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Flying Blue brings Promo Rewards back to the US with discounted flights from Chicago and Miami

Nov. 02, 2021
8 min read
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After a nearly two-year hiatus, Air France-KLM Flying Blue is bringing Promo Rewards back to flights to and from the U.S.

For some background, Promo Rewards are Flying Blue's monthly discounted award deals. They offer a set discount on flights to/from select city or region pairs, and can offer decent savings in both economy and premium cabins. Promo Rewards from the U.S. have been suspended for over a year in response to low travel demand, so this the first time we've seen them since early 2020.

Specifically, Flying Blue members can book flights from Europe to Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) and Miami (MIA) — or vice-versa — at a discount through the end of this month for travel through the end of April 2022.

From Miami, we're seeing one-way economy flights on Air France start at just 16,125 miles plus taxes and fees and one-way business-class tickets on KLM from 39,750 miles. One-way economy flights from Chicago on Air France are starting at 16,500 miles plus taxes and fees.

These Promo Rewards come at the perfect time for American travelers, too. This is because American Express and Capital One are currently running 25% and 20% transfer bonuses, respectively, to Flying Blue. This drops the price of a business-class ticket down to just 32,000 Membership Rewards points, for instance.

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The deal

Airline: Air France, KLM
Routes: Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) and Miami (MIA) to/from Europe.
Cost: Economy flights starting at 16,125 miles one-way, business class starting at 39,750 miles.
Dates: Book by Nov. 30, 2021 for travel between Nov. 1, 2021 and Apr. 30, 2022 (or just Mar. 25 in the case of Air France economy awards to/from Miami)
Pay with: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x 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 (3x on air travel ), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel).

Promo Rewards from Chicago and Miami to Europe

Use November's Flying Blue Promo Rewards to visit Paris, Amsterdam and other European capitals. (Photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy)

Flying Blue is running three U.S. Promo Rewards: one from Chicago and two from Miami.

The Chicago Promo Reward offers 25% off economy award flights from the Windy City to Europe. In practice, this means you can book awards for as few as 16,500 miles one-way depending on your destination. The only downside is that Flying Blue tickets have relatively high taxes and fees, so always compare the award to the cost of a cash ticket.

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(Screenshot courtesy of flyingblue.us)

Things get a little more interesting from Miami. The carrier is offering 25% off both economy and business-class awards from the city to Europe. This can bring business-class awards down to under 40,000 miles one-way, which is a great deal. Of course, the airline prices all awards dynamically so you may need to be flexible with your travel dates to find the best deals.

(Screenshot courtesy of flyingblue.us)

All of November's Promo Rewards tickets must be booked by the end of the month. Eligible travel dates for business-class flights from Miami and economy flights from Chicago are Nov. 1, 2021, and Apr. 30, 2022. Economy flights from Miami must be flown by Mar. 25, 2022.

Economy awards from Chicago to Europe

Those hoping to visit Paris can book Air France's nonstop flight from Chicago to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) for as few as 16,500 miles and roughly $68 in taxes and fees one-way. We're seeing this price on only a handful of dates in January, February and March 2022, though. There's also scattered availability in early Dec.

(Screenshot courtesy of Air France)

Likewise, you can book KLM's nonstop flight from Chicago to Amsterdam (AMS) for 20,625 miles with roughly the same taxes and fees in early 2021.

(Screenshot courtesy of Air France)

You may be able to find Promo Reward pricing on some connecting flights too, but our searches didn't yield great results. Play around with dates and destinations to see if you can find something that works for your travel plans.

Economy awards from Miami to Europe

Like Chicago, we're finding the most Promo Reward availability on nonstop or one-stop flights from Miami to Amsterdam and Paris in early 2022. Flights to Amsterdam start at 18,000 miles and roughly $68 in taxes and fees while flights to Paris start at 16,125 miles and the same taxes and fees (though in reality, based on the calendar searches we did, the lowest pricing we found on most dates was 16,250 miles).

Business-class awards from Miami to Europe

Much to our surprise, business-class award space from Miami to Europe is more plentiful than economy awards. We were able to find nonstop flights between Miami and Amsterdam for 45,000 miles and roughly $220 in taxes each way. This is far less than what many other programs charge on the same route.

Likewise, you can book Miami to Paris for 39,750 miles and between $219 and $375 in taxes each way.

Many connecting tickets have Promo Rewards pricing too. For example, Miami to Prague (PRG) clocks in at just 39,750 miles and $237 in taxes and fees one-way on many dates. We also found the same pricing on flights to/from Frankfurt (FRA) and Nice (NCE).

You'll find the most business-class award space between late January and March, letting you miss the holiday rush.

Related: Flight review: Air France business class on the 787-9 from New York to Paris

How to book

You can book Promo Rewards tickets on the Air France or KLM websites. Just log into your account and click the "Book with miles" button on the home screen. Then, enter your desired itinerary and click the red search button.

(Screenshot courtesy of airfrance.fr)

When you find a flight you'd like to book, click on it and follow the on-screen prompts to complete your booking.

(Screenshot courtesy of airfrance.fr)

One word of warning: the Air France and KLM websites are notoriously buggy, so you may have better luck using the Air France mobile app to book tickets. Additionally, note that prices in the weekly calendar show pricing before Promo Reward pricing is applied. Click on your desired date to see if there are any Promo Rewards available for your desired dates of travel.

(Screenshot courtesy of airfrance.fr)

You can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou and Marriott Bonvoy to Flying Blue.

Related: The best websites for searching SkyTeam award availability

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 The Platinum Card from American Express (5x 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 (3x on air travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel), American Express Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel).

Feature photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy.

Featured image by (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023