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Spirit Airlines is well-known for its ultra-low base airfares — plus a la carte fees for just about everything. A $19 Spirit airfare might actually cost a lot more than that once you tack on all those Spirit fees like bag fees, a fee to check in at the airport counter, a fee to print your boarding pass and even a cost to get a soda inflight.
With all those bizarre costs involved with Spirit, you might be wondering what the Spirit airlines points value is.
Based on our analysis, the value of your Free Spirit points is 1.1 cents each.
This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1.1 cents or more in value from your Free Spirit points.
What does this value mean?
Our estimated value of 1.1 cents per Free Spirit point provides a lower-end value you can use to determine the relative value of your own redemptions. It is based on comparing main cabin fares, using both cash and points, across several dates and destinations.
In other words, this is the value you can expect to get from your Free Spirit points without seeking particularly high-value redemptions. This means you can get more value by looking for sweet spots and using more advanced award techniques. It also means you can end up getting lower value than this if you’re not careful and book the first award ticket you find.
» Learn more: Should I book award travel this year?
How do Free Spirit points compare with other airline loyalty miles?
Free Spirit points aren't extremely valuable, but they are worth more than many other of the currencies you'll find from other airline mileage programs out there.
How to convert Free Spirit points to dollars
With the calculator below, you can figure out how much your Free Spirit points are worth in dollars based on this value.
When is the best time to book with Free Spirit points?
In general, Free Spirit points are best used on flights booked well in advance (think six months prior) as opposed to flights booked just a couple weeks out. Based on our analysis, we found that points were twice as valuable on flights booked 180 days out versus 15 days out.
There's a big reason for that — it's due to a particularly nasty type of fee. Though Spirit is already known for wild fees, it also charges a rare type of fee that's especially wild: redemption fees. For flights booked using Free Spirit points that are from zero to 28 days before departure, you'll owe a $50 redemption fee. You can avoid that fee by holding Spirit elite status or booking well in advance (180 days or more).
We also found that Free Spirit points are generally more valuable on international flights. Spirit offers international flights to the Caribbean and Latin America. After analyzing dozens of sample airline routes on Spirit, we saw that four of the top five routes that offered the best redemptions in our sample were international flights.
How flexible are Free Spirit points?
Unlike some airlines that are part of an airline alliance, Free Spirit points can be used on Spirit flights only. Free Spirit reward redemptions start at 2,500 points, and if you need more points to top off a balance, you can also purchase more.
One bummer though: You cannot use Free Spirit points to upgrade to a Big Front Seat, which are the airline's larger seats with more legroom
Keep earning and using your points throughout the year. Free Spirit points expire if your account doesn't see any activity (which entails earning or redeeming with Spirit or with Free Spirit partners) within 12 months.
One more tip: Book your Free Spirit award travel online rather than over the phone. Award bookings made over the phone incur an additional agent transaction fee.
» Learn more: The beginner's guide to points and miles
How did we determine our Spirit Airlines points value?
We collected hundreds of data points comparing the cash value to award (points) values for the same routes and dates. That is, we compared the cost of a given ticket in either cash or points, across many tickets.
This method differs from others in that it looks at actual redemptions rather than hypothetical, maximized redemptions. The advantage of this approach is that it provides a real-world indication of how much these points are worth, on average. That said, it doesn’t take into account the high-value redemptions that points enthusiasts seek.
Wondering what you can do with those points? Check out our points collector's guide to Spirit Airlines, and learn which credit card is best for international award travel.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card