Spirit Airlines Offering Status Match Challenge

Spirit Airlines Offering Status Match Challenge

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In early 2021 Free Spirit was launched, which is Spirit Airlines’ surprisingly great loyalty program. The airline has now rolled out its latest version of a status match challenge program, which could interest some, as status with Spirit Airlines offers significant value.

Free Spirit status match challenge

Spirit Airlines has launched a status match challenge, which is a way for those who are loyal to other US airlines to switch their business to Spirit and immediately start getting perks.

If you have elite status with another airline, Spirit Airlines will give you an equivalent status in Free Spirit for 90 days complimentary, and then you’ll have the opportunity to maintain that status with reduced requirements. Let’s take a closer look at how that works.

Spirit Airlines has a status match challenge program

What status tiers does Spirit Airlines match?

Spirit Airlines will match status with Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, and United. You can earn either Silver or Gold status in Free Spirit, depending on your status with a competitor. Below is a chart showing how status maps over.

Spirit Airlines status match mapping chart

How much do you have to fly to maintain Free Spirit status?

Spirit Airlines is offering a status match challenge, meaning that you receive complimentary status for 90 days, but then you have to earn a certain number of status qualifying miles (SQMs) to maintain status:

  • To maintain Free Spirit Silver status you need to earn 500 SQPs
  • To maintain Free Spirit Gold status you need to earn 1,250 SQPs

A couple of things to note:

  • These requirements are equivalent to a quarter of the typical annual requirements to earn status
  • Status earned through this status match challenge is valid for the remainder of the calendar year, and then the entire following calendar year as well

You earn one SQP per dollar spent with Spirit Airlines (before taxes and fees), meaning you’d need to spend $500 on Spirit flights to maintain Silver status, and $1,250 on Spirit flights to maintain Gold status.

The requirements to maintain status with Spirit

How do you request a Spirit status match challenge?

You can start the process of requesting a Spirit Airlines status match challenge at this link. Note that you’re only eligible if you haven’t received a status match or complimentary status with Free Spirit in the past two years.

In order to match you also need to have earned status through a competing airline’s published requirements, meaning complimentary status or status earned through a promotion doesn’t qualify. You’ll have to present a document confirming your elite status.

Only request the status match challenge once you’re ready to start your 90 day clock, since it begins within 24 hours of receiving your email confirmation of being accepted into the status match challenge.

The Free Spirit status challenge is great, but…

For an ultra low cost carrier, I’m extremely impressed by Spirit Airlines’ loyalty program. Spirit Airlines’ business model is all about charging fees for just about everything, yet Free Spirit Gold status gets you out of a vast majority of those fees, as it offers everything from a free carry-on, to a free checked bag, to free priority boarding, to free seat selection, to free flight changes, to free inflight beverages and snacks.

Spirit Airlines status offers valuable perks

The status is so useful that it almost makes me want to go for status with Spirit Airlines. This is a generous offer that makes that extremely easy.

But that also gets at the issue with this offer — how the heck is one supposed to spend $1,250 (pre-tax) on Spirit Airlines flights in 90 days if you’re not on the hook for all of these fees?

This is the airline that regularly has fares in the tens of dollars. You’d either need to take a ton of flights, or book some expensive flights, to earn that many SQPs. For many, that defeats the point of flying with Spirit.

In fairness to Spirit, the airline actually doesn’t have to be unpleasant to fly with, and is significantly better than Frontier, in my opinion. Not only does Spirit have high speed Wi-Fi throughout most of its fleet, but the airline also has the Big Front Seat, one of the best deals in domestic travel.

The Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat is a great deal

Bottom line

Spirit Airlines’ Free Spirit frequent flyer program is offering a pretty generous status match challenge. This allows elite members with other US airlines to receive status for a period of 90 days, and then maintain it for the entire membership year in exchange for some flying.

I’m almost tempted to take advantage of this, except earning 1,250 SQPs is no small task…

Anyone plan to take advantage of this Spirit Airlines status match challenge?

Conversations (24)
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  1. Ahmad Guest

    As a Gold member don't you earn 10 SQPs per dollar spent on Spirit fares/20 SQPs per dollar spent on options? So to earn 1250 SQPs to maintain status wouldn't you just have to spend $125 on Spirit fares within the 90 days (or even less if you buy options)?

    1. Merry Chris Moss Guest

      You are on to something which brings the math back to reality. Apparently everyone earns 6x per $ on airfare (beware taxes and $12 airfares) and 12x on incidentals.

      Elites earn more so during the match period, cost is significantly lower than what’s detailed in post.

    2. Karen Guest

      Yes, if you have the Spirit Mastercard. At least that’s my understanding. I treat it like my debit card. I use my card for everything and pay it off at end of month just so I can rack up the points

    3. Cbchicago Guest

      You have to spend $1250.

    4. Phil J Guest

      I believe you are correct on the $1250 figure that will required during the 90 day challenge period. The bonuses you receive for holding status pertain to points earnings for future award redemptions, not for SQP accumulation. Seems the only practical way to accomplish the goal of this challenge is if you happen to have several RT coast to coast flights booked with extras...or if you planned this out and are holding their credit card...

      I believe you are correct on the $1250 figure that will required during the 90 day challenge period. The bonuses you receive for holding status pertain to points earnings for future award redemptions, not for SQP accumulation. Seems the only practical way to accomplish the goal of this challenge is if you happen to have several RT coast to coast flights booked with extras...or if you planned this out and are holding their credit card prior to your challenge starting (SQPs earned on card spend apparently count toward the challenge).

    5. S. Guest

      Nope, they have different earning rates for SQP’s and Free Spirit Points. The earning potential you are talking about is for Free Spirit Points, not SQP’s. SQP’s match dollar spent pre-fees + 1 point for every $10 spent on the Spirit MasterCard.

  2. Dave Guest

    This status match is ridiculous. You apply for it and never hear back besides an auto reply saying they got your match request. You message customer service on Twitter, they redirect you to email them. You email them, they don't respond. You message them again on Twitter, they redirect you back to email which they don't answer. Their customer service is the worst I have ever dealt with and I have dealt with Frontier's!

  3. Roberta Guest

    Is Southwest A List Preffered AND Companion Pass OR

    A list preferred OR Companion Pass gets you gold?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Consider how they think Frontier has Platinum Pro, the person who approved the chart has very little clue or already got fired.

      If you're confused because the use of "&".
      It's A-list preferred "OR" Companion Pass that gets you gold. But it really doesn't matter.
      While in rare cases you can have Companion Pass without being A-list. However status earned through promotion does not qualify.
      However on other airlines, you can't have 2 tiers together.

  4. Bo Guest

    The Spirit website does not say what documents you have to submit to qualify. Does anyone know?

    1. Coloradobluesky Guest

      I called and was told that a statement from your account with the other airline showing your status level, a physical status card or a virtual status card. As others have said though, good luck hearing back from them. Their app is so messed up that it won't let me change my password. Also, I changed my email in my Spirit account, but when I use that email to reset password, it says the email...

      I called and was told that a statement from your account with the other airline showing your status level, a physical status card or a virtual status card. As others have said though, good luck hearing back from them. Their app is so messed up that it won't let me change my password. Also, I changed my email in my Spirit account, but when I use that email to reset password, it says the email address is invalid. Yet, if I enter my old email address in for reset password, it works, but I receive an email at the new email address that they say is invalid. Doh.

  5. Patrick Guest

    Am I correct that it says you can also earn the required spend using the Sprit credit card? Because that would make hitting the requirement much easier.

    1. bo Guest

      Just looked this up. Apparently spending $12,500 (10 dollars per SQP needed) on the credit card in the 90 day qualification period keeps gold.

      There are many details - including this credit card one - that are not explained well. When does the promotion expire? What documents are you supposed to submit?

    1. Cbchicago Guest

      Its great if you fly NK. They extended my status for two years. I fly them in the big seat every week.

  6. Paul Nagy Guest

    Does Spirit Gold status give the same benefits to my flying companion booked on the same PNR?

    1. Cbchicago Guest

      No, one of the big downfall.

    2. Marc Guest

      I've applied twice for this- once three weeks ago and once a week ago. Called after the first time, they said it should take 2 days, obviously not the case, and can't do anything about it.

      Also you are recirculating this article without updating the info. For example, Frontier status has changed and are not reflected in your article but are updated on Spirits website

    3. Sam Guest

      Great question, thanks for asking :-)

    4. dan Guest

      nope, usually fly with SO; so rather have Frontier's 100k status than Spirit's

  7. Coloradobluesky Guest

    These are NOT the Frontier status levels:

    GOLD

    PLATINUM, PLATINUM PRO, & EXECUTIVE PLATINUM

    But you did mention how you prefer Spirit over Frontier, so maybe you subconsciously gave the wrong info. I think Elite status with Frontier (flying out of Denver) has been awesome.

    1. Coloradobluesky Guest

      Whoops, you merely posted the charts that Spirit has posted on their web site about this promo. They posted incorrect information.

  8. George Guest

    I had tried to status match several times and they never respond or act on it. Good luck!

  9. Daniel B. Guest

    When does this promo expire? I have a trip in March, so I would need to time this well. Also, if I buy a ticket now with no checked bag, no seat assignment etc, will I be able to add those later when my Gold Spirit status is confirmed (I have AA Platinum status)? Thank you

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Coloradobluesky Guest

I called and was told that a statement from your account with the other airline showing your status level, a physical status card or a virtual status card. As others have said though, good luck hearing back from them. Their app is so messed up that it won't let me change my password. Also, I changed my email in my Spirit account, but when I use that email to reset password, it says the email address is invalid. Yet, if I enter my old email address in for reset password, it works, but I receive an email at the new email address that they say is invalid. Doh.

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dan Guest

nope, usually fly with SO; so rather have Frontier's 100k status than Spirit's

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Eskimo Guest

Consider how they think Frontier has Platinum Pro, the person who approved the chart has very little clue or already got fired. If you're confused because the use of "&". It's A-list preferred "OR" Companion Pass that gets you gold. But it really doesn't matter. While in rare cases you can have Companion Pass without being A-list. However status earned through promotion does not qualify. However on other airlines, you can't have 2 tiers together.

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