Spirit Airlines Credit Card Holders: Find Off-Peak Award Tickets & Avoid Award Booking Fees

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Good afternoon everyone, I have another award booking post that might interest some of you. This is a follow up post to my Spirit Airlines Credit Card introduction post.  If you have a Bank of America Spirit Airlines Credit Card, like myself, you might be sitting on a handful of Spirit Airlines miles.  The Spirit Airlines “loyalty” program is tricky, since miles expire within 3 months if you do not earn or redeem miles during that period.  Having the Bank of America Spirit Airlines Credit Card allows you to earn 2x miles on all purchases and makes it easy to keep your miles from expiring.  I have a $5 monthly Amazon auto-reload set up on this credit card to keep the miles in my Spirit Airlines account from expiring.

The main perk of the Bank of America Spirit Airlines Credit Card is the ability to access off-peak award tickets, starting at 2,500 Spirit Airlines miles for short one-way flights.  That sounds like a pretty good deal, right?  Yes, but there are a few pitfalls to be aware of first.

Spirit Airlines Award Chart

Even if you have the Bank of America Spirit Airlines Credit Card and access to off-peak award tickets, you need to know that off-peak award tickets are only available some days of the year.  Here are the upcoming off-peak award periods (PDF).

Spirit Airlines Off-Peak Calendar

Sounds good, right?  Unfortunately, Spirit Airlines has different award booking fees depending on how far in advance you book your Spirit Airlines award tickets:

  • $100 – Award ticket requested 6 days or less prior to departure
  • $75 – Award ticket requested between 7 and 20 days prior to departure
  • $15 – Award ticket requested between 21 and 179 days prior to departure
  • $0 (No Fee) – Award ticket requested at least 180 days prior to departure

Here is the same Spirit Airlines flight (Oakland to Las Vegas) that is bookable over the next few months.  The first three award tickets have award booking fees that range from $100 to $15.  If you book your award ticket more than 6 months (180+ days) in advance, you will not be charged an award booking fee.  I don’t have a big problem paying $15 for booking 21+ days in advance, but I do have a problem paying $75 or more for an award ticket.

Another pitfall to be aware of is that not every day in the off-peak award period has off-peak award flights available.  Between October 25 and November 16, only 13 of 23 days have award flights available.  In addition, most off-peak dates will only have 1 off-peak award flight per day (2 if you are lucky), so you may not like the routing or departure/arrival times.

Spirit Airlines October November Calendars

In conclusion, finding Spirit Airlines off-peak award flights may be challenging and time-consuming, but if you are able to book far in advance and have a flexible schedule, you can take advantage of Spirit Airlines’ off-peak award flights.  My goal for 2016 is to book a Spirit Airlines off-peak award and not pay an award booking fee.  It is not going to be easy, but I won’t give up.

If you have any Spirit Airlines award booking questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great Sunday everyone!

32 thoughts on “Spirit Airlines Credit Card Holders: Find Off-Peak Award Tickets & Avoid Award Booking Fees

  1. Quasimodo

    have flown Spirit a couple of times, with no issues…but the onerous rules make me want to avoid them no matter how cheap it may seem. It’s just not worth my time to figure out how to avoid fee after fee…and 3 months for expiring miles, gimme a break…..same with Ryanair — which I’ve never flown.

    going somewhere should be fun/productive (Most of the time)…not a waste of so much time and energy…fretting about one fee after another.

    1. Grant

      I think my strategy is to wait until the January 2017 off-peak dates are announced and look for an international route that makes sense. I just need to redeem these Spirit Airline miles before my BofA Spirit Airlines Credit Card annual fee comes due… :/

      1. WG

        Call boa and downgrade your card to the $19 annual fee version. The $59 version is a waste.
        You still get the same benefits just except 1 point per 2 dollars charged. But still access to the off peak fares

  2. DaninMCI

    Nice post. My biggest problem with these awards is the lack of routing. For example I’d like to book Spirit from MCI to up state new York in May but the system doesn’t let you make some connections. It’s odd I think.

    1. Grant

      Hmm, it depends which non stop flights are available from MCI and which airports have flights to upstate NY. It’s strange, you might need to book 2 segments desperately :(

  3. Mark D.

    While the award flights are limited, the ones that are there seem to have a huge number of seats. I have booked 8 on an award flight at a time and have rarely seen the availability changed based on how many people I choose.

    Also, they seem to open up more flights about 4-6 weeks out, which means you do pay the $15, but not bad when you can get a rt for $2500 of unbonused spend.

    1. Grant

      Good to know about the number of award seats available on each flight. I only searched for 1 ticket, but good to know there may be up to 8 available on each flight.

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  5. natalia sozontova

    How do I choose this award option when I purchase mi ticket? I already have spirit master card and when I choose price for off-pick the site offers me to signed up for card but I already have one and doesn’t let me choose option with 2500 miles. When I enter my card info for paymnet it’ says that I don’t have enough miles because my spirit account have 2900 miles but card have 17000 more and how do I transfer them to my account – so confusing. Please help!!!

    1. Grant

      It sounds like you might have 2 Spirit Airlines accounts. Are you logged into the correct account that is linked to your Bank of America Spirit Airlines credit card?

      1. william


        Speaking of multiple Spirit accounts, does anybody know the way online or other way to link one or multiple Spirit accounts together???

          1. abeldeandreis

            I actually combined my two accounts: I called the spirit credit card people (Sorry, I’m not sure which department of Spirit I actually spoke with), and I told them about the two accounts. I gave them the two free-spirit numbers and they combined them.

  6. charlesdtfw

    I’ve got some pretty awesome benefits from the off peak cc miles, I think I’ve taken around 20 flights the last 3 years just on miles from Spirit. It’s been getting harder lately though to redeem, and searching for miles dates can be a pain with how slow the site is.

    Between October-EOY 2016 I was determined they had put me on a mileage blacklist or something. Reason being is during this time I was unable to find any flights for the off peak low mileage offer. There was multiple days during this time I looked at every city out of my home airport (Dallas) for up to 6 months out and nothing would ever show the low mileage offer, just full points (25k etc etc). The last few weeks I have seen more finally appear but nothing more than 3 months out, and the ones I have seen usually are spaced to where there is not a Departure and Return that work unless I stay 10 days or so. It seems that if I look for only departures in the next 2 weeks I get a lot of availability but the taxes and fees for redeeming so close is usually as much as just buying a ticket. So my Spirit miles just keeping adding up now lol.

    1. Grant Post author

      Yes, I have found it difficult to find award space far out in the future when the taxes/fees are the lowest. I have a bunch of Spirit miles expiring at the end of January, so I need to figure out what to do with them or continue to buying magazine subscriptions.

      1. william

        Keep miles active, Spirit Dining, register a credit card and go every 90 days to a participating restaurant and buy a gift certificate or a cup of coffee. OR get the BOA MC lower fee version card with the 19$ annual fee and use it once each 90 days for some small purchase.

  7. Rob T

    do you have any idea when they release their award seat calendar? They just extended the calendar through my trip period in november 2017, but there are no award seats for any flights after october yet.

    1. Grant Post author

      I have no idea. I would say ~6 months out would be a good guess. Keep checking back on your travel dates to see if any award seats show up.

  8. Martha Tigner

    Good Evening, my Spirit miles expire 09/15/2017. Do you know if I can use them to book a trip in November or must I actually fly before the expiration date. Thank you for any assistance you may provide. Sincerely, Martha

        1. william grubbs

          Hi Martha,

          Your best thing to do is get the spirit MC card from BOA, the $19 per yer version, then ant tiny charge keeps the points active and access you ONLY to the special low rate tickets.

          or you just sign up for spirit dining reward, register a credit card and go to a restaurant on the list on an active day for a tiny charge to keep points active.

          This is otherwise a bottom feeding airline this is a POA to deal with, a truly frustrating experience to fly, and a deplorable airport experience pre flight .

          My best use these spirit points in my flight market is the 2500 point one way flights, in low season, from FLL into Caribbean and Central america.
          This is strategic use of this airlines points


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