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Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card Review

free flights to Hawaii

Hawaii is often at the top of the list when it comes to vacation destinations. With almost perfect weather year round and more beaches than you can count, it’s easy to see why Hawaii is such a popular destination. If you have a family, it can be really challenging to make plane tickets work for your budget. We are pretty much limited to taking our big trips around Christmas, spring break, or summer vacation. Seasoned travelers know this as “peak season” and buying flights is usually most expensive during this time. Yes, you can sometimes find a sale or mistake fare, but if you’re like me, you want to plan vacations well in advance. This is where points and miles can get take you to places you might not be able or willing to spend money on otherwise. My family of three is in Hawaii right at this moment thanks to the Hawaiian Airlines credit card.

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Master Card From Barclay

When you are approved for this card, you’ll receive 35,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles after spending $1000 on the card in the first 90 days of account opening. There is an annual fee of $89 that is not waived for the first year. You’ll get a 50% off a companion certificate for use when purchasing a full fare ticket from North America to Hawaii. If you don’t have enough points for a family of three, you could use points for one ticket, purchase one, and get one half price. It’s not free, but gives you half off the price you would pay to buy three tickets out of pocket. You get a 5000 point discount when booking award travel. Points can be transferred between accounts if both parties are Hawaiian Airlines credit card holders. You also get your first checked bag free when you use the card to purchase the ticket.

How Many Hawaiian Miles Does it Take To Get a Free Trip?

Round Trip Super Saver awards start at 40,000 miles round trip from the mainland to Hawaii. If you have the credit card, you can get a 5000 mile discount, so the 35,000 miles after hitting the $1000 in spending gives you enough miles for one trip to Hawaii. Jim and I each got a personal card, and I applied for the business version. Unfortunately, we were unable to find the 35,000 mile discounted awards for our dates, so I had to purchase a few extra miles for just over $73. If we’d waited, I think we could have found the awards, but I wanted to book late last year. Buying those miles helped me to not be stressed!  With the three $89 annual fees, the $73 for purchase miles, and $10 per ticket for fees, we got three round trip tickets to Hawaii for $370. Not free, but a pretty great deal!

You could also use Hawaiian one way and another airline on the return trip. Hawaiian allows one way purchases with miles. Hawaiian also doesn’t fly out of every city, so make sure you are near enough to a participating hub or can get to one easily with other flights before applying for this card. Check Hawaiianairlines.com to find flight cities.

Why Hawaiian Airlines?

We chose Hawaiian airlines because this was our daughter’s first decent length flight. I think the service on Hawaiian is better than most other domestic carriers, and it’s the only airline that provides a free meal in coach going  from North America to Hawaii. I know there are other airlines that might have gotten us there for less miles, but using Hawaiian allowed us to save our valued Chase and Starwood points for luxury hotels in Kauai.

Summary

The Hawaiian Airlines credit card can be a great way to get to Hawaii for low cost. There is an annual fee of $89 that is not waived for the first year. The spending requirement is on the low end at $1000 in 90 days. Most families could meet this buying groceries for three months.If you’ve been looking for a low cost way to get air fare to Hawaii, this could a great card for your travel plans. You can apply through this link right now!

Have you been to Hawaii? Did you pay full price or use points?

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About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

7 comments

  1. My wife is really wanting us to churn this card so we can try and get the airfare covered to go. I’ve never been though she did as a child. I do want to go, but there are so many other places to see as well. 🙂

  2. We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and it was wonderful, so we can’t wait to go back! But, flights to hawaii from St. Louis are really expensive, even if you fly at off-peak times, so we’ll definitely have to check this out as a way to reduce the cost!

  3. I love Hawaii too. Could there be a better vacation spot? Thanks for the very useful information about the credit card. I will look into it further as soon as I can.

  4. This is the next card I want to churn, especially for Hawaii!

  5. I like that it’s such a low spending amount in a wide time frame, but don’t love the annual fee the first year. I think I’d have to weigh the difference between a flight from LA to Hawaii (which you can usually find for an OK price) versus the annual feel and possibly purchasing extra miles. I wish southwest flew to Hawaii!

  6. I hope you are enjoying your trip!! I have always wanted to go to Hawaii; however, from New York, we are almost better off going to Europe before Hawaii with the flight schedules. This is a great card, though, for getting you to Hawaii, and I love that they have a meal in coach for the trip. It is sad that this is an unusual practice now in flights.

  7. I will keep this card on the radar for my next churn as I did one recently. Hawaii is not in the cards anytime soon but it’s always good to have them just in case we get the itch. Thanks for the review.

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