Frontier Airlines World Mastercard

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Good for Frontier loyalists, but most consumers will find little value here.

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If you’re a fan of Frontier Airlines, then you’ll want to check out the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard. For everyone else, take a pass.

With its generous sign-up bonus and no annual fee for the first year, there’s little doubt you’ll get a ton of value out of this card. You can earn 2 miles per dollar spent, which goes a longer way on Frontier than more expensive airlines like Delta or United.

Review

The Frontier Airlines World Mastercard makes a good case for giving it a try – at least for one year. The annual $69 fee is waived, so you can essentially sample the card free of charge for 12 months.

The airline also throws in the chance to snag 40,000 miles, which is good for two domestic round-trip award tickets. All you have to do is spend $500 within the first 90 days. Frontier is a budget-friendly airline where most of the amenities are a la carte, such as beverages and light snacks, so tickets are usually cheaper than the competition’s. For cardholders, this means your miles go further, too. Most one-way tickets cost about 10,000 miles.

Another advantage of trying out this card for a year is the 0% APR for balance transfers. Depending on what your interest rate is, you might be able to save a few bucks by moving your debt over to this card. However, balance transfers don’t count as purchases, so you won’t be able to earn miles this way.

You’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend at FlyFrontier.com and 1 mile on all other purchases.

Unfortunately, this card doesn’t come with any travel perks like free upgrades; in Frontier’s world that means the extra legroom seats, or free checked bags.

The airline also offers a card that charges no annual fee. The sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards are considerably lower, however.

Who should get this card

Frequent Frontier fliers are the best candidates for this card. If you’re keen on finding the cheapest domestic tickets (they also fly to some locations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada) and fly often, then this is an airline and card worth considering. This is particularly well-suited for people who travel light and don’t care if they get free snacks or entertainment on board.

Advantages
  • Frontier loyalists will earn double points on airline purchases.
  • You can transfer a balance for free within the first year.
  • There’s a generous sign-up bonus, which equals two round-trip tickets.
Disadvantages
  • There are no travel benefits like priority boarding or complimentary upgrades.
  • The bonus points for everyday purchases is not competitive.
  • You are tied to Frontier if you want to get the most value out of your points.

Fees and APR

  • Annual fee is $69, waived the first year.
  • Introductory APR on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening is 0% for the first 15 billing cycles. After that it’s a variable 16.99% to 25.99% based on creditworthiness.
  • The variable APR on purchases is also between 16.99% and 25.99%.
  • There is a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside the U.S.

Extras, perks and using rewards

Miles change value depending on when you book; however, most flights cost about 10,000 miles for a one-way ticket.

Frontier charges a pretty onerous redemption fee of between $15 and $75 when you use rewards points to book a flight. The airline will waive that fee for cardholders.

You must use the card once every six months to keep your points from expiring.

This card comes with a free FICO credit score report.

You can earn a $100 Frontier Airlines flight discount voucher on your anniversary if you spend $2,500 or more within the year. Travel must be booked before the expiration date, but the flight can be taken after.

How this card compares

Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi
Card Details
  • Earn 25,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening*
  • Points redeemable for $350 towards your stay at a +VIP Access™ hotel
  • 4 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on eligible Expedia purchases including flights, hotels, activities and travel packages*
  • 2 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on dining out and entertainment*
  • 1 Expedia+ bonus point per $1 spent on other purchases*
  • Enjoy Expedia+ gold status each year of cardmembership*
  • $100 Annual Air Travel Fee Statement Credit can be used toward airline incidentals or for either the Global Entry or the TSA Pre √® application fees*
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 14.99% - 22.99%* (Variable)
Annual Fee $95*
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

For those who enjoy a challenge, the Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi offers some of the best points values available from a travel rewards credit card. But this isn’t a card that allows minimum effort, as calculating your redemption options can be complicated.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card
Card Details
  • Limited Time Offer - Buy 1 ticket, get 1 for just the taxes and fees with Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • Get another Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22) every year on your account anniversary valid on Alaska and Virgin America flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Save with a free checked bag on Alaska and Virgin America flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
  • Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. No foreign transaction fees.
  • There are two types of cards: the Visa Signature® card and the Platinum Plus® card. The card you receive will be determined by several factors including your income and credit history.
  • The benefits and bonus miles above apply to Visa Signature cards only. The Annual Fees, benefits and bonus miles for Platinum Plus® cards are different.
  • For more information on the differences, see the Features section accompanying the application.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 13.24% - 20.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee $75
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

The Bank of America-issued Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card has a hallmark feature that no other airline card can top: its Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare offer.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Card Details
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Get a metal Venture Card when you apply today
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

Put simply, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the best travel rewards credit cards on the market today. It’s made better by its modest annual fee, which the issuer will waive during the first year of card ownership.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Card Details
  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee $89 - Waived first year
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard will likely appeal to those who want the most flexible redemption options for their miles.  You can use your earnings to book travel, get a statement credit for travel purchases, or for gift cards and select merchandise.  

 

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.