Why You Should Consider Getting a Spirit Airlines Credit Card

I decided to take a closer look at Spirit Airlines Master card. This is very much a “niche” product, but  potential value is quite amazing. It’s a rare case of when a sign-up bonus and “keeper” quality collide. You get 15,000 miles with your first purchase,  good for 3 roundtrip tickets (but with many restrictions).  First-year annual fee is waived.

The caveat is, it’s on Spirit airlines, the red-haired stepchild of the aviation industry. Not that there is anything wrong with redheads!  As a cardholder, you get access to special pricing, therefore such ridiculously low award mileage requirement. Take a look at their award chart HERE  Look for region 1 when matching up corresponding airports. You can also sign up for Spirit frequent flyer number and check specific combinations and mileage requirements.

 As long as the distance between the cities is no more than 1249 miles, Spirit flies that route and you are willing to travel off-peak, the flights should qualify. You can also redeem for one-way awards at 2500 miles, which is another plus.

One of their hubs is in Fort Lauderdale airport, which is located 3.5 hours from our home. Here are some cities that would be eligible for 5000 miles roundtrip redemption ticket: Chicago, New York, Punta Cana in Dominican Republic, San Juan in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, as well as many more. Not too bad, right? But there is a catch, of course. It’s on Spirit, which is not known for being reliable. Plus, it charges fees for everything, quite literally.

Also, when I did a search for these low-priced award tickets, some flight times were horrendous. Think midnight, which would not be ideal if you have small kids. Of course, it varies by route, but you have to be extremely flexible. Also, not all the flights offer the award seats at that price.  They are capacity- controlled.

Here is where I think this card gets to be really interesting. It’s a very good candidate for my “keeper” collection. That is because you earn 2 miles per dollar on your everyday spending.  So, you would only need to put 2,500 dollars to get that free roundtrip ticket. By comparison, you would earn 50 dollars in cash back if you used Fidelity Amex. If you don’t mind the “quirks” that come with Spirit airlines and all the fees, this could be a very good deal.

If you have relatives in another state and your plans are flexible, it would be  hard to beat the value that comes with this card. In fact, it would make  a very good companion to Amex Blue Cash Preferred. You could use Amex for groceries and gas, where you get 6 and 3 percent respectively, and use Spirit card for everything else.

Also, since it’s a Mastercard, it’s more widely accepted and  would balance out Amex  for those places where the merchants still don’t take the latter. The annual fee is 59 dollars  after year one, but for many would be worth paying. Let’s say, we charge 10,000 dollars on this card during the year. It could potentially provide 4 roundtrip tickets between many cities served by Spirit. Also, notice, that with the current offer you get 5,000 miles after 10,000 dollars in purchases each year and paying the renewal fee.

By comparison, you would get 200 dollars in cash back with Fidelity Amex. So, factoring in the opportunity cost and adding the 59 dollar annual fee, it would be around 65 dollars for each roundtrip ticket.  Notice, that you also get the extra 5,000 miles. This would be an amazing value for a trip to the Caribbean. Of course, you may not get 4 seats at the 5,000 miles rate on the same flight, so that is something to consider.  But you could always pay cash for non-award tickets, since Spirit is usually very reasonable on prices.

Also, notice the expiration policy from Spirit website: ” As long as you earn any miles within the previous three months, your miles won’t expire. If you don’t meet that requirement though, any miles older than three months will expire. The easiest way to earn miles and keep them from expiring is to make at least one purchase per month with your Spirit credit card.”  My advice would be to set up a small recurring charge just in case.

This card would be  a very good candidate  for occasional churners who only sign up for a few new bonuses each year. Of course, the redemption rates and the rules could always change, so keep that in mind. This card does not pay me commission and is available via this  LINK

You might be able to get an offer that comes with $100 cash back after $500 in purchases. You can see it when making  a reservation on Spirit.com and going to the last page before putting in payment details. You can also call  1.800.932.2775  and reference priority code VACE5Z

In spite of potential drawbacks, I will be adding it to my special “keeper” section.

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