Spirit Airlines World Mastercard® review: Worth it for Spirit Airlines frequent fliers?

Young couple sitting on chair with suitcases in airport loungeImage: Young couple sitting on chair with suitcases in airport lounge

In a Nutshell

The Spirit Airlines World Mastercard® could be an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers with flexible travel schedules — cardholders are given exclusive access to off-peak award flights. But if you’re not a fan of Spirit Airlines’ no-frills business model, this card is unlikely to offer enough new perks to win you over.
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Pros Cons
Access to exclusive off-peak rewards flights Miles can only be used on flights
Double miles on all purchases Loyalty program offers few perks
Generous sign-up bonus available Fees are charged on rewards-redemption flights if not booked far in advance

What you need to know about the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard®

Flying Spirit Airlines is all about saving money. And with the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard®, you can bump up those savings another notch or two.

Access to off-peak rewards flights

In what we consider to be its standout feature, the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard® gives cardholders access to off-peak rewards flights, which are available exclusively to holders of Spirit-branded credit cards. With off-peak flights starting at 2,500 Free Spirit miles, this type of rewards redemption can give your miles the most value by far.

But keep in mind that these flights are called “off-peak” for a reason. During popular travel times, like the middle of the summer or holidays, they likely won’t be available.

During these busy seasons, you’ll be charged the Standard or Peak rate for rewards flights. To see all of the dates where off-peak flight prices are available, check out the Spirit Airlines awards chart.

Spirit Airlines miles become far less valuable when you redeem them for Standard and Peak flights, because they’re four times (starting at 10,000 miles) and six times (starting at 15,000 miles) more expensive.

If you have the flexibility to plan your travel schedule around the dates that off-peak flights are available, then the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard® could be a great choice. But if you don’t have that luxury, or don’t appreciate no-frills travel, you may want to pass on this card.

Generous and attainable sign-up bonus

For a limited time, Spirit Airlines is offering new cardholders 15,000 bonus Free Spirit miles after they make their first purchase and 15,000 additional bonus miles after spending $500 within the first 90 days of opening the account. With such a low spending requirement, many folks should be able to earn the 30,000 bonus miles without having to make any major changes to their normal spending habits. That being said, we never recommend spending more than you can afford just to earn a sign-up bonus.

At the off-peak rewards flight price of 2,500 miles, 30,000 bonus miles could get you six round-trip flights. You’d be hard-pressed to find many other airline card rewards bonuses that offer more value than that.

Double miles on all purchases

Unlike some other cards that have complicated miles systems, Spirit Airlines keeps things simple — you get two miles per $1 for every purchase you make with the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard®.

This means you can earn a free one-way off-peak flight for every $1,250 you spend with the card, which is a great deal.

The same Spirit Airlines customer service

Spirit Airlines has become famous (or some would say, infamous) for all of the different tactics it employs in order to keep flight prices so low.

Going into the specifics of all the ways Spirit Airlines nickels-and-dimes its customers isn’t the purpose of this article. But suffice it to say that Spirit is all about offering super-cheap flights and charging for almost everything else.

If you aren’t a fan of the Spirit Airlines way of doing business, then owning this credit card is unlikely to change your mind. Cardholders get little preferential treatment — no free checked bags, no in-flight discounts and no seat upgrades.

In fact, Spirit stays true to its “charge for everything” model by adding a fee to rewards flights unless they’re booked more than 181 days in advance. The fee ranges from $15 to $75 depending on how long you wait to book.

What else you need to know

Here are a few other details of the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard® to keep in mind.

  • The card comes with a $59 annual fee (waived the first year).
  • Cardholders are given 5,000 bonus miles every card anniversary if they spend at least $10,000 on purchases during the year.
  • Miles expire after three months of credit card inactivity.

Understanding your points and redemption

If you’re looking for rewards-redemption flexibility, the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard® isn’t the card for you — Spirit Airlines miles can only be used for Spirit flights. And again, to get the best value for your miles, you’re further limited to off-peak Spirit flights.

Spirit Airlines doesn’t technically have any rewards blackout dates, but they do say that rewards seats are limited and may not be available on all flights and dates.

Other airline rewards programs offer a much better variety of redemption choices. For example, the Southwest Rapid Rewards program allows cardholders to use Rapid Rewards miles on hotels, car rentals and gift cards, in addition to flights.

And cash back cards or general travel credit cards are also better choices for travelers who value having options when redeeming rewards.

Who this card is good for

Spirit Airlines has built a successful business from attracting frugal customers who will go to great lengths to save money. And this is exactly the type of customer who can get the most out of the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard®.

Spirit Airlines frequent fliers will no doubt enjoy pinching every penny of value out of the card and may not be bothered by its lack of extras or the need to work around Spirit’s off-peak flight schedule to get the best deal.

But if you’re a traveler who likes a little more pampering and perks from your airline rewards membership, then this isn’t the credit card you’re looking for.

About the author: Clint Proctor is a freelance writer and founder of WalletWiseGuy.com, where he writes about how students and millennials can win with money. When he’s away from his keyboard, he enjoys drinking coffee, traveling, obse… Read more.