Editorial Review

Frontier Airlines Card Review: Potential Boon for Budget Flyers

The card offers solid rewards and perks for a reasonable annual fee, as long as you're loyal to this relatively small airline or you're able to be.

Chanelle BessetteMarch 29, 2019

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  • Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®

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Our Take

3.3

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: For a co-branded airline card, it offers some head-turning features, including an annual flight voucher that can more than offset the modest annual fee.

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®

Annual Fee

$79

Regular APR

18.24% - 27.24% Variable

Intro APR

0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening.

recommended credit score

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • 0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • Has annual fee

  • Needs excellent credit

Alternate Pick: Flexible travel rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

High point value, transfer partners

Earn 2 points back on travel and dining purchases, plus a generous welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Points take on more value when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, and you can transfer them to multiple airline and hotel partners. The annual fee is $95.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$69

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 12 billing cycles

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

For fans of Frontier Airlines, the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® will offer a lot of bang for your buck.

The card features rich rewards on eligible spending directly with the airline as well as on dining out, plus a solid sign-up bonus. You'll also have the opportunity to earn an annual flight voucher that's worth more than the card's relatively modest annual fee. You won't, however, get a free-checked-bag benefit (the voucher is good toward flights but not bag fees).

Of course, as with most co-branded airline cards, redemption options are limited. And Frontier is a smaller airline with limited routes, so if you can't easily fly with the airline, getting the card won't make much sense.

Key features of the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®

Card type: Airline.

Annual fee: $79

Sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee.

Rewards:

  • 5X miles for purchases made on the Frontier website.

  • 3X miles at restaurants.

  • 1X miles on all other purchases.

APR: 0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 18.24% - 27.24% Variable

Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Other benefits:

  • $100 flight voucher after every account anniversary after you spend $2,500 or more in net purchases during your cardmembership year.

  • Access to "Family Pooling" for sharing miles.

  • Priority boarding. (Zone 2 boarding).

Why you might want the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®

Solid rewards

Unlike some other co-branded airline cards, this one earns elevated rewards on more than just spending directly with the airline. Yes, you'll earn 5 points per dollar spent when booking via Frontier's website, but you'll also earn triple points back on dining. Plus, there's a nice sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee. Depending on where and when you travel, that could be worth at least one round-trip flight.

Relatively low annual fee

Typically, co-branded airline cards in this class charge annual fees of just under $100. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, for example, has a $99 annual fee. The United℠ Explorer Card charges a $95 annual fee. An annual fee of $79 is something of a deal, especially when you consider your ...

Flight voucher

If you make $2,500 in purchases per year with your Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®, you'll earn a $100 Frontier Airlines flight voucher after your account anniversary, which more than makes up for the card’s annual fee. Keep in mind, though, that the voucher is good only toward travel on Frontier Airlines flights. You can't use it to cover fees for things like checked bags, seat changes or membership in the airline's Discount Den program. And if your ticket price is less than $100, you don't get to keep the remaining value to use later.

Family members can pool miles

Cardholders are allowed to have a family account mile pool that consists of the primary account holder (who holds the card) and up to eight additional members. The primary account holder is in charge of mile redemption.

Fly domestically and internationally

Frontier isn't a large airline, but it does fly to dozens of airports in the U.S., including Puerto Rico, as well as destinations in Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Canada.

Why you might consider another card

You want more flexible rewards

This card makes sense only if you’re loyal to Frontier Airlines — or are able to be. If you don’t live near an airport that supports Frontier routes, or you just want more flexibility in how you redeem your rewards, a general travel credit card may be more appropriate for your lifestyle. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2 points back on travel and dining purchases, plus a rich welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Points can redeemed for a variety of things, but they take on more value when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. You can book airline tickets, hotels, rental cards there, or you can transfer your points to several airline and hotel partners. The annual fee is $95.

You don’t want to pay any kind of annual fee

There are several strong alternatives for people seeking a no-annual-fee travel card. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has a $0 annual fee, and it earns 1.5 points per $1 on every purchase. You can redeem points for a statement credit to pay for things like flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars and more. The card also offers a plum 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.

You don't spend enough to earn the flight voucher

While this benefit can more than cancel out the card’s annual fee, you’ll have to be willing to put $2,500 a year — or around $208 a month — on the card in order to earn it. If you don’t think you'll hit that threshold, the annual fee could become frustrating.

You’re still building your credit score

The recommended credit score for Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® applicants is “excellent.” If your score falls below 720, you might not qualify and will want to consider another card.

Is the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® right for you?

The Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® can unlock a lot of value, but only if you’re able to fly Frontier on a regular basis. It's a budget-friendly airline, but it's not very large and its routes are limited. There are many other comparable co-branded airline cards, so make sure Frontier fits your travel needs first. To see how this card stacks up against others in the field, see our roundup of top credit cards.