Your Next Vacation to Hawaii Could Be Cheaper with the Right Cards
If you're planning a trip to the Aloha State, you could save a good chunk of money by travelling with the right card. In particular, Hawaiian Airlines offers cost-effective cards with some nice perks.
Mastercard's premier credit card, the World Elite card, is available from Hawaiian Airlines. It provides a $100 discount each year on a companion ticket in exchange for an $89 annual fee. During the first year a card is open, the airline increases the discount to 50% off the normal roundtrip fare. The card is issued by Barclays, and there are no foreign currency transaction fees when it's used outside the U.S.
Tickets purchased on Hawaiian Airlines with the World Elite card come with a free checked bag. This benefit is only available for the primary cardholder, however. Authorized users are not eligible for the perk.
The Hawaiian Airlines credit card is automatically enrolled in the company's frequent flyer program, HawaiianMiles. Purchases made from Hawaiian Airlines with the card earn two miles per dollar, while all other purchases receive one mile per dollar. Furthermore, cardmembers who spend at least $10,000 per year receive a 5,000-mile bonus.
Earned miles can be used to purchase airfare anywhere Hawaiian flies. In particular, roundtrip flights to one of the four major Hawaiian Islands from the continental U.S. cost 35,000 miles.
Points never expire as long as an account is open and in good standing. Another really nice feature of HawaiianMiles is that miles earned can be shared with other members of the program. Miles can be shared up to ten times per calendar year, and there is no fee for making a transfer.
If you don't qualify for the credit card or would just simply prefer to use a debit card, there is one available from the Bank of Hawaii that earns miles with Hawaiian Airlines. The Bankoh Hawaiian Airlines Visa debit card is linked to a checking account and earns up to 1,000 miles per month. The debit card earns a lower one mile for every $2 spent, and there is a $3 monthly fee for the card. At $36 per year, the fee is actually lower than the credit card's annual charge, but the debit card doesn't offer the same level of benefits. The required checking account at Bank of Hawaii requires a $100 deposit and charges $2 for each paper statement. Electronic statements are available at no cost.
So what should you do with all the miles you earn with your Hawaiian Airlines credit and debit cards? The airline has several partner carriers, and they accept HawaiianMiles as part of their association. Some of the available airlines include JetBlue, All Nippon Airways, Virgin, and Korean Air. Several roundtrip economy class tickets can be had for less than 20,000 miles, although taxes and fees are extra.
If you want to earn additional miles for all your travels, Hawaiian Airlines has a collection of restaurants and retailers that provide bonus miles when purchases are made with a Hawaiian Airlines credit or debit card. The HawaiianMiles Marketplace mobile app, which is compatible with Android and Apple, displays these businesses on a map. While many are located in the Hawaiian Islands, there are others that are in the continental U.S. Some of the available businesses include Papa John's, which earns two miles per dollar spent, and Barnes & Noble, where transactions garner three miles for every $1 spent.
If you don't fly frequently on Hawaiian or its partner airlines, HawaiianMiles can be donated on-line to several charities. Some of the organizations that accept donations include the Blood Bank of Hawaii, the Coral Reef Alliance, and the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project.