We don’t love the many fees associated with ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines. But we can’t deny the affordability of its flights, and we think there’s plenty of opportunity to enhance your overall experience by using the Free Spirit loyalty program.
Let’s dig into the details of Spirit Airlines’ points program to see how you could transform an expectedly mediocre experience into something more enjoyable.
What is the Free Spirit program?
Free Spirit is the loyalty program for Spirit Airlines. It’s free to join, so you can start earning and redeeming Free Spirit points once you create an account. Free Spirit points can be redeemed toward Spirit award flights and on partner products and services.
Spirit Airlines Free Spirit members can also earn Status Qualifying Points (SQPs) to help unlock higher tiers of Free Spirit membership and the benefits that come along with elite status.
You don’t have to join Free Spirit to fly with Spirit Airlines, but you might as well since it’s free. And if you frequently fly Spirit, you could start racking up points to use on almost-free flights and SQPs to earn elite status.
Some of the best Free Spirit elite status benefits include a free checked bag and free food and drinks on board.
Free Spirit tiers
The Free Spirit rewards program has three tiers: Free Spirit Base, Free Spirit Silver, and Free Spirit Gold. To become a Free Spirit Base member, you simply have to join the Free Spirit program.
Free Spirit Silver and Gold tiers have Status Qualifying Points (SQPs) requirements. You need to earn 2,000 SQPs in a calendar year for Silver status or 5,000 SQPs in a calendar year for Gold status.
You can earn one SQP for every dollar spent on Spirit fares and À La Smarte options. You can earn an additional SQP for every 10 dollars in net purchases made with an eligible Free Spirit credit card.
|Tier||Eligibility||Points earned on fares||Points earned on extras|
|Free Spirit Base||Become a Free Spirit loyalty member||6X||12X|
Free Spirit Base
Free Spirit Base members receive:
- 6X points on Spirit airfare
- 12X points on À La Smarte options (bags, seat selection, and other extras)
- Points redemptions on flights with no blackout dates
- Points + Cash redemptions on flights
- Earn and redeem points with partners
- Participate in points pooling
- Access to exclusive events and promotions for Free Spirit members
Free Spirit Silver members receive:
- Everything that standard Free Spirit Base members receive
- 8X points on Spirit airfare
- 16X points on À La Smarte options
- Free seat selection at check-in
- Shortcut boarding (be among the first to board)
- Shortcut security (access the quickest possible lane to get through security)
- Host a Points Pool
- Same-day standby
- Overweight checked bag fee waived
- Redemption fee waiver (waives the award redemption fee for flights in the next 28 days)
- Exit row seat selection (pre-boarding)
- Dedicated guest care (access a dedicated guest support line)
Free Spirit Gold members receive:
- Everything that Free Spirit Silver members receive
- 10X points on Spirit airfare
- 20X points on À La Smarte options
- Free carry-on bag
- Free first checked bag
- Exit row seat selection (at booking)
- Flight Flex (one free flight modification up to 24 hours before departure)
- Free drinks and snacks on board
TipTo qualify for Free Spirit Silver elite status, you need to earn at least 2,000 SQPs in a calendar year. For Gold, it’s 5,000 SQPs. If you hit the required threshold, you’ll receive the applicable elite status for the remainder of the qualifying year and for the entire calendar year that follows. For example, earning 5,000 SQPs by May 2024 would qualify you for Free Spirit Gold status through December 31, 2025.
How to earn Free Spirit points with credit cards
An easy way to boost your Free Spirit earning potential is by using a Spirit credit card. This strategy gives you the opportunity to earn bonus points on top of the rewards you can already earn through your Free Spirit membership.
For example, the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® from Bank of America provides 3X points on eligible Spirit purchases; 2X points on eligible dining and grocery store purchases; 1X points on all other eligible purchases. This card has an annual fee of $79 (waived first year).
The Free Spirit Travel More Mastercard likely makes the most sense if you want to directly earn Free Spirit points on purchases. But if you compare credit cards, you might also consider certain cash back and travel credit cards to earn rewards that can help you cover Spirit flights.
In general, cash back credit cards earn cashback rewards on eligible purchases. You can then typically redeem your rewards toward statement credits or direct deposits into a bank account. So this is a straightforward way of essentially earning cash that you can use for just about anything, including Spirit flights.
Certain travel rewards cards, including the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, allow you to redeem rewards to cover past travel purchases. So you can make a purchase with your card, earn points or miles on that purchase, and then use existing rewards to cover the cost of the purchase.
Other ways to earn Free Spirit points
Other than using a Spirit credit card, you can also earn Free Spirit points using these methods.
Flights and extras
As a Free Spirit member, you can earn between 6X to 10X points on Spirit fares depending on your membership level. You can also earn between 12X to 20X points on flight add-ons you purchase from Spirit.
Flight extras could include purchasing baggage allowance, seat selection, Wi-Fi, snacks and beverages, Shortcut Boarding, and more.
You can also earn Spirit points through select partner products and services, including:
- Car rentals (Avis, Budget, Hertz, and more)
- Vacation packages
If needed, you can buy Free Spirit points at a rate of 1,000 points for $25.
We generally don’t recommend buying points at this cash price because it’s not a great deal. It makes more sense to earn points on purchases you are already planning to make, whether that’s with a Spirit credit card, buying Spirit fares, or using Spirit partners.
However, buying points could make sense if you’re about to make a big redemption and you’re short some rewards.
How to check your Free Spirit points balance
You can easily check your Free Spirit points balance by logging in to your online account.
- Navigate to the Spirit Airlines website, select Sign-in, and input your login information.
- After logging in, click on your name to view your Free Spirit points balance. If you want a more complete view, select the My Dashboard option from the dropdown menu.
- The dashboard area gives you a larger view of your points balance. From here, you can also check your points activity, status activity (SQPs), and any available offers.
The Status section of your dashboard can be especially helpful if you want to see how many SQPs you’ve earned and what different benefits and perks you can receive depending on your Free Spirit elite status level.
How to use your Free Spirit points
To redeem your Free Spirit points for flights, start on the Spirit Airlines website and make sure you’re logged in to your account. Then add your flight itinerary to the booking tool and remember to select Show Fares In Points.
You can then see how many points you need for a particular flight. For more dates, select See More Dates.
This will give you a monthly calendar view of dates to choose from, making it easier to see which dates have the lowest-priced options.
When you’re ready, select your preferred date and continue through the booking process to complete your purchase using points and paying any applicable taxes and fees.
TipKeep in mind that there’s a redemption fee of $50 per guest per award redemption if you book your award flight from zero to 28 days prior to departure. If you book your award flight more than 28 days prior to departure, there’s no redemption fee.
Do Free Spirit points expire?
Free Spirit points generally expire if you have no qualifying activities with earning or redeeming points in a period of 12 consecutive months.
One way around this rule is to have an active Free Spirit Travel More Mastercard. If you have that card and your account is active, your points don’t expire.
But even if you don’t have the Free Spirit Travel More Mastercard, there are easy ways to keep your points from expiring:
- Take a flight: If you buy a Spirit flight, you earn points, which resets the expiration clock. You can also reset the clock by redeeming points for an award flight.
- Shop online: Use the Free Spirit online mall to make purchases.
- Take online surveys: Earn Free Spirit points by taking online surveys with Points for Thoughts.
- Go out to eat: Link a credit or debit card to dine and earn points through the Free Spirit Dining program.
- Book travel: Book rental cars, cruises (Spirit Cruises), or hotel stays through a Spirit Airlines partner or a Spirit booking platform.
- Buy points: Purchase points at a rate of 1,000 points per $25 (we generally don’t recommend this option unless you really need the points).
Tips for Free Spirit members
To make the most of (or survive) your Spirit journey, consider these tips.
- Be flexible with your dates: Dynamic pricing means the cheapest fares can change, so have a few travel dates prepared.
- Earn elite status: Free Spirit Gold members receive a free carry-on bag and a free first checked bag, as well as countless other benefits that can completely change your Spirit experience.
- Travel light: If you don’t want to pay exorbitant fees and don’t have elite status, skip the checked bag.
- Pay for bags during booking: It’s cheaper to pay for bags during the booking process than at check-in or at the gate.
- Use the Spirit Bag-O-Tron: The Spirit Bag-O-Tron calculates how much you have to pay in baggage fees depending on the flight route.
- Avoid seat selection: It might look like you have to select seats during the booking process, but you can just continue through and your seats will be assigned (for free) later.
- Consider Spirit Saver$ Club: Spirit Saver$ Club members gain access to some of the lowest fares available, as well as discounts on flight extras, such as bags and seats. Membership costs between $69.95 to $129.90, depending on the length of the plan.
- Go for the Big Front Seat: If you want more room and comfort, reserve the Big Front Seat as soon as you can.
- Bring your own entertainment: There’s no in-flight entertainment, so you have to bring your own devices for shows, movies, and/or games.
- Bring snacks and a water bottle: You have to pay for snacks and drinks on Spirit flights unless you have applicable elite status.
DealSpirit Airlines sometimes offers a Free Spirit status match to eligible frequent flyers. That means you could receive a match to Free Spirit Silver or Gold if you already have applicable status with an eligible airline or hotel loyalty program. In the past, Spirit has charged $49 for a status match to Free Spirit Silver and $99 for a match to Free Spirit Gold.
How many points do you need for a free Spirit ticket?
Spirit award flights can get as low as around 2,500 points, especially if you’re a Spirit Saver$ Club member. Keep in mind that Spirit uses dynamic pricing, which means the cost of its flights fluctuates based on availability. So the same route could cost a different amount of points depending on the day.
What is the maximum amount of Spirit Points you can have?
Spirit doesn’t specify any limit to the number of Free Spirit points you’re allowed to have. In general, most rewards and frequent flyer programs don’t set maximum limits on how many points or miles you can earn, giving you plenty of freedom to accrue large amounts of rewards.
Can I give my Spirit Points to someone else?
You can pool points with friends and family members through the Free Spirit loyalty program. Anyone in the pool can redeem points from a Points Pool. Note that any Free Spirit member can participate in a Points Pool, but only Silver and Gold members can host a Points Pool.
Spirit Airlines is an ultra-low-cost carrier that charges for baggage, seat selection, snacks, beverages, and more. There’s also no in-flight entertainment, and the seats could definitely be more comfortable.
But the Spirit experience doesn’t have to be terrible. In many cases, Spirit could make a lot of sense as a preferred carrier if you’re a Free Spirit member with elite status because you can avoid paying for many of the flight extras. Then it becomes a cheap way to travel to a surprising number of destinations, such as Mexico and the Caribbean.
If Spirit isn’t the right airline for you or doesn’t fly to your preferred destinations, check out the best travel credit cards to help expand your travel options.
Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards
- Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
- Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
- Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
- No foreign transaction fees
- Apply Now
- Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
- 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
- Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
- Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
- 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee applies to all balance transfers.
- If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
- Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
- This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
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