Allegiant Credit Card Review: Not a Good Fit for Most Travelers

It lacks the free-checked-bag benefit that's common among airline cards with annual fees, and even regular Allegiant customers will do better with a general-purpose travel card.

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Our Take

3.7

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

The card could suit Allegiant loyalists who regularly purchase vacation packages through the airline to travel with companions. But its relative lack of benefits and the airline's small footprint are big drawbacks.

Jump to: Full Review
Allegiant World Mastercard® credit card
Annual fee
$59
Regular APR
16.24%-24.24% Variable on purchases and balance transfers
Intro APR
N/A
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)
Apply now

on Bank of America's website

Quick Facts

Alternate Pick: No annual fee, flexible rewards
Discover it® Miles
NerdWallet rating 
Discover it® Miles
Simple rewards

The $0-annual-fee Discover it® Miles earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent. It offers flexible redemption options and you don't need a minimum amount to redeem them. New cardholders also get an intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 12.24%-23.24% Variable APR. There's also a potentially generous sign-up bonus.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$59

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$95

Regular APR

16.24%-24.24% Variable on purchases and balance transfers

Regular APR

12.24%-23.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

16.24%-23.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

The Allegiant World Mastercard®, issued by Bank of America®, packs a $59 annual fee but offers very few ongoing incentives to defray that cost — especially when compared with other travel credit cards.

If you typically stick to Allegiant’s limited routes, regularly purchase vacation packages and travel with companions, the Allegiant World Mastercard® could have some value. But for most travelers, a general travel credit card can offer better money-saving perks and flexibility, even if you choose to fly with Allegiant.

Nerdy tip: Allegiant flies only within the U.S. and services many small and midsize airports, but those flights often only run a few times a week. The airline also offers solely nonstop routes, which can be appealing for many trips but a nuisance in some circumstances. If you want to fly Allegiant to continue on to another destination, you’ll have to purchase a whole separate ticket.

Key features of the Allegiant World Mastercard®

Card type: Airline.

Sign-up bonus: 15,000 Bonus Points online offer – equal to $150 off a future Allegiant trip, after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $59.

Companion fare: The card offers a “buy one, get one free” fare offer with eligible purchases. (Terms apply, see below.)

APR: The ongoing APR is 16.24%-24.24% Variable APR.

Ongoing rewards:

  • 3 points per $1 spent on Allegiant, including flights, hotels and car rentals booked through Allegiant.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on dining.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

Rewards earned from the card are called Allways Rewards, and each point is worth 1 cent toward Allegiant airfare or other travel, such as car rentals, hotel stays and attractions. (But you can't redeem points on hotel-only or car-only bookings.) There are no blackout dates, destination restrictions or minimum redemption requirements. Allways Rewards will never expire, but you'll lose them if you close the credit card.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other perks:

  • Priority boarding: Every time you fly Allegiant and show the Allegiant World Mastercard®.

  • Free drink: One free beverage when you fly and show the card.

  • World Mastercard benefits: These perks, which come directly from the Mastercard payment network, might be available.

Nerdy tip: Buy Allegiant tickets at the airport ticket counter rather than calling or purchasing online, and you’ll save up to $18 per ticket. Tickets booked online or over the phone are subject to an “electronic carrier usage charge” of up to $18 per passenger, per flight segment, but that charge is waived if you buy your ticket at the airport. Since Allegiant flies on certain days only, check the airport’s ticket counter hours before you head over to buy tickets.

Why you’re better off passing on the Allegiant World Mastercard®

Unless you frequently travel on Allegiant or regularly purchase vacation packages to travel with companions, you won’t get much value from the Allegiant World Mastercard®. And even if you do frequently fly on this airline, other travel credit cards have more to offer. Here's why:

Limited airline footprint

Allegiant is a low-cost domestic airline with limited routes. There are no international flights, nor does Allegiant fly everywhere in the U.S.

The Allegiant World Mastercard® won't be a good pick for those who don't live near an Allegiant hub, or those who intend to globe-trot.

Meager incentives for a $59 annual fee

While the annual fee isn’t as steep as it may be compared to those on other airline credit cards, the Allegiant World Mastercard® offers very few incentives for what it costs to hold. Ongoing rewards are weak, so it'll be difficult to rack up a pile of rewards unless you spend frequently on Allegiant travel purchases. The sign-up bonus is also paltry compared with other travel cards — general-purpose and co-branded airline cards — that charge annual fees.

And you won't get much in the way of perks either. The card doesn't offer free checked bags, a potentially valuable benefit often found on co-branded airline cards that charge annual fees. Plus, as a budget airline, Allegiant itself doesn't offer elite status or first-class seats. You'll have to pay if you want to choose where you sit, for instance, and the card won't even help you there.

A general travel rewards card will be more rewarding, even for most Allegiant loyalists. For example, consider the $0-annual-fee Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. It earns 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, which could help you rack up rewards quicker on everyday purchases. (If you book eligible travel through the Bank of America® Travel Center, you can earn 3 points per $1 spent.) Better yet, those rewards are flexible. You can redeem toward a wide variety of travel-related expenses, so you're not limited to one specific airline. And you’ll be eligible for a much richer sign-up bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

Or if you don’t mind paying an annual fee that can be offset with perks, consider the $95-annual-fee Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card instead. It earns 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, and 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. You’ll get up to $100 in statement credit each calendar year for airline incidentals, which can be used to cover purchases made on domestic-originated flights on certain U.S.-domestic airline carriers, including seat upgrades, checked baggage fees and airport lounge fees with eligible airline carriers. It also offers a statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees. The sign-up bonus is generous, too: Receive 50,000 online bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

'Buy one, get one free' airfare isn’t easy to snag

One of the few benefits touted by the Allegiant World Mastercard® is a "buy one, get one free" airfare perk, but it isn’t as straightforward or easy to earn as it is on other airlines that offer a cost-saving companion airfare benefit.

To take advantage of this cardholder perk, you’ll have to purchase a vacation package from Allegiant — not just a flight. The vacation must include at least four hotel nights or at least seven rental car days on the same itinerary. And remember, destinations while flying with Allegiant are limited.

You’ll have to call to book a vacation package and use this benefit; it can’t be redeemed online. And you won’t be able to use points to book the buy one, get one itinerary, though you will earn points on the booking.

Should I get the Allegiant World Mastercard®?

If Allegiant is your go-to airline or you regularly purchase vacation packages through Allegiant for travel with companions, the Allegiant World Mastercard® could possibly work for you. But it's also possible to do much better with a general travel credit card. And if you’re willing to pay a slightly higher annual fee that can be offset with perks or incentives, you’ll get even more value.

See our list of the best credit cards for more options.

on Bank of America's website

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.