November 5th, 2011

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Just thought I’d chime in and share my experience booking my first ever Flying Blue Promo Award. I frequently write about Flying Blue (Air France/KLM’s frequent flyer program) and their bi-monthly 50% off Promo Awards. In general, Flying Blue charges high fees, but these promo awards may make sense since the number of miles required is low. For example, you only need 25,000 miles for one way business class awards from North America to Europe, which is the redemption I just made.

I needed to get from Madrid to Miami on a specific date in December (not flexible). American/Iberia/British Airways was showing nothing for award availability, so I begrudgingly loaded up ExpertFlyer.com and checked for Air Europa availability – and lo and behold there were two classic business class awards. Granted –  I flew them recently and didn’t have the best experience, though my memory is short when I’m in a jam and don’t want to fly coach.

Through airfrance.us I pulled up my date for MAD-MIA and the Air Europa classic award that I saw on ExpertFlyer showed up for only 25,000 miles one way. Score. The fees came to $259, which wasn’t necessarily cheap, but sure beat paying $3,000! Even coach seats were over $900 one-way, so no matter how I sliced it I felt like I got a good deal. I instantly transferred 25,000 Amex to my Flying Blue account (I had to log out of my FlyingBlue and back in to see the updated balance) and there were no excise fees to transfer since FlyingBlue is a foreign frequent flyer program. When all was said and done, I got the ticket booked within 10 minutes from initially finding the award availability on ExpertFlyer.

So there you have it – these awards do not require any time on the phone and even thought he fees are high, they can be very lucrative – especially for business class awards. And stay tuned for round two Air Europa trip report – I hope it’s much better this time around!

The Platinum Card® from American Express

While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
  • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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