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25% Amex Transfer Bonus to Flying Blue= Cheap Business Class and Delta One-way Awards

by on February 2, 2012 · 36 comments

in American Express, Flying Blue

Thru February 29, 2012 you can get a 25% bonus on American Express Membership Rewards points transferred to Flying Blue (the frequent flyer program of Air France and KLM).

Membershiprewards.com -> Use points -> Airlines

The Flying Blue program isn’t great normally – while they have a reasonable award chart (50,000 miles roundtrip for coach to Europe and 100,000 miles for business), their fees and fuel surcharges can easily cost more than the price of a coach ticket. Therefore, I rarely recommend booking through them – generally it makes sense to transfer to Delta, unless you need a one-way award, which Delta charges the same price as a roundtrip.

However, you can get huge value out of this special 25% transfer bonus, especially when taking advantage of:
1) Promo awards, especially in business class and to far destinations like Istanbul and Tel Aviv. Note: you need to leave from the city listed in the chart and transit via Amsterdam (KLM) or Paris (Air France). However, you don’t need to end in either of those cities – you can go anywhere in Europe 1/2/3 and flying Blue classifies Tel Aviv as part of Europe 3! In the example below I was able to pull up a promo award from JFK to Istanbul one way in business class for 25,000 miles and $362. That’s 20,000 Amex and $362 for a $5,000+ flight! Granted, I would never pay that much, but you still get the point.
Check out this guide for details on booking Promo Awards

One way JFK-Amsterdam-Istanbul in business class for 25,000 miles (20,000 Amex) and $362

2) Intra US awards on Delta has low fees. Plus you can book one-way awards for half the price of a roundtrip – Delta charges the same price as roundtrip to their own Skymiles members.

Atlanta to Los Angeles one way for 12,500 miles (10,000 Amex) and $39

3) Delta awards to South America – low fees

Atlanta to Buenos Aires one way for 50,000 miles (40,000 Amex) and $19.20

If you need a Flying Blue account, you can get one here for free. AirFrance.us isn’t perfect and I noticed several times that after a bunch of searches it starts to go insane and produce wacky results (kind of like delta.com). I recommend closing out of your browser and starting fresh again.

If you want to get a Membership Rewards credit card, the best offers right now are private referrals – 50,000 points for the Platinum Card after $3,000 spend in 3 months ($450 annual fee) and 25,000 for Premier Rewards Gold after $2,000 spend in 3 months ($175 annual fee, waived the first year). Email me at info @ thepointsguy.com and use subject AMEX REFERRAL if you need a referral or ask someone you know who has the card and tell them to go to Americanexpress.com/refer. If they get an error, tell them to log-out of their Amex account and try again.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • Guest
  • Anonymous

    Brian, how often does a promo like this come around? I have been waiting for something like this as I need 4 one-way tickets to Israel. I was planning on just booking roundtrip tickets from Delta, but I really didn’t want to lose 40,000+ per ticket. Also, as a Delta Plat, are there any perks that I would get with using my Flying Blue account?

  • sfobuddy

    I’m hopeful Delta offers another bonus promotion, because I’m sitting on 60K MR points. I agree with you, the high taxes all but kill my desire to deposit any points into FB. BTW, what happened to the first post on this thread – I assumed it was fake ;-)

  • Judy

    Brian, where do you go to find that 25 percent bonus? I didn’t see it on the Air France site or when I clicked on my Membership Rewards on Amex.

  • Judy

    I’m also confused by this post. I know that Flying Blue has high fees and surcharges. But when you say that Delta has lower fees, does that mean you have to use Delta Skymiles for an award ticket? Or can you use Flying Blue points on Delta and pay the lower Delta fees?

  • Lucasflies

    Judy, you can find Delta flights and just pay the standard delta tax/fee with your Flying Blue points. For example, the Israel flights I was looking at were 25,000 points and $50 (one-way). The $50 should work as roundtrip as well.

  • Iris97

    I just booked a flight two weeks ago through FlyingBlue that involved a transfer of 100000 Amex points. Do you think it is possible to get the 25% bonus retroactively?

  • Anonymous

    It never hurts to ask.. but I doubt they’ll give it to you

  • Anonymous

    Ditto what Lucas says. Look at the examples- the delta flights have very low fees. The only catch is that you can’t get the 50% off Promo Awards on Delta flights- only on air france/klm.

  • Anonymous

    Do you have a US account? It’s hard coded in the transfer ratio at membershiprewards.com -> Use Points -> Airlines -> Flying Blue. 1,000 Amex = 1,250 Flying Blue

  • Anonymous

    First post was spam. The 50k offer is only via referral- the public amex offer is only 25k, which isn’t worth it. Even if you find a random link online that says 50k, you most likely wont get it. And I knew the post was fake when he said he had the points in 2 weeks- Amex never posts that quickly- especially since theres a spend requirement and you have to wait for account to close.

  • Anonymous

    Flying Blue transfer promos are rare. I can’t remember the last time they had a bonus

  • Asdfasdf

    had amex plat for the 50k –>100k bump –> txfr bonus to DL last year –> cxl amex plat.

    when can i reapply and get 50k again?

  • Emt

    I have a quick tip about booking DL awards with AF points. The fees that you see online are often different if you call AF to book over the phone.
    I’ve booked 4 such awards in the past and every single time the fees have been $5 per flight when booking by phone, while the website generally shows fees around $20-$50.

  • Anonymous

    Technically never, but some people have gotten bonuses again after 2 years or so. If you want another 50k, just apply for the Mercedes-Benz platinum with 50k bonus https://www.mbfs.com/mbfsr/en/misc/creditCard.do

  • Anonymous

    Interesting..good to know! I was curious how they were calculating random fees on US segments that should only have $2.50 in fees per leg

  • Guest
  • Judy

    So you can log on to Delta, then, using your Flying Blue number, and book a Delta flight at a lower fee? But if you log on to Delta and book an Air France flight, using Delta Skymiles, will they also charge you lower fees than if you’d booked on Air France? Because AF flights to Paris are much better–better food, free drink, amenities. Plus some of the AF flights have that Premium Voyageur class and more room.

  • Anonymous

    No- you need to log onto Airfrance.us and book a Delta flight using your Air France points.

    If you book Air France flights using Delta miles fees will also be lower than if you book the same flight through Flying Blue

  • http://www.bankaim.com/ Ben

    Yeah Ive been waiting for a Delta offer of at least 30-40% bonus for transferring AMEX points.. I’m sitting on 410k right now and would like to get all of those free miles. The last one I got was early last year at 40% bonus. Ive been searching google every few weeks hoping someone post something about a new Delta Promo

  • Emt

    Yes, you’re right. I was booking 2-leg flights each time, so that’s exactly why the fees were $5 ‘per flight’.

  • MJLouise

    Can you buy a cheap econ KLM flight, then upgrade to business class with FB points? I’m seeing <$600 flights from ORD-IST RT.

  • Anonymous

    Nope- full fare only
    Upgrade award
    Upgrade awards give access to the next class of travel up from the full fare you paid when flying with AIR FRANCE, KLM and our partners Air Europa, Kenya Airways, Aircalin and TAROM.* You can also give an upgrade award to anyone you choose, even if you´re not travelling with them.

    * Depending on the number of award seats available on the flight. One upgrade maximum per flight (from the paid class of travel to the one above). Valid only for full-fare reservation classes, and on one-way flights. Flex Awards do not apply.

  • Daveh

    if you do the one way delta rewards flight, do you still get upgrades based on your delta medallion status when booked on the flying blue?

  • Anonymous

    No because it’s an air France issued award ticket. Delta medallion awards only process on delta issued tickets as far as I know

  • Fred

    trying to plan 25th wedding anniversary to Paris in late March/early April 2013. am i better off trying Delta award flight or Flying Blue award flight? looking for business class.

  • jon

    I have 545,000 amex points. I’m trying to get 4 tickets for December 2012 from jfk to cape town with a stop in Paris or London and then departing from johanesburg back to jfk. Is transferring the points to Flying Blue the most efficient way to achieve this? If I do this, the taxes and fees came to $578/person, that can’t be paid with points. Is there a better way to use the amex points?

  • Anonymous

    Flying Blue is probably not your best bet- doing the same awards with Delta will have much less fees. Delta also runs lucrative transfer bonuses so hold out and wait for one. Note: South Africa awards are generally hard to get, so you will need to be flexible.

    You can also try to book an Aeroplan award on South African or via Europe on Star Partners Lufthansa, Turkish or even via Cairo on Egyptair.

  • Tcaplus

    I’ve done this a few times and found best availability through LHR with staralliance. The NY and DC to SouthAfrica routes are tough to get multiple seats on. We once went through Brazil to So Africa also with Star Alliance.

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  • pilotb757

    @ thepointsguy, you mentioned Flying Blue is good for Telaviv, I fly business class to Telaviv as my major destination from Indianapolis, would you recommend transferring my amex mr for the 25% bonus? Ill lso appreciate it if you can explain briefly on the best way i can book Telaviv with Flying Blue? Tahnks

  • Cjackermann

    TPG

    I have about 200k points on Amex and some 35k each on continental and Delta. I would like to tak emy fiance to Italy this june for 2 weeks and she has never flown first class. what would be the best way to go about it?

  • Dee_Tee

    TPG, do KLM and AF allow stopovers? I have 200K MR points and this might be worth since I travel from IAD to AMS frequently but also want to have stopovers somewhere in Europe when I have the opportunity.

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  • Fbmember

    How is it possible to check which are delta flights when you search a flight in air france web? I’m not able to do that, and the tax fares i obtain are airfrance ones…

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