Barclaycard Does Not Allow Product Changes

Barclaycard Does Not Allow Product Changes

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard. However, my plans to get rid of it hit a snag. Why? Because Barclaycard does NOT allow product changes. And I find that to be stupid.

Why I Want to Dump the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard

Not only am I not a fan of the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard, but I’m not a fan of Hawaiian Airlines either. Generally, I receive better service on Alaska Airlines, which has become my primary airline for out-of-state travel. For inter-island travel, I’m not so sure yet, but I’ll find out soon enough.

Barclaycard Does Not Allow Product Changes

But given my disdain for Hawaiian Airlines, why should I keep their co-brand credit card? It’s not like the benefits are all that great either. After all, for $99/year, you get:

  • first checked bag for primary cardholder only
  • $100 annually companion discount for flights between Hawaii and the Continental U.S.
  • Discounted HawaiianMiles redemption rates (remember, they massively changed HawaiianMiles recently too)
  • 3x miles on Hawaiian Airlines purchases; 2x miles on gas, dining, grocery purchases; and 1x miles on everything else

That’s not a bad set of features, but that’s not nearly as good as the value presented by the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature. Plus, as you’ll recall, you can earn more HawaiianMiles with Amex cards. The Gold and Platinum cards even give you airline fee credits for use on checked bag fees, etc. So, why on earth would you want a Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard?

What to Do if You Have One?

Well, I do have one of these cards. I applied for it back when I was flying Hawaiian Airlines often enough for the card to make sense. Remember, you’d have to fly four Hawaii-Continental U.S., six inter-island, or some combination of those two segments to recover the annual fee in checked bag fee reimbursements. Yeah, the card does have the $100 annual companion discount benefit. But, again, I don’t really ever fly Hawaiian anymore anyway.

Typically, if I have a card I no longer want, I’d contact the issuer and see what downgrade options I have. I’ve done this in the past with both Chase and Amex, and Citi says they’ll do this too. But when I reached out to Barclays, they responded with this:

Barclaycard Does Not Allow Product Changes

The short story is, no, they won’t let me product change. And when I did some digging around on forums, others encountered this issue too. So my only options at this point are: 1) keep the card, or 2) cancel it outright.

Why I Don’t Like Canceling Cards

The answers to the above question should be easy, right? Cancel and save the $99/year. But I don’t like canceling cards because doing so can have a negative impact on your credit score. Why? Because your credit utilization, number of accounts you have, and age of accounts all factor into your score.

For me, the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard is one of my older cards. And because an average of all open lines are taken, closing an older account can have a serious impact on the average age of my accounts. The card also represents a sizable chunk of my available credit, so losing that can also have a negative impact on my score.

My Decision

Right now, I haven’t made one. I’ve already paid the annual fee for 2019, so I’m thinking I’ll just sit on the card for another year. At least then I can see how I feel about Southwest Airlines before moving forward with a cancelation. Even though, rationally, keeping the card makes no sense. Even if I decided to keep flying Hawaiian, I wouldn’t fly them enough to make the valuation work. It’s an irrational decision, I know, so we’ll see. I’m going to continue to think about this one for now.

Barclaycard Does Not Allow Product Changes, Final Thoughts

I think it’s stupid that Barclays won’t let you product change. In my opinion, they’re essentially telling you that they’d rather lose you as a customer altogether than allow you to change from a card you don’t want to one that you do. But, hey, that’s up to them. So, the moral of the story is, don’t apply for a Barclay card unless you’re absolutely sure you want one, don’t mind paying the annual fee, and/or don’t mind canceling outright if you no longer want it.