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 April 30, 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 to acquire points, and it would almost never make sense to buy Flying Blue miles without a promotion in play.
However, during a 100% bonus event, you’ll get double the miles, meaning that you’re effectively purchasing points at half price for 1.53 cents per mile (USD), which is equivalent to about 2.1 cents per mile (CAD).
This is more than our current valuation of 1.8 cents per point (CAD), so it’s best to have a specific redemption in mind that can exceed 2.1 cents per mile (CAD) before buying.
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.
If you’ve been waiting for a sale to purchase Flying Blue points, this promotion could represent a great opportunity to buy.
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 bonuses.
If you were to max out this current promotion as a non-elite member, it’ll cost $3,050 USD (~$4,100 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 earn rate or perhaps one where 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 December 2022, flights between Montreal and Europe were bookable at a 50% discount to the usual price in business class.
With this Promo Reward, you could book transatlantic business class flights to Europe for only 27,500 miles in business class one-way.
Let’s say you were interested in a Montreal–Amsterdam round-trip redemption in business class for one passenger. That would cost 55,000 miles under the previous Promo Rewards deal, which is 50% of the usual cost.
By leveraging the current 100% bonus, you could buy 55,000 miles for $938 (USD), or about $1,259 (CAD).
Even after factoring in Flying Blue’s surcharges, the total out-of-pocket expense is a very nice discount compared to the best deal you could get when paying a cash fare on 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 April 2023 Promo Rewards, you can redeem a one-way flight from Montreal to Amsterdam for 7,500 miles in economy class. For a family of four, you’d need a total of 60,000 miles for round-trip tickets.
Leveraging the 100% bonus offer, you’ll only need to buy 30,000 points for $900 (USD), and pay about $1,136 (USD) in surcharges to redeem the four tickets.
Each round-trip ticket, then, comes to about $509 (USD) or $680 (CAD) all-in, which is cheaper than buying cash tickets directly on Air France or KLM.
Keep an eye out for future Promo Rewards like this, which rotate on a monthly basis, 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 the only direct transatlantic flight 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) (~$2,500 CAD) brings the business class flight much closer within reach compared to paying cash.
The same principle applies to Air France and KLM’s other North American routes, including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City, all of which are priced in the region of 55,000–60,000 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 many 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 the 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
100,000 MR points
$499 annual fee
100,000 MR points
70,000 MR points
$250 annual fee
70,000 MR points
90,000 MR points
$699 annual fee
90,000 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
Brim Financial has released the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard, where you can earn Flying Blue miles on your daily purchases. Unfortunately, the card debuted without a welcome bonus, so your efforts are better spent with other American Express cards at this time.
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 points, and Capital One points 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.
At our present valuation of 0.9 cents per point (CAD), 60,000 Bonvoy points are worth $540. When transferred to Flying Blue, this is equivalent to buying 25,000 miles at 2.13 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 milesFebruary 7, 2023February 27, 2023Up to 100% more purchased milesDecember 1, 2022December 21, 2022Up to 100% more purchased milesOctober 17, 2022November 6, 2022Up to 100% more purchased milesAugust 5, 2022August 18, 2022Up to 120% more purchased milesJune 10, 2022June 30, 2022Up to 100% more purchased milesMay 2, 2022May 15, 2022Up to 100% more purchased milesFebruary 14, 2022February 27, 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 April 30, 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