Not too long ago we got notice about a new travel rewards card – The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® from Barclaycard. At first I didn’t pay much attention because I’m not close to an airport that’s served by Hawaiian Airlines, but if you are, this might be one of the easiest almost-free ways to get to Hawaii – and we know there is no shortage of WorldWanderlusting followers who really want to go to there.
The new card offers a bonus of 35,000 Hawaiian Airlines Miles after spending $1000 in the first 90 days and gives you 1 point per dollar spent on the card. It offers no fees on foreign transactions, and does have an annual fee of $89 that they don’t waive the first year.
At the coach super-saver level you can book a RT ticket for 40,000 points. I fished around a bit and found a lot of availability in October – about the time it cools off around here and I’d actually like to go to Hawaii.
Unlike some of the other cards and offers we’ve promoted on this blog where your bonus is more than sufficient, you can see there will be a little gap between your bonus and what you’ll need to make this flight. But since you’re typically looking at about $1000- $1500 for a flight to Hawaii, it makes a lot of sense to figure out how to pull this off.
I find that in our household budget, we have at least $1000/mo in expenses we can put on a credit card and then pay off immediately. (If you’re trying to think of what expenses you could put on a credit card, check out this post on how to meet credit card spending limits with everyday spending). What this means is that I could get this card and after 5 months of spending $1000/mo, have a total of the 40,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles I need to book the flight for $10. If I did the same thing for my spouse, after 10 months we could both be headed to Hawaii. (Also, if you have any American Express Membership Rewards, you can transfer to this program at a 1:1 ratio – another way to top your account off to 40k).
If you add the cost of the annual fee to your $10 booking charge, you’re looking at $99 each to fly to the Hawaiian island of your choice. Now you just have to figure out which island you’ll explore next, and for that there’s no better resource than GoHawaii.com and the Choose an Island Tool. It gives you a great idea of the highlights of each island and once you establish where you want to go, its a rich database for amazing places to see and fun things to do.
I’ve always thought that Kauai would be the first on my Hawaii hitlist, but after looking through each of them, I’m actually enthralled by the thought of visiting “the big island” – mostly because I fantasize about the thought of watching the lava pour into the ocean and steam off and cool immediately.
Which island will you be visiting? Please comment and let us know. Also, if there’s a place you want to see us show you how to go almost-free, don’t hesitate to ask.
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