Fly to Europe for 9,000 Amex points when you stack Flying Blue Promo Rewards with a transfer bonus
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
But few sales are as reliable as the Promo Rewards we see each month from Air France-KLM Flying Blue. These deals regularly appear on the Flying Blue website and offer a discount on flights to and from select city or region pairs. All discounts are only bookable through the end of the month, and there’s a set travel window.
This month, we’re seeing economy flights from the U.S. to Europe for as little as 11,250 Flying Blue miles, which can be easily transferred from various transferable points programs.
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Airlines: Air France and KLM.
Routes: New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) to and from Europe.
Cost: Varies by airport. Starts at 11,250 miles each way (to/from JFK), with 22,125 miles each way (to/from SEA) as the most expensive in economy class. Transatlantic business class is available starting at 51,000 miles (to/from AUS).
Dates: Travel between Sept. 1, 2022, and Feb. 28, 2023. Travel from LAX Nov. 1, 2022, to Feb. 28, 2023.
Pay the taxes and fees with: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Premier® Card (3 points per dollar on air travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3 points per dollar on travel), American Express® Gold Card (3 points per dollar on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2 points per dollar on travel).
Promo Rewards between North America and Europe
This month, you’ll find discounted economy award tickets from four airports in North America to many cities in Europe starting at just 11,250 miles each way. You'll find the cheapest awards from New York, but there are also published economy deals from Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.
There is also a discounted business-class award option from Austin. As discussed, these flights start at 51,000 miles. With the current Amex transfer bonus, you only need to transfer 41,000 Membership Rewards points to book this award.
Remember, Flying Blue prices award tickets dynamically, so you may need to be flexible with your travel dates to find the lowest rates. Additionally, some destinations may cost more than others. For example, a one-way flight from Austin to Milan costs 53,625 miles.
TPG values Flying Blue miles at 1.2 cents each, meaning you can spend just under $300 worth of Flying Blue miles for a round-trip economy flight to Europe, which is an incredible deal. However, one downside is that Flying Blue tickets have moderate taxes and fees, so you should compare the total award cost to the cost of a cash ticket before booking.
These Promo Rewards tickets must be booked by Sept. 30 but are valid for travel through Feb. 28. Although Promo Rewards normally “cannot be modified, canceled or refunded,” there is a modified rebooking policy for Promo Rewards, which you can read about here.
Again, you can bring the cost of these tickets down to just 9,000 Membership Rewards when you take advantage of the 25% transfer bonus. Just note that you can only transfer in increments of 1,000 points. Note that the transfer bonus ends Sept. 30.
How to book
Book Promo Rewards tickets on the Air France or KLM website. Just log in to your account and click the “Book with Miles” button on the home screen. Then, enter your desired itinerary and click the red search button.
New York, which is the cheapest option this month, had great availability when I searched. With the transfer bonus from Amex, you can book this flight for just 9,000 Membership Rewards.
If you plan to transfer points to book this award, find award space first and then transfer your points as you never want to transfer points over without concrete dates.
Earning Flying Blue miles
You can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio from American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards. You can also transfer Marriott points at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer.
As mentioned above, Amex is currently offering a 25% transfer bonus when transferring Membership Rewards to Flying Blue. This transfer bonus ends Sept. 30.
Based on our tests, Amex, Capital One, Chase and Citi transfers should post instantly. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with our test transfer from Marriott, though, which took three days to arrive in our Flying Blue account. In other words, credit card points are your best bet if you’re hoping to book right away.
Maximize your purchase
Don’t forget to use a card that earns additional points on airfare purchases to pay taxes and fees on your award ticket. Some of the best cards include The Platinum Card from American Express (5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Premier Card (3 points per dollar on air travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3 points per dollar on travel), American Express Gold Card (3 points per dollar on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2 points per dollar on travel).
Additional reporting by Ehsan Haque.