If you’re into discount airlines with à la carte pricing, you’re probably very familiar with Frontier Airlines. This Denver-based airline offers flights that are sometimes unbelievably cheap, but you’ll pay for everything from carry-on bags to choosing your own seat. Here’s a look at how you can earn miles for reward travel on Frontier.
Earning Frontier EarlyReturns miles with flights
The default method of earning miles, known as EarlyReturns miles on Frontier, 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.
Award flights start at 10,000 miles for Value Award tickets, which are equivalent to a standard fare. Standard Award tickets are easier to come by and start at 20,000 miles one-way. Rates start at 15,000 for Value awards and 25,000 for Standard awards on flights to Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
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®, issued by Barclays.
The Frontier credit card features a rewards rate of 5x miles per $1 for purchases at flyfrontier.com, 3x miles per $1 at restaurants and 1x everywhere else. Depending on your spending habits, you could earn enough miles for an award flight very quickly.
For a limited time, new cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus miles after $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after opening a new account and paying the first annual fee, which is $79 per year. The bonus alone is worth enough for two round-trip domestic flights.
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. The only way to get there, other than flying, is with the Frontier credit card.
Earning Frontier miles with partners
Frontier has deals with partner rental car companies, hotel brands and online retailers that can boost your awards rate. For travel partners, you may need to specify your Frontier account during the checkout process.
For shopping partners, which include Vinesse Wines and Teleflora, each partner has a specific link for Frontier customers to shop through and get credit. This works differently than some airline shopping portals that give you miles or points for shopping at a long list of major retailers through a special link.
Other Frontier Airlines reward mile tips
Pool miles with family for faster awards
You can link up to eight accounts in a family pool. 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 the short expiration date
Many airline and hotel rewards programs enforce expiration dates. If you don’t earn or redeem any miles or points before the date, you’ll forfeit your balance. Airlines and hotels typically give you one year before expiration. With Frontier, you get half of that time.
Frontier miles expire if you have not earned any points within the last 180 days or six months. Earning through a credit card, flying on Frontier or flyingwith 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. Ideally, you’ll never have to deal with that hassle. But at least you have an option to get your miles back if six months lapse with no activity.
Check out the Discount Den
Outside of the award miles program, Frontier has a discount club called the “Discount Den.” Discount Den membership costs $59.99 per year. It unlocks discounted fares for up to six people on a reservation.
If you only fly on Frontier occasionally, this probably isn’t worth it. But if you can save $10 on flights for a family of four twice per year, for example, you’ll come out ahead with a Discount Den membership.
Award flights are more fun than paid fares
Whether you live in Denver, find Frontier convenient for your usual travel destinations or just enjoy those planes with animals painted on the tail, Frontier miles can take you to more than 100 cities around North America and the Caribbean.
If you’ve built up a balance of EarlyReturns miles and don’t know what to do next, be sure to check out our full guide to the EarlyReturns program.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best airline credit card for you
4 ways to quickly rack up miles for your next flight
How to get started with frequent flyer programs