It looks like Air France and KLM’s FlyingBlue program is getting into the business of selling miles. Admittedly not quite at the lucrative rates of other programs, but it’s at least worth mentioning.
Through December 31, 2014, FlyingBlue is offering a 25-50% bonus on purchased FlyingBlue miles:
- If you purchase fewer than 40,000 miles, you receive a 25% bonus
- If you purchase 40,000 or more miles, you receive a 50% bonus
Best I can tell, you can purchase a maximum of 74,000 FlyingBlue miles during the promotion period, which doesn’t factor in the bonus miles (for a total of 111,000 FlyingBlue miles)
So how much is FlyingBlue charging to purchase miles? Purchasing 40,000 miles costs 1,000 Euros (~$1,250USD), and you’d receive 20,000 bonus miles, for a total of 60,000 miles. So that’s a cost of a bit over two US cents per FlyingBlue mile.
That’s not a rate at which I’d speculatively purchase FlyingBlue miles, though at the same time there are some great uses of them. Earlier today I posted about FlyingBlue Promo Awards, whereby you can book select economy and business class redemptions for half off. It’s tough to argue with the value of a one way business class ticket between Chicago and Amsterdam for 31, 750 miles.
There are a couple of interesting aspects of the terms of the terms of the Buy & Gift miles program.
First of all, while I’m not sure how useful it is in practice, you can actually refund your mileage purchase within 14 days:
You have the right to withdraw your purchase in whole and not in part within 14 working days of the date of purchase without penalty and for any reason, provided that the purchased Award Miles are capable of being retrieved in full from your account or the person whom you purchased them for. After this period, Points.com has no obligation to refund any purchase of Award Miles.
Second of all, per the terms the annual cap on purchased miles is 40,000, though bonuses are excluded:
Ivory Members may only purchase or receive up to 40,000 Award Miles in any one transaction and up to 40,000 Award Miles in any calendar year, unless a promotion is active in which case it is possible to either purchase or receive Bonus Award Miles on top of 40,000 Award Miles.
The way I read it, you can purchase 40,000 miles plus whatever bonus they’re offering, though in this case I have a non-elite account and am allowed to purchase 74,000 miles. So I’m not sure what’s correct.
Lastly, FlyingBlue mileage purchases are processed by points.com, so wouldn’t qualify as airfare for the purposes of credit card spend.
This is the best promotion I’ve seen on the purchase of FlyingBlue miles. While it’s not a rate at which I’d speculatively pick up miles, there are certainly some circumstances under which it could make sense to take advantage of this promotion.
(Tip of the hat to speedski)