As loyalty programs go, Spirit Airlines’ Free Spirit gives members laughably little reason to be loyal.
There are a very limited number of earning partners (Choice hotels, Avis, Budget, Hertz, the Free Spirit MasterCard, and a few others). Miles can only be redeemed for Spirit flights or magazines. 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.
Free miles are free miles, however, and they’re always worth considering.
Through August 31, Free Spirit members can earn an easy 500 miles by registering for the program’s miles-for-dining program, plus an additional 1,000 miles for spending at least $30 at a participating miles-for-dining restaurant within 30 days.
Deal or No Deal
The initial 500 bonus miles take a couple of form-filling minutes to earn, but there’s no purchase required. So they’re as free as any frequent-flyer miles can be.
What’ll 500 Spirit miles get you? Not much. The cheapest magazine redemption is priced at 600 miles, for six issues of Cigar Aficionado. And free flights start at 10,000 miles, unless you hold the Spirit co-branded credit card, which can only be recommended for die-hard Spirit loyalists.
If nothing else, earning those 500 bonus points will extend the unconscionably short life of any already-banked Spirit miles in your account. But, these being Spirit miles, prolonging their life requires the following caveat: Be careful what you wish for.
Reader Reality Check
Anyone have anything positive to say about Free Spirit?
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This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.