For the past several years airline co-branded credit cards evolved to represent a sort of elite status lite offering, allowing customers to pay an annual fee and receive a subset of program benefits. From today, that “lite” status can be converted to a real status tier at Frontier Airlines. The carrier launched a unique “fast track” promotion, allowing anyone with a points-earning card to secure Frontier Elite 20k status in the company’s Frontier Miles frequent flyer program.
Frontier has a history of being innovative in new loyalty products and solutions, and we are proud to support Frontier and the millions of consumers who are looking to upgrade their travel experience in new and exciting ways.– Loyalty Data Co CEO Mark Ross-Smith
The Frontier Elite 20k tier includes a complimentary carry-on bag, advanced seat assignment, priority boarding, and upgrade to stretch seating at check-in.
The carrier also continues to sell its Go Wild! unlimited flight pass [with significant capacity/advance purchase limitations], including a $499 option to fly through 30 September, taking advantage of the status promo.
Read more: GoWild! with unlimited* flight pass from Frontier
The tie-in to loyalty credit cards is a fun twist; typically status match promotions are based on elite status at another airline. But it probably is something of an unnecessary hook. Frontier is almost certainly guaranteed to win with this program, because customers have to pay to play.
Participants will pay $199 (just $80 for the first 2,000 applicants) for access to the Frontier Elite 20k tier through 30 September 2023. The promo also includes a challenge feature; flying 5,000 miles or spending $5,000 on the company’s co-branded credit card extends the status through the end of the year. For those who want the certainty of the status through the end of the year, a $499 option is available. The ability to extend the status via credit card spend furthers the value proposition for Frontier; some of the participants will undoubtedly also sign up for the card and shift spend to it.
The program is unique in tying the promotion to a credit card, trying to attract customers who have already demonstrated an affinity for travel benefits. And the up-front buy-in eliminates the most aggressive of schemers from exploiting the match too much.
But, at the end of the day, Frontier is simply selling elite status. Which is certainly good for the short-term revenue. And longer-term there’s not much risk, given the short duration of the program and the likelihood of capturing the incremental revenue from fares that never would’ve been purchased on Frontier without the deal.
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