It can be a great deal to strategically buy miles & points for luxury travel. Along those lines, the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program has just launched a promotion on purchased miles, which is in line with the offers we typically see from the program.
In this post:
Promotion on purchased Flying Blue miles
Through Tuesday, November 7, 2023, the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program is offering a promotion on purchased miles. The accounts I manage all show a tiered bonus of up to 100%, as follows:
- Buy 4,000-10,000 miles, get a 50% bonus
- Buy 12,000-22,000 miles, get a 70% bonus
- Buy 24,000-100,000 miles, get a 100% bonus
It’s possible that different accounts may be targeted for different bonuses, as you do have to log into your Flying Blue account to see what your offer is.
How much does it cost to buy Flying Blue miles?
Ordinarily you can buy Flying Blue miles for 3.05 cents each (in USD), before any discounts or bonuses. If you maxed out the promotion and purchased 100,000 Flying Blue miles before the bonus, you’d receive a total of 200,000 miles at a cost of $3,050, which is a rate of 1.53 cents per mile.
This is an excellent promotion from Flying Blue. With the exception of one 120% bonus in 2022, this is otherwise in line with the best offers from the program.
How many Flying Blue miles can you purchase?
Those without status in the Flying Blue program are limited to purchasing at most 100,000 Flying Blue miles per calendar year before any bonuses. Elite members can purchase an unlimited number of miles, though there may be limits on how many bonus miles can be earned during promotions.
Which credit card should you buy Flying Blue miles with?
Flying Blue mileage purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spending. Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spending, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending.
In this case the best option is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review) (Rates & Fees), which offers 2x miles and has no foreign transaction fees. Usually the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi Double Cash® Card (review) would also be good options for maximizing everyday spending, but the cards have foreign transaction fees, so wouldn’t be a good option in this case.
- Earn 3% Cash Back on Dining
- Earn 3% Cash Back at Drugstores
- Earn 1.5% Cash Back On All Other Purchases
See this post for more on which credit cards are best for buying points.
Is buying Flying Blue miles worth it?
The Air France-KLM Flying Blue program has dynamic award pricing. This means that there’s not a published award chart, but rather the cost of an award can vary based on the date, time of flight, etc.
The way I view it, the big selling point of the Flying Blue program is that Air France & KLM make more award seats available to members of the Flying Blue program than to members of partner airline frequent flyer programs. Furthermore, nowadays Flying Blue allows free stopovers on awards, which is an awesome feature.
If you’re looking to book a transatlantic award ticket, especially in business class, it’s hard to beat the value proposition of booking through Flying Blue. Not only is there a good amount of availability, but both Air France and KLM offer solid transatlantic business class products (read my review of KLM’s 787 business class, read my review of Air France’s A350 business class). I use Flying Blue miles a lot, and consistently get great value with them.
What are good uses of Flying Blue miles?
As mentioned above, my preferred use of Flying Blue miles is for travel in business class on Air France or KLM across the Atlantic. At the moment it seems like business class awards widely start at 55,000 miles one-way (this can change, given dynamic pricing), and that’s quite a good value.
For example, you can fly Air France business class from Paris to Miami…
Or Air France business class from New York to Prague via Paris…
Or Air France business class from Los Angeles to Edinburgh via Paris…
Or KLM business class from Chicago to Copenhagen via Amsterdam…
When you combine the overall value and availability for transatlantic business class flights, Flying Blue miles are pretty tough to beat, in my opinion.
While there are some other niche redemptions available with Flying Blue miles, I think this is where the most value lies.
Does Flying Blue have fuel surcharges on award tickets?
Flying Blue does have carrier imposed surcharges (often referred to as fuel surcharges) on award tickets, though they’re mild in comparison to what you’d pay for a British Airways business class award, for example. Expect Flying Blue carrier imposed surcharges to generally be around $200 one-way for a transatlantic business class award (and then taxes and fees are in addition to that, but you’d pay that with any airline).
On what airlines can you redeem Flying Blue miles?
As you can see above, personally I think there’s the most value to be had when redeeming directly on Air France & KLM. Beyond that, Flying Blue miles can also be redeemed on a variety of other airlines:
- Air France & KLM are in SkyTeam, so you can redeem miles on all SkyTeam partners; however, I generally find SkyTeam isn’t as good as oneworld or Star Alliance when it comes to reciprocal award space
- Flying Blue has some unique airline partnerships outside of SkyTeam, including with airlines like Aircalin
How much are Flying Blue miles worth?
Everyone will value mileage currencies differently, but personally I value Flying Blue miles at ~1.3 cents each. However, I tend to value points pretty conservatively, and there are many ways to get way more value from Flying Blue miles than that.
Do Flying Blue miles expire?
Flying Blue miles expire if you have no qualifying flight or credit card activity in your account for 24 months. You can extend the expiration of miles by crediting any eligible flights to Flying Blue, having Flying Blue elite status, or by having a co-branded Flying Blue credit card.
Note that buying points directly from Flying Blue, or transferring them from a Flying Blue transfer partner, wouldn’t extend the expiration of the miles.
What other ways can you earn Flying Blue miles?
While buying Flying Blue miles could represent a great deal, keep in mind that there are lots of other ways to earn Flying Blue miles. Most significantly, Flying Blue is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Brex, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Marriott Bonvoy. As you can see, there are lots of ways to acquire points with the program through other currencies.
- 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3x points on dining
- 2x points on travel purchases
- 3x points on Travel after the $300 Annual Travel Credit
- 3x points on Dining
- $300 Travel Credit
- Earn 3x points on travel
- Earn 3x points on shipping purchases
- Cell Phone Protection
Air France-KLM Flying Blue is offering a promotion on purchased miles, giving members the opportunity to buy miles with up to a 100% bonus. This is an opportunity to acquire points for 1.53 cents each.
This is a good offer for acquiring Flying Blue miles. There’s lots of value to be had with Flying Blue miles, especially for transatlantic business class redemptions, where award pricing is generally reasonable and availability is good.
The only thing I’d remind people of is that there are lots of ways to earn Flying Blue miles, so outright buying them won’t be necessary for a lot of people.
Do you plan on purchasing Flying Blue miles with a 100% bonus?