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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
Flying Blue, the mileage program of SkyTeam partners Air France, KLM and Air Europa, offers Promo Awards each month, through which you can book award flights for 25-50% off on certain routes and in specific cabins. While these awards used to be released every two months, Flying Blue now updates them each month instead. The list of awards you can book between October 1-31 for travel December 1-January 31 is now up on the Promo Awards page. Even though Air France is a Delta Air Lines partner, you cannot book these awards with Delta SkyMiles.
The current list between North America and Europe for travel dates between December 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015 includes:
- Boston on Air France: 25% off business class – 46,875 miles each way, 93,750 miles round-trip.
- Chicago on KLM: 25% off economy class – 18,750 miles each way, 37,500 miles round-trip.
- Houston on KLM: 25% off economy class – 18,750 miles each way, 37,500 miles round-trip.
- Houston on Air France: 25% off premium economy class – 37,500 miles each way, 75,000 miles round-trip.
- Miami on Air France: 25% off business class – 46,875 miles each way, 93,750 miles round-trip.
- Washington D.C. on KLM: 25% off economy – 18,750 miles each way, 37,500 miles round-trip.
Also, there are other good deals available for those outside of North America or who are already going to be in Europe, such as 50% off Air France economy class between Europe and Moscow (7,500 miles each way), or 50% off Air France and KLM economy class between Europe and Osaka, Japan (20,000 miles each way).
These awards aren’t as good as the ones offered last month, which featured some 50% off options. Still, there’s value to be had here.
With Promo Awards, a coach ticket from Chicago to Paris in December would cost 37,500 miles plus $268.38 in taxes in fees. To book these flights outright would cost $1,209.54, so the redemption option offers 2.51 cents per mile in value, which is higher than my most recent valuation of 1.3 cents apiece for Air France Flying Blue miles.
Stocking up on Flying Blue Miles
If you don’t have enough Flying Blue miles, there are a few ways you can get them relatively quickly. The program is an instant 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, the program of cards like the Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.
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. Just note that transfers can take a few days. The current welcome 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. Even if you never fly Air France/KLM, or if you bank your SkyTeam miles elsewhere, there are still plenty of options to top up your account quickly using points you might already have. They are also a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi Thank You Rewards
Do you plan to book any of these awards? Let us know your thoughts and plans in the comments below.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees