The Go Hawaii Cards
Pack Each Day with Fun Activities and Spend Only What You Planned
The Go Oahu Card: is currently only good for Oahu attractions. There was a Go Maui card too, but it’s been phased out.
(note ** I am super-impressed with the newest additions to the Go Oahu Card there are new general attractions like the Polynesian cultural center (admission free with the card – talk about a great discount!, and Kualoa Ranch Tours, plus new 3, 5, and 7 day bonuses like a dolphin encounter, a sunset ranch experience, and the PCC show. – these were all NEW additions in April 2011 and really increase the value of the card in my opinion.)
What is it: It is a credit-card sized card that you present to get in free to certain Oahu and Maui attractions and activities and to automatically take a discount off certain shopping and dining.
How does it work
You purchase the card at the website. You can buy a 1 day card, a 2 day card, a 3 day card, a 5 day card, or a 7 day card. Your card is activated when you first use it. You then get into any and all participating attractions for free for the entire day.
If you bought a 2 or more days card you have 2 weeks to use the rest of your days. Go back to the same attractions or go to all new ones (each attraction can only be visited once per day though).
One card per person, so if you are a family of three and are all planning on going to the same activities you will have to each buy a card. *** check the website to be sure this is still accurate
Go Oahu Card coupons here (read about the end of summer sale there right now – it’s pretty good) <--- check here for promotional codes, there is not actually a physical coupon to be had but if there is a deal running (15% off or free shipping or whatever) the code will be on that page.
You can also just click through to the go card site – sometimes they put all the cards on sale and don’t even tell anyone . You just click through and feel really lucky
Is it worth it?
This is for the Oahu card only – I did the same study for Maui and it didn’t turn out quite as well, so I don’t recommend it a whole lot, but I highly recommend the Oahu card
Well, let’s do a study: let’s say you are a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids between 3 and 12) going to Oahu for a week and a half. You buy a 3 day card for each family member, which costs about $500 (actual price may be a bit more or less depending on sales or promotions) and this is what you do:
** prices in red my estimates for 2 adults, 2 kids
Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park in the morning (normally around $120)
Bishop Museum in the afternoon (around $50)
In the evening, you run around Waikiki on the trolley (normally at least $50)
USS Arizona audio tour plus USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park (about $50)
Sea Life Park admission (typically near $70)
In the evening, get a free caricature at Royal Hawaiian Caricatures (ride over on the trolley) or get 25% off Germaine’s Luau tickets (Let’s be really conservative and say $80)
Day Three Makani Catamaran Breakfast Sail (about $140)
Hanauma Bay Snorkeling (around $20)
Hawaiian Ocean Surf Lesson or One day Car Rental (I’m not sure of price, let’s say $40)
All Day Waikiki Trolley rides (around $50)
Total: $670 — a savings of $170 — Looks Worth It in this case
Who it probably would be great for
Imagine going on a Hawaii trip for a week and a half and running out of money the last few days so all you could do is hang out at the beach or run up your credit cards. Well, this card could eliminate that worry – you could buy a card specifically for when you run out of money. You could even use the card to budget your activity spending for the trip.
Who it’s probably not so great for
If you think you are only up for one major activity a day this card would probably not save you money.
I bought a one day Go Oahu card in late November for a mid-december trip to Oahu. It was mailed to my house along with a booklet that has maps and instructions, along with information about the individual activities supported by the card. They are put together by area and each area includes other free points of interest. I used the card with no problem. I just handed it over instead of money. The attendant took it to a computer and then handed it back to me and that was it.
Another Option, a Cool One
Recently the Go card people came up with another option for people who like the savings of the cards but who like to relax and take it easy a bit more on their vacations. This is called the Custom Oahu Explorer Pass and I have written a complete review and explanation of it here. It’s another option I can recommend.
question I received
I have recently purchased a 3 day Go Hawaii Card for an upcoming trip to Oahu. The 3 day purchase entitles me to either a free surf lesson or a one day car rental from Budget. The question is: Is the car rental good for a 4th day, or does it have to be rented on one of the three days for which you are using your card?
answer I sent
I’m not a Go Hawaii Card representative, but I did call the Waikiki Dollar and they seemed to think you it would need to be during the 3 days you are using the card (the woman I spoke to wasn’t positive, but that’s what she thought). Have a wonderful vacation! Lisa
So the people who make the go oahu card used to make a go maui card but they don’t anymore. It wasn’t that great of a deal anyway.
So if you are going to Maui what do you do?
One option is to look into the entertainment book – see all the maui coupons in the entertainment book here
Another option is the maui fun card. I’ve never used it. I don’t know if it’s any good or not.
Other than that, you can try the strategies on my maui coupons page to save money. good luck!