Frontier Airlines World Mastercard: Should You Apply?

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard: Should You Apply?

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If you care more about the destination than how you get there, Frontier Airlines may be your airline of choice. As an ultra-low-cost domestic carrier, Frontier Airlines keeps its flights low by offering the bare minimum. Amenities you might take for granted on other airlines — such as in-flight snacks and bringing a carry-on bag — come at an additional cost on Frontier.

Frontier Airlines offers its very own The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®, issued by Barclays. It provides a convincing sign-up bonus that earns lots of Frontier miles and helps you work your way toward elite status. Its standalone perks may exceed the $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $79 annual fee, but achieving Frontier elite status can make The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® even more of an asset.

Pros

  • Frontier miles
  • Frontier elite status
  • None foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Low spenders
  • Solo travelers
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The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® review: A hidden gem for Frontier flyers

With this card, you’ll earn rewards through the Frontier Miles frequent flyer program. The emphasis of this card is on earning and redeeming miles rather than offering any airline perks. While other airline credit cards offer free checked bags or discounts on in-flight purchases, The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® falls short here.

However, owning The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® could help you fast-track your way to elite status through credit card spending. Once you qualify for elite status, you’ll enjoy perks such as waived redemption fees, as well as free carry-on bags and seat assignments. Reaching Frontier elite status may be easy — and if you’re able to strategize your spending, The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® could provide lots of value. We’ll delve into the benefits and explain how to make the most of the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard.

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® benefits and features

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® comes with many benefits that could compensate for the $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $79 annual fee. As long as you can take advantage of these features, this card should have no problem holding onto its place in your wallet year after year.

Earning miles through bonus categories

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® offers bonus miles for Frontier purchases and dining, but an abysmal value for most purchases. You’ll earn 5X miles on eligible purchases at flyfrontier.com, 3X miles on restaurant purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases. While a 5% earning rate is fantastic for Frontier purchases, the other categories aren't as rewarding.

Profitable sign-up bonus and an annual $100 flight voucher

This card’s sign-up bonus lets you Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases within the first 90 days. Frontier claims that this is enough for two round-trip award tickets — here are some sample award flights you could score with this sign-up bonus:

Denver (DEN) to San Juan (SJU) for 20,000 miles round-trip:

Denver (DEN) to San Juan (SJU) for 20,000 miles round-trip

Las Vegas (LAS) to Nashville (BNA) for 20,000 miles round-trip:

Las Vegas (LAS) to Nashville (BNA) for 20,000 miles round-trip

Philadelphia (PHL) to San Diego (SAN) for 20,000 miles round-trip:

Philadelphia (PHL) to San Diego (SAN) for 20,000 miles round-trip

Many round-trip flights do indeed hover around 20,000 miles — even for long-haul routes — so there may be many redemption opportunities to find here.

Finally, after spending $2,500 or more on purchases during your card membership year, you’ll receive a $100 flight voucher on your account anniversary date — this flight voucher could garner more value than its $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $79 annual fee costs.

Earn elite status faster

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® holders will earn 1 qualifying mile toward elite status for every $1 spent on purchases. This means you’ll need to spend $20,000, $50,000 and $100,000 on your card in one calendar year to earn Elite 20K, Elite 50K and Elite 100K status, respectively. Compared to other airlines, Frontier’s elite status requirements could be more achievable through credit card spend.

Elite status
Qualification requirement
Elite 20KEarn 20,000 qualifying miles or fly 25 segments in a calendar year
Elite 50KEarn 50,000 qualifying miles or fly 50 segments in a calendar year
Elite 100KEarn 100,000 qualifying miles or fly 100 segments in a calendar year

While this card doesn’t come with many in-flight benefits, it could still help you earn your way to Frontier Airlines elite status — unlocking all sorts of exclusive benefits.

Elite 20K members enjoy the following benefits:

  • Get a free carry-on bag for the member only
  • Unlock family pooling to combine Frontier miles with up to eight family members and friends
  • Receive advanced seat assignment for the member only
  • Upgrade to stretch seating at check-in upon availability, for the member only
  • Access to priority boarding for the member only
  • Award fees are waived for the member only
  • Travel fees are waived, including call center reservation fee, same-day confirmation fee and same-day standby fee, for the member only
  • Use miles to redeem last seat available award tickets and can be used by any traveler on the member’s reservation

Elite 50K members enjoy all of the benefits above, plus:

  • Enjoy family seating with free advanced seat assignments for you and your family and friends — including stretch seating. Available for up to eight travelers on your reservation.
  • Receive 25% additional redeemable miles on all eligible Frontier flights, for the member only
  • 50% off Discount Den membership, a $59.99 annual subscription to Frontier’s lowest fares

Elite 100K members enjoy all of the benefits above, plus:

  • Receive the WORKS bundle for you, your family and friends, which includes a carry-on bag, checked bag, seat assignment (including stretch seating), priority boarding, flight flexibility and refundability for up to eight travelers on your reservation
  • Receive 50% additional redeemable miles on all eligible Frontier flights, for the member only
  • Free Discount Den membership, a $59.99 annual subscription to Frontier’s lowest fares

Frontier’s elite status levels could provide excellent value, especially if you travel in groups. By spending at least $20,000 in one calendar year, The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®'s value could skyrocket.

Frontier-exclusive features

Finally, this card comes with several features, complementing the entire Frontier Airlines experience:

  • Start family pooling to share Frontier miles between you and up to eight other people
  • Miles don’t expire as long as you make at least one purchase every six months
  • Zone 2 priority boarding
  • Award redemption fee waived when redeeming your Frontier miles, which can normally cost up to $75 in redemption fees
  • Foreign transaction fees: None

All in all, The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® comes with an astounding assortment of benefits. This co-branded airline card is an outstanding offer for Frontier loyalists with a clear pathway to elite status for an ultra-low-cost carrier.

What are Frontier miles worth?

After sampling a few itineraries, we were able to find an estimate for the value of Frontier miles.

Roundtrip
Price
Miles
Miles value (in cents)
Raleigh-Durham (RDU) to Salt Lake City (SLC)$31820,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes and fees1.56
Phoenix (PHX) to Orlando (MCO)$34830,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes and fees1.14
Fort Myers (RSW) to Houston (IAH)$43820,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes and fees2.16
Denver (DEN) to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ)$66215,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes and fees4.38
Grand Rapids (GRR) to New Orleans (MSY)$3410,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes and fees0.28
Average value1.9

As the table shows, the value of Frontier miles can be wildly different depending on the route. We calculated the average value to be around 1.9 cents each, which isn’t bad for a low-cost carrier like Frontier. There are some great opportunities to redeem your miles on various routes — another reason why the Frontier Miles program is underrated.

How does The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® compare to other credit cards?

We’ve compared The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® to several other options — two general travel rewards cards and another airline card. Since this card comes with an annual fee, you’ll want to see how it stacks up against other cards with similar costs.

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a well-loved travel rewards card. Even with an annual fee that costs about $15 more per year ($95 annual fee), you’ll receive an excellent sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel.

You can transfer your Capital One miles to its 15+ travel partners. And although those partners don't include Frontier, you can also redeem Capital One miles to pay yourself back through statement credits on travel purchases, such as airline tickets and hotel stays. For those who aren’t interested in any Frontier loyalty perks, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers much more wiggle room for all types of travel.

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® vs. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

If you’re not interested in paying an annual fee, you may find the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card more impressive as a travel rewards card. This card comes with a better rewards rate than The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®: Earn 3X points on eating out, ordering in and popular streaming services, 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit, and 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases.

You’ll be able to redeem your points through Wells Fargo’s GoFar rewards program for travel, cash back, gift cards and more. Again, this travel card comes with rewards flexibility and no annual fee.

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® vs. Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card

The Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card's offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or are no longer available.

Spirit Airlines is a competing low-cost carrier and offers the Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card. This card comes with a $0 intro annual fee for the first year; after that, annual fee will be $59. It also lets you Earn 2 Free Spirit miles for every $1 spent on all purchases – that's 2 miles for every $1. However, Free Spirit miles are worth next to nothing — $0.003 each on average. Because of its extremely poor value and the lack of loyalty benefits, the Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card might be a hard pass for most people.

ValuePenguin’s verdict

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® is a decent offer from Frontier Airlines and could provide maximum value for those who know how to leverage its offerings. Without elite status, the card is subpar with an average rewards rate and additional benefits. With elite status, though, you get more from your Frontier experience with complimentary carry-on bags, advanced seat assignment and waived fees.

The information related to The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®, Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card and Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from 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). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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).