Your Guide to Earning Miles With Frontier Airlines

Frontier loyalists can earn miles through flights, credit card spending, partners and cruise bookings.
Sally French
By Sally French 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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Frontier Airlines already offers among the cheapest flights — but you might even be able to make them free. That is, when you book with Frontier Miles. But to book with Frontier miles, you'll have to earn those miles. Here are the best ways to build up your Frontier account balance.

Earning Frontier miles with flights

The default method of earning miles is flying on Frontier Airlines flights. Frontier gives all passengers a flat 1 mile for every mile flown — regardless of the ticket price.

If you fly 500 miles, you’ll earn 500 Frontier miles. If you travel 2,000 miles round trip, you’ll get 2,000 miles. You get the idea. Sure, you might not earn a boatload of miles on a short flight. But if you’re flying across the country — or flying to a different country — you can quickly amass a big miles balance on Frontier, especially if you booked such a long flight at a budget rate. Take roughly 10 one-way flights between Denver and Orlando, and you’d have enough for another free one-way flight within the U.S.

Earning Frontier miles with the Frontier Airlines credit card

You don’t have to get on a plane to earn Frontier miles. You can earn them with regular daily purchases with the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®.

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®
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The Frontier credit card features a rewards rate of 5x miles per $1 spent on eligible purchases, 3x miles at restaurants and 1x on all other purchases. Depending on your spending habits, you could earn enough miles for an award flight quickly. Spending $2,000 on Frontier flights would get you enough miles for a one-way, value redemption flight within the U.S. (and that doesn’t account for the frequent flyer miles you’re likely earning, too). You could also earn enough miles for a one-way, value flight within the U.S. with $3,333 in restaurant spending.

There’s also a limited-time offer that you’re eligible to earn upon getting approved for the card, which has an annual fee of $89: ​​Earn 40,000 travel miles after spending $500 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days. Earn 20,000 travel miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 6 months with the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®.

The bonus alone is worth enough for about two round trip domestic flights booked via a value fare. The card also includes a $100 flight voucher every year on your account anniversary. In addition, eligible purchases count toward elite status with Frontier, which can unlock perks like free carry-on bags and advanced seating. Serious frequent flyers on Frontier can save a lot of money with elite status.

Earning Frontier miles with partners

Frontier has deals with partner rental car companies, hotel brands and online retailers that can boost your awards rate. You’ll generally either have to enter a special Frontier coupon code at checkout, provide your Frontier miles number upon booking, or both, to get your accounts linked and miles credited to your Frontier account balance.

See each individual program’s rules and mileage earning rates here. Here are among the best Frontier partners:

Frontier rental car partners

Alamo: Members who rent with Alamo are eligible to earn 50 Frontier miles per rental day or 500 miles on rentals of five days or more.

Avis: Earn quadruple miles plus 35% off base rates when you rent for three or more days at participating Avis airport locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Budget: Earn 500 bonus miles for 3-4 day rentals, and 1,000 bonus miles for rentals of five days or longer.

National: Members who rent with National are eligible to earn up to 20% off every rental, 50 miles per rental day and 500 miles on rentals of five days or more.

Thrifty: Earn 50 Frontier miles per day on qualifying rentals of 1-4 days or 500 miles per rental on qualifying rentals of five or more days with Thrifty.

Frontier hotel partners

Marriott: Earn 1-2 Frontier miles per dollar spent on qualifying charges at Marriott hotels. Earnings rate varies by brand.

Wyndham: Wyndham Rewards Members can earn up to 2 Frontier Miles for every $1 spent on all qualified stays and at participating hotels. Earnings rate depends on your level of Wyndham elite status.

Book a Frontier Cruise

Frontier Airlines has its own cruise booking site, which allows you to book with major cruise operators including Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival and Royal Caribbean International. Frontier promises to offer the lowest rates under its 110% best price guarantee where — if you find a lower advertised price — Frontier will refund 110% of the difference.

The longer you cruise, the more miles you’ll earn. Here’s the mileage-earning breakdown per cruise length:

  • 1-5 night cruise: 1,500 miles.

  • 6-9 night cruise: 3,000 miles.

  • 9-12 night cruise: 5,000 miles.

  • 13+ night cruise: 10,000 miles.

Other Frontier Airlines reward mile tips

Pool miles with family for faster awards

You can link up to eight accounts in a family pool. And no sweat if you have a small family. You can add anyone to your pool, including people outside of your family and outside of your household.

The head of the pool can redeem miles earned by any pool member. This is a great way to redeem miles faster, as you don’t need to earn the full 10,000 miles yourself for a 10,000-award flight.

Beware of the short expiration date

Frontier Miles have among the shortest expiration date window of any frequent flyer program.

Frontier miles expire if there is no earning activity within 12 months. Earning through a credit card, flying on Frontier or flying with a partner counts toward resetting your expiration date.

If your balance expires, you’ll have to pay a fee between $50 to $500 to reinstate your points, depending on your balance at the time your miles expired. Calculate the value of your Frontier miles to see if the fee to regain those disappeared miles is worth it to you.

Redeeming Frontier miles for flights

You can redeem your Frontier miles in a multitude of ways beyond just Frontier flights, such as using them to book hotels or subscribe to magazines. But using them to book flights is almost the best way to maximize their value.

Award flights start at 10,000 miles (plus taxes and fees) for one-way Value Award tickets within the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Those flights include the same benefits as Frontier’s basic fare, which is admittedly not a whole lot given the a la carte nature of Frontier (e.g. you’re limited to one personal item, with no carry-ons unless you pay an extra fee).

That said, you’re more likely to find what’s called standard award tickets, which start at 20,000 miles one way.

Mileage award redemptions cost more for international flights, as do the corresponding taxes and fees. Here’s how much you can expect to pay for one-way mileage award redemptions, and a rough estimate of how many Frontier flights you’d have to take to earn enough miles to cover such a flight.

One-way value airfare

One-way standard airfare

Flights needed to earn enough miles for standard redemption

Within U.S. and Puerto Rico

10,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes and fees.

20,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes and fees.

Roughly five round-trip flights between Denver and Orlando.

To/from Mexico

15,000 miles + $33.70 in taxes and fees.

25,000 miles + $33.70 in taxes and fees.

Roughly seven round-trip flights between Denver and Orlando.

To/from Dominican Republic

15,000 miles + $36.90 in taxes and fees.

25,000 miles + $36.90 in taxes and fees.

Roughly seven round-trip flights between Denver and Orlando.

To/from Jamaica

15,000 miles + $49.60 in taxes and fees.

25,000 miles + $49.60 in taxes and fees.

Roughly seven round-trip flights between Denver and Orlando.

What to know about booking with Frontier

Frontier Airlines is most famous for its low-cost, à la carte pricing. So while this Denver-based airline offers base airfares that are sometimes unbelievably cheap, understand that you’ll pay for everything from carry-on bags to choosing your own seat, either by purchasing these perks individually or by paying for a fare bundle that includes them.

Making it your mission to earn Frontier miles can be especially lucrative if you live in Denver, as that's the airline's hub — and where you'll likely find the most flight availability. That said, the budget airline flies to more than 120 destinations in the U.S., Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. So no matter where you're headed within those regions, there's a good chance you'll be able to find a flight through Frontier. And when you do, ensure you've earned enough miles so you can book that flight for free.

Want advice on the best way to redeem Frontier miles? Seeking to understand more ways to take advantage of Frontier? Check out our full guide to the Frontier Miles program.

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