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40,000 Bonus Miles Best For Denver Fliers

Frontier may be a small airline, but it still has its own credit card, just like the big boys.

That card caught our eye this week because it’s offering a sign-up bonus that’s worth two round-trip tickets pretty much anywhere Frontier flies.

But let’s be clear.

This credit card only makes sense if you live in Denver or want to take the bonus miles and run.

Here’s why.

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard provides a sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles if you charge $500 within 90 days of opening the account.

Since Frontier has lower mileage redemption requirements than most other airlines – just 20,000 miles for a round-trip ticket – this sign-up bonus is worth two round-trip tickets.

That could save you substantially more than $400, the normal value we’d put on 40,000 credit card miles.

Although the $69 annual fee is lower than on many other airline credit cards, it isn’t waived for the first year.

The variable interest rate on any unpaid balance is pretty typical – 15.99% to 24.99% APR, depending on your creditworthiness, with a penalty rate of 27.24%.

Cardholders earn 2 miles per $1 spent with Frontier and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.

To make an airline credit card truly worthwhile, you need to fly that carrier a lot – and almost exclusively.

If Denver International is your main airport, then you have lots of nonstop Frontier flights and destinations to choose from, because DIA is Frontier’s only true hub. It could be your primary airline.

If you live pretty much anywhere else, you’ll only have a few flights each day (some airports have a single departure) and most (if not all) of those planes are headed to the Denver hub.

Even if you don’t mind changing planes to get where you’re going, Frontier is probably going to be one of several choices you’ll consider for most trips.

As a long-term play, that pretty much limits the card to Denver travelers.

And everyone else?

We suspect some savvy credit card users will game the system to take advantage of the 40,000 bonus miles and then cancel when the annual fee comes due a second time.

If you’re on the fence, here are four annoying rules we found in the fine print that you should see:

  • If you’ve had a Frontier Airlines credit card before, you’re not eligible for the sign-up bonus.
  • There are no blackout dates on award seats, but there are capacity controls.
  • You must make at least one purchase every six months, or you’ll forfeit all outstanding miles you’ve earned.
  • Frontier doesn’t waive checked-bag fees for its credit card holders. Your first bag costs $20 if you check it online, $25 if you check it at the airport.

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