Flying Blue 40% Bonus on Purchased Miles: A Good Deal?

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From April 18- June 30, 2012, you can get up to 40% more miles when you purchase Flying Blue (Air France/ KLM) miles. Flying Blue normally sells miles at 2.5 Euro cents apiece (3.3 cents at today’s exchange rate). With this promo, you can get as many as 56,000 miles for 1,000 euros ($1,310), or 2.3 cents a piece. So is this a good deal?
Generally, no. Flying Blue charges crazy amounts of taxes and fees on awards (think British Airways bad), so that 100,000 mile business class roundtrip award to Europe would cost $2,300 if you were able to purchase the miles, plus ~$900 in fees. At that rate, you are probably better off buying a discounted business class ticket. Forget about making this work for normal coach awards, too.

However, Flying Blue runs Promo Awards, which are half the normal amount of miles. The trick is that they are only for certain cities in North America and they rotate every two months and you only have a two-month window to book them. However, if you can snag one, they can be exception deals, like 50,000 miles roundtrip to Europe from North America (you don’t have to end in a Flying Blue hub – you can go anywhere in Europe, as well as Israel as long as there is Classic award space available).

So you could buy 56,000 miles for $1,310 and then spend $900 in fees, so you have a roundtrip business class award for around $2,200. Not amazing, but easily a 50% discount over paid business class fares.

Another option is to transfer American Express or Starwood points to Flying Blue. Starwood gives a 25% bonus for every 20,000 points transferred and American Express often runs 25% transfer bonuses.

Promo T&C:

* Bonus Miles will be awarded on transactions made between 18 April and 30 June 2012 and will be credited to the recipient’s account when the transaction is complete.

Award Miles are sold to you by Points.com Inc. Payment must be made by credit card. Award Miles will be deposited into your account within 72 hours of purchase. You have the right to withdraw your purchase within 7 days as provided in the Buy and Gift Award Miles Program Terms and Conditions. To exercise the withdrawal right or to obtain assistance with the Buy and Gift Award Miles Program, please contact the Customer Service Centre.

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