The Air France KLM Flying Blue loyalty program is popular for its monthly Promo Rewards in select markets on Air France and KLM flights, unique redemptions on partner airlines, and more.
Flying Blue has just launched a new promotion for purchasing miles, which can be a great opportunity to buy Flying Blue miles if you have plans to redeem them for higher value.
Buy Flying Blue Miles with a 100% Bonus
From now until November 7, 2023, Flying Blue members can buy miles and get up to a 100% bonus on their purchase.
The bigger your purchase, the bigger the bonus you’ll get. The breakdown of the current bonus promotion is as follows:
- 50% bonus when you buy 4,000–10,000 miles
- 70% bonus when you buy 12,000–22,000 miles
- 100% bonus when you buy 24,000–100,000 miles
The standard rate is 3.05 cents per mile (USD), before any discounts or bonuses. That’s a very expensive rate for acquiring points, and it’d rarely make sense to buy Flying Blue miles without a promotion in play.
However, during a 100% bonus event, you’ll get double the miles, which means that you’re effectively purchasing points at half price for 1.53 cents per mile (USD), which is equivalent to about 2.09 cents per mile (CAD).
This is a bit more than our current valuation of Flying Blue miles at 1.4 cents per point (USD) / 1.9 cents per point (CAD), so it’s best to have a specific redemption in mind that can exceed that valuation before making a purchase.
Note that the offer in your account may differ from the best available offer. Login to your account to find out the specific offer available to you.
How many Flying Blue miles can you buy?
Flying Blue members without elite status are limited to purchasing 100,000 miles per calendar year, before counting any promotional bonus. There’s no limit as to how many miles members with elite status can buy; however, they’re limited to a maximum bonus of 300,000 miles with this promotion.
If you were to max out this current promotion as a non-elite member, it’ll cost $3,050 USD (~$4,173 CAD) for 200,000 Flying Blue miles.
Which credit card should you use to buy Flying Blue miles?
Flying Blue sells its points through an external vendor, Points.com. Purchases made through Points.com don’t count as a travel purchase as you aren’t buying directly through the airlines.
Instead, you should use any card with a high base earning rate, or perhaps one on which you’re working on meeting the minimum spend requirement.
Importantly, since Points.com is a Canadian-based company that’s obligated to levy GST/HST on purchases by Canadian residents, it’s best to pay with a US credit card with a US billing address to avoid the added tax amounts, which would dilute the value of your purchase.
KLM 787 business class
Should You Buy Flying Blue Miles with a 100% Bonus?
Buying points can be very useful when you’re short on points for booking a flight and need to top-up your account on a somewhat urgent basis.
Additionally, for premium cabin award tickets where cash rates are expensive, buying points and then redeeming for an award ticket can offer a significant discount.
Flying Blue Promo Rewards
Flying Blue’s rotating Promo Rewards routinely offer up some fairly interesting deals.
For example, during the month of October 2023, flights between Ottawa and Europe are bookable at a 25% discount to the usual price in economy, premium economy, and business class.
With this Promo Reward, you could book a transatlantic business class flight to Europe for only 52,500 miles in business class one-way. There’s plenty of availability over the next few months, too.
Let’s say you were interested in an Ottawa–Paris round-trip redemption in business class for one passenger. That’d cost 105,000 miles under the Promo Rewards deal, which is 25% of the usual cost, plus $757 (CAD) in taxes and fees.
By leveraging the current 100% bonus, you could buy 105,000 miles for $1,647 (USD), or about $2,225 (CAD).
Even after factoring in Flying Blue’s surcharges, the total out-of-pocket expense is a nice discount compared to the price you’d pay with cash for the same flights.
You’ll also find good bargains on economy class seats through Promo Rewards, and you’ll find better availability in economy if you’re travelling as a family or group.
For instance, as part of the October 2023 Promo Rewards, you could book a round-trip flight from Montreal to Amsterdam for 22,500 miles in economy class, plus around $378 (CAD).
For a family of four, you’d need a total of 90,000 miles for round-trip tickets, and you’d pay around $1,432 (CAD) in taxes, fees, and surcharges.
Leveraging the 100% bonus offer, you’d only need to buy 46,000 points for $1,403 (USD), for enough miles to book the above trip.
Each round-trip ticket, then, comes to about $634 (USD) all-in, which is almost certainly cheaper than buying cash tickets directly on Air France or KLM.
Keep an eye out for future Promo Rewards like these, which rotate monthly, as there’s always some value to be captured if the deals align with your upcoming trips.
Air France A350 business class
Booking an Aspirational Flight
Even without Promo Rewards, Flying Blue can offer some convenient routing options at reasonable price points when travelling in business class.
For example, KLM operates one of the only direct transatlantic flights out of Edmonton, and it’s priced at 60,500 Flying Blue miles for the one-way journey to Amsterdam, or 121,000 miles for a round-trip.
If you’re eyeing the quickest route to Europe as an Edmontonian, buying 122,000 Flying Blue miles for $1,861 (USD) (~$2,540 CAD) brings the business class flight much closer within reach when compared to paying cash.
The same principle applies to Air France and KLM’s other North American routes, including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City, all of which price in the region of 55,000–70,000 Flying Blue miles for a one-way flight in business class.
Other Ways to Earn Flying Blue Miles
Before deciding to acquire Flying Blue miles with a 100% bonus, keep in mind that there are other slower, but cheaper, ways to get Flying Blue miles, which may be worth considering if you aren’t in a rush to book.
Canadian Credit Cards
There are plenty of ways to earn Flying Blue through credit cards we have in Canada.
American Express Membership Rewards can be transferred to Flying Blue at a 1:0.75 ratio. Any of the Membership Rewards cards would be a good choice, with the high annual fees representing an opportunity to effectively “buy” miles.
American Express MR Cards for Flying Blue Redemptions
70,000 MR points
$250 annual fee
70,000 MR points
120,000 MR points
$799 annual fee
120,000 MR points
75,000 MR points
$199 annual fee
75,000 MR points
Up to 77,000 MR points
$99 annual fee
Up to 77,000 MR points
100,000 MR points
$799 annual fee
100,000 MR points
Brim Financial also offers the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard, with which you can earn Flying Blue miles on your daily purchases. Until November 18, 2023, you can earn a welcome bonus of up to 60,000 Flying Blue miles, which is a great way to pad your balance.
Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard
- Earn 10,000 Flying Blue miles upon first purchase
- Plus, earn 10,000 Flying Blue miles upon spending $5,000 in the first year
- Plus, earn 10,000 Flying Blue miles upon spending an additional $10,000 in the first year
- And, earn 30,000 Flying Blue miles upon renewing the card for a second year
- Get 60 XP towards Flying Blue Elite status in the first year, and 30 XP in subsequent years
- Earn up to 30x Flying Blue miles per dollar spent with select merchants
- Earn 5x Flying Blue miles per euro spent on Air France/KLM flights
- Earn 2x Flying Blue miles per dollar spent on food and drink
- Minimum income: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household
- Annual fee: $132
US Credit Cards
In addition to the cards issued by Amex Canada, the major US credit cards offer a multitude of ways to rack up Flying Blue miles.
Amex US Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Capital One Miles can all be transferred to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio. With ample welcome bonuses across the board, you can earn points with each of the four major issuers and pool them into a single Flying Blue account.
Additionally, Bank of America issues the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard in the US. The card currently offers 50,000 Flying Blue miles in exchange for an $89 (USD) annual fee.
With Bank of America, you’ll need to visit a branch to apply if you’re using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to Flying Blue at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000 mile bonus when transferred in chunks of 60,000 Bonvoy points.
Using our present valuation of 0.8 cents per point (CAD), we’d value 60,000 Bonvoy points at $480 (CAD). When transferred to Flying Blue, this is equivalent to buying 25,000 miles at 1.92 cents per mile (CAD).
That’s roughly on par with the current promotional cost to buy miles outright at 2.1 cents per point (CAD). Thus, buying miles directly from Flying Blue would actually be about the same value, unless you have a massive Bonvoy balance that you’d like to offload and relatively few meaningful hotel redemption goals.
As you weigh whether this promotion is a good opportunity for you to meet your travel goals, here’s a snapshot of Air France KLM Flying Blue’s previous offers on mileage sales, covering all promotions during the past year:
Cents per point (USD)Start DateUp to 100% more purchased milesOctober 23, 2023November 7, 2023Up to 100% more purchased milesSeptember 7, 2023September 27, 2023Up to 100% more purchased milesMay 22, 2023June 11, 2023Up to 100% more purchased milesApril 17, 2023April 30, 2023Up to 100% more purchased milesFebruary 7, 2023February 27, 2023Up to 100% more purchased milesDecember 1, 2022December 21, 2022Up to 100% more purchased milesOctober 17, 2022November 6, 2022
Buying Flying Blue miles during one of the program’s bonus events can be an attractive strategy if you’re eyeing a transatlantic reward flight with Air France, KLM, or one of their SkyTeam partners.
This current bonus of 100% is in line with the program’s standard promotional bonuses, although we have seen it go as high as 120% before. If you’re interested in the 100% bonus, be sure to take action before the deal ends on November 7, 2023.
However, if you don’t have a specific use of Flying Blue miles in mind, then it’d be better to gradually collect transferable points like Amex Membership Rewards instead, and convert them to Flying Blue miles when it’s time to book.
Appeared first on: princeoftravel.com