Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
Flying Blue, the loyalty program of Air France and KLM, has launched another buy-miles promotion. Until Feb. 27, 2022, you can earn up to a generous 100% bonus when you buy miles.
Here’s the rundown of the promo:
Buy 4,000-12,000 miles, get a 50% bonus
Buy 14,000-28,000 miles, get a 70% bonus
Buy 30,000-100,000 miles, get a 100% bonus
Normally, Flying Blue sells miles for 3.13 cents each at current exchange rates (2.75 Euro cents). With the 100% bonus, it will cost you 2,750 Euros ($3,138 USD), or 1.57 cents per mile. TPG values Flying Blue miles at 1.2 cents each, so to get the most out of this bonus you’ll need a high-value redemption planned, either on Air France-KLM or on SkyTeam partners like Delta.
Fortunately, there are cheaper and easier ways to earn Flying Blue miles.
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Should you consider buying Flying Blue miles?
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Flying Blue sells its miles through Points.com, a points exchange and clearinghouse that allows members to move one kind of points and miles to another loyalty program, track balances and see certain promo offers. You can also redeem your points or miles through it for retail gift cards or for PayPal credits. It’s free to join, and its interface is easy to use.
Transferring points through Points.com makes sense when you need to prevent miles from expiring, or if you need miles to post in a very short amount of time and have no other option (such as transferring from a points program like American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards).
Flying Blue also runs monthly Promo Reward sales which discount the price of economy, premium economy or business-class awards between specific cities and Europe by 25% or 50%. This can represent a good value, especially if the paid ticket price is high.
Flying Blue is running a Promo Reward on business class tickets from select U.S. cities to Europe through the end of February. You can book tickets from cities like Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), Denver (DEN), Miami (MIA) and others to various European cities for just 39,750 miles one-way, plus taxes and fees.
Taxes and fees equal $232 on this sample Chicago to Prague (PRG) itinerary, meaning you can book the ticket for just $856.07 when you buy miles during this promotion and factor in taxes and fees. This is usually far cheaper than a paid ticket on this route, and you can find similar pricing on other connecting itineraries operated by Air France and KLM.
(Screenshot courtesy of airfrance.us)
Smarter ways to earn Flying Blue miles
Most award travelers actually already have Flying Blue miles at their disposal because the program partners with all the major transferable points programs:
American Express Membership Rewards: 1:1 ratio, instant transfer time
Bilt Rewards: 1:1 ratio, instant transfer time
Capital One miles: 1:1 ratio, instant transfer time
Chase Ultimate Rewards: 1:1 ratio, instant transfer time
Citi ThankYou Rewards: 1:1 ratio, instant transfer time
Marriott Bonvoy: 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred, three-day transfer time
If you’re short on Flying Blue miles, it’s often a better idea to boost your account balance by moving miles from one of these programs.
Again, you’ll want to run the numbers before you make a transfer. For instance, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio. TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, so before you transfer you’ll want to be sure you’re getting close to that value from the award you want to book.
(Screenshot courtesy of chase.com)
Bear in mind you might even get a better deal by booking your flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. With all the cheap airfare deals to Europe we’ve seen recently, you could end up spending fewer points by booking directly through the portal.
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get a value of 1.5 cents per point while Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 1.25 when booking flights through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Sapphire Preferred cardholders also earn 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal.
Use the right credit card
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
If you choose to buy Flying Blue miles through this promotion, you’ll want to use a card that earns the most points and miles for everyday spending. And since points purchases are charged in Euros, you should also pay with a card that doesn’t add foreign transaction fees.
Some cards that fit the bill include these from Capital One:
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 100,000 bonus miles once you spend $10,000 on purchases within the first six months from account opening. Plus, for a limited time, get up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rentals charged to your account within your first year. $395 annual fee.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. $95 annual fee.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business: Earn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. $95 annual fee (waived for the first year).
Buying miles and points without a bonus is almost never a good idea without an immediate plan to redeem them. Even with a promotion like this, it’s important to do the math before jumping on the deal, because there are often better ways to save your hard-earned cash (and points).
Featured photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.
Read more: thepointsguy.com