Over the past couple of years we’ve seen more non-US airlines launch credit cards in the US, and it looks like we’re now seeing yet another one.
The new Air France-KLM World Elite Mastercard, issued by Bank of America, has just been launched in the US.
Air France-KLM Credit Card details
Here are the basics of the card:
- Welcome bonus: 25,000 bonus miles after making $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days, plus 60 XP upon your account 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 spend. 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 have to give them credit for offering some solid perks:
- 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
- I’d say the only thing that really makes this card worthwhile is if you’re going for status with Flying Blue, since you can earn 60 XP per year with the card (when you apply you get that right away, and in subsequent years you’d have to spend $15,000 to achieve that); for context, Silver status requires 100 XP
So personally I’ll give this card a pass. 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, this year we’ve seen a 25% transfer bonus from Amex and 30% transfer bonus from Citi).
The new Air France-KLM Credit Card is useful if you’re going for status with Flying Blue, though otherwise I think there are much better options out there. The welcome bonus isn’t huge, the return on spend isn’t that amazing, and it doesn’t offer any remarkable perks.
What do you make of this new card?