About Frontier Airlines World MasterCard
The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard from Barclays is offering you 40,000 bonus miles if you can spend $500 in the first 90 days of owning the card.
As airline rewards cards go, this is a pretty hefty bonus, and when you add in some other perks that we’ll talk about in a few minutes, you can see why CardHub named the Frontier Airlines card one of its top travel cards in 2017.
However, if there’s anything we’ve learned over the past few years of reviewing credit cards, it’s that you’ve got to look past the introductory offers to get a solid idea of how this card can benefit you now and down the road.
To understand what this card is all about, we’re going to cover the following areas of the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard:
- Travel and non-travel benefits
- Fees and penalties
- What other people say about it
- How it compares to other cards
Once we work through each of these sections, we’ll conclude this review with our overall thoughts and opinions.
Quick Note: Frontier also offers a No Annual Fee World MasterCard, which has fewer perks and a lower sign-up bonus. This card is usually given to people who either: 1. Sign up for it, or, 2. Sign up for the annual fee World MasterCard but don’t have a good enough credit history or credit scores.
Remember, just because you sign up for the annual fee card doesn’t mean you’ll get it, and you won’t know until Frontier notifies you of your acceptance.
The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard’s Benefits
We think the most important benefits of an airline card are the travel-related ones: frequent flyer points/miles, upgrades, flight discounts and more.
So, we’re going to divide this benefits section into two parts: travel rewards and non-travel rewards. We’ll put most of our attention on the travel rewards since that’s probably why you want to apply for the card.
The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard’s Travel Rewards
When you sign up for this airline credit card, you’ll get the following perks:
- 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $500 in the first three months
- Double miles on purchases made at FlyFrontier.com
- 1 mile per $1 spent on all non-Frontier purchases
- $100 flight voucher when you spend at least $2,500 in a year
Each of these benefits is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case you’re new to airline rewards cards, will give you a quick overview of what each one means:
Once you spend $500 on your new Frontier credit card, you will be eligible for the 40,000 bonus miles. However, three things need to happen.
First, you need to sign up for an Early Returns account, which is the name of Frontier’s frequent flyer program. Frontier will assign you an Early Returns account number, and you’ll use that to set up your account.
Second, Frontier needs to deposit your 40,000 bonus miles into your Early Returns account, which takes up to 8 weeks to happen after you hit the spending requirement.
Third, you have to pay the $69 annual fee.
How many flights can 40,000 miles get you? Well, Frontier’s one-way fares cost either 10,000 or 20,000 points.
One way to find flights for fewer points is to join Frontier’s $49.99-per-year Discount Den, a membership that gives you access to Den Deals, which is what they call their insiders’ discounted flight fares.
The Discount Den isn’t a 100% solid way to save, though. As a post from rewards site MileValue points out, not all routes and times have Den Deals.
Miles from Purchases
When you use your Frontier credit card to make a purchase, you’ll get points for every dollar you spend. If you make a purchase at FlyFrontier.com, you get double the points.
The points you rack up on a daily basis are automatically deposited into your Early Returns account every month. Want to know how many points you have? Just log into your account and check your balance.
There are a few exceptions to this, though. For example, if you spend $600 on a TV, Frontier will send 600 points to your account. If you return that TV, though, Frontier will subtract 600 points from your account.
Also, you’ll lose any miles you rack up if you don’t use your Frontier credit card at least once every six months.
So far, we haven’t found an airline credit card that offers a cash voucher for ticket purchases like the Frontier card does. The Virgin America Premium Visa Signature offers a $150 voucher for tickets you buy for a traveling partner, but that’s about it.
The Frontier flight voucher will show up in your mailbox between 6 and 8 weeks after you spend $2,500 on your card in one year. Here are a few quick rules you should know about the voucher:
- It’s good 180 days from when it’s issued. If it takes two months to get to you, you have four months left to use it.
- Though you have to use the voucher 180 days after its issued, the flight you book with it can take place after the 180-day deadline.
- It can’t be transferred to someone else. If it’s in your name, you have to use it to book a ticket in your name.
- It has to be redeemed on FlyFrontier.com.
- You can get the $100 voucher every year that you spend $2,500.
How valuable is that voucher? It depends on where you fly. For example, we did some research for our Best Airline Rewards Card of 2017 article and found that $100 can get you three one-way tickets between Atlanta and Orlando.
That’s just one example, though. It’s best if you go to Frontier’s website and search various flights leaving from your home airport to get an idea of how far $100 can get you.
Frontier Airlines World MasterCard’s Non-Travel Benefits
The Frontier card also offers some non-travel perks that you might be interested in.
Free FICO Score
The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard gives you access to your FICO score, the credit score used by mortgage and auto loan lenders to determine your rates and loan amounts.
While this perk wasn’t very prevalent a few years ago, it’s widely used now by multiple credit card companies and banks, including Discover and Bank of America.
Rental Car Insurance, Warranties and Price Protection
In addition to your free FICO score, cardmembers get complimentary insurance for rental cars (common), extended warranties on purchases (common), and a price-protection feature that reimburses you if an item you bought becomes cheaper within 60 days of the purchase date.
To get the reimbursement, you have to file a claim with MasterCard.
You can learn more about the details of these various World MasterCard programs by downloading a copy of their benefits guide.
0% APR on Balance Transfers
At the time of publishing, the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard card offered no interest on balance transfers for 15 months.
A balance transfer is moving a certain amount of your balance from one credit card to another, usually because the new card has a better APR than the old card.
To transfer a balance to your Frontier card, you’ll go to your credit card account page (barclaycardus.com), click on “Services” and then “Balance Transfer Offers”. You’ll be asked to enter the card number and amount you want to transfer.
Remember, this is a balance transfer request, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get the entire amount transferred.
Once the balance is transferred, you won’t pay any interest on the balance for 15 months. You will, however, pay a 3% balance transfer fee.
At the end of 15 months, Frontier will charge you either 16.74% or 25.74% interest on your transferred balance if it’s not paid off in full.
So, if you transfer a $3,000 balance and you have $200 left to pay off come 15 months, you’ll be charged interest on the entire original balance of $3,000.
Pro tip: The no-interest offer is only good for balance transfers you’ve made in the first 45 days.
Fees and Penalties With the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard
- APR - 16.74% or 25.74%, depending on your credit history and scores
- Late payment fee - Up to $37
- Annual fee - $69
- Foreign transaction fee - 3%
The APR on the Frontier credit card is as high as we’ve seen. The lower APR is equal to Chase airline rewards cards, but the high APR is higher than what you find with Chase cards (Southwest, United) and with Virgin America’s Premier Visa Signature card.
The $69 annual fee is lower than Southwest and United’s credit cards, which is a nice counter to the high APR.
Frontier Airlines World MasterCard Reviews
The Frontier credit card isn’t as popular as cards offered by bigger carriers like United and Delta, and so the number of reviews from consumers like you aren’t as numerous as competing cards.
However, we were able to read through the opinions of some of the reviewers on credit-card site WalletHub. More than 150 reviewers gave the card an average 3.8 stars, which is an above-average score. Exactly 80% of the reviews (at the time of publishing) were 4 or 5 stars.
Many of the positive reviews said the card’s sign-up miles were a great bonus, but those who gave the card negative reviews consistently pointed out that it took a long time (months) for those bonus miles to actually show up in their Early Returns account.
How the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard Compares to Other Airlines
In our guide to the best airline rewards cards of the year, we researched how many rewards points/miles it would take for a flight from Los Angeles to New York. Frontier came in second to last because it took 30,000 miles to get a ticket.
Now, keep in mind that you might be able to get tickets for 10,000 points each way if you’re lucky enough to see those fares when you do your flight search.
When we researched the LAX–LGA flight, we got a 10,000-point leg and a 20,000-point leg. When you’re booking a flight with rewards points, it’s better to do it earlier so you can snag the cheapest rewards seats.
Despite being requiring the second-highest amount of points, the Frontier had a great flight-to-bonus ratio. What does that mean?
Well, the United flight we researched only cost 25,000 points, but the sign-up bonus was 30,000 points, which means you’d only have 5,000 points left after your L.A. to New York flight.
With the Frontier card, you were left with 10,000 miles after booking your cross-country flight, a total that was second only to Southwest’s 31,660 leftover points.
Based on these numbers, we think the Frontier credit card offers great value on miles, but, aside from miles and the $100 voucher, the perks don’t compete at all with other cards.
You don’t get any free baggage allowances or priority boarding, nor do you get free or discounted entrance to airport lounges.
As strictly a miles card, the Frontier World is pretty strong, but as an all-encompassing airline rewards card, it’s only slightly above average.
Our Final Thoughts About the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard
We find this airline credit card to be pretty interesting. Frontier is a small airline carrier, which means they have fewer flights than more popular carriers like Southwest, United, and Delta. However, the perks they’re offering on their credit card are pretty big.
The Pros of the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard
The Frontier credit card’s list of travel-related benefit are quite strong when you compare them to other carriers.
The 40,000-point bonus is the second biggest amount we found in our airline rankings, and while the miles cost of a Frontier LA–NY flight put it near the bottom of our rankings, the 40K bonus tempers that cost a bit.
Also, remember that you can find round-trip flights for 20,000 points, which is a pretty good deal because you could squeeze two trips out of your sign-up bonus.
Another interesting advantage to this card is the Discount Den membership. Based on the various discount fares we saw during a research, you could save 10–20% on cash flight fares in certain situations.
We weren’t able to see Den Deals for points flights, so we can’t provide any hard data on what kind of points savings you can expect.
Also, the card’s $69 annual fee is very reasonable compared to nearly $100 annual fees of Southwest and United’s cards.
The Cons of the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard
While we think this card offers some great value for points-based flights, it does have its weaknesses. If you don’t make purchases on the card every six months, you lose whatever miles you have stored up.
Because Frontier is a smaller carrier, they have a limited number of flights they run each day and their planes don’t fly to all major cities. For example, they fly to and from Orlando but they don’t operate in Jacksonville.
You should research whether or not Frontier flies out of your home airport and which routes they service.
If you don’t like the options you have, you may want to think about applying for other airline cards with more routes, like Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Premier or the Chase United’s MileagePlus Explorer.
Another downside we see with this card is the high APR, but you can avoid paying interest if you pay off your entire balance each month.
Our final verdict? We believe that the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard can offer good value to the right person, but other airline credit cards – specifically the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier – can give you more options for routes and flight times.