Since mid-March, the US American Express Membership Rewards program has been offering a 25% bonus when you convert points into Air France KLM Flying Blue miles. This promotion expires tomorrow, Monday April 29, 2019, so if you’ve been considering this promotion you’ll want to take advantage of it ASAP.
Points ordinarily convert at a 1:1 ratio, though during this promotion you can convert 1,000 Amex points into 1,250 FlyingBlue miles.
There’s no limit to how often you can take advantage of this promotion, and the bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, meaning that you can earn the bonus on multiple transactions.
I love that Amex Membership Rewards offers transfer bonuses with some frequency, including to Air France, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. However, it has been quite a while since we’ve seen a Flying Blue transfer bonus. The last such bonus was last spring, and was also for 25%.
There are so many great cards that accrue Membership Rewards points, and when you consider that some cards earn up to 2x points per dollar spent, you’re looking at quite a good return when you stack with a transfer bonus.
Should you transfer Amex points to Flying Blue?
Flying Blue nowadays has dynamic award pricing and roughly distance based award pricing. While I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorite frequent flyer programs, it is one that I get quite a bit of use out of.
Go figure over the past few months I’ve transferred hundreds of thousands of Amex points to Flying Blue without a transfer bonus. Flying Blue Promo Awards can be a great value, though there are lots of great uses beyond that.
One of the advantages of Flying Blue is that they make more Air France and KLM award seats available to members of their own program than to members of partner programs. So even when their pricing isn’t the best, there are situations where it could make sense to book through them.
Redeem miles for KLM’s 787 business class
Over the past several months I’ve transferred hundreds of thousands of points to Flying Blue without a transfer bonus. To give a sense of some of the tickets I’ve booked:
- I redeemed 52,000 Flying Blue miles for a one-way Air France business class ticket from Miami to Paris (plus carrier imposed surcharges)
- I redeemed 72,000 Flying Blue miles for a one-way Air Europa business class ticket from London to Madrid to Miami (without carrier imposed surcharges)
- I redeemed 85,000 Flying Blue miles for a one-way Air France business class ticket from Miami to Paris to Male (plus carrier imposed surcharges)
- I redeemed 97,500 Flying Blue miles for a one-way Air France and Middle East Airlines business class ticket from Detroit to Paris to Beirut (plus carrier imposed surcharges)
Redeem miles for Air France’s 777 business class
We typically see a transfer bonus from Amex to Flying Blue once per year, so it’s nice to see this return for 2019.
I’m always conflicted when it comes to transferring points during transfer bonuses. On one hand, a lot of the value from transferrable points comes from the flexibility you have of being able to transfer them to any program once you actually have a specific redemption in mind. That’s the best way to protect yourself from devaluations.
At the same time, in the case of Flying Blue I also find myself consistently making bookings through them, and I’d much rather do so with a 25% bonus than not.
So while I usually don’t recommend speculatively transferring points, I’m tempted to do so in this situation, since I feel like I’ll find myself redeeming those miles over the coming months. I guess I need to make up my mind, since I only have one day remaining to do so.
Do you plan on transferring Amex points to Flying Blue with a 25% bonus?