How to maximize Frontier Miles

Young couple at airport, looking out through the windows as a plane takes off.Image: Young couple at airport, looking out through the windows as a plane takes off.
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The Frontier Miles loyalty program provides the chance for budget-oriented flyers to rack up miles fast.

Frontier Airline’s rewards program, Frontier Miles, gives you one mile for each mile you fly, regardless of how much you paid for your ticket. And since Frontier Airlines is a low-cost airline, that means you’ll have a chance to earn miles faster than with other top airlines.

The frequent flyer program also makes it easier to earn Frontier elite status than some other major airlines. Here’s what you should know.


How to earn Frontier Miles

There are a few ways you can earn Frontier Miles. When you fly with Frontier Airlines, you’ll earn based on mileage flown rather than dollars spent — so you won’t be penalized for seeking out flight deals. Plus, you can get a Discount Den® membership to save even more.

You can also earn miles by shopping with the airline’s partners, which include other travel providers and select online merchants, and by buying them at a rate of 2.5 cents per mile.

But the fastest way to earn miles with Frontier is with the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®.

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®

While some airlines offer multiple credit cards, Frontier has just one: the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®. When you first open an account, you’ll earn a whopping 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 on purchases and pay your annual fee in the first 90 days after account opening. You’ll also get five miles per $1 spent on eligible purchases at flyfrontier.com, three miles per $1 spent at restaurants and one mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.

While some airline cards offer the chance to get closer to elite status if you meet certain spending thresholds, every $1 you spend with the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® earns a qualifying mile toward elite status. In other words, if you spend $20,000 or more on the card in a calendar year and never step foot on a Frontier Airlines flight, you’ll be an elite status member.

But it’s worth noting that this card has an $89 annual fee. Check out member reviews of the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®.

How to redeem Frontier Miles

Frontier Miles are worth 1.09 cents apiece on average, according to Credit Karma’s valuation. But the value of your miles depends on how you redeem them.

One thing to keep in mind is that your miles expire if you don’t accrue new miles at least once every six months. So if you’re an infrequent flyer, it may be a good idea to get the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® and use it regularly to avoid forfeiting your rewards.

Save on expensive flights

While it can be a good idea to search for low fares when you’re paying cash, that may not necessarily be the case if you’re using your rewards.

That’s because award tickets with Frontier Airlines start at 20,000 miles round-trip — or half of that for a one-way booking. If you book a flight that costs just $50, you’re getting just 0.25 cents per mile. But if you book a flight that costs $300 round-trip, you’ll get 1.5 cents per mile.

It’s worth noting that you may be assessed a fee on award flights, depending on when you book. If it’s 180 days or more before your departure date, there’s no fee. But if you book between 21 and 179 days before departure, you’ll pay $15. If it’s seven to 20 days before departure, the fee is $50, and if it’s six days or less, it’s $75.

Book hotels

You can book hotel stays through Frontier with your miles starting at just 1,000 miles per reservation. You can choose to book strictly with rewards or mix miles and cash to cover your stay. But you’ll want to run the numbers to determine how much value you’re getting before you commit.

Get magazine subscriptions

If you don’t have a lot of miles and don’t plan on earning more but want to avoid forfeiting them, you may consider using them to purchase some magazine subscriptions through Frontier’s website.

Redemption starts at 600 miles, and the value of your miles depends on the cash value of the subscription.


Next steps

If you prefer Frontier Airlines, becoming a Frontier Miles member may be a no-brainer. And with the chance to earn miles based on how many miles you fly, you could leverage low-cost flights to rack up more rewards compared to other airlines.

Because miles expire so easily, though, you may want to consider going all-in with the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® so you can ensure that you never go a six-month period without earning miles. Also, keep in mind that Frontier charges extra for carry-on bags and seat selection unless you upgrade to one of its special “Bundle & Save” packages, so take your time to consider whether flying Frontier is a good fit for your travel needs and budget.


About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.