Just like any miles aficionado in the know, I have all of my accounts tracked with Award Wallet. Walking to work the other day, AwardWallet pinged me, and I opened the app. Read more to keep your Frontier miles active!
Expiration warning: Frontier Airlines: 902 miles expiring in about 3 months.
I received three of those notifications from AwardWallet. You see, my family flew down to Georgia in April for a week exploring Atlanta and the Okefenokee. The trip was planned last minute, and had to be over my son’s April vacation, so I was at the mercy of the airlines when it came to pricing. I usually try for more flexibility, just like Dan notes in his Traveler’s Triangle.
Frontier is one of the WORST frequent flyer programs out there if you ask me. And despite all their awesome fare sales (check out this one from earlier in July), I still have a hard time finding any value in the Frontier EarlyReturns program. Why, you ask? For one reason, and one reason only. Despite any other details of Frontier’s mileage system, all I need to know is their expiration policy. Miles expire in 180 days, and that kills the whole program for me.
This is the most obvious, and maybe even the easiest on Frontier. Most of the time, there’s a much easier way to earn miles on an airline. To keep your Frontier miles active though, it’s kind of tough. If you’re flying with them though, no problem! Remember Frontier uses a distance-based system, so you’ll earn miles based on the number of miles flown, not based on the price of your ticket like most current programs.
Spend some Money
…on the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard from Barclaycard. This card will net you 5x Frontier miles on Frontier purchases, 3x miles on restaurant spend, and 1 mile per dollar everywhere else. Every mile earned on the card counts as a qualifying mile for elite status with Frontier, something than no other airline card currently offers!
Rent a Car
Choose Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, or National, All of these rental companies partner with Frontier and your mileage will vary with the kind of car booked, which company, and the rental rate. You’ll also have the option to redeem Frontier miles with Alamo and National to book car rentals. Keep in mind though, Frontier needs earning activity every 6 months to keep your Frontier miles active, so redeeming your miles for a car will not work to keep your miles active.
But not through a dedicated Frontier Airlines shopping portal, like all the other airlines. No, no…that would be far too easy! Instead, you’ll earn with Teleflora or ThanksAgain. You can haul in 10 Frontier Miles per $1 spent on purchases from Teleflora, but make sure you use the promotion code for the miles! ThanksAgain rewards you for spending at their partners. Although I’ve never used this one in particular, I often take advantage of programs like Ebates In-Store Cashback, airline dining programs, and Drop. All of these programs link to your credit card number, and track any purchases mad with their partner merchants.
Stay a Night
Many hotel programs partner with airlines, instead of earning hotel points. You can opt to earn frequent flyer miles with any of your hotel stays. Currently, Frontier partners with Marriott, La Quinta, Radisson, and Wyndham. Your mileage will vary depending on the category of your hotel and which brand it’s part of.
Book a Cruise
Frontier Cruises partners with some of the big names in the cruise industry to ensure you get a cut of all the commissions. You can book with lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival, and you’ll earn Frontier Miles in direct correlation to the number of nights you book. Earn 1,500 Miles for a cruise 1-5 nights in length, 3,000 Miles for 6-9 nights, 5,000 Miles for 9-12 nights, and 10,000 Miles for cruises over 12 nights in length.
Drink some Wine
Vinesse is also partnered with Frontier to provide members with something to sip while they earn more miles. Earn 10,000 Frontier Miles on your first order here, plus 4 miles for every $1 that’s spent with Vinesse. Keep in mind that Vinesse is a subscription based service, and although the company claims you can “cancel with no hassles at any time” most of these subscription services make it tough on you to cancel in practice.
Buy More (or Transfer Some) Miles
Obviously you can buy some Frontier miles to top off your account. Stop by Points.com to purchase more Frontier miles. Currently you can buy between 1,000 and 25,000 Frontier miles at a time, for 2.5 cents per mile. You can also use Points.com as the middle man between mileage currencies. Swap some of your miles from another program into Frontier miles, though these rates aren’t often favorable. This is the only option I think makes sense to keep my miles active, and even then, it’s a stretch…
Snag a Ride
Book your airport transportation with SuperShuttle for 50 Frontier Miles per ride. Or earn 150 Frontier Miles per trip with ExecuCar. If you’ve never ridden ExecuCar, think Uber or Lyft. Only fancier. And more complicated. Be sure to include your Frontier Miles number when booking either of these services online.
One other thing that might help you keep your miles active: Frontier offers family pooling, similar to JetBlue and others. Here’s the catch…you either need the Frontier World Mastercard, or elite status with Frontier to “unlock” family pooling. Unfortunately, I have no plans to open the card, or to reach elite status on Frontier. Check out more information on earning Frontier Miles with their partners here.
Why can’t airlines make their currencies easy to keep and use? Looking at you, Delta and JetBlue. Thanks for not expiring guys!
Ever have your miles expire? Let us know in the comments!
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You can also transfer miles on points.com from another program
Good call Frank, added that to the post!
I used to fly Midwest (Express) Airlines a lot before I moved from WI to AK. Then Republic bought Midwest and then Frontier bought Republic. Over the past decade or so I kept my miles alive by completing e-miles surveys, hoping that some day Frontier would be bought out by another airline. No such luck. After e-miles ceased to operate, I decided it just wasn’t worth paying to keep my Frontier account alive and so cashed out over 120,000 miles for 2 1-week car rentals and a one-way gift ticket for a friend. Probably the most worthless use of miles ever. At least I’ll never have to do an e-miles survey again.
I’m with you Michael, I don’t think I’ll bother keeping my whopping 900 miles active, especially because I don’t fly Frontier very much at all!
Thanks to Drew and TIF, I long ago cashed out my 50k in orphaned Frontier miles for two nights at (gasp) Radisson (Melbourne)….. Pathetic yes (and even that option they took away), but not much worse than the effort expended on this post. Even more telling article might be entitled, 9 best things you can do with your Frontier miles…..
which of course there isn’t any. No? I dare you — write it. You’ll never finish it. (at least if you’re not writing with forked tongue)
Since Frontier went to the Spirit airlines model of you pay for everything but the air you breathe, what exactly is the point of having Frontier points? I’ve got another 6k about to expire… and I too will look for ways to unload, trade, them….. of just chalk it up to what a lame, lame lame program. (worst in the industry)
ps, I did keep my Frontier card — for reasons having nothing to do with flying. (and the folks at Barclay’s have long hear me trash this miserable card and program)
Escot, I hear ya! I agree, worst program I’ve seen, which is why I likely won’t be bending over backwards to keep my miles active!
Frontier is both the most demanding and lackluster mileage Awards program I’ve ever experienced. I might add the Barclay Mastercard had the worst customer service not only of any other bank card I’ve used, but of any customer service department I’ve ever experienced. They are just very inept and you are on hold literally forever.
I was searching around on the Frontier site and saw under “earn with our partners” that you can buy a Groupon to maybe keep the miles alive?
Earn up to 5 miles per dollar on Local, Getaways and Goods*
New customer? Earn 1,000 miles on a Local offer over $30*
I need to buy my wife a massage…this might keep my miles as they are about to expire 12/11. It’s a tough game to keep the miles alive but I’m knocking on the 10,000 pt door in my acct.
does anyone know if I can buy miles via points.com to actually keep my Elite Status with Frontier?
Typically buying miles does not count towards elite status. The Frontier credit card does give you miles towards status though