Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with the latest information.
With its discount fares, a fleet of new Airbus jets and a robust frequent flyer program, Frontier Miles can be a great value for Frontier Airlines travelers. As a Frontier Miles member, you can earn miles and elite status. Frontier elite status has many perks to make your travels more enjoyable and less expensive, including complimentary carry-on luggage, advance seat assignments and the ability to pool your miles. You can then redeem your miles for award travel.
Surprisingly, despite being one of the top low-cost carrier loyalty programs, the program often flies under the radar. You can quickly earn enough miles for a free trip even after just a few flights. And recently, the airline launched a limited-time promotion where eligible Frontier Miles members with a travel rewards credit card can secure Elite 20K status for as little as $199.
Here’s an overview of how the program works.
How to earn Frontier Miles
The Frontier Miles program is free to join. You can earn Frontier Miles by flying, through its cobranded credit card and transacting with Frontier partners.
Earn Frontier Miles by flying
Unlike many loyalty programs nowadays, you earn Frontier Miles on the length of your flight (rather than the price of your ticket). You earn 1 mile per mile flown regardless of your fare type. For example, if you fly from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), you’d earn 950 miles.
Mid and upper-tier elite members earn the following bonuses on their flights:
- Elite 20K: No bonus
- Elite 50K: 1.25 miles per dollar bonus
- Elite 100K: 1.5 miles per dollar bonus
Earn miles with the Frontier Airlines credit card
Frontier Airlines partners with Barclays to offer the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®.
New card members earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full within the first three months of cardmembership.
With this card, you’ll earn 5 miles for every dollar spent directly with Frontier (including airfare, fees and onboard purchases), 3 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and 1 mile per dollar spent everywhere else. The miles you earn on this card count toward elite status.
The card also offers valuable benefits like Zone 2 boarding on all Frontier flights and family pooling. You also earn a $100 flight voucher after spending $2,500 or more on purchases with your card during your cardmembership year (terms apply). Cardholders also get waived award redemption fees. We’ll discuss redemption fees later, but Frontier charges between $15 and $75 for close-in reservations.
Unless you place a high value on Frontier Airlines miles and elite status, we generally don’t recommend this card. Most travelers are better off with a transferable points credit card like the American Express® Green Card.
The information for the Frontier card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Earn points with Frontier’s partners
Frontier has relationships with several major rental car companies, so you can earn bonus miles and access negotiated rates when booking through their transportation partner page. While earning rates depend on the rental car company, you can generally earn between 50 and 100 miles per rental day or 1,000 miles per rental.
Frontier Airlines also partners with Marriott Bonvoy, Radisson Rewards and Wyndham Rewards. You can transfer Marriott points at a 3:1 ratio (with 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points you transfer), while Radisson Rewards transfer 10:1. You can’t transfer Wyndham points to Frontier.
These are not favorable ratios; you’re probably better off redeeming those points for hotel stays. However, it’s an option worth knowing about if you ever need to top off your Frontier Miles account.
Depending on the Marriott brand, you’ll generally earn either 1 or 2 Frontier Miles for every qualifying dollar spent. You must update your Marriott account preferences to earn Frontier miles instead of Marriott points. We don’t recommend doing this since you’ll get a maximum of 2.2% back in Frontier Miles instead of at least 4.2% back in Marriott Bonvoy points for your Marriott stays, based on our valuations.
Like Marriott, you can also opt to earn Frontier Miles instead of Wyndham points on your eligible stays:
- Wyndham Blue (standard): 1 mile per dollar spent on all stays
- Wyndham Gold: 1 mile per dollar spent
- Wyndham Platinum: 2 miles per dollar spent
- Wyndham Diamond: 2 miles per dollar spent
Again, we generally recommend earning hotel points instead of Frontier Miles.
You can also buy or gift Frontier Miles and earn on eligible Vinesse Wine and Teleflora purchases. Finally, you can book a cruise through Frontier Cruises and earn miles at a preset rate. Often, you can earn more miles by booking through other cruise programs.
- One- to five-night cruise: 1,500 miles
- Six to nine-night cruise: 3,000 miles
- Nine to 12-night cruise: 5,000 miles
- Cruises 13 nights and longer: 10,000 miles
How to redeem Frontier Miles
You can redeem Frontier Miles for two things: flights and magazines. As you’d expect, the best use of Frontier Miles is redeeming them for award flights. The airline publishes an award chart with starting award rates, but there are a few added fees that you should be aware of before booking. Here’s a look at the specifics.
Frontier offers three different redemption tiers: Value, Standard and Last Seat.
Value: This is the lowest redemption rate for all Frontier redemptions and can be compared to a “Saver” ticket on a traditional carrier. These are generally offered during off-peak dates and less desirable flights, but we’ve also found Value tickets when there’s low demand.
Standard: Standard awards are generally priced out at twice the cost of a Value ticket. These awards are available on more (but not all) dates.
Last Seat: As the name suggests, Last Seat awards are available for booking until the last seat on the plane is booked. Unfortunately, these awards are only bookable to Frontier elites and cost 2,500 more miles each way than Standard awards. This can be a good option if you’re booking at the last minute and paid fares are high.
Here’s a look at Frontier’s current award chart, with starting award rates:
Travel within the U.S. and Puerto Rico
Award tickets to or from Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Bahamas, Costa Rica and Antigua
Fees associated with Frontier award tickets
Unfortunately, Frontier adds a booking fee to most award tickets. You’ll pay this fee when you book an award flight within 180 days of departure; the closer you get to departure, the higher the fee is.
Here’s a look at the fee structure — note that these fees are charged in addition to other taxes and fees:
- At least 180 days before departure: $0
- 21-179 days before departure: $15
- 7-20 days before departure: $50
- Six days or less before departure: $75
These fees are waived for Frontier elite status members and those with a Frontier Airlines credit card. If you frequently book award tickets close to departure, you may find applying for a Frontier credit card worthwhile, as this can save you considerable money. Additionally, companions booked on the same reservation as a Frontier cardmember or elite member receive waived redemption fees.
Be sure to factor these fees into the cost of your ticket when booking travel on Frontier Airlines. In some cases, booking a paid ticket instead of an award ticket may make more sense if you’re subject to a booking fee. Frontier often offers low-cost tickets at the last minute, making the cent-per-point redemption value extremely low.
Discount Den membership
Frontier Airlines offers a subscription service called Discount Den. While not the same as elite status, the program gives members access to discounted fares for $59.99 annually. New members have to pay a $40 enrollment fee.
Children under 15 fly for free when accompanied by the Discount Den member on select flights, offering excellent savings on certain routes.
We’ve found that Discount Den can offer pretty excellent deals, too. On a given flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), a Discount Den member would save $20-$30 per ticket over the standard price.
These discounts also apply to international flights. For example, you can score a $10 discount per person when flying from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to Cancun International Airport (CUN).
We recommend that frequent Frontier flyers consider a Discount Den membership if they’ll get more than $59.99 annually in savings from the service. That said, a family of four may recoup the cost of a Discount Den membership from just one family vacation a year.
Go Wild! Pass
Frontier Airlines also offers an all-you-can-fly pass, which it calls Go Wild!
TPG tested the pass and found unexpectedly high fees and limited availability. Additionally, while it’s advertised as an all-you-can-fly pass, it doesn’t provide unlimited free travel after you buy it.
You generally can get the most value from the pass by booking last-minute flights. Here’s an example from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Las Vegas.
Go Wild! Pass customers can get confirmed bookings the day before flight departure for domestic travel and starting 10 days before flight departure for international travel.
The annual pass costs $1,999, but you might be able to find limited-time promotions here.
Frontier elite status
Frontier elite status has three tiers: Elite 20K, 50K and 100K. You can achieve these elite status tiers by earning 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 Frontier miles from flying on Frontier or spending on the cobranded credit card. Frontier Airlines also has a promotion where eligible cardholders can secure Elite 20K status for as little as $199.
Let’s look at each of these status tiers and their respective benefits.
|Benefits||Elite 20k||Elite 50k||Elite 100k|
|Qualification||20,000 qualifying miles or 25 flight segments annually||50,000 qualifying miles or 50 flight segments annually||100,000 qualifying miles or 100 flight segments annually|
|Redeemable mileage earning on Frontier flights||1 mile per mile flown||1.25 miles per mile flown||1.5 miles per mile flown|
|Waived redemption fees||✓||✓||✓|
|Waived travel fees||✓||✓||✓|
|Last Seat availability||✓||✓||✓|
|Stretch seating||At check-in||✓||✓|
|Discount Den membership||50% off||✓|
|Family status (the Works bundle)||✓|
Family status (the Works bundle) is the key benefit here. When you reach Elite 100K, you and your family get free checked bags, carry-on bags, priority boarding and seat selection. Plus, you can change or refund your flight for free, giving you the utmost flexibility when flying with Frontier. This can save your family hundreds of dollars per flight, making the Works one of the most impressive Frontier elite status benefits.
Related: How to get airline elite status
Frontier may not be the most exciting airline, but its loyalty program is worthwhile for those who fly on the airline often. Its award chart is extremely easy to understand and can provide excellent value if you avoid pesky booking fees. Furthermore, Frontier Airlines’ elite status is great for families and those who want to avoid fees when flying on a low-cost carrier.
Now, you have the background to decide if Frontier Miles is the right program for you.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.