Barclays Frontier Airlines

Should You Get the Frontier Airlines Credit Card for Cheap Summer US Flights?



One of the most underrated credit cards on the market right now for free domestic flights is the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®. You’ll get 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in the first 90 days. This is worth 2 round trip flights to anywhere Frontier flies within the US, including Alaska! This is a great bonus for a very low spending requirement.

Application Link: The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®

Frontier has a cheap award chart, you can book round trip awards for only 20,000 miles.

 

Frontier Airlines Award Chart

Frontier Airlines Award Chart

This means if you are a family of four and both parents get the card, then you can fly the whole family for almost free this summer. Taxes and fees on one-way flights within the US cost $2.50 and on international flights they run $26 to $47.

One of my favorite aspects of Frontier miles is that it’s the same low price of 10,000 miles each way to fly to Alaska and there is great award availability for most of the summer. I would much rather spend Frontier miles for a flight to Alaska than United or AA miles, since I consider using them for international award flights much more valuable.

Frontier also has flights to Central America covering Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean for only 15k miles each way. So this could also mean a tropical vacation for two if each person gets the card and earns the bonus. Plus you would have enough miles left over for a round trip domestic flight in the future.

Why get Frontier miles?

Earning miles with a (mostly) domestic airline to cover all award flights within the US is a great strategy to save more valuable miles such as United, AA, and US Airways miles for international travel.

When miles are easy to earn through bonuses like with the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®, there isn’t a reason to not earn miles specifically for domestic travel and miles specifically for international travel.

One reason I would get the Frontier Airlines credit card is that I value miles that can be used on Star Alliance and Oneworld partners much more than miles I can only use on domestic flights. This means that if I have airlines that can ONLY be used on domestic flights, I rather use them for flights within the US, thus me not having to use my more valuable mileage currency. Of course international travel is not everyone’s gig, so your best uses may differ.

Where Can You Fly with 40,000 Frontier Miles?

The easiest way to see your options of where you can fly with Frontier miles is by taking a look at their route map. Frontier’s hub is based in Denver and they fly across the US, but specifically the east coast is heavily serviced by their flights. I was actually quite surprised to see just how many major cities Frontier flies too.

 

All of Frontier's routes

All of Frontier’s routes

One of the best uses of Frontier miles is to fly to Alaska for only 10,000 miles and $2.50 in taxes and fees each way. There are plenty of award spaces available this summer for flights to Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska.

If you want to head somewhere international, you can use Frontier miles to fly to Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Each way to any of these destinations is only 15,000 miles and ~$19 to $40 in taxes and fees.

Cons of Frontier Miles

Frontier has a pretty extensive route map, but they don’t fly everywhere within the US. So unless you live close to a Frontier destination, then you might have to travel to an airport that is serviced by Frontier.

Award availability seems to be pretty good for most flights, but a huge tip when looking for award flights is that the weekly award calendar DOES NOT always show the lowest award price for each day. Even if the calendar shows award prices for 40,000 miles, you can click over on the adjacent days and it will show ALL of the award options, including flights for 20,000 miles.

Getting Cheap Summer Travel Flights

The low minimum spend for the 40,000 miles and the cheap award chart makes the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® among the top cards for family or couple summer travel.

You only need 20,000 miles for a round trip flight within the US and 30,000 miles for an international round trip flight. If you want to get flights for the whole family, each parent could get the card bonus and together net a total of 80,000 miles. This is enough for 4 round trip flights within the US or 3 international flights. For only spending $1,000 as a minimum spend this is a great deal.

If you need to top off your mileage accounts for another ticket, you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Frontier miles at a 1:1 ratio. I would only recommend this if you’re short a few thousand miles to book a trip, but otherwise there are much more valuable uses for Membership Rewards points.

Recap

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® with 40,000 bonus miles is a great and quick way to earn almost free flights for summer travel. Between Frontier’s cheap award chart and good award availability, you can fly to lots of US destinations using Frontier miles. The best part might be that you won’t have to use United or American Airlines miles for domestic flights, meaning you can save those for more valuable redemptions.

The low minimum spend on the card makes this one of the easiest ways for cheap summer travel within the US or Frontiers Central American destinations. For a family vacation each parent could get the card and spend the $500 minimum spend to get four award flights within the US. Even better, if a couple both get the card they can get 1 round trip flight to Central America and 1 round trip flight within the US.

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