Spirit Airlines Frequent Flyer Program: The Complete Guide

Here's what you need to know about the new Free Spirit loyalty program.

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Spirit Airlines serves about 70 destinations in the U.S., Central America, South America and the Caribbean. It's known for ultra-low base fares and a la carte fees for just about everything.

In 2021, Spirit completely revamped its frequent flyer program, Free Spirit, for the better. Customers now earn points instead of miles, elite status is earned based on the amount of money spent rather than the distance flown, redemptions for award flights are now based on the cost of the flight, the punitive three-month mileage expiration policy is gone, there are two new credit cards and several other positive modifications.

Here’s what you need to know about earning and redeeming points and the Free Spirit loyalty program.

Free Spirit elite status levels

The Free Spirit program has three status levels: Free Spirit, Free Spirit Silver and Free Spirit Gold. Simply joining the program gives you Free Spirit status. Silver and Gold members earn more points per flight and get other useful perks like no redemption fees and points pooling.

  • Free Spirit members earn 6 points per $1 spent and 12 points per $1 on A La Smarte options.

  • Free Spirit Silver members earn 8 points per $1 spent on flights and 16 points per $1 on A La Smarte options.

  • Free Spirit Gold members earn 10 points per $1 spent on flights and 20 points per $1 on A La Smarte options.

Status Qualifying Points

Within the Spirit program, there are two types of points: regular Free Spirit points earned on paid flights that could be redeemed for award tickets, and Status Qualifying Points, or SQPs, which count toward elite status. Silver and Gold status is attained once you reach 2,000 SQPs and 5,000 SQPs, respectively. SQPs can be earned in two ways:

  • When you book travel with Spirit, you will earn 1 SQP for each $1 spent on flights, bags, seats and other extras.

  • If you hold an eligible Spirit co-branded credit card, you will earn 1 SQP for every $10 spent on everyday purchases.

How to earn Free Spirit points

Earning Free Spirit points by spending on flights and A La Smarte purchases

You earn Free Spirit points based on the amount of money spent on Spirit flights, A La Smarte options (flight related purchases) and your status within the Free Spirit program. A La Smarte options include purchases like bags and seats and earn points at double the rate of flights.

So, if you buy a flight for $100 and add on $40 of bag charges (an A La Smarte option), here is how your earn rate will look for the $140 purchase:

Earn rate

Free Spirit

Silver

Gold

Flight

6

8

10

A La Smarte

12

16

20

Total Free Spirit points earned

Flight

600

800

1,000

A La Smarte

480

640

800

Total points earned

1,080

1,440

1,800

Total SQPs earned

140

140

140

With award flights starting at 2,500, earning enough points for an award ticket can be relatively easy.

Credit cards that earn Free Spirit points

Spirit offers the following two credit cards for the U.S. market, which are issued by Bank of America.

  • Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard® (annual fee: $0): Earn 10,000 Bonus Points after making at least $500 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. The card earns 2 points per $1 on Spirit purchases and 1 point per $1 on everything else. There are no foreign transaction fees, which is impressive for a no-fee card.

  • Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® (annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $79): Earn 40,000 Bonus Points + a $100 Companion Flight Voucher​ after spending at least $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. The card earns 3 points per $1 on Spirit purchases, 2 points per $1 on dining and groceries, and 1 point per $1 on everything else.

Only the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® allows you to earn SQPs for everyday spend at a rate of $10 = 1 SQP. If you’re after elite status with Spirit, getting this card makes a lot of sense.

Using the flight example above, if you used the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® for that $140 purchase, you would earn 14 SQPs. Although this isn’t the fastest way to earn status, if you’re using the card for everyday purchases, the SQPs will add up pretty quickly. Here’s how the earn rate will look like if you use either the Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard® or the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® to pay for the flight:

Free Spirit

Silver

Gold

If purchased with Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard®

Total base points earned

1,080

1,440

1,800

Bonus Free Spirit points earned with credit card

280

280

280

Total Free Spirit points earned

1,360

1,720

2,080

Total base SQPs earned

140

140

140

Bonus SQPs earned with credit card

0

0

0

Total SQPs earned

140

154

154

If purchased with Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard®

Total base points earned

1,080

1,440

1,800

Bonus Free Spirit points earned with credit card

420

420

420

Total Free Spirit points earned

1,500

1,860

2,220

Total base SQPs earned

140

140

140

Bonus SQPs earned with credit card

14

14

14

Total SQPs earned

154

154

154

Earning Free Spirit points with other activities

  • Spirit has partnerships with a variety of merchants that allow Free Spirit members to earn points as well. These retailers and service providers include hotels, rental cars, wine and lifestyle partners. Spirit's online shopping mall includes dozens of retailers, some offering up to 15 points per dollar spent.

  • Members can earn points by participating in surveys through the Points for Thoughts program.

  • With the Free Spirit Dining program, you can earn points when you dine at thousands of outlets and pay with a credit card linked to your account.

  • Spirit Cruises offer thousands of points for booking cruises.

Buying additional Free Spirit points

You can buy Free Spirit points for a whopping 2.5 cents apiece, with bonus points available during promotional periods. Generally, purchasing miles or points is seldom a good idea and should be considered only in limited circumstances.

How to redeem Free Spirit points

Redeeming points for free flights

Redeem your points by booking at Spirit's website. Previously, Spirit had an award chart with peak and off-peak rates that corresponded to the distance flown. Spirit no longer publishes an award chart and instead uses a dynamic pricing model to determine the cost of a flight in points. Flights start as low as 2,500 points. In March 2021, customers will be able to book flights using a combination of points and cash, starting at only 1,000 points.

A search for a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles on Feb. 12 revealed the following prices in dollars and points:

Although it is not a direct relationship, as the price of the flight increases, so does the number of points required for an award ticket. We’ve done the math to see what the cent-per-point value is.

Flight times

7:40 a.m.

10:51 a.m.

5:05 a.m.

Cost

$42.59

$73.39

$235.38

Points

3,500

7,500

27,500

Cent per point

1.2

1.0

0.9

You’re able to extract a value of around 0.9 cent to 1.2 cents per point from these redemptions, reflecting a better use of your points with the lower priced ticket.

Point redemptions cover only the cost of airfare. Additional fees for luggage, seat selection and other amenities apply. Also, taxes and government fees must be paid at the time you book.

Redemption fees

Low-fare carriers like Spirit charge extra fees for just about every aspect of air travel. That includes redeeming points for an award flight. If you book an award flight more than 28 days before you travel, there is no redemption fee. For those looking to travel with 28 days' notice or less, you will have to pay $50 to redeem your points.

However, if you have the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® or have elite status (Silver or Gold), the fees are waived.

Spirit Saver$ Club

Separate from Free Spirit, Spirit Airlines operates a program it calls the "Spirit Saver$ Club." Members of this program get:

  • Savings on seats, including Spirit’s Big Front Seats and exit rows.

  • Discounted fares.

  • Up to 50% savings on bags.

  • Promotional prices on A La Smarte purchases.

  • Offers with select partners ranging from car rentals to wine merchants.

The membership costs $69.95 for 12 months, $99.90 ($5 savings) for 18 months and $129.90 ($10 savings) for 24 months. If you use the perks offered by the Spirit Saver$ Club and often upgrade to the Big Front Seat, the discounts could be meaningful.

Frequently asked questions

To find your Free Spirit frequent flyer number, head over to www.spirit.com and click “Sign-In” at the top of the page. If you do not have your login details, choose the “reset password” option and enter the email address you used to register for an account. You will then receive instructions on how to access your account.

When you’re on the Spirit website, head over to the online check-in screen. You will need to input your last name and confirmation code to access your flight. Alternatively, you can log in and access your flight details along with the check-in information from your account. Online check-in begins 24 hours ahead of departure and closes one hour before your flight. It is free to check in online.

When you’re checking in online, select the “email boarding pass” option and input your email address. Access the email from Spirit on your mobile device to ensure that the information is accurate and the barcode is displayed. The emailed boarding pass is what you will need to show at the airport to the Spirit and TSA agents.

Spirit’s customer service can be reached by calling 855-728-3555. You can also send a WhatsApp message to that number by texting “Hello” or send an SMS to 48763. If you’d rather contact customer service online, you can do so at customersupport.spirit.com.

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