After the TSP, I invest my money in Betterment and Vanguard. I track all of my investments with Personal Capital. I also wrote a short, 2 hour book summarizing this site. You can buy it here.
Frontier Airlines is smaller Denver based air carrier that has a growing national and international footprint (see route map). From their Denver hub you can reach several Mexican destination as well as most of the major cities around the US: San Fransisco, Seattle, New York, Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas, etc.
Frontier also has a generous frequent flier program. For only 20,000 miles (and $2.50 in fees per leg of your trip), you can purchase a roundtrip ticket anywhere Frontier Airlines flies. Even if you’ve never flown with Frontier before, the new The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® can get you flying to your next vacation or family gathering with it’s 50,000 mile signup bonus!
That’s enough for two roundtrip tickets on Frontier, plus you’re halfway to your next roundtrip ticket.
50,000 Frontier Airlines World Mastercard Bonus Miles
The Frontier Airlines card offers 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $500 with the card in the first 90 days of card membership. If you spend $50/week on gas and groceries (a pretty low number), you’ll hit this spending minimum in just 70 days, plenty of time before the offer expires. No need to spend money you wouldn’t have spent anyways!
The $500 spending minimum is the easiest way to pick up the two free tickets. The card also offers 1 bonus mile for every $1 transferred to the card balance from another card, up to $10,000 or 10,000 points. However, there is a 3% balance transfer fee, so this will end up costing you $300. I do not recommend this way of picking up additional miles.
The 40,000 miles for $500 of spending are enough for two tickets, so why complicate your life with balance transfers? Additionally, there are no blackout dates associated with Frontier frequent flier miles (they call the program “EarlyReturns”). That’s a useful feature to have with airmiles.
Value of the Bonus Miles
I priced a roundtrip flight for one adult from New York City to Seattle at $638. That would make the value of the miles bonus worth over $1200! Obviously your mileage will vary based on your departure and arrival locations, but if your future travel plans include any of the major US cities, or especially Denver, this is definitely a great card for you.
The two “gotchas!” to watch out for with this card is the $69 annual fee and the 3% balance transfer fee. There are much better “no-fee” balance transfer options out there. I do not recommend transferring any credit card balances to this card.
Pay off those balances if you can, but if you can’t look into getting a 0% APY credit card with no balance transfer fees, like the Chase Slate.
As for the $69 annual fee, while unavoidable it should just be considered part of the cost of your two free tickets. If the card doesn’t meet your needs, make sure you close your account before the next annual fee is charged (make a note on your calendar so you don’t forget).
Frontier Airlines vs. Barclaycard Arrival
Barclaycard, the US division of British Barclay Bank, issues this card along with the awesome $440 cash back Barclaycard Arrival credit card. Between the two cards, I would definitely go with the Arrival card first, as the points are much more flexible and the annual fee is waived for the first year.
If you’ve already picked up the Arrival card, then the Frontier card will save you hundreds on your next trip. If you consider the $69 annual fee as part of the cost of your tickets, two roundtrip tickets will set you back 40,000 bonus miles, $10 in security fees, and $69 in annual fees. That’s only $79 out of pocket for more than $1000 worth of airfare.
2 Websites I Use to Achieve Financial Independence Faster
I have investment accounts all over the place. To keep track of all of them in one place I use Personal Capital. It combines all of my accounts, shows me where I may be overpaying in fees, and provides beautiful charts showing my overall asset allocation and performance.
I use Personal Capital to track my Roth and Traditional TSP, Vanguard IRAs, banking accounts, SDP, and my Betterment taxable account, all in one place. It's free, secure and presents me with a one-stop dashboard so I can see all my money on one site.
Read my full review of Personal Capital and see how easy it can be to manage your investments in one place. Trust me, once you try it, you'll love it.
P.S. - If you have over $100,000 of assets and a 401k, you really need to run the Personal Capital 401k Fee Analyzer.
The best way I know to achieve financial independence is to keep your investments simple, diversified, automatic, and low-cost. Costs eat into your returns like you wouldn't believe! A 1% difference in expense ratios can mean $100,000s lost to fees over a lifetime of investing.
Even if you're a DIY (do-it-yourself) investor like I am, you need to check out Betterment. You can read my full review here, but the bottom line is for only $250 per $100,000 invested (0.25% expense ratio) you get simple, diversified, and automated investing. In addition every account now gets free Tax Loss Harvesting+ features, which should increase returns for the average investor more than the minuscule management fee.
If you're not a DIY investor or are just getting started with investing, then you definitely need to check out Betterment. It's what I recommend to my family and friends who aren't strong investors or don't care to learn about asset allocations, diversification, or rebalancing.