Reviews Frontier Airlines World MasterCard from Barclays review
Frontier Airlines World MasterCard from Barclays review

Frontier Airlines World MasterCard from Barclays review

Published: May 30, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Airline Rating:
3.6 rating
3.6 rating
3.6 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.5
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.3
Rewards Flexibility: 3.5
Flight Options: 1.0
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

This budget-airline card offers one of the most generous sign-up bonuses on the market and a decent return on spending, but with a paltry rewards rate and a limited network of destinations, the card’s value drops significantly after the first year.

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 on Frontier Airlines purchases
  • 1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
40,000 bonus miles if you spend $500 in the first 90 days

Annual Bonus
$100 flight discount voucher when you spend $2,500

Annual Fee
$69

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$569

APR
16.74-25.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on the number of miles you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Miles don’t expire if you use your card at least once every 6 months
  • You can change your itinerary for free as long as it’s at least 8 days before your trip
  • Redemption fee for frequent flier miles waived if you book your flight with Frontier card
  • You can redeem miles for both one-way and round-trip flights

Cons

  • Miles automatically expire if you forget to use your card for 6 months
  • Limited number of rewards seats per flight
  • Rewards-funded seats aren’t available on all flights
  • $10 booking fee for phone reservations
  • No stopovers or open-jaw tickets allowed
  • Can’t transfer miles to other airlines

Flight Options

  • Airline partners: 0
  • Daily flights: 275
  • Destinations: 40
  • Countries served: 4

Other Notable Features: Free FICO credit score, price protection, extended warranty, concierge services, airport concierge, MasterCard travel services, luxury hotel and resort upgrades and promotions, discounts and exclusive offers on luxury goods and services, car rental insurance, identity-theft protection, emergency card services

Balance Transfer Rating:
3 rating
3 rating
3 / 5
Introductory Offer: 3.2
Net Value: 2.1
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The opening offer on this budget airline card is packed with strong incentives, including an unusually generous sign-up bonus and a lengthy 0 percent balance transfer offer.

0% Introductory Period
15 billing cycles

Transfer Fee
$5 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR
None

Regular APR
16.74-25.74%

Annual Fee
$69

Other Notable Features: Free FICO credit score, price protection, extended warranty, concierge services, airport concierge, MasterCard travel services, luxury hotel and resort upgrades and promotions, discounts and exclusive offers on luxury goods and services, car rental insurance, identity-theft protection, emergency card services

Rewards Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.7
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.3
Rewards Flexibility: 3.4
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

Despite its high APR and moderately priced annual fee, this budget airline card offers a tremendous amount of value for domestic travelers – especially if cardholders spend enough each year to qualify for the card’s $100 airline voucher.

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 on Frontier Airlines purchases
  • 1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
40,000 bonus miles if you spend $500 in the first 90 days

Annual Fee
$69

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$569

APR
16.74-25.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on the number of miles you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Miles don’t expire if you use your card at least once every 6 months
  • You can change your itinerary for free as long as it’s at least 8 days before your trip
  • Redemption fee for frequent flier miles waived if you book your flight with Frontier card
  • You can redeem miles for both one-way and round-trip flights

Cons

  • Miles automatically expire if you forget to use your card for 6 months
  • Limited number of rewards seats per flight
  • Rewards-funded seats aren’t available on all flights
  • $10 booking fee for phone reservations
  • No stopovers or open-jaw tickets allowed
  • Can’t transfer miles to other airlines

Other Notable Features: Free FICO credit score, price protection, extended warranty, concierge services, airport concierge, MasterCard travel services, luxury hotel and resort upgrades and promotions, discounts and exclusive offers on luxury goods and services, car rental insurance, identity-theft protection, emergency card services

Travel Rating:
3.9 rating
3.9 rating
3.9 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.7
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.4
Rewards Flexibility: 3.4
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

A fantastic value for cardholders who live in the Western United States and don’t mind flying on a low cost carrier, the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard pairs a generously valued rewards program with a substantial sign-up bonus and a $100 flight voucher every year.

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 on Frontier Airlines purchases
  • 1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
40,000 bonus miles if you spend $500 in the first 90 days

Annual Fee
$69

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$569

APR
16.74-25.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on the number of miles you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Miles don’t expire if you use your card at least once every 6 months
  • You can change your itinerary for free as long as it’s at least 8 days before your trip
  • Redemption fee for frequent flier miles waived if you book your flight with Frontier card
  • You can redeem miles for both one-way and round-trip flights

Cons

  • Miles automatically expire if you forget to use your card for 6 months
  • Limited number of rewards seats per flight
  • Rewards-funded seats aren’t available on all flights
  • $10 booking fee for phone reservations
  • No stopovers or open-jaw tickets allowed
  • Can’t transfer miles to other airlines

Other Notable Features: Free FICO credit score, price protection, extended warranty, concierge services, airport concierge, MasterCard travel services, luxury hotel and resort upgrades and promotions, discounts and exclusive offers on luxury goods and services, car rental insurance, identity-theft protection, emergency card services

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If you live in the Midwest or South and are a fan of Frontier Airlines, this humble airline’s card can be an ideal companion to help turbocharge your frequent flier earnings and quickly earn a free flight. The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard offers one of the most generous sign-up bonuses you can get, essentially gifting cardholders with up to two free flights within the card’s first year.

Frontier Airlines also offers a growing number of domestic flights, making it an attractive pick for frequent fliers who are primarily interested in cheap domestic travel. Just be sure to check the airline’s routes and think carefully about how often you’re likely to fly Frontier. The Denver-based airline continues to add more flights across the country, but its network of destinations is still relatively limited.

Industry-leading sign-up bonus
The biggest draw for the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard is its generous sign-up bonus, which makes traveling for free exceptionally easy in the card’s first year. Cardholders who spend just $500 in the card’s first three months get 40,000 bonus points – worth around $640 Depending on where you fly, that’s enough to buy you up to two round-trip domestic tickets.

If you’re a frequent Frontier Airlines customer and spend relatively heavily, you can wind up with several free tickets before the end of the year. You may have a hard time earning more free trips after the card’s first year, though, since its regular rewards program is relatively limited compared to its competitors.

Valuable bonus for returning members
Frontier Airlines recently added a $100 flight discount voucher to the card, which is provided to loyal card members on a yearly basis. This is a very valuable bonus, since it can be applied to the cost of a regular ticket on Frontier Airlines. However, you will need to watch the expiration date very closely, because the certificate comes with a short shelf life. Card members only have 180 days from the date the certificate is issued to book their airfare.

Disappointing rewards rate
The Frontier Airlines card offers cardholders just 1 mile for every dollar spent on regular purchases and 2 miles for every dollar spent on purchases from Frontier Airlines. Unless you travel heavily on Frontier, you’ll have a hard time earning a large number of miles with that subpar rewards rate.

However, the miles you do earn may be worth a lot. Valued at over a penny and a half each, Frontier Airlines miles are worth more than the typical cards rewards card miles, making it easier to earn a free flight than with other cards that have similar rewards rates. But the bottom line is that to get the most out of this airline card, you’ll need to spend a lot of money on flights.

Limited but growing network
The Denver-based airline continues to add more destinations around the country, but its network is still relatively small compared to larger airlines. So think carefully about where you plan to fly to before signing up for the card, which has a $69 annual fee.

Apart from major coastal cities – such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York – the vast majority of Frontier’s destinations are in the Midwest and South. The budget airline doesn’t offer a single flight to New England and only offers flights to a select number of cities in the West. Frontier isn’t a member of any airline alliance, so you can’t transfer miles elsewhere.

Some restrictions on travel
You may also have a hard time booking rewards-funded flights on the dates you want to travel. Frontier Airlines doesn’t impose travel blackout dates, but it does restrict the number of rewards-funded seats that are available. Once you’ve purchased a ticket, though, you can change your itinerary for free as long you do so at least eight days before the flight. Frontier also lets you use miles for one-way trips, so you won’t have to wait until you have enough miles for a round-trip ticket to redeem for a free flight.

Very high APR
The biggest downside to the Frontier Airlines card is its surprisingly high APR, particularly for cardholders with less-than-perfect credit. Cardholders with the best credit scores are charged a minimum APR of 16.74 percent, which is slightly above average for an airline card. Meanwhile, cardholders with lower scores are charged up to 25.74 percent, which is exceptionally high for a general market credit card. The average airline card, by contrast, charges an average APR of just 15.35 percent.

To get the most out of this airline card, only use it for purchases you can afford to repay in full. But don’t forget about the card either: Miles automatically expire if you don’t use the card for a period of six months.

Reasons to get it:

  • You live on a Frontier Airlines route and frequently fly to Frontier destinations.
  • You’re looking for domestic rewards-funded travel rather than free international flights.
  • You want a large sign-up bonus in the first year.

How to use it:

  • To get the most out of this airline card, fly Frontier as often as possible and use the card for all airline purchases.
  • Spend at least $500 – roughly $167 a month – in the card’s first 90 days to claim the sign-up bonus.
  • Only use the card for purchases you can pay in full each month. However, continue to use it at least once every few months. Miles automatically expire if you don’t use the card for six months.

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