Full Review of Frontier Airlines World Mastercard Review
Competitive points rewards
Strong, easily earned bonus
$100 annual flight voucher
Award-redemption fees waived
0% introductory APR offer on balance transfers made in the first 90 days of account opening
Miles expire in just six months or 180 days of account inactivity
- Decent Miles Rewards in Key Categories: According to Investopedia's valuations, the Frontier miles earned with this card are worth 0.6 cents each—which is half or less of the value of miles with many other airlines. But this card provides 5 miles for every dollar spent with Frontier, which makes it competitive with cards from other airlines that offer 2 more-valuable miles per dollar spent on their carrier’s flights. Likewise, the card's 3 points-per-dollar-spent rate for restaurants is roughly comparable with other cards' 2-points-per-dollar rewards in that category. However, the earnings on all other purchases of 1 point per dollar spent fall behind those of most other cards with 1-point default rates, since those competitors’ points are almost invariably more valuable.
- Strong, Easily Earned Bonus: This card offers 50,000 bonus miles for spending only $500 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the $79 annual fee. With basic Frontier tickets available for 10,000 miles per domestic flight, the bonus is enough to cover two round-trip—albeit no-frills—journeys. Many other travel credit cards require a minimum spending amount of at least $1,000 if not $3,000 or more to earn the bonus. That makes this bonus very attainable.
- $100 Annual Flight Voucher: You earn a $100 flight voucher each account anniversary as long as you charge $2,500 or more on purchases to your card during your membership year. If you spent exactly $2,500 with your card, the $100 flight voucher would be equivalent to earning a 4% reward on all of your purchases, which is a very good rewards rate.
- Award-Redemption Fees Waived: When you redeem miles with Frontier Airlines, you’ll have to pay an award-redemption fee of $15 to $75 unless you book your flight at least six months in advance. But the fee is waived provided you pay the related taxes and fees associated with award-redemption flights with your Frontier Airlines World Mastercard. This feature could be a significant money-saver if you accumulate a lot of points and usually can’t plan how you’ll use them months in advance.
- 0% Introductory APR Offer on Balance Transfers: If you’re carrying a balance at a high interest rate on another credit card, the generous 0% APR offer with the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard could provide significant savings. Provided you activate the transfer within 45 days of getting the card, you’ll enjoy 15 billing cycles (that is, well over a year) without interest charges on the transferred balance. You will, however, have to pay a balance transfer fee of 3% of the balance transferred or $5, whichever is greater.
- Miles Expire After Just Six Months of Account Inactivity: The points in loyalty programs typically expire after two to three years of neither adding rewards or redeeming them. But Frontier miles expire in a mere six months or 180 days of inactivity. This introduces the hassle of setting reminders to use the card should you fly Frontier rarely and typically use another card for your other transactions.
This Card is Best For
Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
Flies often for business or leisure
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
The Frontier Airlines World Mastercard is best suited, naturally, to those who fly Frontier Airlines regularly. For such travelers, the card's rewards of 5 miles per dollar spent on FlyFrontier.com should compete favorably with other cards. In addition, the $100 annual flight credit for spending at least $2,500 over the year more than justifies the cost of the card's $79 annual fee—and the value of the 50,000-mile bonus will sweeten the deal in the first year.
Frontier Airlines World Mastercard's Bonus
Provided you’ve paid the $79 annual fee, you earn 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $500 with the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard in the first 90 days after you open its account. These miles are worth roughly $315 (per Investopedia's average value estimate of 0.63 cents per mile) when redeeming your miles for flights.
According to Barclays U.S., which issues the card, you should allow four to six weeks for the bonus miles to post after the closing of the billing cycle where you meet the qualifying purchases threshold, provided the annual fee has been paid.
Rewards Earning Details
You'll earn 5 miles per dollar spent on flights purchases through FlyFrontier.com, 3 miles per dollar spent on restaurant purchases, and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. In addition to these rewards miles, every dollar of purchase you put on the card also earns you a qualifying mile toward elite status with Frontier Airlines.
Rewards Redemption Details
While Frontier miles can be used for magazine subscriptions, car rentals, or hotel stays, the most lucrative option for redeeming them is for free flights on the carrier. There are no blackout dates but, as with most such loyalty programs, the number of available awards tickets are limited.
You will also need to pay taxes and some fees for rewards flights, although any award-redemption fees are waived provided you use the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard to pay the other charges.
Award flights start at just 10,000 miles for a value one way trip within the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The most expensive one-way option is a 27,500-point elite Last Seat ticket to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, or Jamaica.
This credit card doesn’t directly offer the ability to transfer miles. That said, you can link your FrontierMiles account to Points.com and buy, transfer, or exchange your Frontier miles on the platform—although the returns from doing so are generally far less than using the points on the program on which you earned them.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Making the most of the Frontier Airlines World Elite Mastercard begins with what should be an easy step for most people: Charging at least $500 to the card in the first 90 days after you open its account (and pay its annual fee), which allows you to earn 50,000 bonus miles.
After that, make sure you put at least $2,500 of purchases on the card each cardmember year, even if it means charging everyday purchases to it at the modest 1-point-per-dollar rate. That spending will ensure you’ll earn the $100 flight voucher each year.
To get the most of your points, the best option for redeeming them is usually to book a free flight. While Investopedia values Frontier points at 0.63 cents, that’s merely an average that you’ll be able to exceed on certain flights.
For example, we found a round-trip flight from Atlanta to Puerto Rico we could buy for $138.00 including taxes and fees. The same flight could be booked for 20,000 miles plus $11.20 in taxes and fees. This booking would only value your miles at approximately 0.6 cents per mile.
A round trip flight from Chicago to Houston we could buy for $444.40, including taxes and fees. The same flight was available for 40,000 miles plus $11.20 in taxes and fees. That redemption would yield a value per mile of roughly 1.1 cents, which is nearly double the average.
Frontier Airlines World Mastercard's Outstanding Benefits
- Baggage-delay insurance
- Earn a $100 flight voucher on each account anniversary provided you’ve spent $2,500 on purchases with your card over the year
- Priority boarding: Board in zone 2
- Trip-cancellation and interruption insurance
- Travel-accident insurance
- Waived award redemption fees
- Secondary auto-rental collision damage waiver
- Concierge services
- Extended warranty
- Family rewards pooling
- Price protection
- Purchase assurance
- Satisfaction guarantee
Barclays U.S., which issues the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard, scored a 806 in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. This score matches the national issuer average score.
If you have questions about your account, you can contact Barclays U.S. 24/7 by calling 877-523-0478. You can also use the Barclays U.S. app to get information about your account.
The card also offers free access to your FICO Score. To view your FICO Score, your account must be open, in good standing and have activity in the last 150 days.
As a credit card issued by Barclays U.S., this card has the ability to be locked or unlocked online or through the issuer’s mobile app. This feature can be useful when you misplace your card but you aren’t sure it fell into the wrong hands. If you find the card was in your possession, you can simply unlock the card to continue using it. However, you can also get a replacement if the card was actually lost or was in someone else's possession that could compromise your account.
This card also allows you to make purchases at chip and PIN terminals when traveling overseas. It also offers Mastercard ID Theft protection coverage.
The Frontier Airlines World Mastercard is of clear benefit to those who plan to fly Frontier Airlines often in future. It offers rewards for Frontier flight purchases that should exceed those from charging Frontier expenses to another card. Its one-time bonus and annual anniversary bonus, both easily earned, will allow you to more than justify the card's $79 annual fee.
This card isn't an ideal choice for those who fly on Frontier no more than once a year or so, though. Unless you’re in the habit of using the card for transactions other than Frontier flights, points could easily expire before you use them, due to the unusually short six-month deadline during which there must be activity on your Frontier rewards account in order to preserve its rewards. For such fliers, a generic travel credit card might be a better option.