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If you fly Spirit Airlines frequently — which you might do if you enjoy the no-frills, low-cost carrier and live near one of the cities it services — then you might be interested in one of its two co-branded credit cards for U.S. applicants, both issued by Bank of America®:
The Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard®, with an annual fee of $0.
The Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard®, with an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $79.
Unless you're adamantly opposed to an annual fee, the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® is generally much more valuable. Here are five things to know about the Spirit Airlines credit cards.
1. Both cards offer perks and rewards ...
Regardless of which Spirit Airlines credit card you choose, you get access to multiple perks with the airline — and for a no-annual-fee travel card like the Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard®, that's relatively rare. Here's a look at how the two versions stack up:
Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard®
Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard®
$0 intro for the first year, then $79
2x on Spirit; 1x on everything else
3x on Spirit; 2x on dining and groceries; 1x on everything else
Online Offer: Earn 10,000 Bonus Points after spending at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
Online Offer: Earn 40,000 Bonus Points + a $100 Companion Flight Voucher after spending at least $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
15.99%-23.99% Variable APR
15.99%-23.99% Variable APR
Zone 2 shortcut boarding
25% in-flight rebate on food and drinks
Yellow Glove Concierge Service
Payment network tier
World Elite Mastercard®
2. ... But the 'More' version offers, well, more
While either card can snag you key airline benefits like priority boarding and rebates on in-flight dining, the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® offers much more value in exchange for its annual fee, and not just in the form of richer and broader ongoing rewards.
The More version doesn't charge you "redemption fees." Spirit is a low-fare carrier. But like many such airlines, it makes up for those low fares by charging you other fees, including a possible $50 fee for redeeming points for an award flight, depending on how close to your travel date you're booking it. The Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® waives this fee.
The More version offers the ability to earn companion flight vouchers: These vouchers are valued at $100 — which more than offsets the card's annual fee — and can help if you're flying with a loved one. You can snag a companion voucher as part of the card's sign-up bonus, but you can also qualify for one each year after that, if you make at least $5,000 in purchases on the card within the previous year.
The More version earns status-qualifying points (SQPs): These are separate from rewards points you'd use to book flights, and they can get you closer to Free Spirit Silver and Gold status. Those levels convey perks like seat selection at booking, free in-flight snacks, and same-day standby tickets.
The no-annual-fee card does not offer these perks, although it does offer 5,000 bonus points on each account anniversary as long as you spend $10,000 or more on the card each year.
3. You won't get free checked bags
Unlike a lot of other airline credit cards, neither of the Spirit Airlines cards offers free checked bags. And that could be a significant cost on top of what otherwise might be a rock-bottom ticket price.
Checked-bag fees with Spirit start at $30 one way.
» MORE: 7 tips to save on baggage fees
4. Point values can be decent
It's not always clear how much your Free Spirit points are worth. But generally speaking, you can expect a rough value of about 1 cent per point, and sometimes a good bit higher depending on the kind of ticket and when you're booking it.
And flight redemptions start at just 2,500 points, which means the cards' welcome offers could potentially earn you a pile of award flights upfront.
Points don’t expire as long as your credit card account remains open, so there’s no pressure to book travel within a certain time frame.
5. Both cards travel well
Neither of the Spirit Airlines credit cards charges any foreign transaction fees, which can save you money on purchases abroad. Both cards also run on the Mastercard payment network, which is widely accepted around the world.