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On June 1, Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue mileage program ditched its award charts for a new flexible mileage calculator based on origin and destination. Flying Blue also just launched its latest version of Promo Rewards. These two changes combined open up some good deals.
Under the new flexible mileage calculator, Flying Blue awards between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Paris’s Charles de Gaulle (CDG) now start at 22,000 miles each way in economy:
And, under the new Promo Rewards, economy award flights between Chicago and Europe are 50% off for travel dates July 31 to September 29. In addition, economy award flights from San Francisco to Europe are 25% off:
When you combine these two promotions, you can get award flights between Chicago (ORD) and Paris (CDG) from July 31 to September 29 that cost as little as 11,000 miles one-way or 22,000 miles round-trip. But, it’s not just Chicago-Paris that’s available with this promotion. As with past Flying Blue Promo Rewards, all flights from the selected airport (Chicago) to Europe are included. And, it turns out there are many routes starting at just 10,750 miles one-way or 21,500 miles round-trip.
Unfortunately, these discounted award rates aren’t available on all dates in the window. Also, taxes and fees on these awards start at $171 round-trip.
Airline: Air France, KLM
Routes: Chicago (ORD) to Europe
Cost: from 10,750 miles one-way plus taxes/fees starting at $171
Dates: July 31 to September 29
Booking Link: Flying Blue
Chicago (ORD) to Dublin (DUB) for 21,500 Flying Blue Miles and US$212:
Chicago (ORD) to Budapest (BUD) for 21,500 Flying Blue Miles and US$231:
Chicago (ORD) to Rome (FCO) for 21,500 Flying Blue Miles and US$233:
Chicago (ORD) to London Heathrow (LHR) for 21,500 Flying Blue Miles and US$326:
Chicago (ORD) to Paris (CDG) for 22,000 Flying Blue Miles and US$206:
Chicago (ORD) to Berlin Tegel (TXL) for 23,500 Flying Blue Miles and US$281:
Chicago (ORD) to Amsterdam (AMS) for 27,500 Flying Blue Miles and US$171:
How To Book
To book these awards, you’re going to need Flying Blue miles. Don’t worry if you don’t have any yet; Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards (instant transfer), Citi ThankYou Points (instant transfer), American Express Membership Rewards (instant transfer), Starwood Preferred Guest (4-day transfer).
Once you have the miles in your Flying Blue account, you can book awards through Flying Blue‘s online award search tool.
End of the Tel Aviv sweet spot?
One of the sweet spots of the old Flying Blue program was the inclusion of Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV) in the European region. That meant that US-based travelers could redeem Flying Blue miles for flights from US to Israel for the same rate as flying to much-closer destinations such as France or the Netherlands. With the new flexible mileage calculator, flights to Tel Aviv now cost 29,000 miles each way:
And, it doesn’t seem that Tel Aviv is included in the European region when it comes to Promo Rewards, as 29,000 miles one-way is the cheapest rate that I can find from Chicago-Tel Aviv in August and September.
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees