About a month ago, Barclaycard announced the debut of the new Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard after Bank of America failed to get its contract renewed to issue these co-branded cards. There were several months in limbo between the end of the BofA version and the release of the Barclay’s versions. But the new card is now available.
The new card comes with a pretty easy to hit sign-up bonus of 35,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days. While it is not a massive bonus, it is still enough to get you a round-trip flight to Hawaii from North America thanks a 5,000 mile award flight discount for cardholders.
Also upon approval, new cardmembers receive a one-time 50% off companion discount good for travel between North America and Hawaii. While this is a one-time perk, card holders will receive an annual $100 discount on a companion ticket every year at card renewal.
I was hoping to see the annual fee being waived the 1st year, but it looks that isn’t happening. The annual fee is $89 and is not waived however, if you can utilize the one-time 50% discount you will easily get your money back. Also, as expected, the card does grant a free checked bag on domestic economy flights or 2 free checked bags on international flights. Checked bag fees are $25 per flight, so with one round-trip you will recoup over half the annual fee.
This new card does also feature an annual spending bonus of 5,000 bonus miles for meeting a spending threshold of $10,000. This is a pretty solid bonus at pretty attainable level. If you run $10,000 through your card you will end up earning 1.5 miles per dollar once you factor in the spending bonus. Not too shabby.
Another very nice feature is the ability for cardholders to share miles. Cardmembers can receive miles from friends and family members online making it easy to combine your miles and reach your next award flight quicker! If you and a partner each apply for the card and each run $10,000 through the card annually you will both receive 5,000 bonus miles. Combine your miles and you will have 30,000 which leaves you only 5,000 miles short of your next free flight to Hawaii.
Also keep in mind that Hawaiian miles can be transferred to Hilton at a 1:2 ratio making the sign-up bonus worth 70,000 Hilton HHonors points. I get that this is not near as glamorous since the great devaluation in early 2013 however, for those redeeming for lower category Hilton properties this can still give you many free nights as category 1 only requires 5,000 points. The transfer ratio is now only 1:1.5 in 10,000 mile increments making this no longer a good Hilton option as you will only get 45,000 HHonors points. You can easily get more Hilton points via most of the Hilton cards directly.
So all-in-all this is a decent card with an easy to obtain sign-up bonus. If your destination is Hawaii or you can find value in transferring the miles to Hilton, then this is a good card for you.
Also, there is a business version of this card, issued by Bank of Hawaii, which I will write a separate post about. The business version also comes with a 35,000 point sign-up bonus.