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Denver based Frontier Airlines recently acquired (through parent holding company Republic) Midwest airlines, so the two regional low cost carriers will merge to provide a formidable, though much smaller, competitors Southwest and United. Unlike Southwest however, they operate on a hub system, meaning almost all flights will run through Denver and Milkwaukee.
Currency= EarlyReturns Miles (Sign up link here)
Flights: One mile for each mile flown (bonuses for elite status)
Parners: Marriott, Hertz. Alamo, National, American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner (1:1 ratio), Points.com
Redeeming: Since Frontier only flies domestically and to the Mexico/Costa Rica and they only have coach awards.
25,000 miles for a roundtrip
35,000 for Mexico/Costa Rica
45,000 for flex US award
55,000 for flex award to Mexico/Costa Rica
Expiration: Points expire after two years of no activity- any activities re-extends all miles
+Simple earning structure, based on mileage flown (benefits long-haul flyers)
– Limited earning partners
- 15,000 Frontier flight miles
- 20 Frontier flight segments
- Benfits: 25% bonus miles, free DirecTV, Priority Check-in, Free STRETCH seats, last minute award availability
- 25,000 Frontier flight miles
- 30 Frontier flight segments
- Benefits: all of ascent, plus free in-flight cocktails, waived fees, free confirmed changed flights and 50% bonus miles
Frontier has an average program. The rules are customer friendly and the redemptions straight forward. Beyond that, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about.
I find there to be a dearth of points-earning partners. Additionally, in a mileage based earning system, its hard to really accrue a lot of miles if there aren’t many long-haul flights. I anticipate it takes most people at east 12 roundtrips to get a free ticket- which is less generous than Jetblue and Southwest.
In order for Frontier to beef up its presence in the loyalty point arena, I think they need to build out more partnerships with points earning and redeeming partners and add some interesting aspects of the program (like companion passes or off-peak awards)
Elite Program: B-
Overall Grade: B-
First steps for EarlyReturns to get the overall score moving towards an A:
1) Inject some creativity into the program
2) Partner with a large airline that will allow international redemptions
3) Get more hotel and travel partners- a shopping mall should be a no-brainer
There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.
- Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
- Receive free in-room, premium internet access. Booking requirements apply.
- Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Terms and Conditions apply.
- See Rates & Fees