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Spirit Airlines might have a reputation for add-on fees that offset its low base rate, but the airline’s recently revamped frequent flyer program has its share of perks. With a little bit of savviness, you can take advantage of low flight prices and great rewards.
Here are four things the airline’s frequent flyer program, aptly named Free Spirit, gets right.
1. The price is right
Anyone can sign-up for Spirit’s rewards program free of charge.
The introductory level is Free Spirit, which allows members to earn 6x points on fares. Silver and Gold elites earn 8x and 10x points on fares, respectively. Á La Smarte options, which are purchases for things like seats and bags earn double the rate of points (12x, 16x and 20x).
Earning elite status
For Silver or Gold status with Spirit, you would need to earn 2,000 or 5,000 Status Qualifying Points (SQPs). SQPs are earned in two ways:
When booking travel with Spirit, you earn 1 SQP for each $1 spent on flights, seats, bags and other extras.
When using one of Spirit's co-branded credit cards (the Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard® or the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard®), you earn 1 SQP for every $10 spent on everyday purchases.
So, if you wanted to reach Silver status, you would either need to spend $2,000 on travel purchases with Spirit, charge $20,000 on one of the cards, or a combination of the two.
2. Redeem for free flights (when you plan ahead)
If you do trip planning and book a flight more than 28 days in advance, you can avoid the redemption fee altogether. Booking 28 days or fewer before departure incurs a $50 fee.
Book travel online to avoid over-the-phone reservation charges and check in online to avoid a $10 boarding pass fee at the airport.
3. Credit card purchases earn extra points
Issued by Bank of America, Spirit Airlines has two credit cards to choose from:
Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard® (annual fee: $0): Online Offer: Earn 10,000 Bonus Points after spending at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. This card earns 2x points per $1 on Spirit purchases and 1x points on everything else.
Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® (annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $79): Online Offer: 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. This card earns 3x points per $1 on Spirit purchases, 2x points on dining and groceries, and 1x points on everything else.
» Learn more: Find the best airline credit card for you
4. Dining, cruises and more offer additional ways to save
Like most airline rewards programs, Spirit allows you to earn points with its partners. You can earn points through the Free Spirit Dining program, Free Spirit Cruises, online shopping, car rentals and more.
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