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Flying Blue is the mileage program of SkyTeam partners Air France, KLM and Air Europa. The program regularly offers Promo Awards where you can book award flights for as little as 50% of the miles normally needed. Starting in March, the program will start releasing a new set of Promo Awards on the first of every month (instead of every two months as it used to do).

Let’s get the bad news out of the way. Whereas in the past flights have been priced at 50% of the miles, now some are only discounted 25%. Coupled with the recent Flying Blue award chart devaluation, don’t plan on saving too many miles on those routes. This time around, there are only 3 US gateways: Dallas (KLM), Miami (Air France) and Washington DC (Air France) – and the promo awards are only 25% off economy redemptions from them so that roundtrips will cost you 37,500 miles.

That’s still nearly 40% fewer miles than SkyTeam partner Delta would charge you for the same awards, so it’s a significant discount and unlike Delta awards (for now) you can book Flying Blue awards one way, giving you extra flexibility.

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 9.18.19 AM

You have to book between March 1-31 for travel dates between May 1-June 30, so it’s just a two-month window, but might be a good chance to get a jump on your summer travel plans. Looks like there is still plenty of availability as well – take a look at the sample Washington IAD to Paris CDG award calendars.

Outbound in May:

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 9.45.51 AMReturns in June:

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 9.46.00 AMJust note that taxes/fees on the outbound are about $90, and about $180 on the return, so you’re looking at $270 roundtrip. That’s quite a bit on an award ticket (though not to Europe these days, unfortunately!), but the lowest economy tickets I could find on Air France around the same dates are about $1,210.

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 9.49.26 AMSo you’re saving over $900 and getting about 2.5 cents per point in value. My two big disappointments are that there aren’t more gateway cities from North America this time around – though hopefully we’ll see more next month and if Flying Blue rotates these out each month maybe that will mean more cities overall – and that the current awards are just for economy tickets instead of business class redemptions we’ve seen in the past. Also – how about some more enticing 50% off tickets, Flying Blue!

One are where these could also be especially, however, is if you’re already in Europe and want to score some discounted awards flying within Europe. All the European promo awards are for 25% off economy tickets (with three exceptions below at 50%) and the gateways are:

  • Amsterdam (Air France)
  • Bremen (KLM)
  • Hamburg (KLM)
  • Helsinki (KLM)
  • St. Petersburg (KLM)
  • Madrid to Rome, Tenerife Norte and Tenerife Sur (Air Europa)
  • Marseille-Marrakech (Air France)
  • Paris Orly to Bordeaux and Montpellier (Air France)
  • Toulouse-Tunis (Air France)

So you can score awards from Amsterdam to the rest of Europe for 7,500 miles each way, for instance (though taxes and fees are about $60-$70 each way), and Europe includes destinations like Turkey and Israel, so you could fly roundtrip Amsterdam to Istanbul for as little as 7,500 miles each way (and $85 in taxes/fees).

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 10.18.15 AMSo while I’d like to see bigger discounts of 50% on more classes of service, there are still some possible deals to be scored here.

Also keep in mind that Flying Blue is also an instant 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, so if you have a card like the Premier Rewards Gold or Platinum, this promo could be a good value for using those Amex points especially if they run another 35% transfer bonus like they ran last May.

You could also transfer Starwood Preferred Guest points to Flying Blue, and get a 5,000-mile bonus on transfers of 20,000 miles. The current sign-up bonus on both the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express are 25,000 points when you spend $3,000 (personal card) and $5,000 (business card) in the first 3 months.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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