regularly with participating partners. Super Saver Coach round trip award fares from Hawaii to the mainland are 35,000 miles (for a $450 flight (plus taxes and fees) that would be $0.012 a mile) and to the neighbor islands for 15,000 ($110 flight (plus t/f), $0.007 a mile). Dedicating $20,000 of spend to this card annually would result in approximately 35,000 Hawaiian Miles, or enough for one Super Saver Coach round trip award fare.

Consider getting this card for the bonus miles and other benefits, but placing spend on the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card; the points earned on this card are directly transferrable to HawaiianMiles at a 1:1 ratio, but can be earned at a 1.5x-2x+ rate for every day purchases. Also, Virgin America points can be redeemed for Hawaiian Airlines roundtrip coach awards from Hawaii to the West Coast mainland for 20,000 points (35,000 points to New York) and inter-island roundtrip coach awards for 6,000 points. The Comenity Capital Bank Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Card, however, is not recommended. Booking with Virgin America points must be made by calling Virgin America.

Questions, Comments or Criticisms?