Barclay Frontier Credit Card Review and Value Analysis | 35,000 Mile Sign Up Bonus

This week I was looking for flights for my wife from Denver to Houston.  This market is very competitive, and so prices are usually quite low.  The lowest price was on Frontier Airlines.  When we lived in Houston, we used to fly them quite a bit on flights up to Denver.  I always thought they had good aircrafts and good service.

Application Link: Frontier World MasterCard

I immediately started to wonder about how valuable the Barclay Frontier World MasterCard credit card would be for travel.

By the way, I was searching for flights using my ThankYou points.  I just wanted to be sure you were clear about that in case you thought it sounded like I was actually going to pay money to fly.  :)

Barclay Frontier World MasterCard Credit Card Review

The reason I decided to look into this card was not because I expected it to usurp the position of any of the top credit card offers, but because it is a Barclay’s card and for that reason could be a valuable addition to a mini-app-o-rama.

  • 25,000 bonus miles after your first purchase
  • 10,000 bonus miles after spending $750 in the first 90 days
  • Double miles on all Frontier purchases and 1 point on everything else
  • Redeem companion tickets for 5,000 less miles
  • $59 annual fee not waived the first year

Value Analysis of the Barclay Frontier Credit Card

As always, we remember that 1 point or mile with another program does not necessarily match a point or mile with another program.

One of the good things about the domestic award chart is that one way flights only cost 10,000 miles, and round trip flights cost 20,000 miles.  That’s slightly better than most airlines that charge 25,000 miles for a round trip flight.

I did check the dates in January that I was interested in flying, and almost every day had the low level 10,000 miles each way flights available.  I also checked a few other city pairs and found good availability with points.

The biggest disadvantage with this card as compared to others is the $59 annual fee.  However, for $59 you can get a free roundtrip with almost enough for one more free roundtrip in the US.

Companion Ticket Benefit:

If you buy a paid ticket, you can use miles to redeem a companion flight for 15,000 miles round trip (instead of 20,000).  For example, if I were flying to Houston on a paid ticket, I could get my wife on the same flight (subject to capacity controls) for 15,000 miles.

Keep in mind, Frontier has a limited number of cities within the US that it services, so you’ll want to check out where they fly before deciding if this is a good deal for you.

While the sign up bonus isn’t all that fantastic, I could see the value in applying for the card on a day that you are already applying for a more valuable Chase and American Express card.  If I had the choice, I’d apply for the US Airways MasterCard before this card.  The main reason is because you get 5,000 miles off your award booking with US Airways, and I’d love to take advantage of their off-peak rates to Europe one year.

Overall, I’d give this card an average value rating.  It certainly has a lower sign up bonus than most, and it is lacking any lucrative form of spending bonuses.  I wouldn’t put the card on the top of any application list.

Words of Warning: Barclays does have the strange policy that if your credit score is not high enough you may not be approved for the card you actually apply for, but for another card.  In this case, you might only be approved for Frontier Platinum card which only gives 5,000 miles after the first purchase.  That would be annoying to apply and expect 35,000 miles, but only get 5,000.

Also, I’ve read several reports online of people having trouble getting their miles to post. (Check out the comments here and here.) Take screenshots if you apply for this card.

Since my primary airport is Denver, this card could make sense for me, but if you’re not in a popular/hub Frontier city, then you might be wise to pass on this offer.

Do any of you have any experience with the Barclay Frontier credit card?

Comments

  1. Kurtis says

    At the beginning of the post you mentioned the $59 annual fee (which I believe is correct), then you later referred to it as a $79 annual fee. Just a heads up.

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