With its ultra-low published fares and fees for everything, Spirit Airlines has made a name for itself as one of the industry’s most notorious nickel-and-dimers. And on the frequent flyer front, Spirit’s lackluster Free Spirit program has done little to upgrade the carrier’s image.
While this new bonus-mile promotion looks promising at first glance, its value is undermined by Free Spirit’s shortcomings.
Members of the Free Spirit program will earn 5,000 bonus miles for every round-trip flight booked by February 1 and completed by June 20.
In Spirit’s program, 5,000 miles are enough for a round-trip off-peak award ticket for travel within Region One (flights shorter than 1,250 miles), if the program member holds a Free Spirit MasterCard.
Deal or No Deal
Bonus miles are always a plus, and 5,000 of them are a bigger plus still. But it must be remembered that these are Free Spirit miles.
As is the airline itself, the Free Spirit program is notably customer-unfriendly. There are very few earning partners (Choice hotels, Hertz, and the Free Spirit MasterCard). Miles can only be redeemed for Spirit flights. There are fees to redeem miles within 180 days of departure. And miles expire after just three months of inactivity, unless you hold the program-linked MasterCard and make at least one purchase per month.
If Free Spirit works for you, the bonus miles have value. But for most travelers, the program is likely to be a non-contender.
Reader Reality Check
Are you a member of Spirit’s mileage program? How would you rate it compared to other programs you’re familiar with?
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