How to keep Spirit Airlines miles from expiring
Spirit Airlines miles expire faster than just about any other type of airline mile. Every mile you earn in the Free Spirit program will disappear after three months, absent additional earning activity. That is much faster than other programs and, as a result, the Spirit Airlines frequent flyer program clearly isn't one in which to hoard miles in most cases. You want to make sure miles -- earned from flying or from another method -- are credited to your account on a regular basis. (Note that Spirit doesn't make it super-obvious when your miles expire, so it's helpful to sign up for an AwardWallet account that will track the expiration date for you and send an alert when it's approaching.)
Despite its stance on mile expiration, there are plenty of reasons to love Spirit Airlines if you like to travel as cost-effectively as possible. Here's what you can do to keep your Free Spirit miles alive.
Open a Spirit Airlines credit card and use it
If you fly Spirit often, it may make sense to open a Spirit World Mastercard account. Then, make at least one purchase every month or so to ensure that miles will be deposited in your account. If you want to earn Spirit miles regularly, this is the best course of action since every dollar spent on the card translates into 2x Free Spirit miles. The current card offer lets you earn 15,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and an additional 15,000 miles after making at least $500 in purchases within 90 days of opening the account.
This card also gives you access to Free Spirit award flights for just 2,500 miles (plus taxes and fees). Without the cobranded card, you'd need to spend at least 10,000 Free Spirit miles for a flight, so holding the credit card makes sense if Spirit works for your travel plans since it helps you earn and redeem miles.
Shop the Free Spirit online mall
Like other airlines, Spirit offers an online shopping portal. Just go to the portal, sign in and click the link to visit your merchant of choice. Your purchase will be tracked and you'll earn Free Spirit miles. The number of miles you earn per dollar earned while shopping online depends on the merchant and any promotions. Recent examples include : 5x at Macy's, 3x at Petco and Walgreens and Kohl's, 2x at Walmart and Sam's Club.
This approach will work for any child accounts, too, as long as you log in to the Spirit shopping site with their info. You can still use your credit card to pay for an online purchase and the miles will go to the account you used to log in to the online site.
Related: 6 tips for flying Spirit Airlines
Eat out and earn miles
Join the Free Spirit Dining program now and earn a 1,000-mile welcome bonus. You'll need to:
- Link your credit or debit cards to the program
- Spend $30 at a participating restaurant within 30 days of sign-up
- Review your restaurant experience at the program's website
Then, any time you dine out at a participating restaurant, you'll earn miles. The more you dine out, the more miles you'll earn since the program has a tiered system. A new member (who doesn't sign up for email marketing messages) earns 1 mile per $2 spent. An "online" member -- those electing to receive Free Spirit Dining marketing emails -- gets 3 miles per dollar. VIP members earn 5 miles per dollar spent. VIPs are people who have elected to receive marketing emails and have completed 11 dining transactions in a calendar year.
Of course, any earning activity is enough to keep your Spirit miles from expiring for three more months, so even a Coke purchased at a participating dining partner should do the trick.
Rent a car from a partner
You can earn Free Spirit miles when you reserve a rental car from partners:
- Avis -- Save up to 35% and earn 500 miles on rentals over three or more days
- Budget -- Save up to 35% and earn 300 miles on rentals of four or more days
- Hertz -- Earn 50 miles per day for rentals up to four days and 500 miles for rentals of five days or longer
- Payless -- Save 5% on rentals in the U.S. and Canada plus earn 50 miles per rental day
Earn miles for hotel stays
Spirit partners with Choice Hotels, so if you credit your stay to your Free Spirit account, you can earn 250 miles for each eligible stay in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Asia and the Caribbean.
PointsHound is another partner that can help you earn Free Spirit miles for hotel stays. Sign up and you can earn up to 6,000 miles per night at more than 150,000 hotels worldwide.
Book a cruise
You'll need to shop around to determine if this is a good deal for you, but technically Spirit Cruises allows you to earn up to 10,000 Free Spirit miles when booking a cruise through its portal. And it often runs promos during which you can earn even more miles. Here's the offer I found when researching this article:
You can reset your account with activity that includes buying miles. It costs $25 to buy 1,000 Free Spirit miles, which is normally a bad deal, but if it saves a large account balance then it might be worth it.
Miles for Thoughts
If you have time to answer some surveys, you can earn free miles just for sharing your thoughts with marketers via Miles for Thoughts. The current offers rewards you with 400 miles for joining and completing one survey.
MyPoints is another program that helps you earn free miles. All you need to do is accept marketing emails, click on links and participate in certain offers. You can earn up to 750 miles (250 miles for signing up and 500 for shopping) plus free gift cards when you shop online at participating retailers.
Similar to MyPoints, earn miles by registering for a Swagbucks account. You'll get 250 miles when you create your account plus 500 more miles by watching videos, taking surveys, shopping online and more. You'll also have the opportunity to earn gift cards from retailers like Amazon, Target and Walmart.
Vinesse Wine Club
You'll notice that you can earn miles from a variety of different airlines with Vinesse Wine Club. If you join via Spirit Airlines, you'll earn 5,000 miles after purchasing six bottles of wine for $6.99 per bottle plus 1 cent shipping.
Fly Spirit Airlines
And, of course, you can keep Spirit miles alive by simply flying Spirit and earning additional miles the old-fashioned way.
There are quite a few ways to keep your Spirit miles from expiring, but the easiest methods -- for most people -- are likely to be having the cobranded credit card, using the dining program or shopping via Spirit's online portal. What's your strategy for keeping your Spirit miles from expiring?