Spirit Airlines' Free Spirit Frequent Flyer Program Guide
Spirit Airlines flyer program is one of the few low-cost airlines that offers a full-service reward programme. The Free Spirit programme, as expected, is not part of a major alliance, therefore redemptions are limited to flights on the carrier or select non-flying partners. In 2021, the programme was updated with new status tiers, redemption rates, and a subscription service for miles redemptions.
The Spirit Airline loyalty program's benefits are mostly determined by how frequently you travel the carrier, which is made easier if you live near one of its hub airports. With no separate business class (the Big Front Seat is an add-on rather than a separate cabin), you can't use frequent flyer points to upgrade, and with only a few foreign destinations, your best shot is a domestic flight. However, once you attain elite rank, the programme offers some fantastic benefits.
The advantages and disadvantages
As with any programme, Free Spirit has its advantages and disadvantages. Let's start with the advantages:
- Fast track to elite rank: If you're a Spirit air frequent flyer, achieving elite status shouldn't be too difficult. To qualify for Silver, the carrier needed 2,000 SQPs ($1 = 1 SQP) and 5,000 SQPs for Gold. Notably, every $10 spent on the co-branded Free Spirit Mastercard credit card earns you SQP. A few family or corporate vacations, as well as credit spending, might quickly get you into the tiers.
- Dynamic pricing, but only for the first 2,500 miles: While free Spirit frequent flyer program has moved to a dynamic pricing strategy, it still offers a number of tickets at the base 2,500-mile redemption level. Learn more about how to take advantage of cheaper prizes in our hidden perks article below.
- Partnership with JetBlue (?): While this is more hypothetical, JetBlue's merger with Spirit may mean that frequent travellers will ultimately gain access to the hybrid carrier's network. However, this is subject to the transaction passing muster with the DOT and DOJ, as well as how JetBlue implements the relationship. Don't expect this bonus for a few years, but it has the potential to be a significant benefit if everything goes as planned.
However, there are several significant drawbacks to the Free Spirit.
- No partner redemptions: Perhaps the most apparent disadvantage of Spirit as a low-cost carrier is its absence of alliance membership. This means that your redemptions are only valid on the carrier's network in the United States and Latin America. Given that you must spend hundreds of dollars or more on a co-branded credit card to achieve status, one of the full-service carriers does provide superior value at times.
- The $50 fee is as follows: The lack of hefty taxes is the best thing about redeeming flights in the United States. However, Spirit levies a $50 fee for prize tickets bought within 28 days of flight, making redeeming points even more difficult. If you're thinking of entering the programme, keep this in mind.
- No Big Front Seat: One would think that Spirit's Gold status would include the Big Front Seat (2-2 recliners in the first row). However, you must still pay for this privilege, and there is no free upgrade available.
How Do I Earn Free Spirit Silver and Gold Status?
To unlock the perks, you'll need to earn Status Qualifying Points (SQPs) within a calendar year. Achieve 2,000 SQPs for Free Spirit Silver Status and 5,000 SQPs for Free Spirit Gold Status.
What are the Benefits of Free Spirit Silver?
As a Free Spirit Silver member, you'll enjoy benefits like earning 8 times per dollar on fares and 16 times per dollar on ancillary purchases. Here's a quick look at the advantages:
- Dedicated guest care support
- Redemption fee waiver
- Same-day standby
- Shortcut boarding and security
- Exit row seat assignment
- Overweight baggage fee waiver
What Can I Expect as a Free Spirit Gold Member?
For Free Spirit Gold members, the rewards go even further. Earn 10 times per dollar on airfares and 20 times per dollar on ancillary purchases. Additional perks include:
- Free carry-on bag
- Free checked baggage
- Complimentary onboard drink and snack
- Zone 1 boarding
- Pet fee waiver
- Free Flight Flex
- Group 2/3/4/5 seat selection at purchase
- All benefits of Free Spirit Silver
Now that you know the ins and outs, embark on your Free Spirit journey, earning and redeeming rewards with each exciting flight!
Given all of this, read on to learn how to earn and spend points, the program's hidden bonuses, and how to achieve elite rank!