With the implementation of Spirit Airlines’ new loyalty program on Jan. 21 of this year, loyalty just got a lot more rewarding on this budget airline. Award flights start at just 2,500 points, and not just to less popular destinations.
If you're ready to redeem points and would like to take advantage of the new program, how can you make your Free Spirit points go further? We scoured the spirit.com booking calendar to find several sweet spots for redeeming points for Spirit Airlines flights.
Spirit Airlines award sweet spots
Dallas to Cancun, Mexico
Treat yourself to a little fun in the sun; for as little as 2,500 points, you can get yourself from the sprawling metropolis of Dallas to the beach in Cancun. Not all award flights will be as affordable as this, but depending on the time of year, you can expect to find quite a few of these low-priced award fares.
Extra bonus: Many of these flights are nonstop, so you can start working on your tan without the layover. If you’re not in the Dallas area, you could even consider a non-Spirit connecting flight into Dallas-Fort Worth and then use your Free Spirit points to get you down to Cancun.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico
Surfing, beaches, oceanfront properties and colorful culture; it’s all within reach in San Juan — and for fewer points than you might think. Again, availability of the lowest-priced award flights may vary depending on the season, but nonstop fares from Fort Lauderdale to Puerto Rico for as little as 2,500 Free Spirit points is a solid deal.
If you’re in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area, this is a cheap-flight getaway for a change of scenery.
Boston to Las Vegas
For a flight that very nearly crosses the entire continental U.S., you can’t do much better than a flight from Boston to Las Vegas for 2,500-4,000 Free Spirit points. You may have to be flexible to find such a good award rate during more popular travel times, but they’re not hard to find, and many are even nonstop. This is a great option for anyone in the New England area within driving distance of the Boston airport.
New York City to Guayaquil, Ecuador
Want to visit Ecuador and maybe pay a visit to the Galapagos Islands? You can with Spirit Airlines — and you can with points.
While you’ll have to pick your travel dates carefully using the spirit.com booking calendar (some flights require over 10,000 points), you can score one-way trips for as few as 2,500 points. While this sweet spot is out of New York-LaGuardia specifically, it’s a great option for anyone in the tri-state area.
Atlantic City, New Jersey to Orlando, Florida
Looking for a sunny escape or the chance to take a seat at a blackjack table? Trade poker chips for theme parks (or vice versa) and do it for fewer points. Starting at just 2,500 Free Spirit points, you can book a direct one-way award flight between Atlantic City and Orlando, and live large in whatever way strikes your fancy.
» Learn more: What you need to know about Spirit Airlines fees
Redeeming Spirit points
After you’ve earned some Free Spirit points and you’re ready to redeem them, there are plenty of ways to do so. But the best way to find the lowest award fares is to search using Spirit’s online fare calendar, which will show you the lowest award rates available for any destination over a range of dates. To determine if you’re getting a good deal, use the month view to take stock of how award prices fluctuate from day to day, week to week, even season to season.
Award fares start as low as 2,500 for a one-way flight, but if you don’t have quite enough, there's no need to sweat. Simply take advantage of the airline’s new points pooling feature, which is available to Spirit credit card holders (the Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard® or the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard®) and Silver and Gold elite status members. This program allows you and up to eight friends and family to collect Free Spirit points together and earn an award flight faster.
Starting in March, you can also pay with points plus cash if you don’t have quite enough points for your flight.
Nerdy tip: If you’re looking for the best rates on award flights, keep in mind that Spirit’s hubs — including Atlantic City, Baltimore, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas and Orlando — will likely offer the most direct flights and even more award sweet spots.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
The bottom line
If you’re planning to book any Spirit Airlines flights with points this year, there are plenty of good deals to be had. Whether you’re looking for nightlife, fun and games, beaches or family activities, with so many direct flights to destinations in the U.S. and beyond, you’re sure to find a flight that suits for a very pleasing award rate.
And while you won’t find as many amenities available when traveling on this budget airline, the rock bottom award rates more than make up for it.
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:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card