Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the card offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.
Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone. For a full list of our advertisers, see our disclosure page.
The Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card from Bank of America fails to impress. With a measly 1% rewards rate, and a $59 annual fee (waived year 1), 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…|
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 will offer far better value (1% back on purchases and 1% back when 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, 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.
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
The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of the best cash back credit cards available. It gives user 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and another 1% when that purchase is paid off. The Citi® Double Cash Card 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
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 for every $1 you charge to it. 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.
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.