Airline Cards: Are they worth it? (Part 1)

Do you have an airline miles credit card? Do you see the benefit in having it?

Let’s talk about what’s being offered. This post will dive into the discount airfare champion:  Spirit Airlines MasterCard.

In my last post 24 hours in Joshua Tree, I took Spirit Airlines to get to my destination. It was a super cheap R/T ticket and I couldn’t turn it down.

On my flight home, the flight attendants were handing out applications for their Spirit Airlines MasterCard to receive 15,000 miles plus an additional 2,500 for completing the application on the flight. So what’s to this card and is it worth it?

When you hear great things like: 15,000 miles and you can take 3 trips for free by signing up, it all sounds wonderful.

What you may not think about is the details behind the card. (Sure you can sign up for the card and use the miles and shut it down, but what is the real catch?)

Spirit Airlines takes a few days to a week to process your credit history in order to establish your APR. Should you be approved for their Mastercard, they will award you with the 15,000 points after your first purchase. Points may not be allocated to your account until after the first billing cycle has been completed, so you may not be able to use them right away.

If you aren’t in a hurry, then its NBD, right? If you are in a hurry to use the travel miles, you may be let down by this stipulation.

There are no blackout dates to use your miles {A plus in my book}. You can start booking as soon as you see your points have been added to your account, but they aren’t totally free since you will need to pay taxes and fees to the airlines and Government taxes.

These fees include:

PFC (Passenger Facility Charge)- Up to $18

Federal excise Tax: 7.5% of airfare

Segment Fee: up to $4 (a segment fee is defined as a take off and a landing)

Septemeber 11th Security Fee: $5.60 (one-way) + additional for layovers

U.S. or International Departure and Arrival Charges: up to $200 that may apply depending on the itinerary.

and lastly and baggage fees. But if you take advantage of Spirits Bare Fare then you should be A-OK. {go this route, you’ll save $35-$100 on baggage}

Now that we have established the fees, let’s backtrack to those 3 Free trips. To use your award flights, you’re flights must meet the 5,000 miles minimum (less taxes +fees). This means you may not be able to get any more than 3 flights from this promotion. You may also not be able to squeeze more than 2, depending on your flight.

Let’s use my last flight for example: IAH-> LAX: 4,400 miles (RT)

To be able to reach my 5,000 miles (RT) minimum I would need to change either my destination or my origin flight. (below is an origin change)

img_2728

*information provided by webflyer.com

On the bright side, Spirit only requires you to be an “active” member to continue reaping the benefits of this Mastercard. You are not required to spend a specified amount, but that you spend on each billing cycle to be considered “active.”  Now; if you are a heavy spender, you may be able to obtain and additional 5,000 award point by spending $10,000 in an annual cycle. Should you obtain this (baller) status, you may be eligible for taxable income and the IRS may issue you a 1099. Al information regarding 1099 is subject to IRS discretion.

When you sign up for your Spirit Airlines MC your APR is decided on by your credit worthiness (like any other card) and you’ll have a $0 annual fee for the first year and $59 after that.

Spirit’s Mastercard allows you to earn double point per every $1 spent and gives you the option to select preferred boarding at select airports. There is even an option for business owners to apply for business cards, allows the option to control spending for any additional employee cards with detail transaction reports and ability to view daily balances.

Additional bonuses offered for this card include:

1000 miles when you spend $30 at participating restaurants*

5x rewards when dining at participating restaurants**

*$30 must be spent within 30 days of receiving card (must be registered by March 31, 2017), card must be registered for promotions though Spirit dining to receive any rewards. Must be an active member, receive emails and complete a minimum of 12 qualified transactions within a 12 month calendar year for benefits. You may be required to complete a survey post dining experience to obtain rewards. 

**active members have 3 categories for active member status– V.I.P. earns you 5x rewards (rules apply), 3x rewards for an online member, 1x rewards.

Under Spirit’s partners tab, you’ll also find you can book a cruise package, which can earn you up to 10,000 free miles. See their partners selection to earn more miles! You can also get special rates just for being a card holder and booking on spirit.com.

There are multiple ways to earn with this card and you may find benefit into getting this card; but I do suggest reading all the fine print and calling to inquire about any additional questions you may have. It never hurts to have all the answers!

If you are interested in applying for a Spirit MasterCard click here.

This post is not an advertisement, nor am I receiving any compensation for posting. This post is for informational purposes only. For more information on this card, please contact Spirit Airlines directly as I am not affiliated with the airlines.

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