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Frontier Airlines World Mastercard from Barclays review

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard from Barclays review

Published: October 25, 2018
Published: October 25, 2018
Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.9 rating
3.9 rating
3.9 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.1
Rewards Flexibility: 3.1
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.

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Rewards Rate

  • 5 miles per dollar on purchases made at flyfrontier.com
  • 3 miles per dollar on restaurant purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other 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
$79

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$706

APR
17.24-26.24% (variable)

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 flyer 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: Fast track to elite status, family pooling, award redemption fee waiver, priority boarding, 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

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 flyer 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.

The Frontier Airlines card was recently revamped, for the better. Among its new features, the card now offers a much better earning rate, no foreign transaction fee and the ability to earn qualifying miles toward elite status.

Frontier Airlines also offers a growing number of domestic flights, making it an attractive pick for frequent flyers 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.

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.

Better than average rewards rate

The Frontier Airlines card gives you more mileage than the average airline card. You get 5 miles per dollar on purchases made through flyfrontier.com, 3 miles per dollar on restaurant purchases and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases.

Furthermore, the miles you 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.

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 $79 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.

Qualify for elite status

New to the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard in 2018, card members can now earn elite status through their credit card spend. The spending requirements are fairly reasonable and status entitles you to valuable benefits, including free carry-on bags and seat assignments starting at the lowest tier (though, we would note that most airline cards automatically include such benefits, as well as free checked luggage). Here are the earning requirements for the status levels:

  • Elite20k Status: Spend $20,000 on the card in a calendar year. Perks include free carry-on bags and seat assignments.
  • Elite50k Status: Spend $50,000 on the card in a calendar year. Perks include family seating and seat assignments for up to eight traveling companions.
  • Elite100k Status: Spend $100,000 on the card in a calendar year. Perks include “the WORKS bundle” for the primary cardholder and up to eight traveling companions.

Decent travel perks

Cardholders get a handful of travel benefits through the card, including priority boarding with Frontier Airlines and a redemption fee waiver when you use your Frontier card to pay your taxes and fees for your award ticket. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, the card’s perks do not include free checked luggage – a fairly standard feature for airline credit cards.

The card does offer a few travel protections – including travel accident insurance, trip cancellation insurance, baggage delay insurance and car rental insurance. Also, very notably, the Frontier Airlines card now charges no foreign transaction fee, which will save you significantly on fees if you use the card while traveling abroad.

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 17.24 percent, which is slightly above average for an airline card. Meanwhile, cardholders with lower scores are charged up to 26.24 percent, which is exceptionally high for a general market credit card. The average airline card, by contrast, charges an average APR of just 16.07 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.

Why get the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard?

  • 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.
  • You want a quick route to earning elite status on Frontier Airlines.
  • You’re looking for a card for traveling internationally that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

How to use the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard:

  • To get the most out of this airline card, fly Frontier as often as possible and use the card for all airline and restaurant 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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