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

by on April 20, 2012 · 8 comments

in Flying Blue

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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 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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Phil

    Be careful, Air France O class has evaporated in the past few days. Hard to believe it is unrelated to the Delta “IT glitch” that recently blocked availability. I think the two airlines are conspiring to drive down the cost of awards for them

  • Guest

    Would this be a good deal for those interested in coach tickets? I’d personally rather spend 25k and suck it up in coach for seven hours if it means I can travel twice as often. Or would the taxes and surcharges make using FlyingBlue for coach much less attractive? Thanks for your help, keep up the great work!

  • thepointsguy

    No because the taxes and fees alone can be nearly the price of buying a coach seat outright.

  • Jetstream007

    The FB taxes are high, but they are the same for coach and business (unlike BA). Just this week I’m on a businessclass award return trip LAX/AMS and taxes came in at $580. Still a lot of money, but not $900 like BA charges. Also you can book them one-way (and pay 50% of the taxes).

  • Bcred

    I’ve had an awful time with Flying Blue recently. I had some points that were going to expire,I know !I thought I’ll buy some to top up and the expiry won’t occur. Oh No the $%^&&&*’s expired my miles anyway.
    Seems that a purchase still won’t save those miles that are about to expire. I learned my lesson,and now KLM Air France are a the bottom of the list when it comes to my business.

  • Mark

    I wish I hadn’t missed the 25% bonus from AMEX but I was just able to transfer MR to FB to get a pair of $7,500 business class tix for 100k FB points each (plus $850 in fees each). A comparable flight using Skymiles priced out at 325k miles each plus $50. It would have been great if my flights were flexible as the 25k business class are sweet, but I was flying to a cruise so can’t change the dates. Thanks for the tips on the workarounds for Delta using AF and FB!

  • Xane

    Anyone knows if you can transfer your miles from other loyalty programs to KLM Flying Blue and take advantage of this offer? I have some points from my time sharing that can be transferred to other programs including KLM FB. Not sure if that would be a good deal though, just wondering…

  • Pingback: Amex 35% Transfer Bonus to Air France/KLM Flying Blue | The Points Guy()

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