Spirit Airlines Credit Card Review

Spirit airlines offers their own credit card through Bank of America. Is it worth it for you? You can earn yourself multiple free round-trip flights each year by using it. Learn what features and security the card offers, as well as the bonus offers available.

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What could feel better than reclining in your airline seat, taking a sip from your drink, and remembering that you're flying for free?

There's no doubt that air travel has become quite expensive nowadays.

Luckily there are ways you can save some serious cash on your next trip.

Using credit cards with air miles is a great way to start!

Often they don't just apply to flights, but car rentals, hotels, and other travel perks as well.

Spirit Airlines offers a credit card that allows you to collect miles.

I'm going to show you how you can earn multiple paid round-trip flights just for signing up and using your card.

But first, let's learn a bit more about what Spirit Airlines has to offer.

Spirit Airlines

More about the company and what it's all about

Spirit Airlines is an ultra-low-cost American carrier.

It's currently the 7th largest commercial airline in the US.

It offers no-frills flights within the United States.

Spirit operates out of Atlantic City, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, and Orlando.

It also has flights to Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America.

Spirit Airlines operates more than 400 daily flights to 60 different destinations.

The company prides itself on having the youngest fleet of any major US airline.

Along with that, it also boasts easy online booking and check-in, as well as reliable, on-time service.

Operating Revenue of Spirit Airlines Inc. from 2011-2017

The Card

Spirit Airlines offers a credit card that allows flyers to earn bonus miles

The Spirit Airlines World Mastercard is made possible through Bank of America.

Spirit's reward program uses what it calls "Free Spirit miles" as its currency.

Here are some features and details you can look forward to:

Free for the first year. You pay no annual fee for your first year of having your card but a $59 annual fee applies for subsequent years.

Double miles. As a cardholder, you can earn double miles on everyday purchases—that's two miles for every dollar you spend.

Preferred boarding. You will also receive preferred boarding and priority check-in for domestic flights where available.

No blackouts. There are no blackout dates on award tickets, which means you can use them on any date, even on Christmas eve.

Anniversary miles. If you make at least $10,000 worth of purchases on your card in a year, you'll earn 5,000 bonus Free Spirit miles.

15,000 bonus miles. After your first purchase, you earn 15,000 bonus miles.

A one-way, off-peak flight starts at 2,500 miles.

That means your bonus might be enough to pay for three whole round-trip flights!

Standard APR. Your Spirit Airlines World Mastercard has a variable interest rate ranging from 14.74%–$24.74%.

A business card is also available. Businesses can get the same great benefits as a consumer, plus you get employee cards with spending limits you can control.

You can also view daily balances and get detailed transaction reports.

Security & Features

How your Spirit Airlines World Mastercard can keep you financially safe

Chip cards. This card features chip technology for increased protection and security, and its chip-enabled terminals are available in over 130 countries.

Overdraft. This optional service helps prevent returned checks, declined purchases, and other overdrafts.

You need to link an eligible Bank of America checking account to your card for this feature.

Paperless statements. Help the environment and improve your account security at the same time.

Fraud detection. Your card will block potential fraud if unusual patterns get detected, and you'll get contacted.

You always have $0 liability guarantee for fraudulent transactions as well.

Mobile & online banking. Access Bank of America's award-winning mobile and online banking, where complete bank transactions quickly and securely from almost anywhere.

You can transfer funds, pay your credit card bill, and more.

Account alerts. Choose from text alerts or customer email to stay on top of due dates and your balances, so that your phone can tell you when it's time to pay a bill.

Text banking. Getting account information is as easy as sending a text message. You'll get a reply within seconds.

Digital Wallet. Add your credit card to your mobile device to allow you to shop in-store or in apps using Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or Apple Pay.

FICO score. You can opt into getting your updated FICO score every month—free with your online banking or mobile banking app.

Credit Card Applications

A cautionary tale when applying for new credit cards

I had just purchased my first house.

I went to one of those big home supply stores to buy a new washer and dryer.

I figured I would apply for a store credit card to cover the costs.

I planned to pay the card off once I closed on the house.

In the process, I'd gain some rewards points and not spend anything out of pocket before moving day.

What I didn't recognize at that moment was the impact that getting a new credit card would have on my mortgage.

My credit score took a five-point hit from that one credit card application and it made my mortgage interest rate go up by a point and a half!

You're probably curious what that means in terms of actual financial impact.

That one credit card application ended up costing me an additional $4,500 in interest on my mortgage.

I could've paid for four sets of washers and dryers with that!

My point is this: Opening up new credit cards can have a small but real impact on the rest of your credit.

Make sure you're going to get a significant overall benefit from a card before you sign up!

Applying

How to sign up for a Spirit Airlines World Mastercard

When you visit Spirit Airline's website, you'll get greeted with an offer on the front page to sign up for their credit card.

Clicking on the link provided will direct you to a secure Bank of America portal.

You'll need to enter some necessary information such as your name, address, and employment information.

You can then review your information and read the Terms & Conditions for the card.

This includes useful information like interest rates and fees that you should be aware of at the onset.

You must be 18+, a US resident, and have a good credit score to qualify.

After applying, you'll get one of three outcomes.

You can either be instantly approved or rejected.

Or you may get the third option which means receiving a "we need more time" message while staff performs additional background checks.

If you run into this last case, you will receive an email or letter with more information.

U.S. Adults' Opinion Towards Spirit Airlines

Verdict

Who the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard is great for, and who should pass on it

This credit card is excellent for loyal Spirit Airline flyers.

If you fly frequently and don't mind booking off-peak reward travel, then this card can definitely benefit you.

For those who fly frequently with other airlines, this card might not be for you.

It's also not great for those looking for high reward rates, or people who want flexible travel dates.

There are some great reasons to get this card

There's no limit on the number of miles you can earn, which is important for people who are constantly in the air.

One-way tickets are permitted. Some similar programs from other carriers only allow round-trips.

There's a large discount for off-peak awards.

On top of this, the lowest level rewards are really cheap.

For instance, you can get a flight for as little as 2,500 miles.

The annual fee of $59 is pretty low.

When you add the fact that your first year is free, you can start to see the value of this card.

Here are a few negative things to keep in mind, though

Low-value miles. It's hard to say exactly, as it varies from flight to flight.

But one Free Spirit mile might be worth around $0.005 on average.

That's quite low compared to what other programs might offer you.

Spirit does provide some cheap off-peak flights but could take you quite a while to save up the points for a more significant trip.

Miles expire. For regular Free Spirit miles collectors, your miles expire every 90 days if they don't get used.

Luckily the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard fixes this.

You need to use your card every month to keep your miles from expiring though.

That means you either need to make it your main card or get into the habit of using it to make one purchase every month.

Hidden fees. Well, this is something to keep in mind about flying Spirit Airlines in general, as opposed to using the card.

You should be aware that the carrier has many hidden fees for carry-on bags, in-flight beverages, and more.

This is how they are able to operate as an ultra-low-cost carrier.

For example, there is a $15 fee for award tickets booked less than 180 days in advance.

Some other fees you might run into include:

  • Carry-on bags ($20+)
  • Assigned seating (Up to $50)
  • Checked bags ($40—70+)
  • Boarding pass printing ($10)
  • All snacks and drinks. Even water.

Limited use. You can only use your Free Spirit miles on Spirit airfare. Other similar plans from other providers allow you to use them on hotels, car rentals, meals, and other items.

Limited off-peak windows. Off-peak flights make up just 1/3 of the weeks in a year.

If you want to redeem your miles for a flight during standard or peak times, you will spend as much as six times as many miles.

Foreign transaction fees. You will pay a 3% fee on any purchases made outside of the US.

This is a major downside compared to cards from other airlines who focus on international flights.

Most Spirit flights are within the US. But still, a 3% foreign transaction fee is something to keep in mind.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard

  • Q: What is a Free Spirit Mile worth?

    A: CPM (cents per mile) vary depending on individual flights, including if they are on or off-peak.

    From what I've seen, one Free Spirit Mile generally works out to about $0.005.

  • Q: How can I cancel my card?

    A: You can cancel your card at any time by calling customer service at 1-800-732-9194.

    Since no annual fee gets charged during the first year, there shouldn't be any unpaid balance to worry about if you haven't used the card.

  • Q: What can I use my credit card for? What stores accept it?

    A: Your credit card isn't limited to purchases on flights and other travel items.

    You can use your Spirit card anywhere that accepts Mastercard.

    You'll earn double Free Spirit miles on all purchases, no matter where you use your card.

  • Q: Which airlines can I use my miles with?

    A: You can only use the miles you collect with this card for flights with Spirit Airlines.

  • Q: Can I redeem my miles before I get the credit card?

    A: If you're already a member of Spirit's $9 fare club or another loyalty program, you can redeem any miles you've already earned.

    You don't gain the bonus miles associated with your Spirit credit card until after your first purchase.

  • Q: How can I check my credit card balance?

    A: Use the Bank of America login information that came with your card when you received it to view your account information online.

  • Q: Can I get a cash advance and are there any related fees?

    A: You can get a cash advance with this card. Interest rates range from 17.74%–26.74% depending on your creditworthiness.

    There is also a fee on each cash advance transaction of $10 or 5% of the withdrawn amount, whichever is greater.

  • Q: Can I use my credit card without the physical card?

    A: Yes, you can use your card for online purchases and card-not-present purchases like a standard Mastercard.

  • Q: Can I apply with a co-applicant?

    A: This card doesn't allow for applications with co-applicants online at this time.

    You can apply with a co-applicant by phone by calling 1-800-932-2775.

  • Q: When will I get my new credit card?

    A: You'll receive a new credit card within 7-10 business days once your application gets approved.

  • Q: What credit score do I need to get approved?

    A: For this card, you need a credit rating of "Good," or around a 660 credit score.

    I would recommend having a score of 700 to make sure you'll qualify.

  • Q: Can I build credit with this credit card?

    A: Yes, this is a legitimate credit card through Bank of America.

    Your credit behavior gets reported to the credit bureaus as with any other credit card.

  • Q: How do I report a stolen credit card?

    A: Contact Bank of America immediately.

    There will be a phone number on the paperwork that came with your credit card.

  • Q: How do I make payments?

    A: You can safely and easily make payments online through the Bank of America web portal.

    If you have a checking account with Bank of America, you can also link your credit card to your online banking.

  • Q: I think I should have more miles that don't show up in my account.

    A: Miles awarded as a promotion or bonus can take 45—60 days to show up in your account.

    If it has been longer than this timeframe and you're still missing miles, log into your account.

    There is an option to request a mileage credit.

  • Q: What other services can I do online besides making payments?

    A: You can use your online account to:

    • Activate your credit card
    • Transfer money
    • Report a lost or stolen credit card
    • Check or redeem rewards
    • Dispute a charge
    • Manage account alerts
    • View transactions
    • Change your credit card PIN
    • Get your FICO score

Do you still have a question that you haven't had answered yet?

You can contact a credit card specialist one on one by calling 1-800-932-2775.

My Final Thoughts

An overall summary of my opinions on the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard

Flying is expensive, and it's great to try and save money wherever possible.

If you're a frequent flyer who regularly uses Spirit Airlines, then it's easy for me to recommend this credit card to you.

Those that do get the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard receive access to a wide range of perks and features.

The 15,000 free bonus miles after your first purchase is also great.

It will get you in the air for free much faster than other company's rewards programs.

Every regular purchase that you make with your card will earn you double points, even if it's just buying groceries or getting gas.

That means you can quickly save up enough points for a free flight.

For anyone else, I'll hesitate to make the same recommendation.

The only real reason to pay the $59 annual fee for this card is if you have clear intentions of taking a Spirit Airlines flight in the near future.

More specifically, this card and its rewards work best if you're looking to take advantage of off-peak flights.

There are so many other credit cards with more flexible rewards programs out there.

For that reason, I would exclusively recommend this card for frequent Spirit flyers and no one else.

Hopefully, I've given you all of the information you need to make up your own mind about whether this card is right for you.

Have you flown with Spirit Airlines? What was your experience like?

Feel free to leave your thoughts on the comments section below.

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Editorial Note:

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