BEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDSSPIRIT TRAVEL MORE CARD REVIEW: SOME PERKS, BUT NO FREE CHECKED BAGS

Spirit Travel More Card Review: Some Perks, but No Free Checked Bags

The card offers rewards in broad everyday categories as well as valuable Spirit-specific benefits, but it lacks a key feature you'd expect from an airline credit card.
Funto Omojola Author Avatar
Jun 13, 2024 7:10 p.m. PDT
Edited by
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The Bottom Line

3.6

NerdWallet rating

The card is aimed at frequent Spirit flyers who don't mind redeeming rewards solely with the airline — but given Spirit's limited footprint, that won't be possible for everyone.

Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® Image
Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard®
Annual Fee
$0 intro for the first year, then $79
Rewards Rate
1x-3x
Points
Intro Offer
60,000
Points
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
21.24%-29.24% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® Image
Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard®
Annual Fee
$0 intro for the first year, then $79
Rewards Rate
1x-3x
Points
Intro Offer
60,000
Points
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
21.24%-29.24% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
  • Annual fee

    $0 intro for the first year, then $79

  • Rewards rate

    1x-3x

  • Bonus offer

    Earn 50,000 Bonus Points + $100 Flight Voucher after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • Intro APR

    N/A

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 21.24%-29.24% Variable APR

    Cash Advance APR: 24.24%-29.24% Variable APR

    Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Online Offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Points + $100 Flight Voucher after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 3X points on eligible Spirit purchases, 2X points on eligible dining and grocery store purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive a $100 Companion Flight Voucher each anniversary after making at least $5,000 in purchases within the prior anniversary year.
  • Access to Points Pooling to combine your points with up to 8 friends and family members.
  • Reach Free Spirit Status by earning 1 SQP for each $10 in net purchases toward Free Spirit Status.
  • Pay no redemption fees as a primary card holder.
  • Get a 25% rebate on all inflight food and beverage purchases when you pay with your card.
  • Get Automatic Zone 2 Shortcut Boarding on all flights.
  • No limit to the points you can earn.
  • No points expiration as long as your card account is open.
  • No foreign transaction fees and a low $0 introductory annual fee for the first year. After that it's just $79.

Detailed Review

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 more than 80 destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean it services — then you might be interested in the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard®, which comes with an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $79.

In exchange for that fee, the Bank of America®-issued card offers a fair amount of value, in the form of broad ongoing rewards and sought-after airline benefits like companion flight vouchers, priority boarding and rebates on in-flight dining.

What you won't get with the card, however, are free checked bags, and that's a big strike against it. Most other airline credit cards at similar price points offer this key benefit, which is usually valuable enough to more than offset their annual fees.

And as with most airline cards, your reward redemption options will be limited, so if you’re not a regular Spirit flyer, consider a more flexible general travel rewards credit card instead.

🤓Nerdy Tip

For U.S. applicants, Spirit also offers the similarly named Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard®, which has an annual fee of $0 but features less robust rewards and perks. To see how the two cards stack up, jump to our comparison table below.

Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard®: Key Features

Card type: Airline.

Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $79.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 Bonus Points + $100 Flight Voucher after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Rewards:

  • 3 points per $1 spent on eligible Spirit purchases.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on eligible dining and grocery store purchases.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • 1 SQP, or Status Qualifying Point, for every $10 spent on everyday purchases.

NerdWallet values Spirit points at 0.8 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 0.8 cent or more in value from your Spirit points.

Points can be redeemed for Spirit flights and sometimes for eligible Spirit partner products or services. 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.

APR: 21.24%-29.24% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction.

Other benefits:

  • Annual $100 Companion Flight Voucher each account anniversary after spending at least $5,000 the previous year.

  • Zone 2 Shortcut Boarding on all flights.

  • 25% rebate on in-flight food and beverage purchases.

  • Earn points toward Free Spirit Status: Cardholders earn 1 Status Qualifying Point for each $10 spent on your card.

  • Points pooling with up to eight friends and family members.

How the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® compares with the Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard®

If you're opposed to paying an annual fee, the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® has a $0-annual-fee sibling, called the Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard®. And it offers a surprising amount of perks for a no-annual-fee travel card.

But it still won't get you free checked bags. And it's also worth noting that while this other version of the card has no annual fee, it doesn't help you avoid redemption fees like its more expensive alternative does.

Here's a look at how the two cards stack up:

Empty Table Header

Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard®

Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard®

Annual fee

$0.

$0 intro for the first year, then $79.

Rewards rate

2x on Spirit; 1x on everything else.

3x on Spirit; 2x on dining and groceries; 1x on everything else.

Sign-up bonus

Online offer: Earn 10,000 Bonus Points after making at least $500 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Earn 50,000 Bonus Points + $100 Flight Voucher after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

APR

21.24%-29.24% Variable APR.

21.24%-29.24% Variable APR.

Zone 2 shortcut boarding

25% in-flight rebate on food and drinks

Points pooling

🤓Nerdy Tip

Spirit also offers a separate portfolio of credit cards exclusively for customers in certain Latin American countries.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
REGULAR APR
18.24%-28.24% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$95
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
21.49%-28.49% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$250
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
See Pay Over Time APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
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Benefits and Perks

Bonus rewards for non-Spirit spending

Some airline cards earn bonus rewards only for purchases made with their brand. But with the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard®, holders earn extra on more than just travel-related spending, including two of the "biggies." In addition to earning 3 points per $1 for Spirit purchases, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on eligible dining and grocery store purchases (and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases).

Valuable sign-up bonus

The card features the following limited-time offer for newcomers who apply online: Earn 50,000 Bonus Points + $100 Flight Voucher after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

The $100 voucher can help you cover some or all of a loved one’s round-trip flight with the airline, depending on when and where you’re traveling. Plus, at a NerdWallet valuation of 0.8 cent cents per Spirit point, the other half of the bonus is worth $480.

Note that in addition to snagging the $100 companion voucher as part of the card's sign-up bonus, you can also qualify for it annually if you make at least $5,000 in purchases on the card within the previous year, which can offset the card's annual fee after the first year.

Earn status by spending

The Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® earns 1 Status Qualifying Point for every $10 spent with the card. SQPs are separate from rewards points you'd use to book flights, and they can get you closer to Free Spirit Silver and Gold status: You’ll need 2,000 SQPs to earn Silver status and 5,000 SQPs to earn Gold status. Those levels come with perks like elevated points earning, seat selection at booking, free in-flight snacks and more.

No 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 fee for redeeming points for an award flight. However, if you have the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard®, this fee is waived.

Drawbacks and Considerations

No free checked bags

Unlike a lot of other airline credit cards, the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® doesn’t offer 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.

Although Free Spirit Gold status does come with a free first checked and carry-on bag, you’ll need to spend at least $50,000 on your card each year to earn that status — which can be difficult for some to meet.

Additionally, while the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® does offer the chance to earn a companion voucher that can offer some savings, other airline cards feature much more lucrative companion benefits.

For example, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card comes with an annual Companion Fare benefit, which allows holders to pay only $99, plus taxes and fees starting at $23, for a companion's coach airline ticket regardless of how much the flight costs. In order to get this Companion Fare, you need to spend $6,000 during the previous year. The $95-annual-fee card also offers free first checked bags for you and up to six other travelers in your reservation.

Small airline footprint

Spirit is a budget airline with a relatively small presence, compared with larger airlines like American, Delta or United. It doesn't serve every airport, nor does it fly everywhere.

If you don't live near a Spirit hub or your travel plans include, say, Europe, then the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® will be of very little use to you.

Poor flexibility

As with other co-branded airline cards, you're pretty much limited to redeeming points for airfare with Spirit Airlines, which as noted above may not benefit you much depending on where you live and where you want to go. Similarly, many of the perks that come with the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® — like the companion flight voucher or the ability to earn Free Spirit status — are all tied to the airline. General travel rewards credit cards can offer more flexibility in terms of benefits as well as points earning and redemption.

A popular choice is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which earns rewards that can be redeemed for a number of options, including for travel booked through Chase at the rate of 1.25 cents per point. Points can also be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to domestic and international airline and hotel travel partners like British Airways, JetBlue, United, Southwest, Hyatt, Marriott and more. The card charges an annual fee of $95.

For more alternatives, see NerdWallet's list of best credit card offers.

How To Decide If It's Right For You

The Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® can be a valuable option for frequent Spirit consumers. You’ll earn bonus points for some general everyday spending, as well as airline-specific benefits like in-flight savings, priority boarding and a companion voucher that can offset the annual fee.

But the card won't help defray checked-bag fees, and if you're not loyal to Spirit or any other specific airline, a broader and more flexible travel card will be more suitable.

Alternate Pick: Flexible redemption options
Redeem points with a variety of transfer partners

Earn bonus rewards in a variety of popular spending categories like dining and groceries. Points take on higher value when redeemed for travel through Chase, or they can be transferred, at a 1:1 ratio, to a number of domestic and international airline and hotel partners. The card charges an annual fee of $95.


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.

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