Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card: Is it Worth It?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Editor's Rating

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Due to the low value of Spirit Airlines miles, there isn't a whole lot of value one can extract from the Spirit Airline credit card.
Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card
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Editor's Rating

?
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers.","showIcon":false,"tooltipLabel":"?"}

Due to the low value of Spirit Airlines miles, there isn't a whole lot of value one can extract from the Spirit Airline credit card.
Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card
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The information related to the Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Citi is an advertising partner.

The Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card from Bank of America fails to impress. With a measly 1% rewards rate, and a $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $59, it becomes hard to justify keeping this card in your wallet, when a good cash back credit card can provide you with far better savings overall.

Good For…Bad For…
  • Booking off-peak reward travel
  • Those looking for high rewards rates
  • Individuals who want flexible travel dates

Review: What We Think of the Spirit Airlines Credit Card

The Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card is a subpar deal, most ways you look at it. There may be certain circumstances – if you book travel at the right time of the year – where you can walk away with a half-decent rewards rate value (above 1%). The problem of this card stems from the poor value of Free Spirit™ Miles, making it a hard sell for most. On average, unless they are very diligent with how they redeem their miles, consumers can expect a rewards rate of 1% or lower from the Spirit Airlines Mastercard. A card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer will offer far better value (Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.), and more flexible rewards (since it offers straight cash back instead of miles or points).

For as little value as there is in the Spirit Airlines credit card, the offer is made all the worse by the $59 annual fee (waived the first year). In order to just break even, and make up for the fee, you need to charge $5,900 to this card within a year. In contrast, if you put those charges onto the aforementioned Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, you’d be coming out $118 ahead instead.

Another important consideration to make, when looking at this card, is the poor user experience associated with its affiliated airline. Spirit has, traditionally, been viewed as a carrier which cuts costs and corners, at the cost of customer service and experience. Flights with Spirit tend to be cheap, though anything but the bare minimum will cost you significant money in fees – everything from checked bags to printing your boarding pass. If you have no prior experience with Spirit Airlines, and are simply looking for an airline credit card, we recommend staying away from this one, and exploring other options.

Bottom Line: There is very littile we can recommend about the Spirit Airlines credit card. Unlike some of the better airline credit cards, it doesn’t offer free checked baggage benefits, companion tickets, or in-flight savings. Outside of preferred boarding and check-in on domestic flights (at select airports) there is nothing you get for your loyalty to Spirit Airlines with this card.

Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card Benefits & Features

The Spirit Airlines credit card earns users 2 Free Spirit™ miles for every $1 they spend on the card through purchases – that means balance transfers, cash advances, and fees will not earn you any miles. Furthermore, when you make your first purchase on the card, Bank of America will throw in an extra 15,000 bonus miles your way. We estimate the value of this welcome bonus to be $75 – which means it will be more than enough to cover the card’s $59 annual fee, once it hits in the second year of card membership.

If you spend at least $10,000 on your Sprit credit card annually, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 anniversary bonus miles. You can’t earn this benefit during your first year, however, as the card’s terms stipulate you will only receive this bonus upon payment of the annual fee – which is waived the first year of card membership.

What Are Free Spirit™ Miles Worth?

We estimate a single Free Spirit™ mile to be worth, on average, $0.005 – significantly lower than most loyalty miles out there. Depending on how you redeem your rewards, you can walk away with point values significantly higher or lower than this number. We arrived at this value by examining several different itineraries, some of which are pictured below.

FromToUSDMilesUS/Point

Chicago

Atlantic City$9650,0000.002

Baltimore

Cancun$20540,0000.005

Denver

Boston$32352,5000.006

Los Angeles

Cancun$35075,0000.005

Average0.005

Note that you can get decent value if you manage to find the right off-peak deal as a Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card cardholder. However, these dates are limited, and make it difficult to fit a vacation to a schedule that suits you.

The cost of award travel with Spirit Airlines depends on two factors – time of year, and region. Firstly, Spirit categorizes dates throughout the year as “Off-Peak”, ”Standard”, and “Peak” – each requiring more miles than the last. Times of the year that see more travel, such as holidays, are considered “peak”, and cost the most miles. Secondly, the further you fly, the more miles it will cost you. Spirit breaks travel up into 4 regions – traveling within 1 region costs the least, while travelling across 4 regions costs the most.

Being a Spirit Airlines Mastercard users gives consumer access to more “off-peak” dates throughout the year – which slightly increases the overall value of this rewards program. Even when redeeming miles for an “off-peak” flight, the miles value you receive is below $0.01.

How Does the Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?

In order to see whether the Spirit Airlines credit card is worthwhile, it’s important to see it against the backdrop of other credit cards. Below we profile the performance of the Spirit Airlines credit card against leading competitors.

Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card vs Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • On Citi's Secure Website
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The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is one of the best cash back credit cards available. It lets users Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is, in the long run, the greater value. Even with the 5,000 anniversary bonus, the Spirit Airlines credit card will not be nearly as rewarding as the Citi card.

Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card vs Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a great general travel rewards credit card. Like the Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card earns 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. These miles, however, are far more valuable and flexible than those earned on through the Spirit card. If used towards travel statement credit, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card are worth $0.01. For all of this, the Venture has a higher annual fee. However, as long as you spend at least $2,730 annually, the difference in annual fees is more than made up for with the greater rewards.

Comparison Tool

In order to better assist readers in choosing between credit cards, we have constructed a tool that customizes estimated rewards rates for any given card. All these results can be tailored to different spending budgets – simply click the pencil icon, and input your estimated monthly spending.

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Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card
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