Full Review of Spirit Airlines World Mastercard
Access to off-peak award flights
Bonus with a small spending requirement
Zone 2 priority boarding
Can earn anniversary bonus miles
Award flights can require paying many fees
Miles only good for use on Spirit Airlines
Annual fee applies after the first year
- Access to Off-Peak Award Flights: Spirit Airlines offers four levels of award flights to its Free Spirit rewards members. However, only Spirit Airlines World Mastercard or Spirit Promerica Mastercard cardholders have access to off-peak awards with the lowest miles redemption requirements. Without one of these credit cards, you cannot use this award class, which starts at 2,500 miles for a one-way flight during off-peak periods.
- Bonus with a Small Spending Requirement: This card has a two-part bonus. Both parts are relatively easy to earn, unlike some other cards with $3,000 or $5,000 minimum spending requirements. You can earn the first 15,000 bonus miles after making your first purchase. The second part of the bonus offers an additional 15,000 bonus miles for spending $500 on purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
- Zone 2 Priority Boarding: Get priority boarding by using your Spirit Airlines World Mastercard to purchase your tickets directly from Spirit Airlines or by showing your card to the gate agent when you board.
- Can Earn Anniversary Bonus Miles: You can earn 5,000 anniversary bonus miles when you spend at least $10,000 in net purchases annually. Net purchases are defined as purchases less returns, credits, and adjustments, and annually is based on the cardholder’s anniversary date. While this bonus isn't extremely lucrative, it can help justify part of the $59 annual fee charged in year two and beyond.
- Award Flights can Require Paying Many Fees: Spirit Airlines is known for charging plenty of fees, and that includes its rewards program. To avoid fees while booking award flights, you’ll need to book at least 181 days in advance and book your award flights online. As with most award flights on other airlines, you’re still responsible for the taxes and fees portion of the flight. Any additional services also have to be purchased separately.
- Miles Only Good for Use on Spirit Airlines: As far as award flights go, you can use your miles only for Spirit Airlines flights. Unlike many other airlines, Spirit does not have airline partners that will accept its miles.
- Annual Fee Applies After the First Year: This card offers a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year. After that, the annual fee rises to $59. While this card does offer some unique benefits, you'll have to determine whether they’re worth paying the annual fee after the first year.
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 Spirit Airlines World Mastercard is ideal for people who often travel on Spirit Airlines and want to maximize their Free Spirit rewards to get the cheapest award flights possible. The card gives you access to off-peak awards, which are Spirit Airlines' lowest award flight redemption tier. These award flights start at 2,500 miles for a one-way ticket. The zone 2 priority boarding, 5,000 anniversary bonus miles for spending $10,000 in purchases annually, and the introductory $0 annual fee ($59 in subsequent years) could make this an attractive card for frequent Spirit Airlines fliers.
Spirit Airlines World Mastercard Bonus
This card offers a two-part bonus. You can earn 15,000 bonus miles after your first purchase. Then, you can earn an additional 15,000 bonus miles after making at least $500 in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
Based on our valuation, each part of this bonus is worth $105, for a total bonus value of $210. That’s a substantial bonus for the small spending requirement.
This bonus miles offer applies only to new accounts and not to requests to convert existing accounts to this card. The bonus miles may take up to eight weeks to post to the account.
Rewards Earning Details
Earning rewards on the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard is about as straightforward as possible. You earn 2 miles per dollar spent on net purchases. This is in line with other rewards credit cards, although other cards may offer similar value without charging an annual fee in year two and beyond.
You do have to make sure you use your rewards and don’t allow the miles you earn to expire. Unfortunately, the Free Spirit rewards program has a relatively strict miles expiration policy. Miles expire when an account becomes inactive for a period of three months or more, which is an extremely short time frame. While there are no blackout dates on award tickets, all award tickets are subject to award seat availability.
Rewards Redemption Details
Spirit Airlines is known for having a bare-bones flight experience. That carries over to their miles redemption options, as well. Award tickets only include a flight reservation. Additional services that you’d typically pay extra for on Spirit Airlines are not included. You must also pay any applicable taxes and fees.
Depending on when you book your award ticket, you may have to pay a nonrefundable per-guest award redemption fee. The fee is $15 for award tickets requested between 21 and 180 days prior to departure, $50 for award tickets requested between seven and 20 days prior to departure, and $75 for award tickets requested six days or less before departure. You can avoid this fee by booking at least 181 days prior to departure.
If you book your award through Spirit's reservations department, there is an additional $25 per person agent transaction charge. You can avoid this fee by booking online. Changes and cancellations aren’t allowed within 24 hours of departure. Prior to that, you can pay $110 per passenger for modifications or cancel your flight and have your miles redeposited for a $110 fee.
One nice benefit of having this card is you get access to off-peak awards. Off-peak awards are not available without this card or the Spirit Promerica Mastercard. To book these awards, you must pay the award redemption fee with your card. Examples of off-peak dates include Sept. 9, 2020 to Oct. 6, 2020 and Nov. 4, 2020 to Nov. 18, 2020.
Off-peak award flights start at 2,500 miles, with taxes and fees from $6 each way. Without off-peak awards, the cheapest option is a standard 10,000 miles award flight in region 1. Other redemptions include peak and premium as well as regions 2 through 4. For a full list of off-peak and other award category dates, as well as the miles needed based on region and award type, see this award chart.
In addition to redeeming your miles for an award ticket, you can redeem miles for magazine subscriptions.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Maximizing rewards with the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard is mainly a matter of getting the best redemption value for your miles. Since you earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, the only way to earn more miles is to spend more money. You can also make sure you collect the full bonus.
To minimize fees when booking award flights, try to book online and at least 181 days prior to departure. Next, focus on flying during off-peak periods to minimize the number of miles required for each flight.
Say you want to fly from Nashville to Fort Lauderdale. If you book at least 181 days in advance and find off-peak flight times that work with your schedule, a round trip award would cost you 5,000 miles, plus $26.20 in taxes and fees.
The same flight paid for in cash, using the standard fare, would cost $74.60. This results in a value of roughly 0.97 cents per mile, after accounting for the taxes and fees on the rewards flight.
As an example of truly maximizing the value of your miles, suppose you want to fly from Orlando to San Juan, Puerto Rico. To get the most value, you’d fly using off-peak awards and book far enough in advance to avoid the award redemption fees.
By doing that, you could get a round trip flight for 5,000 miles plus $26.20 in taxes and fees. The same flight would otherwise cost $171.38 in cash, including taxes and fees, based on a standard fare. This results in a per-mile valuation of roughly 2.9 cents per mile.
Spirit Airlines World Mastercard's Outstanding Benefits
- Zone 2 priority boarding
- $0 liability for fraudulent transactions
- Automatic enrollment in Free Spirit Dining Rewards program, with 1 mile per $2 spent at participating restaurants
- Other World Mastercard benefits as detailed in your new account materials
Bank of America scored 798 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, 8 points below the national issuer average of 806.
If you have questions or need help with your account, you can get in touch with customer support by calling the number on the back of your card or 800-732-9194. Bank of America also offers online and mobile banking for managing your credit card account.
The security features for this card are fairly standard for the industry. It does allow for chip and PIN purchases, which provides enhanced security and can be useful if you travel internationally.
Like many other cards, this card also offers access to your FICO credit score, updated on a monthly basis, so you can keep an eye on your credit.
Fees to Watch Out For
This card waives its $59 annual fee only for the first year. While earning 2 miles per dollar is nice, you can earn similarly valued rewards with cards that don’t charge an annual fee on an ongoing basis. The other fees are fairly standard, except that this card does charge a variable penalty APR of up to 29.99% that will apply to new purchases if you make a late payment. Many other rewards credit cards do not have penalty APRs. On the plus side, this card does not charge a foreign transaction fee.
The Spirit Airlines World Mastercard offers 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases. It also lets you book off-peak awards, which is key to maximizing your Free Spirit miles and is only available to cardholders with either this card or the Spirit Promerica Mastercard. Add on the 15,000 miles bonus after your first purchase and the additional 15,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening and this card can provide you with a fair value.
Unfortunately, you can book award flights only on Spirit Airlines, and its additional fees can get excessive if you don’t book online or far enough in advance. If you're looking for more flexibility and lower fees, you may want to consider another airline's credit card or a general travel rewards card that lets you redeem your rewards in many different ways.