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Spirit Free Spirit cheat sheet for using your miles

by on Fri July 1, 2016 • 97 Comments

Flying Spirit Airlines isn’t easy. But if you know the rules, and how to add up what you’ll really pay, Spirit’s miles can offer you some really good value for flights, saving you hundreds of dollars for far fewer miles than traditional airline programs.

If you have a Spirit Credit Card, you can refer friends and earn 5,000 Free Spirit miles when they apply for and get approved for the card. But the miles can be a challenge to use.

Read on for what traps to avoid and how to get the most out of Spirit miles.

Airlines you can book and where to find award space

Since Spirit Air doesn’t have any partners, you can only use Free Spirit miles to book award flights on Spirit. Spirit predominantly flies in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean, with a few forays into Central and South America, namely Costa Rica, Guatemala, Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Peru.

The best use of Spirit Air miles is for nonstop flights, and this is why your location determines whether or not Spirit miles are useful.

Those who live in or close to Miami/Fort Lauderdale will benefit the most, as FLL is the main Spirit hub and home base. From there it flies to 45 nonstop destinations. Other U.S. cities where Spirit flies are (including seasonal flights):

  • Dallas: 24 destinations
  • Chicago: 21 destinations
  • Detroit: 20 destinations
  • Houston: 20 destinations
  • Las Vegas: 19 destinations
  • Los Angeles: 18 destinations
  • Atlanta: 17 destinations
  • Minneapolis: 16 destinations
  • Myrtle Beach: 14 destinations
  • Boston: 13 destinations
  • Baltimore: 12 destinations
  • Orlando: 12 destinations
  • Atlantic City: 10 destinations
  • Denver: 10 destinations
  • Tampa: 9 destinations
  • Cleveland: 9 destinations
  • Fort Myers: 9 destinations
  • New Orleans: 8 destinations
  • Philadelphia: 8 destinations
  • San Diego: 6 destinations
  • New York (LGA): 5 destinations
  • Oakland: 5 destinations
  • Latrobe/Pittsburg: 5 destinations
  • Phoenix: 5 destinations
  • Portland: 4 destinations
  • Kansas City: 3 destinations
  • Seattle: 2 destinations
  • West Palm Beach: 2 destinations
  • Niagara Falls: 2 destinations
  • Plattsburgh/Montreal: 2 destinations
  • Charleston (CRV): 1 destination

How much do awards cost?

The Spirit Air Free Spirit award chart appears as if it is region-based, but the regions are distance-based.

So the further you fly, the more your award will cost.

There are four regions, as seen in the chart on the right.First thing you need to know is that there is no value in Spirit miles unless you’re a Spirit credit card holder. You must be a card holder if you want to get their OFF-PEAK levels, which are the only levels worth getting.If you are a Spirit credit card holder, a one-way flight on Spirit costs from 2,500 to 12,500 miles one way. Round trip flights are doubled.

  • Region 1 (0-1,249 miles distance): 2,500 miles
  • Region 2 (1,250-1,749): 5,000 miles
  • Region 3 (1,750-2,499): 7,500 miles
  • Region 4 (2,500 and more): 12,500 miles


Spirit Chart 1


On the left side they clarify what their OFF-PEAK times are. They are not always accurate, so don’t put too much stock into them, just look for your flight using the Spirit’s search engine. At the bottom of the page, you can see the Spirit customer service telephone number. Avoid it at all times if you can help it.

Spirit prices

The way Spirit presents the chart looks confusing, but it’s quite easy to decipher.

What you need to figure out is the region determined by the distance between your departure and destination points. For example, a flight between New York and Fort Lauderdale costs 2,500 miles because they are in Region 1. A flight between New York and Lima (Region 4) costs 12,500 miles.

Spirit Chart 2
Spirit Chart 3

A Spirit award seat can be an incredible bargain if you use the miles right and avoid most of the auxiliary fees the airline is famous for. After the Avios devaluation, the cheapest flight with major U.S. programs starts at 7,500 miles (Avios, United, American, and Delta). A Spirit flight starts at 2,500 miles, and that price also covers the longest distance: 1,249 miles.

Tip: In most cases, Spirit, unlike British Airways Avios, counts the total distance between your departure and destination points, not just the distance by segments even if there is a connection (as long as there is OFF-PEAK availability for both segments).

What are award change and booking fees?

Spirit is known for imposing fees on everything. In fact, combining their somewhat lower fares with tons of auxiliary fees is their whole business model. None of Spirit’s fees is especially outrageous compared to other airlines, though, except their punitive $100 fees they impose if you try to beat the system and sneak your bag through the gate.

Close-in booking fee:

  • $15 – Award ticket requested between 21 and 179 days prior to departure
  • $75 – Award ticket requested between 7 and 20 days prior to departure
  • $100 – Award ticket requested 6 days or less prior to departure

Changes and mile redeposit fee: $110

Carry-on bag (22x18x10 maximum):

  • During booking: $35 ($26 for $9 club members)
  • Before and during online check in $45 ($36 for $9 club members)
  • Airport: $55
  • Gate: $100

First checked bag (62 linear inches maximum):

  • During booking: $35 ($26 for $9 club members)
  • Before and during online check in $45 ($36 for $9 club members)
  • Airport: $55
  • Gate: $100

Seat assignments: $8-75 per segment

Phone (agent transaction) fee: $10

Tip: If you know you will need a bag, pay for the checked bag during the booking. But don’t dismiss the free 16x14x12 personal item allowance. You can pack surprisingly many items into that bag as illustrated in Spirit’s entertaining videos (scroll half down).

When are award seats made available?

Spirit allows awards to be booked from 301 days (with many exceptions) to the same day of departure.



What stopovers are allowed?


Can you hold an award seat?


What are the best award values?

Getting a flight between New York and Fort Lauderdale or Chicago for 2,500 miles is amazing, although finding an OFF-PEAK award flight to Chicago is very hard. Of course, New York is not a major hub for Spirit so there are not many non-stop flights. However, connecting options can be a bargain too.

  • Orlando, Tampa, New Orleans: 2,500 miles
  • Cancun, Montego Bay, Punta Cana: 5,000 miles
  • Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Aruba: 7,500 miles
  • Armenia (Colombia), Lima: 12,500 miles

Chicago is a bigger focus city for Spirit than New York, but it’s also farther away from the Caribbean and Central and South America, so all flights to these destinations are connecting ones.

  • Boston, Tampa, Dallas: 2,500 miles
  • Portland, Las Vegas, Montego Bay: 5,000 miles
  • Los Cabos, Aruba, Punta Cana: 7,500 miles
  • Bogota, Medellin, Lima: 12,500 miles

Dallas has the shortest distances from the South West and South East.

  • Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale: 2,500 miles.
  • Portland, New York, Boston: 5,000 miles
  • Aruba, Bogota, Panama City: 7,500 miles
  • Lima: 12,500 miles

If you live in or close to Miami/Fort Lauderdale, you’re golden. You can get to most places for a song. There is decent availability from FLL to many Caribbean islands and even far away destinations such as Columbia and Peru.

  • Boston, New York, Chicago: 2,500 miles
  • St. Thomas, San José, Cartagena: 2,500 miles
  • Mexico City, Medellin, Bogota: 5,000 miles
  • Las Vegas, Los Angeles: 7,500 miles
  • Lima: 10,000 miles

It’s not difficult to find a great value in the Spirit chart. It’s important to remember, though, that Spirit is not your spur-of-the-moment airline.

Tip: If you want to get the best value from the program, plan and book a few months in advance. Booking close to your departure date will normally cost you a lot in both miles and cash.

Can you upgrade with miles?

No, but getting a cash upgrade on Spirit is the best open secret of the Free Spirit program.
When you book an award seat you get an option of paying for a preassigned seat. Most people ignore it, since the only thing they are interested in Spirit is saving money.

That leads to a miserable flight in a cramped, non-reclined seat with the “industry-record” 28-inch pitch. Spirit, however, offers you upgrades to two much better options, either an exit row seat, which is as good as most domestic “premium economy” products or a “big front seat”, which is as good as domestic first class sans food, booze and personalized service.
The price of upgrade depends mostly on the length of the flight, but also on some other considerations, and can be as low as $25 and $36 for a 4-hour Portland–Chicago award (for exit seat row and BFS respectively) and as high as $25 and $75 on a 6-hour long-haul between Fort Lauderdale and Lima.


Alternative miles to book Spirit flights


What hotel points can you transfer from?


What credit cards earn Free Spirit miles?

There are two BoA Spirit World personal and business credit cards with 15,000-mile bonus each and no spending requirements. The personal card waives the $59 annual fee for the first year.

Can you book awards for others?


Can you transfer miles?


Do Spirit miles expire?

Free Spirit miles expire after 3 months of inactivity, which is strict, but as long as there is some monthly activity on the Spirit credit card, you are good. The easiest way to “set it and forget it” is to put a recurring charge on your credit card and let it run without interruptions.

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

Still confused? Have a question?

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97 thoughts on Spirit Free Spirit cheat sheet for using your miles

  1. Lauren

    Hi, my mom is a spirit card holder and has 47,000 miles on it. Is it possible to use her miles for 2 round trip tickets from boston to orlando? When i entered in the information and went to payment it said 27,000 miles plus 182 dollars. Is that the total of what I am going to pay? just thought the miles covered everything, so I was confused.

    1. Omar Avelar

      Same thing happens to me. Even when booking off peak and a flight in region 1 it shows a exaggerated amount of miles plus a lot of money considering I am using miles.

    1. Diana Shoup

      I won 5000 miles on a spirit flight on 3/18/18. I was in the lucky seat, but am confused on how to redeem my miles for an airline ticket.

      1. Jana Newton

        Just guessing……. Spirit set you up another account. You need to call a representative and ask them for that account number, then tell them to merge it with the account you already have so you have all the miles in one account.
        This happened to me when I applied for a Spirit credit card. Who’da thought they would do that?

  2. pm

    I’m a $9 club member and also I have Spirit Master Card. I’m trying to book 2 round trip flight tickets from Detroit to Seattle from June 9th 2018 (Depart) – June 17th 2018 (Return) using Free Spirit Miles. When I tried to book it online, It showing 37500 miles each way per person. It does not show the standard or peak miles as per the chart given. It shows only the Premium miles. Also there is $30 fees to redeem the free spirit miles. This is lot of miles and $30 is extra for redeem my own miles which no other airline charges. It really sucks.

  3. Katmac

    I can’t find out how many Spirit miles I’ve earned using my credit card. The Spirit site says I have a 0 balance but I use the Spirit card all the time for purchases. I even looked on the Bank of America site for the miles and they don’t have them. Difficult to reach anyone to ask at Spirit. Any idea where to find my miles? Thanks!


      @Katmac – Maybe you have a different Spirit account number associated with your card. Try checking on that.

    2. Heidi

      could be your miles went to 0 if you did not put a balance on the card EVERY month. That is the catch with their credit card and mileage program

  4. Sarah Jane

    I won the lucky middle seat 5K miles for a “free flight” but it looks like there is NOTHING from Boston (to anywhere, at anytime) for 5,000 miles unless you open a credit card with them… is that the case?

  5. Jessica

    I signed up for the MasterCard with Spirit Airlines to receive 15,000 miles April 2017. I made a single purchase on the card in order to activate these miles. They’re still active in my Spirit Airlines account, but I just read that I had to use my card once a month in order to keep the miles from expiring. I haven’t done that, and it’s January 2018 and as stated, my Spirit account still reflects these miles. Why haven’t my miles expired yet, when can I expect these miles to expire, how could I keep them from expiring, and what is a cut and dry interpretation of the expiration rules?


      @Jessica – If you earned or used miles in any way they extend expiration for three months each time you do that. Maybe you had some other activity.

  6. MH

    My mom signed up for the Spirit Mastercard, and says it comes with 5000 miles + when they buy their first purchase, they get 15,000, so it should be 20,000 miles. 1st question: She has no idea how to access these miles. Do the MC miles show up on her Spirit account when you sign in on their page? And 2nd question: If we can access her miles, I earned 570 on a recent trip, can we combine those miles for one roundtrip? THANKS!


      @MH: To answer your questions in order:
      – The 5,000 miles is an anniversary bonus. The current offer states: “5,000 anniversary bonus Free Spirit™ miles when you spend at least $10,000 in purchases annually.” This information is subject to change.
      – The miles she will earn through the credit card will appear in her Free Spirit™ account, so she will only need to login to that to find available miles.
      – Unfortunately, you can’t transfer miles between Free Spirit™ accounts.

  7. Jada

    Maybe I am misunderstanding how to use the Spirit miles, but I have 32,000 miles and when I try to book a flight from Houston to Atlanta with the miles, my total is the 2,000 and something miles + $110. Why is that? The flight without miles is only $75.19!


      @Jada: Spirit charges different fees for Free Spirit award bookings based on when you are planning to fly. If you are buying an award ticket six days or less before your flight, you will be charged $100 plus security fees. In this situation, you may be better off paying for your flight in cash. More about the Spirit award fees can be found at: This information is subject to change.

  8. Allison Marr

    I need help! I might be too early, as I noticed that Spirit prefers customers to book 3 months out, not more. However, I am needing to do DFW – Las Vegas 4/27/18-4/30/18. I am a MasterCard holder and so per their chart it *should be* 2,500 points each way (Off-Peak, Region 1), but when I search it says 25,000 each way! What is the reason, what is the trick?!?

    1. Dan

      Same problem. There is no option to select “Free Spirit Mastercard Holder” Trying to get tickets for family of 5. Roundtrip should be 25,000. It says I need 250,000 when I try to check out. Would love to know why, and how to proceed.


      @Allison Marr: According to the terms and condition of the Spirit Airlines World MasterCard: “As a Spirit Airlines World Mastercard cardholder, you will receive access to special reduced award flight redemption levels. The exact amount of miles needed for award redemptions depends on flight distance (4 regions) and flight timing (off-peak, standard, peak). Redemptions start at just 2,500 miles for Region 1 Off-peak flights.” As a cardholder, you will get access to off-peak reduced award flight pricing when they are available – but they are not guaranteed.

      When we searched those dates, we found the same pricing that you did. Our best advice is to keep an eye on prices as they may be subject to change. You can also call Spirit to see if there are awards available than those showing up online.

  9. Diana

    Hello, does Spirit change mile prices over time? For now all prices Tampa Chicago in April March and May are $25,000. Is there a possibility that the price will go down?


      @Diana – They do change from time to time based on how flights are selling, so it’s possible the price will change, but no guarantee.

  10. Justin

    I have 25,000 miles to use. If i do not want to book a flight what is another alternative for me to use these miles? Can i convert it into a gift card?

  11. Hanna

    I have 2,082 points on my spirit account but I don’t have a credit card with spirit. I have one with chase sapphire is there anyway points can transfer? Thanks Hanna

  12. Felicia Thomasf

    Thanks for the article. You mentioned it is very hard to find off-peak flights to Chicago. I am currently looking at the calendar for Houston to Chicago (during off-peak times) for the next 6 months and there are none. Is this a glitch in the system or have you been able to find 2500 miles award seats?

  13. Becca

    I have the $9 Fare Club, and I have miles I am trying to use to fly two family members to Dallas to visit us. (I would not be flying with them) I have tried to book the flights online but it won’t let me take off my name as a passenger. Am I able to use my miles for someone else if I am not flying with them? Do I need to call Spirit to get this done or should I be able to do it all online, if so how?


      @Becca – You wouldn’t be able to extend any $9 fare club benefits to tickets where you’re not a passenger, but otherwise give them a call to try to handle the booking.

      1. Heidi

        I am under the impression from previous reading about spirit that only the spirit account holder can redeem their tickets (for themselves).

  14. Jim

    Can I combine my miles with cash to lower the cost of fairs? If possible please tell me how to do this. Thanks.


      @Jim – Unfortunately not. But you could buy two one way tickets. One with miles, then the other with cash.

      1. M A Steigman

        Umm, no you can’t. Buying one-way tickets on Spirit doubles the cash portion negating the value of the miles. try it!


          @M A – Thanks for the heads up – depends on the particular flight. For example Feb 7 you can fly LGA – FLL for 2,500 miles plus $20 one way as a card holder. Or roundtrip returning Feb 13 for 5,000 miles plus $26. So yes the one way fees are higher than half a round trip, but there can be times when that’s still worth using miles if you’re short of what’s needed for a round trip.

        2. Leigh

          Go directly to the spirit counter at the airport and buy your one way tickets. They are always cheaper at the counter anyway. Just did this last night. And used my miles online for the return flight.


      @Craig – Yes, you can use your miles to book for family, even if they’re not traveling with you.

  15. Rob

    This is so helpful, thank you! I fly Denver to LAX regularly. So I see the zone 1 would cover the flights which is great but the off peak is a little confusing. Based on my usual Mon – Wed scheduling, would it be worth it for me?

  16. Cruz

    I am a spirit MasterCard holder. I have 24,000 miles, I need to book a flight from Las Vegas to Dallas, Texas. Calendar says 25,000 but 15,000 if you are a Spirit Mastercard holder. I’ve tried selecting the flight but because you cannot enter card info until after it won’t let me select the flight because I do not have 25,000 miles. Anyway around this or do I have to wait until I have 25,000 miles available?

      1. Yes

        I am a card holder. When trying to book online it also tells me I have inadequate miles for my trip, not giving me an option to choose being a card holder.


      @Anand – They would expire after 3 months of no activity earning or using miles. If you haven’t been using your card to earn miles lately, it’s possible they could expire very soon.

  17. Katie

    We got the spirit card over 5 years ago and put most daily purchases on it. We are up to 151,000 miles, but have recently rode spirit and realized that we prefer the comfort of AA over the price savings of Spirit. Is there ANYTHING else that we can use miles for? I saw magazines and games, is that really it?

      1. Crystal

        Couldn’t they redeem miles to get tickets for family or friends and then have family/friends reimburse them the value?

        1. CDD

          Yes, I that ‘should’ be accurate. I just talked to a Spirit Mileage rep today and she DID say that miles can be gifted (i.e. you’re not on the flight with them).

  18. Janice

    I have 5, 583 miles that are due to expire. I received a Magsfor Miles form, but I’m not interested in any of the magazines. Is there any other way I can use these miles before they expire, or can I extend them some way? Please email the answer. Thank you!

  19. Maan Rohail

    free spirit number on spirit credit card is different from what have issued me. how can I get free spirit number fixed. thanks


      @Maan – Try calling them on 801-401-2222 to see if they can merge the accounts. Not sure if they have that capability. If not, try calling Bank of America on the number on the back of your card to see if they have a procedure.

  20. Kristina Tully

    How do I book a spirit flight using my free spirit miles for my friend to fly to visit me?


      @Kristina – Just book it the same way you’d book for yourself. You can enter her name at the end as the passenger.

  21. Crystal Bateman

    For the last week I have been trying to book a trip using my Spirit Miles.. I get all the way to the screen where I choose which flight I want (5,000 pts w my Spirit Credit Card) but when I click ‘continue’ I get sent to an ‘error’ page. If I change my search to dollars rather than points, I can get all the way to the end. If I were to call in, will they charge me $35? I don’t want to pay the fee, I want to just be able to book online! Thanks


      @Crystal – There have been some glitches on their website like saying awards cost 2 billion miles. Give them a call and tell them the problems you are having, and they can confirm whether or not you need to pay a phone booking fee since the website isn’t working right.

  22. Marit

    I am so annoyed. I got the spirit MasterCard and have been using it so I can get my 15k bonus. The only reason I got this card is because Spirit flies between Denver and Oakland and I figured I could get my kid home from college with these miles. The flight attendant said good for 3 non peak round trips. WRONG!!! I just went on checked and every single day for the next 7 months 25,000 miles ea. way?? I feel so taken advantage of. Please explain how this can be. If this is all I want to use it for should I just give up?

    1. Bob Billings

      On my Spirit statement it shows 4 roundtrips at about 800 miles each way, or a total of about 6400 miles, but I have received only 400 “credits” (3200 miles credit) — exactly half of the miles flown. Do I only get credit for half of the actual miles flown?
      Thank you.


        @Bob – It’s buried in their fine print, but entry level members earn 50% of the miles flown for flights. Spirit credit card holders earn 100% of miles flown.

        And beware the miles expire after 90 days if you don’t have any more earning activity.


      @Marit – There seems to be an issue with the prices displayed on the Spirit site (flights are showing costing 2 billion miles in 2018). So maybe check again in a week, but it’s also possible they aren’t releasing ‘Saver’ seats on the route.

    3. K Knettel

      Marit, I did the same thing and feel the same way! The attendants are very misleading with their information. I’ve tried to book a flight with these miles three times since I signed up and have ALWAYS been a standard or peak time. There are very few non-peak options available. They don’t tell you this. Ooooo 3 free round-trip flights .. seriously, I should’ve known better. And if you don’t keep using their card, you’ll lose the 15,000 miles in 90 days – are there any non-peak times in that 90 days? Well, if I had time during 4/13-5/24 because there isn’t another off-peak time until September! How am I going to one free flight, let alone 3, in that time??

  23. Kelly Snyder

    Why if I am flying in zone 1 from tampa to detroit round trip during the off-peak dates. Not all flights during the OFF Peak dates cost 2500 miles . There are seats available but they want 25000 miles. What does subject to availability ACTUALLY mean?


      @Kelly – Spirit has a ‘Premium’ award price that it uses on flights that it thinks it can sell for a higher price, even on off peak days. ‘Subject to availability’ means they might not make the off peak price available on all flights on off peak days. They might offer the ‘Premium’ price instead.

  24. SB

    My husband and I have a Spirit MasterCard. The same free spirit number is on my card as on my husbands. I need to know how to use the miles for travel when I am trying to book a flight for myself (without my husband traveling). When I enter the info using his free spirit number, the ticket is already populated with his name and I cannot change it (it says because he is a member of the $9 fare club. I have tried calling, but it is impossible to ask a question. Please help. I have no problem using the miles when I am traveling with my husband. I actually have another free spirit number, but that one is not attached to the credit card miles. The funny thing is we signed up for the card so I could use the miles to travel to see my family.

    1. Chris

      Call the number and choose options to book a flight , eventually after many options choices you will get a live person Tell them your problem and they will help. It took me 2 hours to figure this out. I celebrated when I finally got in touch with a young women who solved my problem

  25. Tammy A Oberlin

    I got two tickets with my points that were due to expire. If I go in the hospital can I change the dates of the flight with or without a fee

  26. Mike

    Why and how can spirit give you bonus mikes to use for free round trips if they’re just gonna charge you also when using them!? I wanted to go from
    Oakland to Vegas and it was 2,500 points plus $45 to book each way but if I just go to book the flight through $$ it was $37 each way! That’s ridiculous…we spend a lot to get points and then use them and have to pay even more? Spirit is such a joke, about to just cancel my account and give up my 20+k points….

  27. Mark

    As a Spirit Mastercard holder and $9 Club member, when I go to redeem miles for someone else, it is impossible to click on the “10,000miles +$13.10” option – I am forced to choose the “2,500miles + $13.10” option. This results in the “Passenger Info” page that I CANNOT change the name to another passenger than my own, because I am the only one who can receive the benefits of the $9 club and those of being a Spirit Mastercard holder … however, I do not want to be the beneficiary of the ticket, I want to use the miles for someone else … unfortunately the site is not set up to accommodate that. Does anyone know how can this be done…???


      @Mark – Might need a call to reservations on 801.401.2222. Maybe they’ll waive the phone fee because this can’t be handled online, but it’s Spirit so don’t get your hopes up.

  28. Regina Carfora

    You say Spirit allows you to book awards for others….well, this is true BUT not without a lot of grief. When I first became a Spirit MasterCard holder they touted the “give your awards to others” mantra on every Spirit flight I ever took. Early on, on could simply put the recipients information on the reservation and it was done. Now, however, the system automatically fills in the information of the cardholder and will not allow a name change!! I have been successful in finally getting the ticket awarded to someone else, but not without long waits on hold and several arguments with representatives who now claim someone else should not be able to get the advantage of the $9 fare member savings!! Bull!! So I have had to book the ticket in my name…then call the Spirit customer service and have the name changed. Sometimes they do this easily and willingly, but many times I need to get a supervisor on the line (another ridiculous wait!!), or they promise a supervisor will call back within 48 hours (never happened), or, if they finally agree to the name change, they than try to charge me a fee for using a “live” agent when it is not something they will allow you to do online. I hate that they claim the awards are transferable and yet make it almost impossible to book a flight in someone elses name!!!!

  29. andrea

    Why are some routes always listed as “premium.” I don’t believe this expensive “premium” category existed when I signed up for this card a year or two ago. It makes the award program pretty worthless.


      @andrea – Yes it’s annoying – but also click through on individual dates as the calendar can sometimes be buggy.

  30. Jess Madison

    Trying to book a few flights using Spirit miles. Chart shows “off peak” and zone 1 and I am a spirit mastercard holder. Should be 5000 miles roundtrip and I have 30,000 miles but when I try to purchase it says The trip will be 100,000+ and I need to buy more miles to proceed.


      @Jess – The other issue is on some flights they only offer ‘Premium’ award prices. When you search, for dates on the calendar that have a black triangle – those have the off peak flights available.

  31. Josh


    We flew from Baltimore to Vegas using spirit airline last year in September. The 15,000 bonus miles offer was too tempting to pass so we also opened a spirit mastercard. I am now trying to use those bonus miles before I have to pay the 59$ yearly fees as I really don’t travel enough to justify that fees. My question is that if I book a flight for lets say Feb 2017 (the off peak days on spirit calendar) now by using my points and then cancel my spirit card after paying it out to avoid the fees. Will that effect my airline reservation in any way when the time comes for my to flight?



      @Josh – Once you book it should not, unless you decide to try to change your reservation, in which case you’d end up paying the non-member rates.

  32. Allison M

    I need serious help with booking Spirit award miles and this is the best website I have found thus far. I signed up for the Mastercard after I reviewed the Spirit airlines chart and off-peak dates…etc. However, now when I try to book everything seems to be the premium 25,000 miles. Specifically, I need to go to San Diego in February (dates pretty flexible, but ideally the weekend of 2/10) from Dallas. I’d really like help figuring out the website in general too so I can figure out the best award flights on my own in the future.

    Thanks in advance!


      @Allison – The issue is for whatever reason Spirit isn’t offering nonstop flights to San Diego then. Only options with long 7 hour stops in Las Vegas are showing up.

      Not clear why – you can’t even buy a nonstop to San Diego in cash on the Spirit site or even on other sites that list flights. So it’s not an issue with award miles, or the site itself.

      And after February, like next June, they show flights.

      It’s possible San Diego is just a seasonal destination for Spirit from Dallas.

      1. Allison M

        Interesting! Just my luck!! I actually really love flying Spirit and if you can read and follow rules it really does end up being cheaper. I just need to figure out their award miles game to understand more! Thank you!!

  33. Nick

    Thank you for the tremendously informative article! I found more answers (which were more user friendly) within this article than even on the Spirit website. Two questions:

    – we signed up for our Spirit card last January in hopes of earning, with the 15,000 mile bonus, enough miles for two round trips from AC to St. Thomas. If we have enough miles for one round trip plus one of the two directions for the second ticket, will Spirit allow that? Or to utilize miles do you have to book a full, round trip?

    – in your expert opinion, which credit card or airline ticket offers the best rewards miles bases card?

    Thanks again!


      @Nick – No need to book a full roundtrip. You can book as separate one way trips to piece things out.

      As for 3 one ways from AC to St. Thomas – yes 15,000 miles can do that at 5,000 miles one way. The catch is you need to be really, really flexible and get off peak dates that also happen to have ‘standard’ award seats available.

      When you’re searching on look for dates that show 12,500 miles as the price. When you click on one of those dates you’ll see the price for Spirit credit card holders of 5,000 miles.

      As for other cards…depends on where you like to travel. If you can get to Philly, Southwest points are pretty easy to use. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one card that lets you earn points you could use on Southwest if they fly to places you want to visit.

      But if you’re really patient and flexible with all that Spirit is…5,000 Spirit miles to St. Thomas is a great deal.

  34. Jeffrey Sappenfield

    We are one of those that took advantage of the Credit Card deal on our first Spirit flight in which we were promised 3 round trips or 15,000 miles if we signed up for the credit card that day. Since we don’t travel much seemed a great way to get 3 free trips. We understand the credit card situation that we need to use the card constantly to retain our files, so we put our monthly gym membership on the Spirit Credit Card. The problem is when you go and attempt to utilize the miles for a free trip you have constant headaches in finding such a time. We are planning on going from Dallas to Baltimore in mid September 15 – 18 and it seems the 6 am flight is the only flight we can use the miles on (we think – so confusing) Then another flight that we really want to go on is only $58. Others are $250. ????????????????? We haven’t even looked at the flight coming home. Do they define non peak or off peak differently. I just don’t understand and I am about to tell them to take this whole thing and shove it. I am hoping you can shed a light on this constant dilemma.



      @Jeffrey – To get a flight for 5,000 miles roundtrip, 3 things need to happen.

      – The distance from point A to point B needs to be less than 1,250 miles (you’re good there for Dallas Baltimore)
      – The date of travel needs to be on an ‘off peak’ date (see that ‘#1’ circle in the chart above with the dates – you’re good there with your dates)
      – Spirit needs to make ‘standard’ award space available (this is where it’s a casino – and up to their whim of what flights get that space). To make it more confusing, the calendar you see will say 10,000 miles – but when you click on the date you’ll see the special price.

      But it’s not impossible.

      For your Baltimore trip, if you leave on Wednesday instead of Thursday there’s a flight for 2,500 miles one way at 1:52pm.

      For the way back, there’s nothing less than 25,000 miles until Tuesday, but if that’s not palatable, just book the flight out on Wednesday with miles.

      Then pay for the flight back with cash on Spirit or another airline.

      You’ll save the money on the flight out, and can use the leftover miles for another trip.

      Spirit doesn’t charge you more to book one way tickets vs roundtrips, so you can split them up like that.

      But you need to be really flexible. Best way to use these is to look for some dates that are available somewhere warm like Cancun or Florida in the winter, and see if you can make a trip out of that.

      For example, January 15 – 19 or January 22 – 26 you can go from Dallas to Cancun for 5,000 miles roundtrip per person.


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