In the fall of 2018, the Air France-KLM World Elite Mastercard was introduced in the US market. The card is issued by Bank of America, and reflects a general trend of seeing non-US airlines start to issue credit cards in the US.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how the card was offering the best bonus I ever recall seeing, as you could earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 within the first 90 days of account opening. Now the offer gets even better — through this link you can earn an additional $150 statement credit on top of that.
Let’s take a closer look at the card…
Air France-KLM Credit Card details
Here are the basics of the card:
- Welcome bonus: earn 50,000 bonus miles plus a $150 statement credit after making $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days, plus 60 XP (which counts towards status) upon approval
- Annual fee: $89 (not waived the first year)
- Return on spend: 3x miles per dollar spent directly with Air France, KLM, and SkyTeam member airlines, 1.5x miles per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Other benefits: 5,000 miles every year on your account anniversary after you spend $50 or more on purchases within the anniversary year, plus 20 XP on your account anniversary every year without any spend requirement, plus 40 additional XP on your account anniversary when you spend $15,000 in purchases within the cardmember year
- Foreign transaction fees: None
My take on the Air France-KLM Credit Card
In general I don’t recommend using an airline credit card for a majority of your spending, as there are typically better credit cards for everyday spending. That’s more general commentary than something specific to this card.
That’s simply because cards that accrue transferable points give you a lot more flexibility, and often have better bonus categories and welcome bonuses.
Is this the most amazing airline credit card ever? No. But I do think it offer some solid perks and unique benefits that could make it a keeper:
- Earning 1.5x miles per dollar spent on all purchases is better than average for an airline credit card
- While the card has an $89 annual fee, the 5,000 bonus miles when spending $50 on the card in a year (which is a reasonable threshold) should nearly cover the annual fee in terms of value
- The card can help you earn XPs towards Flying Blue status, which some may find to be worthwhile
Personally I don’t have the card. Flying Blue is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou. I’d rather maximize my rewards with some of those credit cards, since many of them offer 1.5-2x points per dollar spent.
On top of that, we even sometimes see transfer bonuses to Flying Blue, which can improve your points earning ratio even more. For example, in the past we’ve seen 25-30% bonuses from Amex and Citi.
The Air France-KLM Card is one that many people may not have considered, but it could be worthwhile. The card currently has a bonus of 50,000 Flying Blue miles plus a $150 statement credit upon completing minimum spending. When you factor in the $89 annual fee, that means you’ll really receive 50,000 miles plus $61.
If you’re going for status with Flying Blue then this could be even more valuable, though otherwise I think there are better options out there.
Anyone plan on picking up the Air France-KLM World Elite Mastercard?
(Tip of the hat to US Credit Card Guide)