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My parents get new rewards credit cards from time to time, though at a rate even slower than me. That’s saying a lot since I am pretty conservative taking the slow and steady approach with adding new cards to my collection. However, over the years they have seen the light and understand that big travel rewards can come from strategic addition and use of various rewards credit cards.
One card my dad has had for a little while now that some might snicker at is the Spirit Airlines credit card. They have used the heck out of that card to secure many award flights, and now they decided they wanted another one. The sign-up bonus is 15,000 miles awarded on the first use of the card ($59 annual fee after the first year). The card awards 2x points per dollar, and 5,000 bonus miles per year if you spend $10,000 on the card annually. My mom applied for her own while on a recent Spirit Airlines flight as you then not only get the standard sign-up bonus, but you get a certificate for an additional 2,500 miles just for applying.
That brings the grand total to 17,500 Spirit miles for that credit card application and subsequent approval. I know what you are thinking…she is nuts. What a waste. Not only is the total number of miles pretty low, but they are SPIRIT MILES! If I didn’t know any better I’d think the same thing. I certainly don’t have the card yet myself, but I almost want one. Crazy I know, but actually not by much. 17,500 Spirit miles is actually enough for up to seven off-peak one-way award flights. Since awards start at just 2,500 miles each way, and you earn 2x on all spending, you earn a one-way award for every $1,250 you put on the card!
As I have mentioned before, we hope to take our kids to Orlando and Disney World in the fall. With some of our family’s current uncertainty this trip is no longer set in stone, but we are still going forward with planning for now. When I look at flight options, I’ll be go-to-heck if the best option isn’t on Spirit Airlines. I can ignore it, I can come up with reasons why that isn’t the best option for us (as if we are somehow “special”), but strip away the nonsense and there it is.
For 2,500 miles each way you can fly on a nonstop flight from Houston to Orlando on various dates the week we want to go in October. This 2,500 mile price is only valid for Spirit credit card holders, otherwise it is 10,000 miles each way. When you are looking to move a whole family at once for a vacation, and there is a viable option that costs just 5,000 miles round trip, you have to seriously consider it if you are at all budget conscious.
Yes, there will be bag fees, but you could pay quite a bit in bag fees before a 5,000 mile redemption is a bad deal. Yes, there are seat assignment fees if you want to secure those assignments in advance, but my parents have a 100% success record of getting seats assigned together for free at check-in 24 hours in advance of the flight. Heck, if you are feeling fancy you can splurge for the $45 extra “Big Front Seat” that is basically the same size as other domestic first class seats. Here are my 10 Favorite Things About Flying Spirit Airlines.
Spirit absolutely has its downsides and risks for sure, but if you like flying on miles and are looking for the cheapest way to get from Point A to Point B, I can’t help but emphasize at least considering this option. As I said, I still don’t have the Spirit card myself, but I can absolutely understand why my semi-retired parents are continuing on their Spirit bandwagon by getting their second Spirit Airlines credit card.
Now I wonder if my folks will let us borrow some Spirit miles?
For those curious I have no affiliate link to the Spirit Airlines credit card, and am not even going to link to it directly as I think you really need to understand Spirit before deciding it is a good deal for you.
Know before you go.
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NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- 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®
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- No foreign transaction fees