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Don’t laugh (too hard), but one of my parents’ favorite ways to earn and use miles involves the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard from Bank of America. I know what you’re thinking — and you are correct that Spirit is not for everyone. With that requisite acknowledgment out of the way, there is no doubt that Spirit miles represent the best deal available in some situations, especially for families or budget-focused travelers who really need to stretch their miles. What makes this especially relevant today is that the bonus on the Spirit Airlines Mastercard is almost double the highest I have ever seen.
Spirit Airlines Credit Card Doubles Sign-up Bonus
Instead of the card’s usual 15,000 mile welcome bonus, there is currently a limited-time bonus of 30,000 total miles. The first 15,000 bonus miles are awarded with your first purchase and the second 15,000 miles are awarded after $500 in purchases in the first 90 days. There is a $0 introductory annual fee the first year, and then $59 in subsequent years.
Fly for Just 2,500 Spirit Miles With the Credit Card
What is especially amazing about the Spirit Airlines credit card (really) is that cardholders have access to Spirit’s off-peak award flights from just 2,500 Spirit miles in each direction. This means that the 30,000-mile bonus is enough for 12 one-way awards at 2,500 miles each. The 2,500 mile awards are only valid on select dates and on routes that are up to 1,249 miles in length, but that still leaves lots of options for travelers with some flexibility. From Houston, my parents have booked Spirit awards at 2,500 miles each way to Las Vegas (more times than I can count), Baltimore, Minneapolis and you could also find these awards from Houston to Cancun, Orlando, Tampa, Denver and more.
Spirit Airlines miles do expire quickly after three months of no earning activity, but this is easy to prevent by using the credit card. As long as you use the credit card once a month (or really once every three months), you will have sufficient earning activity and your miles are safe from expiration. I recommend setting at least one monthly bill to auto-pay to your Spirit credit card and then you don’t even have to remember to use the card each month.
That said, if the Spirit award chart works for you, using the card regularly is a good idea as you earn double points on purchases. This means a 2,500 mile off-peak award is yours for every $1,250 charged to the card. If you want to fly a family on miles, this is one of the most cost-effective ways to do it.
Avoid Some Spirit Airlines Fees
Spirit does tack on fees to award bookings the closer you get to departure (along with extra fees for everything else), so book as early as you can to minimize the fee.
- $0 — Award ticket requested at least 181 days prior to departure
- $15 — Award ticket requested between 21 and 180 days prior to departure
- $75 — Award ticket requested between seven and 20 days prior to departure
- $100 — Award ticket requested six days or less prior to departure
If you decide to book a Spirit ticket with cash, you can often save money by booking your tickets at the airport.
If you want more room onboard, then paying extra to sit in the Big Front Seat is virtually always worth it if your budget can support the up-charge. In fact, spending 2,500 Spirit miles for an award ticket plus around $40 extra for a Big Front Seat is a tremendous all-around deal in my book.
If you are now seriously considering Spirit, here are my tips for flying Spirit Airlines with a whole family and a shot of what the standard seats look like. They are small, but workable for just a few hours of flying if you can’t score the Big Front Seats.
Not everyone needs a Spirit Airlines Mastercard, but with double the normal sign-up bonus, it may be worth a consideration for those who can abide by Spirit’s rules and award charts.
Know before you go.
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