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- Frontier Miles, Frontier Airlines' frequent flyer program, lacks many of the bells and whistles of other airline loyalty programs, such as broad redemption options and the ability to upgrade to premium cabins.
- However, Frontier Airlines is one of the most affordable carriers for flights with the U.S. and select international destinations — and Frontier Miles comes with unexpected perks, like the ability to reach the program's top elite status through credit card spending alone.
- Before counting the program out, take the time to review its unique advantages and disadvantages to see how they align with your future travel plans.
If you’re looking for a way to fly within the United States or to a handful of destinations in Central America, Canada or the Caribbean on the cheap, it’s difficult to find an airline that consistently offers better value than Frontier Airlines. This discount carrier promises “Low Fares Done Right,” and it even has a special membership program, Discount Den, for additional savings and perks.
Like other carriers with low-priced flights, Frontier doesn’t include a lot of extras in its basic fare. You may have to pay more for things like carry-ons, checked baggage and seat selections. But Frontier can still help you save hundreds of dollars compared to other airline fares, so it’s worth checking out even if you have to pay for some items separately when you fly. This is especially true if you’re a frequent flyer who’s looking to save money with cheap fares and earn airline miles throughout the year.
In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know about Frontier’s frequent flyer program, including how to earn and redeem miles, qualify for elite status and more.
Frontier Miles basics
Frontier Miles is the frequent flyer program of Frontier Airlines, and it works similarly to other airline loyalty programs. Signing up for Frontier Miles is free, and it offers elite status tiers just like other programs. To join the program, you’ll need to create an account and enter basic contact information like your name, address, email and phone number.
Additionally, Frontier Miles is one of the few loyalty programs that lets you earn miles and pool them with family members without minimum or maximum miles requirements, fine print or hidden fees. Your family pool can be composed of up to eight people, and it can include anyone you want — actual family members, friends or acquaintances. One person will be the designated leader of the family pool and they will be in charge of holding and redeeming miles. To qualify for family pooling, the leader of your pool needs to have elite status with Frontier Airlines or carry the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®*.
Who is Frontier Miles best for?
The Frontier Miles program is best for people who fly with Frontier often or are looking for cheap, no-frills flights to select destinations in the U.S., Central America, Canada and the Caribbean. It’s also easy to earn miles for free flights, and it’s a great program for large groups who want to pool miles together.
How to earn Frontier Miles
You can earn Frontier Airline miles through a few different methods, and you can utilize multiple strategies to earn more miles for free flights. Here are the main ways to earn miles in this program:
Flying with Frontier
Many airlines have confusing rules that dictate how you accumulate miles. Frontier Airlines keeps it simple: You can earn 1X mile for each mile you fly, regardless of the ticket price (though you may also be able to earn a mileage multiplier once you’ve achieved elite status with the program). This practice ensures you won’t earn fewer miles just because you purchased your flight on sale.
Keep in mind that one-way domestic flights on Frontier Airlines start at 10,000 miles. However, you’ll pay more for a Standard award or a Last Seat award (for flyers with elite status only). Flights to international destinations like Mexico and the Dominican Republic require more miles for each leg.
Shopping with Frontier partners
You can earn Frontier Miles when you log in to your account and make purchases with select partners, although the number of bonus miles you can earn will vary. Some of the partners that let you earn Frontier Miles include:
- Alamo: Earn up to 500 miles per rental
- Avis: Earn 4X miles on qualifying rentals and 35 percent off base rates
- Budget: Earn up to 1,000 miles on qualifying rentals and 30 percent off base rates
- Dollar Car Rental: Earn 100 miles per day on qualifying 1-4 day rentals and 1,000 miles per rental on rentals of five days or more
- Thrifty: Earn 100 miles per day on qualifying 1-4 day rentals and 1,000 miles per rental on rentals of five days or more
- Hertz: Earn up to 500 miles per rental
- National Car Rental: Earn up to 20 percent off every rental, 50 miles per day and 500 miles on rentals of five days or more
- Marriott Bonvoy: Earn 1X to 2X miles per dollar on qualifying hotel stays
- Wyndham Rewards: Earn 1X to 2X miles per dollar on qualifying hotel stays
- Frontier Cruises: Earn 1,500 to 10,000 miles for qualifying stays
- Teleflora: Earn 10X miles for every dollar spent
- Vinesse Wines: Earn up to 4X miles for every dollar spent, plus 5,000 miles
Using the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard
Another way to earn miles is by using the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®*. This credit card, which is issued by Barclays, is the only credit card that Frontier Airlines offers. It comes with an annual fee of $89 and a welcome bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases and pay the annual fee in full within 90 days of account opening. You’ll also earn 5X miles on eligible purchases at FlyFrontier.com, 3X miles on restaurant purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases. And if you’re interested in pursuing elite status with Frontier Airlines, this card provides 1X Qualifying Mile toward elite status for every dollar spent on purchases or by flying Frontier.
Other benefits include no blackout dates on award travel, a $100 Frontier Airlines flight voucher every account anniversary after you spend $2,500 or more on purchases within your card membership year, complimentary FICO credit score access, an award redemption fee waiver (when you book an award ticket and use your card to pay related taxes and fees), Zone 2 priority boarding and no foreign transaction fees.
How to redeem Frontier Miles
The Frontier Miles program doesn’t have many redemption options. However, most people who earn miles in this program do so to score free flights within the U.S. or to select international destinations, so this may not be a deal-breaker for you.
Redeem miles for flights
The best (and primary) way to redeem Frontier Miles is for flights, which you can do by logging in to your Frontier account and booking a flight with miles. To get an idea of the minimum number of miles you’ll need for each type of flight, it’s helpful to reference Frontier Miles’ award chart, which includes minimum redemption requirements for each award level and associated taxes and fees.
For example, Value awards within the U.S. start at 10,000 miles one way, a Standard award starts at 20,000 miles and a Last Seat award starts at 22,500 miles. Flights to Frontier’s international destinations require slightly more miles per trip and can vary depending on where you’re traveling to or from. For example, Value awards to and from Mexico start at 15,000 miles one way, Standard awards start at 25,000 miles and Last Seat awards start at 27,500 miles. For all round-trip flights, mile requirements are doubled.
Redeem miles for magazines
You can also redeem miles for magazine subscriptions through MagsforMiles (mileage redemption starts at 600 miles). If possible, aim to avoid this redemption method since you’ll get more value out of your Frontier Miles when you redeem them for flights.
Be aware that you’ll have to pay a fee to redeem your miles unless you book your flight more than 180 days before departure, carry the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard, have elite status or are a travel companion of a Frontier cardmember or elite status member.
Fees to redeem Frontier Miles are charged as follows:
- 180+ days before travel: Free
- 21 to 179 days before travel: $15
- Seven to 20 days before travel: $50
- Less than six days before travel: $75
How much are Frontier Miles worth?
According to Bankrate’s recent points and miles valuations, Frontier Miles are worth about 1.3 cents each. This is slightly higher than valuations for other airline currencies like American AAdvantage miles but less than the points value of Southwest Rapid Rewards.
Here’s how the value of Frontier Miles compares to other airline loyalty programs:
|Airline loyalty program||Value*|
|*Valuations provided by Bankrate|
|Frontier Miles||1.3 cents|
|American AAdvantage||1.0 cents|
|Delta SkyMiles||1.2 cents|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1.3 cents|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||1.5 cents|
|United MileagePlus||0.9 cents|
Frontier Miles elite status and memberships
Frontier elite status
Frontier Airlines offers a few levels of elite status — Elite 20k, Elite 50k and Elite 100k — although the perks you’ll get aren’t as luxurious as you would expect from a traditional airline.
Here’s how to reach each level of Frontier status:
- Elite 20k: Earn 20,000 Qualifying Miles or 25 flight segments annually
- Elite 50k: Earn 50,000 Qualifying Miles or 50 flight segments annually
- Elite 100k: Earn 100,000 Qualifying Miles or 100 flight segments annually
However, you can reach any Frontier status tier through airline credit card spending alone, which is a unique benefit among frequent flyer programs. For example, the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard provides 1X Qualifying Mile for all spending outside of the 5X and 3X categories.
As for the benefits you’ll enjoy for each status level, they are as follows:
|Elite 20k||Elite 50k||Elite 100k|
|Waived redemption fees||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Last seat availability||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Stretch Seating||At check-in||Yes||Yes|
|Discount Den membership||No||50% off||Yes|
|Free checked bag||No||No||Yes|
If you are hoping for upgrades to business or first class just by earning elite status, the Frontier Miles program is probably not what you’re looking for. This is a discount airline, and Frontier planes don’t even have premium cabins like traditional carriers. The best you’ll get is a benefit called Stretch Seating, which gives you access to seats with extra legroom.
Still, earning elite status with Frontier Miles is considerably easier than with other airlines that normally have a spending requirement and a segments- or miles-flown requirement. Frontier Miles lets you earn up to its highest level of elite status with credit card spending alone, which is unheard of among other frequent flyer programs.
Frontier Discount Den membership
In addition to elite status, Frontier also offers Discount Den, an annual membership program that provides exclusive access to the lowest Frontier fares available. You’ll also get access to exclusive promotions and offers, free fares for kids under 15 on select flights and dates, and discounted fares for up to nine people on the same reservation. The annual membership fee is $59.99, plus a one-time $40 enrollment fee for new members or former members who want to rejoin the program.
Frontier Miles transfer partners
As mentioned, you can earn Frontier Miles with select Frontier car, hotel, cruise and retail partners. But it’s important to note that Frontier Miles members cannot transfer their miles to other credit card or airline rewards programs. Currently, you can only redeem Frontier Miles for flights with Frontier Airlines or select magazine subscriptions.
However, if you would like to transfer your rewards from other rewards programs to Frontier Miles, you’ll have a few options:
If you’re a member of Marriott Bonvoy’s rewards program, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Frontier Miles at a rate of 3:1. So, 10,000 Marriott Bonvoy points would be about 3,333 Frontier Miles.
Radisson Rewards members can transfer their points to Frontier Miles at a rate of 10:1. So, if you transfer 10,000 Radisson Rewards points, you’ll receive 1,000 Frontier Miles.
Frontier Miles FAQs
Frontier Miles will expire after six months of inactivity. To keep your miles from expiring, make at least one Frontier purchase every six months.
Yes, you can share Frontier Miles with up to eight friends and family members through Frontier’s family pooling feature.
Yes, you can buy or gift Frontier Miles. You can buy miles at a rate of 2.5 cents per mile and you can purchase a minimum of 1,000 miles and a maximum of 25,000 miles.
The bottom line
Joining the Frontier Miles program is free, and doing so makes sense if you are hoping to earn miles and score some cheap — and free — flights. Although the elite status benefits aren’t that impressive, this program does make it easy to climb the elite status ladder through flying or credit card spending.
*All information about the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.