35,000 Miles Frontier Airlines Credit Card: Now up to 50,000 Miles

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Frontier Airlines Credit Card

Million Mile Secrets reader Dluke (thanks!) recently commented that the Barclays Frontier Airlines card was his new favorite card.  So I thought I’d review the card.  I’ve flown Frontier before and the crew were pleasant and the price was right!

Barclays usually uses the TransUnion credit bureau, so is often a good choice for folks who have lots of credit inquires with Experian and Equifax because of many credit card applications from Chase, American Express, and Bank of America.

It costs only 30,000 Frontier miles to fly to Mexico or Central America and only 20,000 Frontier miles for return award flights within the US.

Here’s a list of cities which Frontier Airlines serves – it was much more than I expected!

Frontier Airlines Credit Card Review

1.   35,000 Mile Sign-up Bonus

You get 25,000 Frontier Airlines miles as a sign up bonus after your 1st purchase and another 10,000 points after spending $750 within 90 days (~ 3 months) of being approved for the Barclays Frontier Airlines credit card.

$750 minimum spending within 3 months is lower than the minimum spending on other cards, though American Express Bluebird makes it fairly easy to complete high spending requirements.

35,000 miles is on the lower end of what I’d currently sign-up for, but it is nice to have another Barclays alternative besides the US Air credit card.

Note that you only receive 5,000 miles if you are approved for the lower Platinum MasterCard instead of the World Mastercard.

However, it is only 20,000 miles (compared to 25,000 miles on other airlines) for a round-trip coach award anywhere in the US including Alaska on Frontier Airlines.

It costs only 30,00 miles for a round-trip coach award to Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica & the Dominican Republic.

Here is a link to the Frontier Airlines award chart and here’s a list of cities which Frontier Airlines serves.

2.  5,000 Fewer Miles for Companion Tickets.  You pay 5,000 fewer miles when you redeem Frontier miles for a companion along with a paid (cash) ticket.

For example, let’s say you buy a ticket on Frontier from Denver to Kansas City.  You can pay 15,000 miles for a companion on that flight (instead of the regular 20,000 miles). You also have to pay taxes and fees for the companion ticket, and the seats are capacity controlled.  I don’t see the 5,000 fewer miles for a Companion Ticket as a great benefit, but could be useful for some.

3.   Double Miles on Frontier Airlines.  You earn double miles for purchases on Frontier Airlines. 4.  Rental Car Redemptions.   You can get a 7 day midsize National Car Rental for 35,000 miles (excluding Manhattan, New York).  Another potential redemption option is a 5 day Hertz Sports Utility or Minivan rental for 40,00 miles (excluding New York Tri-State Metropolitan area, Alaska or Hawaii).  This may not be the best deal all the time, but could be useful when rental car prices are high. 5.  Amtrak & Hotel Redemptions.  You can also redeem miles on Amtrak and for hotels.  These don’t strike me as the best use of Frontier miles, but could be helpful for some. 6.  American Express Transfer Partner.  You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Frontier Airlines in a 1:1 ratio if you need to top off your account. 7.  Bike Considered Luggage.  Dluke points out that Frontier’s main hub is in Denver and that they consider shipping a bike just like another piece of luggage, so you don’t pay oversize fees.

Drawbacks

1.  Foreign Transaction Fee.   There is a 3% foreign transaction fee so don’t use the card for purchases outside the US. 3.  $59 Annual Fee Not Waived.  The $59 annual fee is not waived for the 1st year. 4.  10,000 Bonus Miles For Balance Transfers.   Earn up to 10,000 bonus miles for balance transfers within the first 90 days.

This is not a good way to earn miles, because even though the balance transfer APR is 0% for the 1st 15 months,  there is a 3% fee (4% after the 1st 15 months) which is NOT capped making this very expensive.

For example, on the maximum balance transfer of $10,000, you would pay a $300 fee ($10,000 X 3%) or 3 cents per mile to earn 10,00 Frontier Airlines miles.

5.  Not For Everyday Use.  This card has a good sign-up bonus and it is from Barclays which doesn’t issue many other airline credit cards.  However, the card doesn’t offer much benefit for everyday spending. 6.  6-Month Activity.   The terms suggest that you have to make one purchase every 6 months to keep your account open.

Failure to meet these requirements may result in account closure and forfeiture of all outstanding points earned.

I haven’t heard of anyone’s Barclays account being closed for inactivity after 6 months, but it *could* happen.  That said, the Frontier miles which are already in your Frontier account are yours to keep.

7.   Platinum vs. World Master Card.  You may instead receive the Platinum MasterCard which offers only 5,000 Frontier miles after the first purchase if you do not qualify for the World MasterCard. I hate this type of bait and switch wording in the fine print, and want to make you aware of the possibility of only getting 5,000 Frontier miles instead of 35,000 miles if you don’t qualify for the World MasterCard.

Reconsideration

If you are initially denied online, call the Barclays reconsideration backdoor number (866-408-4064) and explain to the rep why you want the card.

Bottom Line

The Frontier Airlines credit card may not have the highest sign-up bonus in the market, but could be useful since it is issued by Barclays bank.  It is nice to have a few other credit card options from Barclays besides the US Air credit card.

Barclays usually uses the TransUnion credit bureau, so is often a good choice for folks who have lots of credit inquires with Experian and Equifax because of many credit card applications from Chase, American Express, and Bank of America.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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