Most U.S. travelers have mixed feelings about Frontier Airlines, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost airline. On one hand, this airline makes it possible to fly around the United States (as well as to certain destinations in Central America and the Caribbean) on a low budget. On the other hand, the airline is notorious for outrageous last-minute baggage fees, delays and cancellations, poor customer service and a generally subpar experience. Nonetheless, many Americans still tend to fly with Frontier often when they’re trying to save money.

If you’re looking to find even more savings with Frontier, you may want to look into signing up for the airline’s frequent-flyer program, Frontier Miles, which is more lucrative than you might expect.

The program allows you to earn miles that can be redeemed for flights on Frontier (as well as magazines). You can also achieve Frontier elite status and qualify for certain benefits. Best of all, signing up for a Frontier Miles account is free. So, if you fly with Frontier often, then you should definitely join this program and start racking up miles.

Unlike many airlines, though, Frontier doesn’t have airline partners. That means that the only way to earn Frontier miles is to fly with Frontier and you can redeem those miles only for flights on Frontier. This makes the Frontier Miles program significantly less valuable than other frequent-flyer programs that allow you to earn and redeem miles on partner flights.

Still, if you take a lot of flights with Frontier, then you may as well earn miles and start saving up for award flights. Plus, Frontier awards 1 redeemable mile for every mile flown regardless of your fare type, making it easy to rack up enough miles for a free flight after just a few trips.

Let’s go through everything you need to know about the Frontier Miles program, including the elite status program, how to earn and redeem miles, and which redemption method offers the most value.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Miles Program Overview

The current version of Frontier Airlines was created to fill a gap in demand left when Continental Airlines started scaling back flights from Denver’s Stapleton International Airport (now replaced by Denver International Airport). Seeing an opportunity, former United Airlines pilot Rick Brown; his wife, Janice Brown; and Bob Schulman decided to resurrect the Frontier brand, an airline that had been based in Denver and had operated from 1950 until 1986.

So, in 1994, the new version of Frontier was incorporated, went public and began operating routes between Denver and just four cities in North Dakota. Since then, the airline has grown significantly in scope, gaining “major carrier” recognition from the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2007.

Today, Frontier operates routes to most major U.S. cities and even to several international destinations in Central America and the Caribbean, including Mexico, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and more. And, while the airline is often criticized for charging high fees, canceling and delaying flights frequently and offering poor customer service, many travelers can’t help but take advantage of the incredibly low prices that Frontier offers.

For those who fly with Frontier often, the Frontier Miles program offers the opportunity to earn miles that can be redeemed for Frontier award flights. The airline currently doesn’t have any airline partners, so don’t expect to see flights from other carriers marketed on Frontier’s website and don’t expect to earn Frontier miles on flights operated by other carriers.

Frontier Miles Elite Status

Frontier Airlines offers an elite status program that rewards those who consistently fly with Frontier or spend money on a Frontier co-branded credit card. When you achieve certain elite status tiers in the Frontier Miles program, you’ll be entitled to special benefits when making bookings with Frontier, at the airport and on-board.

As of 2024, the Frontier elite status program has four tiers: Elite Silver, Elite Gold, Elite Platinum and Elite Diamond. Prior to 2024, the program had three tiers. However, a new status level was recently added, which is even easier to attain.

To earn each of these statuses, you’ll need to either earn a certain number of Frontier Miles (by flying with Frontier or spending on a Frontier credit card) or by completing a certain number of flight segments on Frontier Airlines within a calendar year.

The following table includes the requirements for earning each elite status tier.

Status tier Frontier Miles required (in a calendar year)OR flight segments required (in a calendar year)
Elite Silver10,000N/A
Elite Gold20,00025
Elite Platinum50,00050
Elite Diamond100,000100

You can also earn Elite Silver status simply by spending $1,000 or more on any Frontier Airlines purchase.

Of course, considering that Frontier is an ultra-budget airline, it’s no surprise that the Frontier Miles elite status program doesn’t offer impressive benefits. However, if you do happen to achieve Frontier elite status, it’s worth being familiar with your benefits so you get to use them to the fullest.

The following table includes the benefits that you’ll receive at each elite status tier.

Status tierMileage earnings per dollar spentBenefits
Elite Silver12X• Waived change/ cancellation fees (more than seven days prior to departure)
• Free standard seat assignment at booking (subject to availability)
• Priority customer care
• Family pooling
• Priority Zone 2 boarding
Elite Gold14X• All benefits included with Elite Silver status
• Priority Zone 1 boarding
• Free carry-on bag
• Free premium seat assignment at check-in (subject to availability)
Elite Platinum16X• All benefits included with Elite Gold status
• Free premium seat assignment at booking (subject to availability)
• Free first checked bag (including ski/golf bag)
• Pet-in-cabin fee waiver (subject to availability)
• 50% off Discount Den membership
• Ability to gift Elite Silver status to one friend or family member
Elite Diamond20X• All benefits included with Elite Platinum status
• Priority Boarding: Board First
• Ability to get a refund more than one day prior to departure
• Free second checked bag (including ski/golf bag)
• Ability to gift Elite Gold status to one friend or family member

Non-elite status members of the Frontier Miles program earn 10X miles per dollar spent with Frontier Airlines. As you move up in the elite status program, you’ll earn more mileage for your money.

In terms of the other benefits offered with Frontier Miles elite status, some of the best offerings are definitely free carry-on and checked baggage. Frontier will charge up to $60 for carry-on bags, depending on when you pay for your luggage.

Checked bags can cost up to $45 for the first bag and up to $85 for the second bag with even more additional fees tacked on for bags that weigh more than 40 pounds. So, these perks (available for Elite Gold, Elite Platinum and Elite Diamond members) can save you a lot of money if you fly with Frontier often.

If you’re unfamiliar with Frontier Airlines Discount Den, it’s a program that offers exclusive low fares on Frontier flights to members. So, the ability to get 50% off a Discount Den membership with Elite Platinum status and a complimentary membership with Elite Diamond status can also help you save money.

How to Earn Frontier Miles

There are three basic ways to earn Frontier Miles: by flying on Frontier Airlines, by spending money on a Frontier co-branded credit card and by spending with one of Frontier’s several partners. These partners include rental car companies, hotel chains, a flower delivery service, a wine subscription service and more.

In general, most Frontier Miles members will earn miles through flying. However, if you tend to fly with Frontier often, then it may be worth signing up for a co-branded Frontier credit card.

Let’s take a look at all of the different ways to earn Frontier miles so that you can start saving up for your next award flight.

Flying with Frontier Airlines

Previous to 2024, Frontier awarded 1 mile per mile flown, no matter what cabin class you’re flying in. However, now, Frontier awards miles based on how much you spend on airfare and add-ons and what your elite status level is.

As a basic member of the Frontier Miles program, you’ll earn 10X miles per dollar spent. However, if you have elite status, you can earn as much as double that.

Here’s how many miles you could earn at each status tier:

  • Basic – 10X
  • Elite Silver – 12X
  • Elite Gold – 14X
  • Elite Platinum – 16X
  • Elite Diamond – 20X

So, for instance, under the previous earnings structure, if you booked this flight from Denver to San Francisco for $199.98, you would earn 967 miles (because the distance between these two airports is 967 miles) regardless of your cabin class.

Flying with Frontier Airlines

Now, you’d earn 1,999 miles as a basic member, which is based on the $199.98 airfare, and as many as 3,999 miles as an Elite Diamond member. So, in this case, the new earnings structure is better for members across the board. However, there are some instances in which the old earnings system would’ve been more rewarding.

It’s also worth noting that you can now earn miles on add-ons, such as seat selections and extra baggage fees, which can add up quickly. For example, if you were to spend $118 on two checked bags (of up to 40 pounds), you’d earn an additional 1,180 miles on your flight, which is pretty significant.

Flying with Frontier Airlines

It can take up to three business days (72 hours) from the date of travel for miles to post to your account. If you forget to credit one of your flights to your Frontier Miles account or your miles don’t appear in your account after three business days, you can request your miles by filling out the Flight Mileage Credit Request form.

Spending on the FRONTIER Airlines World Mastercard®

One of the fastest ways to rack up Frontier miles is to sign up for the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®. This card currently has a valuable welcome offer that allows you to earn a large sum of Frontier miles by spending a certain amount of money in a fixed period of time after account opening. You can also use this card to earn Frontier miles for making everyday purchases.

The Frontier Airlines Mastercard has an annual fee of $89. This card also offers 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers made within the first 45 days after account opening. Unfortunately, it charges a 5% balance transfer fee.

Here are the spending bonuses for each category offered by the Frontier Airlines Mastercard:

  • 5X miles on eligible Frontier Airlines purchases
  • 3X miles on restaurant purchases
  • 1X miles on all other purchases

In addition to earning Frontier miles on all purchases, the Frontier Airlines Mastercard also offers several other notable benefits, including the following:

  • Earn 1 elite status qualifying mile per dollar spent on purchases
  • Unlock Family Pooling ability
  • Earn a $100 flight voucher after spending at least $2,500 on purchases in a membership year
  • Miles will never expire as long as you make at least one purchase every six months
  • Priority Zone 2 Boarding on Frontier Airlines flights
  • Award redemption fee waived
  • No foreign transaction fees

The Frontier Airlines Mastercard is pretty subpar compared to many other airline credit cards.

For one, although the yearly $100 voucher toward Frontier Airlines airfare may sound like a solid deal, especially considering it makes up for the card’s $89 annual fee, there are several pieces of fine print that make this offer significantly less valuable.

The $100 voucher expires just 180 days after you earn it. It can be redeemed toward airfare only and not for fees like checked baggage, seat selection or a Discount Den membership. And if your ticket price is less than $100, you’ll forfeit the remaining value of the voucher. For instance, if you book a flight for $51 using your voucher, you can’t put the remaining $49 toward another flight.

Still, if you fly with Frontier Airlines frequently, then signing up for this card might be a good idea (especially with the generous welcome bonus that this card’s currently offering). However, if you want a card that’s far more flexible with a similar annual fee, then you may want to look into the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which has an annual fee of $95.

The Sapphire Preferred Card offers 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on dining, 3X points on groceries, 3X points on select streaming services, 2X points on other travel purchases and 1X point on all other purchases. Additionally, Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to multiple loyalty programs (not including Frontier Miles) making them a much more flexible rewards currency than Frontier miles.

So, for most travelers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is going to be a much better option. However, if you tend to fly with Frontier far more than any other airline, then it may be worth it to sign up for the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard.

earn Frontier Miles for booking stays with hotels

Booking Hotel Stays

You can also earn Frontier Miles for booking stays with hotels that are part of the Marriott Bonvoy program or the Wyndham Rewards program.

When it comes to earning Frontier Miles with Marriott Bonvoy hotels, the number of miles you’ll earn depends on the specific brand you’re booking. While you’ll earn 2X miles per dollar spent at certain Marriott Bonvoy brands, you’ll earn just 1X mile per dollar spent at other Marriott Bonvoy brands. To see which brands offer which earnings rates, reference the Partners page on the Frontier Airlines website.

When staying at Wyndham Rewards properties, the number of miles you’ll earn depends on your status in the Wyndham Rewards program. Blue and Gold Wyndham Rewards members earn 1X mile per dollar spent on all qualifying stays at Wyndham Rewards properties. Platinum and Diamond Wyndham Rewards members earn 2X miles per dollar spent on all qualifying stays at Wyndham Rewards properties.

To earn Frontier Miles on stays with either of these hotel chains, you’ll need to select Frontier Miles as your frequent-flyer program of choice and add your Frontier Miles membership number to your reservation.

It’s also worth noting that you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Frontier Miles at a ratio of 3:1. Unfortunately, this is a bad option and you’re much better off redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points in their native program.

Miami, Florida, USA - Aprile 28, 2018: The people near Avis rental car office at Miami airport at Miami, Florida, USA on Aprile 28, 2018

Car Rentals

The Frontier Miles program also has several partnerships that allow you to earn Frontier miles for booking qualifying car rentals. The following chart includes all of Frontier’s rental car partners and their respective Frontier miles earnings rates.

Rental car partnerFrontier miles earnings
Alamo• 50 miles per rental day or 500 miles on rentals of five days or more
Avis• 50 miles per rental day or 500 miles on rentals of five days or more
Budget• 500 miles on rentals of three or four days
• 1,000 miles on rentals of five days or more
Dollar• 100 miles per rental day on rentals of four days or less
• 1,000 miles on rentals of five days or more
Hertz• 50 miles per rental day or 500 miles on rentals of five days or more
National• 50 miles per rental day or 500 miles on rentals of five days or more
Thrifty• 100 miles per rental day on rentals of four days or less
• 1,000 miles on rentals of five days or more

To earn miles on qualifying car rentals, you’ll need to add your Frontier Miles membership number to your booking.

You should be aware that all of the previously listed hotel and car rental partners also have partnerships with many other frequent-flyer programs. So, before you elect to earn Frontier Miles on your next hotel stay or car rental, you should consider whether you’d be better off earning a different loyalty currency. However, if Frontier Miles is your currency of choice, you may as well earn some extra miles on your hotel stays and car rentals.

Frontier Cruises

Frontier has its own booking engine for cruises that allows you to make bookings with 16 of the world’s top cruise lines, including top-tier brands like Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. Additionally, you can rack up Frontier Miles when you book a cruise through the Frontier Cruises portal.

Carnival Splendor cruise ship

Carnival Splendor cruise ship

The number of miles that you earn depends entirely on the duration of your cruise. Here’s how many Frontier miles you could earn:

  • One to five nights – 1,500 miles
  • Six to eight nights – 3,000 miles
  • Nine to 12 nights – 5,000 miles
  • 13+ nights – 10,000 miles

You can also earn exclusive perks for booking through Frontier Cruises, such as an on-board dinner for two, free Wi-Fi, specialty dining credits, discounts and more.

Other Partners

Frontier Airlines has two other partners that allow you to earn Frontier miles for making eligible purchases.

One of these partners is Vinesse Wines, a subscription-based wine delivery service. You can earn 1,500 Frontier miles by placing a special first order of six bottles for between $12 and $17 each. You’ll also earn 4X miles per dollar spent on all orders from Vinesse Wines.

Frontier’s other partner is Teleflora, a flower delivery service. With Teleflora, you’ll earn 10X Frontier miles for every dollar you spend on orders.

Purchasing Miles

Like most other loyalty programs, the Frontier Miles program allows you to purchase miles. Purchases can be made through the third-party merchant at a rate of 2.5 cents per mile (plus added taxes and fees of $5.60 for each transaction).

When redeemed, Frontier Miles have a value of far less than 2.5 cents each. So, purchasing miles is a bad deal and should be avoided. The only instance in which you may want to consider purchasing miles is if you’re only 1,000 or 2,000 miles short of a specific redemption. And even in that case, you’re probably better off earning those miles in a different way.

How to Redeem Frontier Miles

Now that you’re aware of all of the different methods for earning Frontier miles, let’s discuss the different ways that you can spend those hard-earned miles. Compared to other frequent flyer programs, Frontier Miles offers far fewer redemption options. The only ways to redeem Frontier miles is for flights on Frontier Airlines or for magazine subscription through Mags For Miles.

In the following sections, we’ll discuss these two redemption methods and the value that each respective method offers.

Flying with Frontier Airlines

Of course, you have the option of redeeming your Frontier miles for flights operated by Frontier. Award flights from Frontier are priced according to an award chart. However, this award chart is slightly complicated due to the fact that there are three award types: Value, Standard and Last Seat (which are available only to elite status members).

Frontier miles can be redeemed for the base fare of your flight only, and the taxes and fees must be paid separately in cash.

Here’s the award chart for one-way Frontier Airlines award flights.

Award flight routeValueStandardLast Seat
(only available to
elite status members)
Taxes and fees from:
Within U.S. & Puerto Rico10,00020,00022,500$5.60 (or $11.20 round-trip)
To/from Mexico15,00025,00027,500$40.71 (or $126.24 round-trip)
To/from Dominican Republic (PUJ)15,00025,00027,500$46.90 (or $115.55 round-trip)
To/from Dominican Republic (SDQ)15,00025,00027,500$49.65 (or $121.05 round-trip)
To/from Jamaica (KIN)15,00025,00027,500$49.60 (or $168.70 round-trip)
To/from El Salvador15,00025,00027,500$7.10 (or $63.58 round-trip)
To/from Bahamas15,00025,00027,500$6.60 (or $116.65 round-trip)
To/from Costa Rica (SJO)15,00025,00027,500$22.68 (or $83.62 round-trip)
To/from Costa Rica (LIR)15,00025,00027,500$22.95 (or $77.04 round-trip)
To/from Guatemala15,00025,00027,500$5.60 (or $55.50 round-trip)
To/from Antigua15,00025,00027,500$43.10 (or $97.95 round-trip)

If you want to get the award price for a round-trip flight on one of these routes, simply double the one-way award price.

As you can tell from the award chart above, all domestic awards require the same number of miles, and all international flights require the same number of miles. The only difference in price between international award flights is the minimum taxes and fees that you’ll be required to pay in cash (which you can see in the right-hand column of the chart above).

Unfortunately, the fees listed in the chart above aren’t the only fees that you may have to pay when booking Frontier award flights. Unless you book your award flight 180 days or more prior to the departure date, you’ll be required to pay an award fee. Here are the different award fees depending on how close to your travel date you book:

  • 180+ days – $0
  • 21 to 179 days – $15
  • Seven to 20 days – $50
  • Six days or fewer – $75

Frontier credit card holders, Frontier Miles elite status members and travel companions booked on the same reservation as a Frontier cardmember or elite status member are not required to pay award fees.

If you wish to cancel an award booking and have your miles redeposited into your account, you can do so by paying a $75 redeposit fee. This fee is nonrefundable, and you must cancel your booking prior to the departure of the flight to have your miles redeposited.

In general, you can often find solid value on international award flights that have higher cash prices. For instance, we found a round-trip flight from Austin, Texas (AUS), to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (PVR), on the Frontier Airlines website for $759 in economy class.

Flying with Frontier Airlines

If you were to book this same itinerary as a Standard award with Frontier miles, it would cost you just 50,000 miles, giving you a redemption value of a little over 1.5 cents per mile. However, if you were lucky enough to find this flight as a Value award, it would cost you just 30,000 miles, giving you a redemption value of over 2.5 cents per mile.

It goes without saying that you’re going to get much more value out of your Frontier miles when you find Value awards rather than Standard Awards or Last Seat awards. However, to find Value awards, you’re typically going to have to book earlier and do a bit more searching. However, this can be worth it if you want to maximize the value of your Frontier miles.

Magazine Subscriptions

The only other redemption option offered by the Frontier Miles program apart from booking Frontier flights is redeeming for magazine subscriptions through Mags For Miles. Redemptions start at just 600 miles, and you can use your miles to purchase subscriptions to a wide range of publications across a wide range of topics including finance, travel, entertainment and more.

The Bottom Line

Frontier is known by most for its low fares, confusing and expensive baggage fees, and poor customer service. However, if you’re looking for low-priced travel across the United States, to Central America and the Caribbean, then you’ll probably end up flying Frontier fairly often. And if you tend to fly with Frontier, then you’ll definitely want to enroll in the Frontier Miles program and start earning miles on your flights.

The Frontier Miles program isn’t great compared to frequent-flyer programs operated by full-service carriers like United Airlines or American Airlines. However, it’s probably more lucrative than you might expect.

Frontier has recently changed from awarding redeemable miles based on distance flown to awarding miles based on money spent on airfare and flight extras. In most cases, this means members will earn more miles per flight. Members can also rack up extra miles by booking hotels with partners, renting cars with partners and more.

When it comes to redeeming Frontier miles, Frontier flights are priced according to a region-based award chart that’s divided into three fare types: Value, Standard and Last Seat. Value fares are the least expensive and therefore offer the best value but are also the most difficult to find. If you want to find Value award flights, we recommend searching for award space far in advance.

Overall, the Frontier Miles program is definitely less enticing than most other airline loyalty programs, but that’s to be expected from an ultra-low-cost airline like Frontier. Still, if you tend to fly with the Denver-based carrier often, it’s worth getting to know the program and saving up for some free flights.