Is it beneficial for you to join the Spirit’s $9 Fare Club? It gives you exclusive access to discounted fares and vacation packages, but there are other things to consider. Here’s what to expect and how to make sure you’re getting the best prices for your route when flying with Spirit.
Spirit is a Low-cost Airline – What Does It Mean?
Low-cost carriers in the United States like Spirit Airlines put downward pressure on all airlines’ fares. That benefits flyers immensely by bringing other airline tickets down. While low-cost carriers like Spirit or Frontier (arguably a competition to Spirit) tend to have the cheapest base fares on any route it flies, you need to remember that they charge for a lot more than other airlines, including carry-on bags, seat assignments, and even water.
Another thing some low-cost airlines have in common: paid membership clubs. If you purchase Frontier’s Airfare program Discount Den, you pay $50 per year in exchange for discounts only available for its members.
Here is a link to our review of Spirit Airlines or, if you are interested in checking out another budget airline to compare, here is our post covering Frontier. If you do your research, you can absolutely save around $100’s using Frontier or Spirit, compared to other airlines. However, Delta has recently started being more affordable as well, check out our review of their SkyMiles rewards program.
So, is subscription to Spirit $9 Fare Club worth the price? Let’s check it out.
Please Note: Each budget airline is different and it could be the matter of hub locations or luggage policies, so before making the decision, read more about Spirit Airlines policies, main hubs and luggage rules.
Spirit $9 Fare Club Basics – What You Get:
- Discounted fare sales
- Discounted checked and carry on bag fees
- Note: most fares are not discounted for $9 Fare Club members, but some are. Most fare sales offer a cheaper price for $9 Fare Club members. The discount is about $11+ per person per direction.
Benefits apply to you and up to 8 additional passengers on your itinerary. Passengers must be reserved on the same booking confirmation number as the $9 fare club member in order to receive membership benefits.
Spirit claims that members save an average of $75 per booking.
Fun Fact – $9 Fare Club Actually Costs $60
The cheapest fares available via Spirit’s airfare promotions are exclusive for members of the airline’s $9 Fare Club. The Fare Club gives access not only to cheaper fares but also lower bag fees.
But think about it twice, because membership to Spirit’s famed $9 Fare Club costs $59.95 for the first year. A 60-day trial membership, which used to be $9 (the outdated name) is now $19.95—and unless Spirit receives a written cancellation notice, it automatically rolls over into an annual membership.
Here’s another catch: Trial memberships may only be purchased with airfare and aren’t valid until the next booking.
Keep in mind: annual membership renewal cost is $69.95, and it carries over annually unless canceled before the expiration date. It is nonrefundable after it has been charged.
Still, despite all of the extra pricing, plus the fact that you can’t access the members-only fares until after the initial reservation, the subscription may still be worthwhile for frequent flyers through Spirit’s hubs, in particular Ft. Lauderdale, its main airport.
You can also check out FREE SPIRIT, a Spirit frequent flier program, which costs nothing to join.
That’s The Cheapest Option for Bag Fees
The cheapest checked-bag option is to declare a single bag when booking your flight as a member of the Fare Club. That will cost you $21. The absolute only way to avoid bag fees altogether, however, is to pack a single personal item such as a small backpack or purse with dimensions smaller than the seat in front of you (18 x 14 x 8 or smaller).
If you must travel with more luggage, add up Spirit’s cheap airfare plus its bag fees and use that total to compare to other airlines. (Remember that Southwest Airlines will check up to two bags for free and doesn’t charge for carry-ons.)
Is Spirit’s $9 Fare Club Worth the Price?
How Often Do You Fly with Spirit – Questions You Need to Answer:
Do you plan on flying Spirit in the next 365 days after your subscription?
Do you think you’ll have a bag or a carry-on each time?
Do you fly with other people?
Is buying tickets at the airport not a good option for you?
Do you live near or plan to travel often to one of the Spirits hubs – Atlantic City, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Orlando?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you should keep reading since $9 Fare Club will probably help you save money.
How Much Cheaper are $9 Fare Club Ticket Prices?
Spirit’s $9 fare club prices are usually $10, $15 or $20 cheaper each way, than the normal ticket price. That’s close to the same savings you would get buying your tickets at the airport. Sometimes you might see a $9 fare price on your flight out, but not the return. Or vice versa. They’re not always available; watch the flights for a while to see if it would benefit you.
The Baggage Discount
If you are a Spirit $9 fare club member, you get a discount on bags (both carry-on and checked) and that is where being a $9 Fare Club member has saved us the most money. For the cheapest rate you must purchase your bag more than 24 hours before your flight. You get a $9 discount (each way) for being a $9 fare member for a checked bag and a carry-on bag. Once you can check-in online, the price goes up $10 per bag each way, but it’s still $9 cheaper for the $9 fare member.
Since you have to purchase your bags for each way remember to pay for your bag(s) online for both your flight out and your return flight.
One checked bag for a round-trip flight will cost $60. It’s $42 if you’re a $9 fare member. One carry-on bag costs $70 round-trip but it’s $52 if you’re a $9 fare member.
If you purchase it at the ticket counter it’ll cost you $50 for a carry-on and $45 for a checked bag one-way whether you’re a $9 fare club member or not. If you don’t pay until you get to the gate it’ll cost you $100 per bag (again, this one-way) whether it’s a checked bag or a carry-on.
Since the only free bag you get on Spirit is a personal item, most members will save at least $18 round trip on baggage fees and $36 if you fly with a companion.
If you fly Spirit round trip twice per year ($36+ saved in bag fees) and book at least one round trip on a fare sale ($22+ saved), then you should probably join the $9 Fare Club.
Do You Get Other Discounts with $9 Fare Club?
Another interesting thing is as a Spirit $9 fare club member, you won’t get a discounted price for a flight/car reservation or on a flight/hotel reservation. You still can get a discount for your bags on the flight, but even if there’s a $9 fare available on the flight you’re flying on, it’s seems to be only available to those flying flight-only reservations.
How Long Does The Membership Last?
The $9 membership is good for 365 days from the day you buy it. So if you buy it on November 8, 2017; your last day of membership will be November 7, 2018.
Note: You have to cancel it; the default is automatic renewal. If you know you want to cancel, start trying at least a week out to make sure it gets done on time.
Should You Join the Spirit’s $9 Fare Club?
It really depends on your personal situation whether or not you you should join the Spirit’s $9 Fare Club. Even if it makes sense to join, wait until you need to purchase a Spirit ticket, so that your membership period extends as far out into the future as possible.
Are there any $9 Fare Club members reading this post? How much money have you saved with membership?