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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.
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).
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.
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!