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Spirit Airlines is the largest low cost airline carrier in the United States. Spirit offers some seriously inexpensive flights — fares can be as low as $20.22 one way to multiple destinations. These low-cost flights are usually restricted to Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays — fares are limited in availability and, as with all Spirit flights, baggage charges apply. In this post we’ll highlight the features of Spirit Airlines rewards program — Free Spirit Rewards as well as membership tiers and opportunities to bank extra points and discounts.
Keep in mind that JetBlue is likely purchasing Spirit in the next couple years, pending DOJ regulatory approval. If history is a guide, Spirit’s rewards will be honored as JetBlue absorbs the company – likely as a transfer or conversion of Free Spirit points to TrueBlue Rewards points. We will keep you up to date here about any changes we’re alerted to, and you can check out JetBlue’s rewards program info at our JetBlue TrueBlue Rewards article.
Free Spirit Rewards
The Free Spirit Rewards Program is a basic Airline rewards loyalty program that allows you to earn points on purchases made directly through Spirit Airlines and selected partners.
- Earn 6 points per every dollar spent on airfare
- Earn 12 points per every dollar spent on A La Smarte options (luggage and paid seats)
- Points will not expire as long as you have a transaction in the previous 12 month period
- No redemption fees if you book your flight with points 28 days in advance, but if you are within the 28 day window you will be charged a $50 fee.
What Spirit Says About Sustainability
Not much since October 2021 when they published their first Sustainability Report, which covered their efforts as of 2020.
Perhaps this is because of an impending merger with JetBlue, but we couldn’t find anything recent. One thing to note is that both Spirit and JetBlue operate fairly new Airbus aircraft which tend to be more fuel efficient than an older, aging fleet.
Check out more about JetBlue’s Sustainability plans here.
Spirit Saver$ Club
Spirit Saver$ club is a discount program offered by Spirit Airlines that offers additional discounts and perks to its customers that are not offered to free Spirit Rewards members. Membership in this club, according to Spirit, save $160 per year on average.
- 12 month membership costs $69.95, 18 months is $99.90 and a 24 month membership costs $129.90
- Discounted fares for yourself and up to 8 additional guests
- 50% off on checked bags for yourself and up to 8 additional guests traveling with you
- Discounts on Shortcut Security and Shortcut Boarding options
- Discount on Flight flex option which gives you the flexibility for last minute flight changes
- Spirit will automatically renew your membership each year, unless you cancel.
- Students get 30% off the Club membership.
Spirit’s Hub & Focus Cities
Spirit’s main hub is in Fort Lauderdale (FLL), and Focus Cities include: Atlantic City (AYC), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Las Vegas (LAS), and Orlando (MCO).
Choosing an airline that has its hub near you can save you time and money. Flying out of a hub drastically reduces the need for layovers, saving you time due to the increased availability of direct flights to a multitude of cities. Furthermore, you may find lower fares on both the hub airline and rival airlines who sometimes try to woo your business away from the main hub airline. Due to the higher concentration of routes served, it’s often convenient to consider hubs in your airline choice. You’ll also want to consider an airline’s alliance and partners if you often travel internationally. Delta is a member of SkyTeam.
Status Qualifying Points (SQPs)
Status Qualifying Points (SQPs) are different from the Free Spirit points you earn and use for flight and partner reward bookings and redemptions. SQPs are used to determine your tier level or status level with Spirit Airlines. Free Spirit points and SQPs are both earned when you purchase Spirit airfare, bag fees, partner products and services, but SQP points are earned at a rate of 1 per dollar spent, and are reset every January 1st when tracking restarts for the year.
Elite Tier Status
To achieve Silver Member status you will need to bank 2,000 SQPs in a given year. And your additional benefits/perks will include:
- Earn 8 points for every dollar spent on fares
- Earn 16 points per every dollar spent on options
- Free Shortcut Security and Shortcut Boarding
- Never pay redemption fees
- Free Same day stand-by and seat selection at check in
- Points Pool option with friends/family
To achieve Gold Member status you need to accumulate 5,000 SQPs in a given year. Benefits at Gold level status include:
- All the Silver Members benefits listed above
- Earn 10 points for every dollar spent on fares
- Earn 20 points for every dollar spent options
- Free first checked bag and carry-on
- Free seat selection at booking (includes exit rows)
- Free Flight Flex
- Free inflight beverages and snacks
Free Spirit Dining
Free Spirit Dining is way to earn extra points. When eating out or ordering food online you will be able to bank extra points on your purchases. Earn points on every dollar spent at participating restaurants, bars and clubs. It works by linking your credit and/or debit cards to the rewards program through their website. If in the the first 30 days you spend more than $30 at participating locations and complete an online review, Spirit will award you 1,000 bonus points. Free Spirit Dining has 3 different status levels:
- Basic Membership: Earn 1 free spirit points per $2 spent on purchases (if you elect not to receive e-mail from Free Spirit Dining)
- Selected Membership: Earn 3 points per $1 spent on purchases (If you allow e-mails)
- VIP Membership: Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases
In order to obtain VIP Membership you will need to dine 11 times at participation restraints in a year and your VIP membership will carry over to the next year. To view participating locations in this program go to Free Spirit Dining Rewards, and click on Browse Restaurants.
Earning Points on Car Rentals
As a member in the Free Spirit Rewards you can earn points through car rentals as well as take advantage of discounts. Participating car rental partners, discounts and points earned per rental are as follows:
- Avis offers a 35% discount and 500 points on rentals of 3 or more days
- Budget offers a 30% discount and 500 points earned on rentals of 3 or more days
- Dollar offers 50 points on rentals of 4 days or less and 500 points on rentals over 5 days
- Hertz offers the same points as Dollar listed above
- Payless offers a 5% discount and 50 points per day deal
The Free Spirit Rewards program does have some appeal if you’re flying the low cost carrier often. It allows you to earn points on airfare and additional costs associated with your air travel. The Spirit Saver$ Club may not be worth the annual fee unless you fly Spirit very frequently. However, if you travel a lot with Spirit it could be a worthwhile investment. Earning higher tier status with the Free Spirit Rewards program is not very difficult compared to requirements at other carriers and is something to take into consideration when flying with Spirit Airlines.
Editorial Note: Information and opinions articulated in this article are solely those of the author’s, not those of a credit card company, bank, airline or hotel chain. This article has not been reviewed or approved by or otherwise endorsed by any of these companies or organizations.