The Guide to Spirit Airlines Elite Status

The Spirit Airlines loyalty program got an overhaul in 2021, adding new elite status benefits and requirements.
Elina Geller
Alisha McDarris
By Alisha McDarris and  Elina Geller 
Edited by June Casagrande

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Fans of Spirit Airlines are likely to love a deal. And if you fly frequently, the discounts add up when you're a member of its frequent flyer program Free Spirit.

Free Spirit is free to join. When you do, you'll be able to accrue points that you can later spend on flights and other in-flight purchases. Once you fly often enough, you advance to higher membership levels, such as Free Spirit Silver or Gold. From there, the perks start piling on — you get more freebies and earn points faster.

Just remember that Free Spirit points expire if you don't maintain account activity (earning or redeeming points) within 12 months. Though, they don't expire if you maintain an open Free Spirit Credit Card account.​

Here’s a guide to Spirit Airlines’ elite status program, including how to earn it, what the top perks are and whether it's really that good of a deal.

Free Spirit levels at a glance

(Photo courtesy of Spirit)

Free Spirit elite status comes in three levels — Free Spirit, Free Spirit Silver and Free Spirit Gold — and each tier offers a slew of useful benefits.

Basic-level Free Spirit members earn 6 points per dollar spent on fares and 12 points per dollar on Á La Smarte options like seat selection and checked bags. Silver and Gold level elites earn more while enjoying some other attractive perks.


Free Spirit



Earn points on fares




Earn points on A La Smarte options




How to earn elite status


Attain 2,000 SQPs by spending $2,000 on flights or $20,000 on the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® (or any combination of the two).

Attain 5,000 SQPs by spending $5,000 on flights or $50,000 on the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® (or any combination of the two).

Redeem points for flights

Earn and redeem points with partners

Points + Cash redemptions

Participate in points pooling

Host a points pool


Exit row seat assignment


180 min. from departure.

At booking.

Seat selection


At check-in.

At booking.

Shortcut boarding


Shortcut security


Dedicated guest care


Same-day standby


Overweight checked-bag fee waived


Redemption fee waiver


Flight flex



Free drink and snack



First checked bag



Carry-on bag



That's a massive list of benefits, and most of the best Spirit elite status benefits get you out of otherwise-aggravating fees.

One of the most standout benefits is the ability to get out of one of Spirit's most bizarre fees: a redemption fee. This Spirit policy is especially brutal to procrastinators or those who like to book travel last-minute. Award flights booked within 28 days of departure require a $50 redemption fee. However, with Silver or Gold elite status, that award redemption fee is waived.

Other standout benefits of Free Spirit Silver elite include faster security screenings and early boarding, available same-day standby, the ability to choose a free seat during check-in, exit row seat assignment 180 minutes before departure and access to a dedicated guest care line. The Points Pool feature allows the elite member to create a pool of points that can be shared with up to eight friends or family members.

Free Spirit Gold elite members benefit from all the perks of Silver as well as Free Flight Flex, which allows passengers to modify their booking once up to 24 hours before their flight. They also have perks like one free carry-on and one free checked bag, free seat selection during booking, free in-flight snacks and beverages and exit row seat assignment at booking.

How much is Spirit elite status worth?

According to NerdWallet's latest analysis of airline elite status value, here's how much each Spirit elite level is worth in terms of benefits, plus how much it costs to earn.


  • Value of benefits: $32.

  • Cost to earn: $2,000.


  • Value of benefits: $910.

  • Cost to earn: $5,000.

These estimates make several assumptions about your travel choices, such as how often you fly with Spirit and how often you take advantage of its elite status benefits. Having status without flying, for example, isn't really "worth" anything at all.

There's no getting around the fact that Spirit's elite status program offers far less value compared to other U.S. airlines. That's not surprising, given the airlines' no-frills approach. But, Spirit's elite status program isn't actually the least valuable elite status program overall.

The bragging rights end there. Spirit got a merely 1.8 out of five points. Considering the winner, Alaska Airlines, scored 4.9 points for its Alaska MVP mileage program, Spirit still has a long way to go.

Here's a breakdown of how Spirit's Free Spirit elite status program compares to other airline loyalty programs:

How to become a Free Spirit elite flyer

You achieve elite status by spending money with Spirit Airlines. For every dollar you spend on fares and Á La Smarte options, you’ll earn 1 Status Qualifying Point (SQP). Accumulate 2,000 SQPs in a year and you’ll attain Free Spirit Silver status. Hit 5,000 SQPs in a year and you’ll achieve Free Spirit Gold. You have one calendar year to achieve status, then the whole process resets.

If you don’t think you can spend that much on Spirit’s budget fares, you can earn more SQPs with an eligible Free Spirit credit card at a rate of 1 SQP for every $10 you spend.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Because the new program will pay points based on the price of your fare instead of distance traveled, cheaper fares will take longer to add up to status.

Once you achieve status, you’ll enjoy the benefits for the rest of the calendar year in which you earned it plus the entire following year. So if you earned Silver status in September of 2023, you’ll have access to the benefits until the end of 2024.

(Photo courtesy of Spirit)

Is Spirit elite status worth it?

For those who love Spirit’s low fares and fly the airline often, its Free Spirit elite status program offers a way to get rewarded for your loyalty.

Elite members in the Free Spirit program receive benefits like a free checked bag and the ability to pool points, plus waived award flight redemption fees, which can save you up to $50 when you redeem miles for a last-minute flight. Given how high additional Spirit fees can run, those benefits might mean significant savings for regular flyers.

Just realize that many of the "benefits" granted to Spirit elite status holders are already automatically granted by other airlines even to their least loyal customers who spend hardly any money.

To put it into perspective, you get a free drink and snack with Spirit Gold status, but you'd be hard-pressed to find other U.S. airlines that don't offer free refreshments to everyone anyway (Frontier Airlines is a notable exception in that it largely matches the Spirit refreshment policy). And sure, the free carry-on bag is nice, but most major carriers let you bring a carry-on bag at no cost, anyway.

For what it's worth, Free Spirit elite status is relatively easy to attain for travelers who fly with the airline at least occasionally. Go ahead and sign up for the program — it's one of the few aspects of Spirit that is actually free. Just don't over-index on its value.

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 2023, including those best for:

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