Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
Most of the time, earning an airline award ticket involves getting or using a rewards credit card, flying a lot, or being diligent over a period of time with online shopping portals, promotions, and more. However, every now and then there is an easier way to earn a ticket that presents itself that doesn’t take long, doesn’t require lots of purchases, doesn’t require any travel, and doesn’t require a rewards credit card.
Read on to learn how to earn a one-way award ticket by:
- Making one online purchase (can be for something as small as a toothbrush)
- Eating out once at a restaurant for a total of $30 (or just buy a gift card from the participating restaurant)
- Filling out one form online about how much you hate airlines
There are no other surprises or catches, this is for real. The only caveat is that the award ticket will be on Spirit Airlines. Spirit is not fancy, but if you understand how they work, it really isn’t that bad. Heck, for a few extra bucks you can splurge for the “Big Front Seat” and have the equivalent of a domestic first class seat for maybe 10% of the cost that first class seat might cost on a traditional airline.
Via the “Hate Thousand Miles Promo” that is still running, you can get a quick, easy, and free 8,000 miles just my telling Spirit Airlines how much you don’t like them. Each account can only do this once, so keep that in mind if you have already participated in this promo once.
Make just one purchase of any amount via the FREE Spirit Online Mall to earn 1,000 bonus miles – this can even include just buying a toothbrush or similar at Walmart.com or Target.com, so just get something you needed anyway and you aren’t spending any additional money to earn the 1,000 bonus miles. If your order doesn’t qualify for free shipping (and Target seems to have tons of free shipping right now), then just select “in store pick-up”.
If you join the FREE Spirit Dining plan and spend $30 on an eligible dine in the the first 30 days after joining you will earn 1,000 bonus miles. If you don’t need a $30 meal right now, sometimes you can just buy a gift card at the restaurant and that will meet the requirement.
Once you do all of this you should have a little over 10,000 FREE Spirit miles, which is enough for a one-way saver ticket between many of their markets that clock in at 1,249 miles one-way or less. As an example, you could fly from Houston to Orlando for 10,000 miles one-way (plus about $20 in taxes/fees).
You can even book award tickets for others out of your account, so theoretically you could have several family members do this even if they didn’t have plans to fly on Spirit, and then you could use their miles to get the return flight home (with their permission, of course).
Yes, you will have to pay extra on Spirit if you want a specific seat, can’t fit all your stuff in a backpack or similar, and want an on-board drink, but those are all things you have control over. Even if you decide to pay some of those fees, you are likely coming out way ahead by getting 10,000 miles virtually for free by leveraging things you have to spend money on anyway (such as eating and brushing your teeth).