Review: First Hawaiian Bank Priority Destinations World Elite MasterCard

The First Hawaiian Bank Priority Destinations World Elite MasterCard is one of only two competitive rewards credit cards offered by the local banks. The other option being, of course, the Barclay (Bank of Hawaii) Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard. The value of Hawaii banks is steady, reliable, conservative, customer-friendly service. Which is absolutely great for your checking account. But we’re in search of outsize, aggressive rewards here. Still, if you’re looking for another local option, this would be it. 

First Hawaiian Bank Priority Destinations World Elite MasterCard

First Hawaiian Bank Priority Destinations World Elite MasterCard. Image Credit: courtesy of First Hawaiian Bank and MasterCard.

 

Benefits:

  • 25,000 “mile” bonus after spend of $1,500
  • Earn 5x miles (per dollar spent) on travel for the first $6,000 in a calendar year and 2x miles for all other travel purchases thereafter
  • Earn 2x miles on gas, groceries, cable TV, phone, and other monthly utilities
  • Earn 1x miles on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • World Elite MasterCard benefits

Damage:

  • $50 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • 14.49% APR variable based upon the Prime Rate
  • Redemptions for travel must be made through First Hawaiian Bank website

Analysis:

The redemption ratio for travel on this card is 1:1, or 1 mile per $0.01 in value. That would make the spending bonus worth $250. Mediocre, but your second best local option. Unless, however, someone has access to FHB’s travel portal, it’s very difficult to figure out the true value of redemption. For instance, are travel prices inflated on the portal? Are there any limitations to the airline, hotel or car rental companies you can use? If anyone knows, please make a comment below. Otherwise, redemptions for gift cards are a joke at 1:2 rate ($25 gift card for 5,000 miles), while cash rewards are surprisingly better but not ideal at a 1:1.25 rate ($50 cash for 6,250 miles). Consider this card only if you do not trust mainland banks and you already have a Hawaiian Miles credit card. It would be great if our local banks had better credit cards to offer, but it’s just not in their nature. So it’s best that you know.

Questions, Comments or Criticisms?