The ultimate guide to Spirit Airlines’ Free Spirit loyalty program


Despite the carrier’s ultra-low-cost business model, the Spirit Airlines Free Spirit loyalty program offers a range of benefits for its frequent flyers, several solid earning options, elite status and dynamic award pricing with some great redemptions.

This article will give you a complete overview of the Free Spirit program, including points earning and redeeming, award sweet spots, elite status and other important program details.

How to earn Spirit points

Spirit points are surprisingly valuable; fortunately, there are several ways to earn them. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

The Free Spirit program is free to join. You can earn Spirit points by flying, through its cobranded credit cards and by transacting with Spirit’s partners.

Earn points by flying on Spirit Airlines

When you fly with Spirit Airlines, you earn points based on the price of your fare and your Free Spirit elite status level.

  • Member: 6 points per dollar.
  • Silver: 8 points per dollar.
  • Gold: 10 points per dollar.

Points are earned based on the base fare of your ticket, excluding taxes and fees. For example, if your ticket costs $50 before taxes for a flight from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to Orlando International Airport (MCO), you’d earn 300 points as a general member.

You can also earn points on add-ons like seat selection, priority boarding and bags — though at a higher rate:

  • Member: 10 points per dollar.
  • Silver: 16 points per dollar.
  • Gold: 20 points per dollar.

Earn points with Spirit’s credit cards

You can earn Spirit points using Spirit’s two cobranded credit cards. Both cards have different earning rates, features, welcome bonuses and annual fees. The Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® is the higher-end card with a $79 annual fee (waived the first year). This card offers 50,000 bonus points and a $100 flight voucher after you spend $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days of account opening.

The card also waives reservation fees and includes perks like Zone 2 priority boarding, a 25% rebate on all inflight food and beverage purchases when you pay with your card and a $100 companion flight voucher each anniversary after you make at least $5,000 in purchases within the prior year. Here’s what you earn on the Free Spirit Travel More World Elite Mastercard:

  • 3 points per dollar on eligible Spirit purchases.
  • 2 points per dollar on eligible dining and grocery store purchases.
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Meanwhile, the no-annual-fee Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard® comes with 10,000 bonus points after you spend at least $500 in the first 90 days of account opening. As a cardholder, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus points each anniversary after making at least $10,000 in purchases within the prior anniversary year. As with Spirit’s premium card, you’re eligible for Zone 2 priority boarding and a 25% rebate on all inflight food and beverage purchases when you pay with your card. Here’s what you earn on the Free Spirit Travel Mastercard:

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  • 2 points per dollar on eligible Spirit purchases.
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

We suggest avoiding the no-annual-fee card due to its limited benefits. However, the Free Spirit Travel More Mastercard may benefit frequent Spirit flyers utilizing the Companion Flight Voucher and additional perks. Furthermore, the card’s welcome bonus can be worthwhile.

The information for the Free Spirit Travel More World Elite Mastercard and the Free Spirit Travel Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: The best travel credit cards

Earn points with Spirit’s partners

You can also earn Spirit points with the airline’s partners. You can refer to the full list of partners on Spirit’s website, but here’s a brief overview of some of the most popular ones:

  • Free Spirit Online Mall: Spirit has an online shopping portal that awards points when you shop online. Depending on the merchant, you can sometimes earn more than 20 points per qualifying dollar. Before you make a purchase, find your merchant on the Free Spirit Online Mall and click the “Shop Now” button to be redirected to the merchant’s website. You can then make your purchase as normal and the eligible points will be credited to your account.
  • Free Spirit Dining: Spirit has a dining rewards program like many other loyalty programs. You can earn up to 5 points per dollar as a VIP member who has completed 11 qualifying transactions in a calendar year. Spirit also offers a 500-mile welcome bonus for new members who spend $30 or more at participating restaurants within the first 30 days of joining and write an online review within 30 days of the visit.
  • Book hotels, rental cars and cruises with Spirit’s travel partners: Spirit has a handful of travel partners with which you can earn bonus Spirit points by booking non-air travel. This includes most major rental car companies, a hotel booking platform and Spirit Cruises. Most of these partners award points based on how much you spend or, in the case of most rental cars, how long you rent.

How to redeem Spirit points

Spirit has no partner airlines, so you can’t redeem Spirit points on other airlines. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Spirit award flights start at 2,500 points, and the loyalty program prides itself on offering redemptions on every seat on every flight, with no blackout dates. We value Spirit points at 1.1 cents apiece, so try to redeem your points in line with that valuation when possible. The airline also offers Free Spirit Points + Cash awards, which cost as little as 1,000 points, allowing members to combine cash and points.

Before diving into awards, Spirit adds a $50 fee to redemptions booked within 28 days before departure. This makes Free Spirit points difficult to use on last-minute flights. This fee is waived for primary cardholders of the Free Spirit Travel More Mastercard and Spirit elite members.

As expected with Spirit’s pricing model, award rates typically correlate to the cash price of a flight, so more expensive tickets cost more points. As mentioned previously, tickets start at 2,500 points one-way. We found plenty of tickets at this price point — even over peak summer dates.

For example, this flight from Oakland International Airport (OAK) to Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) costs 2,500 points and $5.60 one-way around Labor Day. Due to dynamic pricing, this price changes based on the day, but it’s great to see ample award availability at this price point.

SPIRIT.COM

That said, booking these low-cost flights isn’t always a great deal. This flight is only $19.89 out of pocket, so you’ll only get 0.57 cents per point in value. You can find better deals out there.

SPIRIT.COM

For example, this flight from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, costs 4,000 points and $5.60.

SPIRIT.COM

The cash price for this flight is $74.19, so you’ll get 1.72 cents per point in value from this ticket. This presents an excellent use of Spirit points.

SPIRIT.COM

Another good example is this flight from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) in Kingston, Jamaica. This costs 4,500 points and $49.60 in taxes one-way.

SPIRIT.COM

The cash price of the same flight is $123.19. After subtracting the $49.60 in taxes, you’ll get 1.64 cents per point in value from this ticket. This is another solid use of your Spirit points.

SPIRIT.COM

Many great deals are available, but it’s important to compare the cost of a cash flight and a points flight before booking with points. It’s recommended to seek a value of at least 1 cent per point, but a higher value can be obtained when covering higher-cost flights. You may find that international tickets are better for obtaining the best value — though be sure to remove taxes and fees when making this calculation, since those are incurred on both paid and award tickets.

Note that you can also use Spirit points to purchase magazines, but this will almost certainly provide a redemption value far below what you can get from your points for air travel.

Related: Everything you should know before flying Spirit Airlines

Spirit Saver$ Club

The Spirit Saver$ Club can unlock discounts on Spirit airfare. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Spirit rebranded its famous $9 Fare Club to the Spirit Saver$ Club when the Free Spirit program launched. Here are the benefits of the Spirit Saver$ Slub, which apply to you and up to eight people on your reservation:

  • Discounted fares
  • Discounted bags
  • Discounted seats
  • Discounted Flight Flex
  • Discounted Shortcut Security
  • Discounted Shortcut Boarding

Arguably the biggest benefit is access to exclusive fares. These aren’t offered on all flights, but when available, they can provide a nice discount.

Here’s how much the Spirit Saver$ Club costs, though note that students enjoy a 30% discount:

  • 12-month membership: $69.95.
  • 18-month membership: $99.90 ($5 savings).
  • 24-month membership: $129.90 ($10 savings).

Here’s an example of how the Spirit Saver$ Club discount saves you $18 on these one-way flights from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX):

SPIRIT.COM

On this flight from John Wayne Airport (SNA) to Oakland, It costs just $37.90 if you have a membership, giving you a nice $16.10 discount from the standard fare.

SPIRIT.COM

Depending on how often you fly Spirit, this can save you well over the program’s annual fee.

Related: Should you join Frontier’s Discount Den or the new Spirit Saver$ Club?

Spirit Airlines elite status

Gold members can select exit row seating at the time of booking. SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

Spirit offers elite status to its frequent flyers, providing a range of benefits to enhance the travel experience. Elite status is divided into two tiers (Silver and Gold) and can be earned by accumulating a set amount of status qualifying points within a calendar year.

Here’s a closer look at how you can qualify for Spirit status and the benefits of both tiers:

Benefits Silver elite status Gold elite status
Qualification 2,000 SQPs on flights operated by Spirit Airlines or by spending on the Free Spirit Travel More World Elite Mastercard 5,000 SQPs on flights operated by Spirit Airlines or by spending on the Free Spirit Travel More World Elite Mastercard
Mileage earning on Spirit flights 8 points per dollar 10 points per dollar
Points earned on A La Smarte options (extras) 16 points per dollar 20 points per dollar
Host points pool for group
Exit-row seat assignment 180 minutes from departure Confirmed at booking
Seat selection You can choose your seat at check-in. You can choose your seat at the time of booking, but you can’t choose the Big Front Seat (Spirit’s version of first class)
Shortcut Boarding
Shortcut Security
Dedicated guest care
Same-day standby
Overweight checked bag fee waived
Redemption fee waived
Flight Flex
Free nonalcoholic drink and snack on board
First checked bag
Carry-on bag

 

These status perks can bring massive cost savings to those who fly Spirit frequently — especially for bags and seat selection.

Related: How to pack only in a Spirit Airlines free carry-on bag

Bottom line

Contrary to the popular belief that Spirit’s ultra-low-cost model would offer a lackluster loyalty program, it has plenty of appealing features. The program is straightforward when it comes to earning and redemption, and elite members enjoy many cost-saving benefits — including complimentary seat selection and more generous luggage policies.

The next time you travel with Spirit Airlines, add your Free Spirit loyalty account to your reservation to make your travels more rewarding.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.

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