Transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to Flying Blue
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All award travelers should earn transferable points, as they give you great flexibility in your redemptions. They also shield you from any potential devaluations, since the ability to transfer to other programs means you’re not locked into one currency. Chase Ultimate Rewards, which you can accrue with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, are some of the best transferable points out there, and today I'll explain how you can transfer them to Flying Blue for flight redemptions.
There are many redemptions to maximize your Ultimate Rewards points, and one of the best ways to get a ton of value out of the program is by transferring your points to various partners. In the past, I've written about most of these programs (like Hyatt, United and British Airways), but a new partner was added last May: Flying Blue, the loyalty program for Air France and KLM. Today I'll go through how to transfer points to Flying Blue as well as the process for redeeming those miles once they post.
Before you can actually transfer points to Flying Blue (or any transfer partner, for that matter), there are a couple basic steps you'll need to complete. The first is to make sure your Ultimate Rewards-accruing credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is set up for online access. This process begins by visiting www.chase.com and looking for the "Not enrolled? Sign up now" link:
From there, simply enter the corresponding information from your account to create your online profile with Chase.
If you already have an online account with Chase for a different credit card (like the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card), you can click on Manage Accounts from the Customer Center at the right to start the process of linking a new card to your existing account. You'll then click on Add Accounts from the My Information section.
The second essential item is to make sure that you sign up for the Flying Blue program and make sure your account is active (though hopefully you've already done this if you've read my post on common points and miles mistakes!). You can sign in to your existing account at this page or create a new account from this link.
After you've completed these two tasks, you're ready to start transferring!
Transferring to Flying Blue
The actual process for transferring Ultimate Rewards points to all partners starts the exact same way:
1. Log in to your Chase account and click on the Go to Ultimate Rewards link at the top right:
(1a. If you have more than one card account, choose your desired one from the next page.)
2. Hover over the Use Points drop-down menu and select Transfer to Travel Partners.
3. Find the Flying Blue line and click Transfer Points.
4. Select yourself or an authorized user from the drop-down menu, enter your Flying Blue member ID, then click Continue.
5. Enter the number of points you want to transfer (must be in increments of 1,000) and click continue.
6. Review your details on the next page and then click Confirm & Submit.
The next screen should confirm that the transfer was successful.
We've tested each of the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners to see how long it takes for the points to appear in your frequent traveler account, and fortunately transfers to Flying Blue are instantaneous.
|Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)||Instantaneous|
|Singapore Airlines||Same day|
There are a few important things to keep in mind with these transfers:
- The transfers are nonrefundable, so be certain you want to make the transfer before you click Submit.
- You can only transfer to yourself or an authorized user.
- You can combine points from your different cards or transfer points between your account and that of your spouse/domestic partner. For complete details, check out my post on combining Ultimate Rewards points.
Booking With Flying Blue
Now that you've made the transfer, it's time to actually book with Flying Blue. In addition to redeeming miles for flights with Air France and KLM, you can also book award flights on SkyTeam airlines as well as other non-alliance partners like Air Mauritius and Alaska Airlines. There are many ways to make the most of the Flying Blue program, especially with the carrier's discounted Promo Awards and comparatively low prices on certain partner routes (like Delta to Hawaii).
Here's a step-by-step process of how to actually book these awards with Flying Blue:
1. Start by visiting Air France's homepage and click on My Account at the top right.
2. Enter your Flying Blue username or email and password, verify you're not a robot and then click Log In.
3. Select the Use Your Miles tab from the homepage, enter your travel details, then click Search.
4. Review the search results, then choose your desired flight and class of service.
5. Scroll down to the bottom and click Next, Fill in Passenger Details.
Follow the rest of the on-screen prompts to finalize your booking.
As mentioned above, the Flying Blue program does offer some very attractive redemption options. One of the best-known is on flights from North America to Hawaii in economy. If you're able to find low-level availability on Delta (and that's a big "if"), you can snag a one-way ticket for just 15,000 miles (the same flight booked using SkyMiles would be 22,500 miles, a 50% premium). The best part is that these tickets are priced consistently regardless of your US gateway, allowing you to get to Hawaii from the East Coast for a very small number of miles:
Just keep in mind that Flying Blue does add fuel surcharges to flights on Air France and KLM, so if you're looking to redeem your miles for long-haul business class, you'll wind up paying ~$200 each way. However, you can avoid these charges by booking with many partners, including Delta.
Flying Blue is also one of just two programs to partner with all four of the major transferable point currencies (Singapore KrisFlyer is the other one). This gives you valuable flexibility to transfer points earned from a card like the Citi Prestige Card to the program to boost your account balance and open up additional redemptions. For complete details, be sure to check out Jason Steele's post on Maximizing Flying Blue.
Ultimate Rewards points regularly clock in as one of the most valuable currencies in TPG's monthly valuations (pegged at 2.2 cents apiece in his most recent iteration). This makes a lot of sense given the array of valuable transfer partners, and when Flying Blue was added last year, the program gained even more flexibility. I personally have not had a reason to transfer points to Flying Blue as of yet, but given the right redemption, it could make sense.
What are your experiences transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue?