Best for the airline’s top flyers: Frontier World Mastercard Review

Dec 2, 2019

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FRONTIER World Mastercard Overview

The Frontier World Mastercard isn’t likely to be the most rewarding credit card out there, but it does offer some potentially valuable perks for frequent Frontier flyers. That includes the ability to pool miles with members of your family, which can help you get more quickly to the point where you can redeem miles. While this, paired with other unique benefits, makes this card a good secondary card for Frontier fliers, we would generally recommend having a more well-rounded travel card in addition to this one. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐½

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

 

While the Frontier World Mastercard definitely isn’t for everyone, it offers some unusual and potentially very valuable perks for frequent Frontier flyers. The ability to pool your Frontier miles with other family members, the priority boarding certificate, and the $100 voucher you can earn each year by spending $2,500 on your card all make this card worth considering.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - SEPTEMBER 28, 2014: A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319 taxis toward the runway at Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Who is this card for?

This card is useful for frequent Frontier fliers: it makes your miles more flexible, helps you avoid award booking fees and even gives you elite qualifying miles for your purchases. However, it doesn’t do much to help improve your travel experience, so infrequent Frontier customers probably won’t get enough value to justify the $79 annual fee. While you’ll get priority boarding, the card doesn’t give you any of the other benefits we usually see on airline cards, like a free checked bag or discounts on inflight purchases.

READ MORE: The best airline credit cards

Signup bonus: $440 in value (up to 2 round-trip tickets)

With the Frontier World Mastercard, you’ll earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend just $500 on purchases in the first 90 days and pay the $79 annual fee. One-way award flights on Frontier start at 10,000 miles, so you can potentially book up to two round-trip award tickets with the sign-up bonus. Based on TPG’s most recent point valuations, Frontier Miles are worth 1.1 cents each, so this bonus is worth around $440.

Main benefits and perks

The Frontier World Mastercard offers some unusual and potentially valuable perks for frequent fliers. First is the ability to pool miles with up to eight other Frontier Miles accounts. Although Frontier calls this feature “Family Pooling,” they advertise that you can pool miles with “whoever you consider family,” including friends, coworkers and roommates. There are no minimums or caps on the number of miles you can transfer through this program.

READ MORE: 21 airlines that allow families to pool miles

When booking award tickets on Frontier, you can avoid award booking fees by paying for your ticket with this card. These unfriendly fees start out at $15 when redeeming miles or flights between 179 and 21 days in the future, jump to $50 for 7-20 days, and $75 for less than seven days before departure. Since cash tickets are often quite cheap even close to departure, avoiding these fees with the card can be a significant boost to the value of your miles.

(Image by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
(Image by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

The card also accelerates your progress towards Frontier elite status – in theory, you could reach top-tier status without ever setting foot on a Frontier flight. That’s because you earn one qualifying mile for every dollar you spend on the card. The airline has three levels of elite status – helpfully named Elite20K, Elite50K, and Elite100K after the number of qualifying miles you’ll need to earn that status.

While the benefits of Frontier status certainly aren’t worth putting tens of thousands of dollars in spending on the card, if you fly enough to get close to the next status level, it’s nice to have the option to push your account over the edge by making some purchases. This is particularly true of the top-tier Elite100K status, which gets you Frontier’s “The Works” package on flights for yourself and up to eight traveling companions – including seat assignments, checked and carry-on bags, priority boarding and the ability to change or cancel tickets with no penalty.

In addition to these perks, the card also offers priority boarding (as long as you make at least one purchase with the card every six months), a $100 flight voucher if you spend $2,500 on the card within your card anniversary year and no foreign transaction fees.

How to earn miles

You’ll earn 5 Frontier Miles for every dollar spent directly with Frontier (including airfare, fees, and onboard purchases), 3 miles per dollar spent at restaurants, and 1 mile per dollar spent everywhere else.

These rates aren’t terrible, but unless you’re trying to earn elite status or avoid award ticket fees, other cards offer significantly more valuable rewards for both airline and dining purchases.

READ MORE: The best credit cards to use on low-cost carriers

How to redeem miles

When it comes to redeeming your miles, the Frontier award chart is pretty straightforward. The lowest-cost Value awards cost 10,000 miles within the U.S. and 15,000 miles for international flights; Standard awards, which have wider availability, will cost you 20,000 miles within the U.S. and 25,000 miles internationally.

If you have elite status, you can pay a few more miles to avoid capacity controls entirely: for an extra 2,500 miles on top of the Standard award price, you can book a Last Seat award as long as there’s a seat available for sale on the flight you want.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay taxes and fees on these tickets; however, the aforementioned award booking fee of $15-$75 per ticket is waived as long as you use your FRONTIER World Mastercard to pay for the taxes and fees.

You can also redeem miles for car rentals with Alamo or National. Prices range from 9,500 miles for a one-day rental to 49,000 for seven days; however, you’ll still be responsible for paying taxes and fees for the rental, so in most cases this won’t offer a good value. And if you’re really at a loss for what to do with your Frontier Miles, you can always redeem them for magazine subscriptions.

Little-known facts about the FRONTIER World Mastercard

(Image by The Points Guy)
(Image by The Points Guy)

1. It helps keep your Frontier Miles from expiring. Frontier Miles expire after just six months of inactivity in your account. While having the FRONTIER World Mastercard doesn’t change that, it’s much easier to avoid expiration by making a purchase on the card than by flying somewhere.

2. Waived award fees apply to travel companions.  If you’re using miles to book flights for others, the award booking fee will be waived for everyone on the reservation as long as you’re one of the travelers.

3. You can get the card the day after your application is approved. If you select the $15 Express Delivery option when applying for the card, then you’ll receive it via FedEx the following business day as long as your application is received before 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. (This only applies to primary cardholders; if you add an authorized user, that card will be sent by regular postal mail.)

4. You can add authorized users for free. Unfortunately, all of the card’s benefits like priority boarding and waived award fees only apply to the primary cardholder, not authorized users. But adding a family member as an authorized user can help you rack up spending towards elite status faster, and might even give the family member’s credit score a boost.

5. It gets you free two-day shipping and other perks. Since the Frontier card is a World Mastercard, you’ll enjoy exclusive perks like free two-day shipping at over 140 online stores and a $5 discount on Postmates orders of $25 or more.

Bottom Line

The Frontier World Mastercard doesn’t make sense for most people, but if you’re a frequent Frontier flyer (or considering becoming one), the added value this card brings through family pooling, fee waivers, and elite qualifying miles can be worth far more than the annual fee.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.

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