Spirit Airlines is a low cost carrier serving more than 70 destinations in the United States, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. In January 2021, the the airline has revamped its Free Spirit loyalty program and introduced many positive changes, including a better point expiration policy.
Members now earn points instead of miles, and the rewards table has been replaced with dynamically priced rewards. Redemptions start at 2,500 points, and the award ticket is now based on the cost of the flight, date of travel and a few other factors.
Let’s take a look at a few redemptions to see what kind of value you can extract from Spirit Points.
Redeem Free Spirit points for award flights
If you have previously held Spirit miles, they have been converted to points at a 1: 1 ratio. With a redemption from 2,500 Free Spirit points, earning enough points for free travel might be closer than you think. If you don’t have enough points, don’t despair because from March 2021, customers can book flights using a combination of points + cash starting at just 1,000 points.
Many national carriers have shifted to dynamic priced premiums to better match consumer demand with premium refunds.
To understand how trading moves from a cent-to-point perspective, we researched an award ticket from Boston to Las Vegas on February 8, 2021 and April 16, 2021.
For the February 8 flight, the value of the cent per point varies from 1.2 to 1.6 cents per point, while for the flight of April 16, the value of the cent per point varies from 1 cent to 1.1 cents by point. In this case, redeeming points for a last minute (and cheaper) flight results in better redemption value as you extract the most points for every penny. We’ve found similar results in other research that suggests you’re getting better value for your points on cheaper flights.
In particular, the redemption of points only covers the cost of the plane ticket. Additional charges for baggage, seat selection and other amenities apply. In addition, taxes and government fees must be paid at the time of booking.
Once you’ve figured out how many miles you need, there are a few things you should know before you book. The first is that, like other airlines, booking award travel often comes with a fee. In addition to the security fee of $ 5.60, members are required to pay a non-refundable reservation fee. While many carriers have eliminated the close booking fee on award tickets, it is understandable that Spirit continues to charge the fee given its status as a low cost carrier.
For flights booked within 28 days, the exchange fee is $ 50. Any award ticket booked more than 28 days in advance does not incur any redemption fees. Previously, you had to book an award ticket more than 180 days before departure to avoid these pesky fees.
If you have Silver or Gold status, or hold the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard®, you will not have to pay any fees on reward redemptions.
the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® has an annual membership fee of $ 0 introductory the first year, then $ 79 and the following welcome offer: Earn 40,000 bonus points + a $ 100 companion flight voucher after spending at least $ 1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. The card is ideal for Spirit loyalists as it earns 3 points per $ 1 on Spirit purchases, 2 points per $ 1 on meals and groceries, and 1 point per $ 1 on everything else.
If you often find yourself booking flights 28 days or less prior to departure and you book at least two of those flights per year, applying for the card will save you money as the annual fee is lower than the price of two reconciled redemption fees.
Earn points with Spirit Airlines
Spirit offers many possibilities to earn Free Spirit points, including by flying, using the Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard® and the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard®, shopping with partners, and more. Check out the guide linked below for all the ways to earn Free Spirit Points.
The bottom line
Booking award travel with Spirit is fairly straightforward and award flights can be relatively inexpensive, especially since redemptions start at 2,500 points and earning points is fairly easy. If you often book award flights with Spirit at the last minute, the Free Spirit® Travel More Mastercard® could be a good bet.
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