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Flying Blue, the mileage program of SkyTeam partners Air France, KLM and Air Europa, offers Promo Awards each month that enable you to book award flights for as little as half the miles normally needed on some routes and in certain cabins. The list of awards you can book between December 1-31, 2014 for travel February 1-March 31, 2015 is now up on the Flying Blue Promo Awards page.
Note that even though Air France is a Delta Air Lines partner, you can’t book these awards with Delta SkyMiles.
The current award list for travel between February 1-March 31, 2015 includes:
- Chicago to Europe on KLM: 50% off economy class – 12,500 miles each way, 25,000 miles round-trip
- New York (JFK) to Europe on Air France: 50% off premium economy class – 25,000 miles each way, 50,000 miles round-trip
- Toronto to Europe on on Air France: 50% off premium economy class – 25,000 miles each way, 50,000 miles round-trip
Chicago to Europe for 12,500 miles each way in coach is a particularly great deal, especially since eligible destinations include desirable cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Florence. Through this redemption,a round-trip coach award from Chicago to Paris in February or March would cost 25,000 miles plus $265.17 in taxes in fees. It would cost $1,007.31 to book these same flights outright, so this redemption offers 2.97 cents per mile in value, which is more than double my most recent valuation of 1.3 cents apiece for Flying Blue miles.
Topping Up Your Flying Blue Account
If you want to take advantage of the new promo awards but you don’t have enough (or any) Flying Blue miles, there are a few ways you can quickly earn and make transfers for them:
Flying Blue is an instant 1:1 transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, the loyalty program of American Express cards like the Everyday Preferred and The Platinum Card from American Express. The Platinum card (which has an annual fee of $450) currently offers a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and Everyday Preferred (annual fee of $95) offering 15,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
Flying Blue is also a 1:1 transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest, which offers a 5,000-mile bonus on transfers of 20,000 points. At the current Promo Awards rate, for instance, you could book a round-trip economy award ticket to Europe for just 20,000 Starpoints (though note that SPG transfers can take a few days). The current sign-up bonus for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express (and the business version, the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express) is 25,000 points when you spend $3,000, (personal card), and $5,000 (business card) in the first 3 months.
Additionally, Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi ThankYou, which allows you to transfer points to airline partners only if you have the Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi Prestige, and Citi Chairman cards. The Citi ThankYou Premier comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points, 20,000 after you spend $2,000 in the first three months, and another 30,000 after spending $3,000 in the first three months of the second year of cardmembership. The annual fee of $125 is waived for the first year.
Do you plan to book any of these Flying Blue Promo awards? 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.
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.