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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.

Fly to Florida from 2,500 Spirit miles each way (Photo by Shelby Soblick for The Points Guy)
Fly a family to Florida from 2,500 Spirit miles each way. (Photo by Shelby Soblick for The Points Guy)

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.

Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat

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.

Bottom Line

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.

Discover it® Miles

Set your own sign-up bonus with the Discover It Miles card. Any rewards you earn in the first year will automatically be matched at the end of the year and you'll earn an unlimited 1.5 miles on all purchases with no annual fee.

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More Things to Know
  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates – fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts— Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
3%
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

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.