Review: Frontier Airlines credit card — cute, but not rewarding

Quick review:

Cute factor — 10/10

Value — 2/10

Just like its planes, Frontier’s credit cards are adorned in adorable wild animals.

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Photo credit: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg News

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Unlike its planes, Frontier’s credit card won’t get you far.

Why is it so bad?

It’s earning rate is terrible, at 2 miles per dollar on Frontier purchases, and only 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. On top of that, the miles are difficult to redeem at a good value.

There are a few airports with a great selection of Frontier flights: Denver, Orlando, Chicago and Las Vegas. If you live near one of these airports, Frontier miles are much more likely to be useable and valuable.

As mentioned in the comments section below, what this credit card sorely needs is an additional benefit such as a free carry-on bag, free onboard refreshments, 10x miles on Frontier purchases, or some perk that would make it worth having for Frontier frequent flyers.

How is the sign-up bonus?

Many credit cards are worth getting just for the sign-up bonuses, even if they don’t have any lasting value. That’s not the case with this card.

At 40K miles after $500 spent in your first 90 days, the bonus on this card isn’t bad, but it’s definitely not one of the top 20 credit cards I would apply for.

If you apply for the card on a Frontier flight, you can get the 40K miles without having to spend anything other than the first annual fee, which is pretty rare among bonuses.

Annual fee?

Yep, $69 per year, though you can downgrade to a no-annual fee version.

Any other benefits?

Frontier charges a ridiculous fee when you redeem your miles for a flight. If you have this card, they waive the fee.

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Another benefit, new this year: Earn a $100 Frontier voucher on your account anniversary when you’ve spent $2,500 or more in the year.

Even with this new benefit, I wouldn’t recommend putting that much spend on this card, or even paying for the annual fee a second time.

Here’s a link to the info page, and here’s a summary of the card benefits:

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Who should consider this card?

If you live near a major Frontier hub, don’t mind flying on Frontier, AND have already opened five or more credit cards in the past two years, this card could be worth considering, especially if you fly Frontier a lot.

Why?

Though Frontier’s miles are easy to earn cheaply by flying with them, those miles expire after six months of inactivity.

If you get this card, bank the miles, then downgrade it to the no-annual fee version before the end of your first year, you can use the card as an easy way to keep your Frontier miles alive, by earning at least a mile every six months.

Here is a better way to keep your miles from expiring. (This option doesn’t appear to work any longer)

Then again, if you fly Frontier a lot, you shouldn’t have trouble keeping your miles alive.

Are baby penguins the only option for the card photo?

No, there are several super heart-melting options. That’s just the one I chose.

Why did you get this card?

About a year ago, I was sitting on a Frontier flight and heard about the card through the annoying overhead speaker announcement.

I thought credit cards were evil, but when I heard the flight attendant say I could get two roundtrip flights for free, I was intrigued.

After some research, I learned that credit cards are not in fact evil if you are responsible with them.

On the contrary, they can actually be a force for good, send you all over the world for next to nothing, and even raise your credit score if, again, they are used responsibly.

So, I sent the in-flight credit card application into Frontier. In the mail.

Looking back it was a terrible choice for my first travel credit card, but as someone once told me, everyone has to start somewhere.

Here are a few of my related posts:

Why Frontier Airlines is so misunderstood

5 Things to know before diving into points, miles & credit cards

A look at Frontier Airlines elite status & award redemptions

Earn 2x, 3x miles on Frontier flights, plus 1K bonus miles

Chased away from Chase cards? Here are 6 cards they won’t know about

Should I take my first mileage run…on Frontier Airlines??

7 thoughts on “Review: Frontier Airlines credit card — cute, but not rewarding

  1. Pingback: How to keep your Frontier miles alive for 15 years w/o flying a mile: Thanks Again | easyjourneys

  2. Pingback: A Frontier 50% off sale with fewer restrictions than usual | easyjourneys

  3. Pingback: New Frontier routes will halve Philly, Orlando to Puerto Rico fares | easyjourneys

  4. I’ve just got a few credit cards I’ve opened through the years for the 1/2% points per dollar spent you get.

    On a Frontier flight last weekend though, I heard this same announcement and am really feeling tempted for the free flights to anywhere in the States. Though, I’m looking for a card that might get me a trip to Europe or Asia. As you said there are other cards better, would you have any suggestions for my first card application solely for airline miles, especially focused for Europe or Asia?

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    • Hey Andrew, thanks for the q! The card I would recommend first is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It is free the first year, and it gives you 50k points after spending $4k in 3 months. The reason this card is so good is that the points are transferable to several different airlines, making the points much more flexible to use. It also gives you the option of booking your flight through a travel portal in which your points are worth 1.25 cents a piece.
      If the $4k required spend for the bonus is more than your budget will allow, there are quite a few other cards better than the Frontier card that also have low spend requirements. Feel free to hit me up with any other questions, and my post here has some more details: https://ez-journeys.com/2017/04/01/the-first-15-credit-cards-to-get-if-you-want-to-travel-for-free-ish/

      Like

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