This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

This week TPG reader Ron asks about Spirit Airlines:

“I have read nothing but negative reviews about Spirit, but I notice that they are offering a Mastercard with 15,000 bonus points after first spend and 1st year fee waived.  All transactions on card are 2X.  Their 9$ club is not included with the card and is an additional $50+. 

I went onto their site and saw that off-peak, staying in your zone which is about 1,300 miles will cost 5,000 points for a round trip.  I can do Ft. Lauderdale to Boston, Atlanta, Cancun, Baltimore or Atlantic City within the zone.

What is your opinion on applying for the card?”

I’ve never flown Spirit, but have heard pretty bad experiences across the board. That being said, they actually have a pretty impressive route map and after all- travel is really about getting you from point A to point B, right?
The current offer for the Bank of America Spirit MasterCard is 15,000-points with your first purchase, which is nice since so many cards these days have steep spend requirements.
15,000 points may seem low, but what sweetens the deal is that Spirit offers off-peak awards that start at 5,000 miles roundtrip.  This would allow you to fly from LGA to Fort Lauderdale 3 times off-peak with the sign-up bonus alone.When earning points with credit cards, many times you have to worry about the points expiring before you are able to redeem them. With the Spirit World MasterCard as long as you earn miles within the previous three months, your points will stay active so the smartest thing to do would be to make at least one purchase per month on the card to make sure there is not chance for your points to expire.

Another benefit is that that $49 annual fee is waived for the first year and being that is it a World Mastercard you can get a lot of great perks like primary rental car insurance.

Spirit Airlines award booking chart.

Some of the negative aspects of this program is that it can be confusing when trying to book trips and get the most value from your points. Spirit has 4 award tiers including off-peak, peak, standard and premium as well a bunch of different zones to choose from which makes figuring out how many points you need extremely difficult. Lastly, when booking travel you have to call and speak with a representative which is something I try to avoid as much as possible.

Their mileage expiration policy is pretty draconian as well “FREE SPIRIT Miles will expire when an account becomes inactive for a period of 3 months or more. An ‘inactive’ account is one that has no miles credited to it from any source during the preceding 3 months.” Using the credit card is an easy way to keep the miles active, but I have a hard time recommending a loyalty program that makes you jump through so many hoops to use your miles and then will try to expire them at the first chance possible.

I won’t be applying for this card anytime soon, but it might make sense for those who do fly Spirit and can redeem for off-peak awards.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.