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.
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.
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.
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