If you’re looking for a way to fly within the United States or to a handful of international destinations (Canada, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico and Puerto Rico) on the cheap, it would be 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 known as Discount Den for its most loyal customers.
Like other carriers with low-priced flights, Frontier doesn’t include a lot of “extras” in its basic fare. In fact, you may have to pay extra for things like carry-ons, checked baggage and selecting your own seat.
But Frontier can still help you save hundreds of dollars compared to other airline fares, so it’s worth checking out even if you do have to pay for some items separately when you fly. This is especially true if you’re a frequent flyer who can save money with cheap fares and earn airline miles throughout the year.
What is Frontier Miles?
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 the program offers elite status tiers just like the others.
Frontier Miles is also one of the few loyalty programs that allows for family pooling. This feature lets you earn Frontier Airlines miles and pool them with other family members without minimums, fine print or hidden fees. Just remember that to qualify for family pooling, the lead member of your pool needs to have elite status with Frontier Airlines or carry Frontier’s airline credit card.
How to earn Frontier Miles
You can rack up airline miles with Frontier Airlines using a few different methods, and you can even utilize multiple strategies to rack up more miles for free flights. These are the main ways you can earn miles in this program:
Earn miles by flying
Unlike most airlines that have confusing rules that dictate how you accumulate miles, Frontier Airlines gives you 1 mile for each mile you fly regardless of the ticket price. This method for giving out airline miles ensures you won’t earn fewer miles just because you purchased your flight on sale.
Shop with partners
You can also earn Frontier miles when you log into your account and make purchases with select partners, although the number of bonus miles you can earn will vary. Partners that let you earn Frontier miles include:
- Dollar Car Rental
- Frontier Cruises
- Marriott Bonvoy
- National Car Rental
- Radisson Rewards
- Thrifty Car Rental
- Vinesse Wines
- Wyndham Rewards
Earn with the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®
Also, keep in mind that Frontier Airlines offers its own airline credit card—the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard. This card, which is offered in conjunction with Barclays, starts you off with 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $500 on purchases within 90 days of account opening and pay the $79 annual fee. You also earn 5X miles on Frontier purchases (think: flights booked through FlyFrontier.com), 3X miles on restaurant purchases and 1X miles on everything else.
If you’re interested in pursuing elite status with Frontier Airlines, you should also know this travel credit card gives you 1 Qualifying Mile toward status for each dollar you spend on purchases. Other benefits include:
- Unlock family pooling
- $100 flight discount when you spend $2,500 or more on purchases within your card membership year
- Award redemption fee waiver
- Priority boarding
- Introductory 0 percent APR for the first 15 billing cycles on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening (15.99 percent, 19.99 percent or 24.99 percent variable APR thereafter, based on your creditworthiness)
How much are Frontier miles worth?
According to recent points and miles valuations by The Points Guy, Frontier miles are worth approximately 1.1 cents each. This is slightly less than valuations for other airline currencies such as American AAdvantage miles and Southwest Rapid Rewards, yet it’s a better value than you would receive with most cash back credit cards.
How to redeem Frontier miles
Frontier miles are good for flights or magazine subscriptions, and that’s about it. Most people who rack up miles in this program, however, do so in order to score free flights within the U.S. or to select international destinations anyway.
One big benefit of Frontier Miles is that you can see an award chart with minimum redemption requirements, which you can use as a guide. Thanks to this resource, you can quickly find out the minimum number of miles you’ll need for each type of flight.
For example, value awards within the U.S. start at 10,000 miles one-way, yet a standard award starts at 20,000 miles and a last seat award starts at 22,500 miles. Mile requirements for round-trip flights are doubled.
Flights to Frontier’s international destinations require slightly more miles and can depend on where you’re traveling. For example, value awards to and from Mexico start at 15,000 miles one-way, yet a standard award starts at 25,000 miles and a last seat award starts at 27,500 miles.
Be aware that you’ll have to pay a fee to redeem your miles unless you carry the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard, have elite status, book your flight more than 180 days before departure or are a travel companion of a Frontier cardmember/elite status member.
For reference, fees to redeem Frontier miles are charged as follows:
- 180+ days before travel: free
- 21-179 days before travel: $15
- 7-20 days before travel: $50
Frontier Miles elite status and memberships
Frontier Airlines also offers a few levels of elite status, although the perks you get aren’t as luxurious as you would expect from a traditional airline. The following table shows how you can reach each level of Frontier status, as well as the benefits you’ll enjoy when you get there:
|Elite 20k||Elite 50k||Elite 100k|
|How to earn it||Earn 20,000 Qualifying Miles or 25 Segments||Earn 50,000 Qualifying Miles or 50 Segments||Earn 100,000 Qualifying Miles or 100 Segments|
|Waived redemption fees||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Last seat availability||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Stretch Seating||At check-in||Yes||Yes|
|Discount Den membership||50 percent off||Yes|
|Free checked bag||Yes|
Important: One interesting detail about Frontier Miles is the fact you can reach any tier of status through airline credit card spending alone. The Frontier Airlines World Mastercard gives you 1 Qualifying Mile for all spending outside of the 5X and 3X categories, and this benefit is unique among frequent flyer programs.
You can earn Elite 20K status just by spending $20,000 on your airline credit card or by flying 20,000 miles or 20 segments. Once you reach this status, you’ll get benefits like a free carry-on, seat assignment, family pooling, priority boarding, waived redemption fees and last seat availability. You’ll also qualify for Stretch Seating at check-in.
Elite 50K status offers all the benefits of Elite 20K, along with family seating and 50-percent-off memberships with Discount Den. You also qualify for a mileage multiplier benefit of 1.25X. You can reach this tier of status by flying 50,000 miles or 50 segments.
Elite 100K status gives you all the benefits of the lower tiers, and you also get a free membership with Discount Den and your mileage multiplier increases to 1.5X. You also qualify for a free checked bag and family status, which lets you share elite status benefits with family members when you fly together. Reaching this tier of status requires you to fly 100,000 miles or 100 segments.
How does Frontier Miles stack up against other frequent flyer programs?
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 other airlines that normally have a spending requirement as well as a requirement for segments or miles flown. 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 Airlines FAQs
How many miles do I need for a free flight on Frontier?
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. Flights to international destinations like Mexico and the Dominican Republic require more miles for each leg.
Can I transfer my Frontier Miles to another airline?
Program members cannot transfer their Frontier Miles to other credit card rewards programs. You can redeem Frontier Miles only for flights with Frontier Airlines.
Do Frontier Miles expire?
Due to COVID-19, the expiration of all Frontier Miles is currently paused. Also, be aware that all current elite members have had their status extended through Dec. 31, 2021.
The bottom line
Earning Frontier Miles makes sense if you are hoping to score some free flights, especially since joining is free. Keep in mind that, 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.
If you plan to fly with Frontier Airlines, we suggest signing up for this program sooner rather than later. Doing so ensures you’ll earn miles each time you fly with Frontier, and you may be able to reach elite status faster than you think.