Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Loves to explore places and experience new things
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
There’s no doubt about who this card is best for. If you already use Spirit Airlines for a lot of your travel, and you are an old hand at finding ways to avoid (or tolerate) Spirit Airlines’ notorious fees, then this card might be a good fit. It’ll help if your travel schedule is flexible enough that you can choose to fly off-peak dates, because that’s when you’ll really be able to maximize the value of this card.
Good base miles earning rate
Lots of ways to earn bonus miles
Ultra-low reward redemptions in some cases
Lack of typical airline-card perks
Miles earned expire quickly
No way to book on other airlines
Miles are not that valuable
- Good base miles earning rate: You’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent no matter where you spend them.
- Lots of ways to earn bonus miles: Spirit offers two sign-up bonuses of 15,000 miles: one for making your first purchase and another after spending at least $500 within the first 90 days. You can also earn 5,000 bonus miles annually for spending at least $10,000 on your card. Plus you can earn bonus miles on purchases made with select Spirit travel, dining, and merchandise partners.
- Ultra-low reward redemptions in some cases: You can get a one-way award ticket for as low as 2,500 miles during off-peak travel times.
- Lack of other airline perks: Spirit charges many fees, including checked baggage fees, ticket printing fees, and even a fee to choose your own seat. Most other airlines offer ways to dodge these fees with their credit cards, but the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard offers no such relief.
- Miles earned expire quickly: Your miles will expire three months after you earn them—unless you find a way to earn more bonus miles and reset the clock. For most people, this means you’ll need to use your card every month in order to keep your miles from expiring.
- No ability to book on other airlines: Many airlines belong to “alliances” that allow cardholders to use miles to book flights on partner airlines. Spirit offers no such benefit—your miles can only ever be used on Spirit Airlines flights or to buy magazines.
- Miles are not that valuable: Research by The Balance shows that each Spirit mile is only worth 0.7 cents. That’s below the 1-cent-per-point value that’s considered a baseline by rewards chasers.
Spirit Airlines World Mastercard’s Sign-Up Bonus
You’ll earn 15,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase with the card, and if you spend at least $500 within 90 days of account opening, you can earn another 15,000 bonus miles for a total of 30,000 bonus miles. The Balance values Spirit miles at 0.7 cents each when spent on travel, which means these 30,000 miles are worth $210.
In addition, if you spend at least $10,000 on your card annually, you get another 5,000 bonus mile bump on your cardholder anniversary.
The two-step sign-up and annual bonus scheme seems like a lot of miles, but it’s actually fairly modest. You can earn bigger sign-up bonuses from credit cards offered by other budget airlines.
Earning Miles & Rewards
With most airline credit cards, the best miles-earning rate applies when you make airline purchases—particularly flight tickets—with your airline co-branded credit card. Instead, the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard offers a flat rate of 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases, whether it’s with Spirit Airlines, at the supermarket, or from the guy who sells lettuce at the farmer’s market. That 2 miles per $1 spent is a pretty good rewards earning rate, plus you can earn bonus miles if you dine out at the right places.
When you sign up, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the Free Spirit Dining Rewards program. If you use your card at any of 10,000 different restaurants, you’ll get between 0.5 bonus miles and 5 bonus miles per $1 spent, depending on how many purchases you’ve made overall and whether or not you’re on the email list.
You can also earn bonus miles by booking certain cruises and car rentals, and by making purchases with partners like Vinesse Wine Club and within the Free Spirit Online Mall.
Don’t expect any frills when redeeming your rewards. Currently, you can redeem your miles for Spirit Airlines flights and for magazine subscriptions. That’s it. To use your miles for a flight, search Spirit’s website for the fare you’re interested in and check “Purchase flight with Free Spirit Miles” in the search engine. That’s all you have to do.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Make sure you always book flights at least 180 days in advance to avoid Spirit’s award booking fee ($15 to $75, depending on when you depart). You can really stretch your miles to the max if you only fly between Region 1 airports during off-peak travel times. For example, you could fly to Las Vegas and back from Kansas City up to six times just using the sign-up bonus alone from this card if you only fly during off-peak times.
Because your Spirit miles have a short shelf life—they expire within three months if you don’t use them or earn more with your card—you need to keep your card active every month. One way to do that is to set up autopay for one of your monthly bills, such as a subscription or a regular utility bill. You’ll automatically earn miles every month in the background, even if you forget to use the card.
Spirit Airlines World Mastercard’s Excellent Perks
You might not get many perks with this card, but Mastercard does provide one that the editors of The Balance consider “excellent”:
- Insurance for trip cancellation, interruption, and delays: If something happens to get in the way of your travel plans, you could be eligible for reimbursement of up to $1,500 if your trip is interrupted or cancelled, or $500 if your trip is delayed.
Spirit Airlines World Mastercard’s Other Features
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Extended warranties
- Lowest advertised price match
- Roadside assistance
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
Bank of America customers can expect a slightly below average customer experience. At least that’s according to the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction survey. Bank of America ranked seventh (out of 11), with a score of 798 (the industry average was 806). You can reach customer service via phone 24/7 and there’s a mobile app to manage your card and other Bank of America accounts. The bank also offers a free FICO score.
Bank of America provides standard security features for the industry, such as a zero liability guarantee for fraudulent purchases, locking of your card if the bank detects unusual activity, and account alerts you can customize. If your identity is ever stolen, you can access some identity theft resolution resources, as well.
Spirit Airlines World Mastercard’s Fees
One nice thing about this card is that it doesn’t charge any outlandish fees. Most importantly, there are no foreign transaction fees, which is something we always look for in airline credit cards.