Fly one-way to Europe for under $500 with this promotion on buying miles
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
While some accounts have been targeted for different offers, here’s the typical offer that we’ve seen across Flying Blue accounts:
- Buy 4,000 to 14,000 miles, get a 50% bonus.
- Buy 16,000 to 30,000 miles, get a 70% bonus.
- Buy 32,000 to 48,000 miles, get a 100% bonus.
- Buy 50,000 to 100,000 miles, get a 120% bonus.
Normally, Flying Blue sells miles for 2.89 cents each at current exchange rates (2.75 euro cents). With the 120% bonus, the purchase rate drops to just 1.39 cents per mile. TPG values Flying Blue miles at 1.2 cents each, so to get the most out of this bonus you’ll need a high-value redemption planned, either on Air France-KLM or on SkyTeam partners like Delta.
Here’s what you should consider before buying Flying Blue miles.
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Should you consider buying Flying Blue miles?
Flying Blue sells its miles through Points.com, a points exchange and clearinghouse that allows members to move one kind of points or miles to another loyalty program, track balances and see certain promo offers. You can also redeem your points or miles through it for retail gift cards or for PayPal credits. It’s free to join, and its interface is easy to use.
Flying Blue is running a Promo Reward on economy-class tickets from select U.S. cities to Europe through the end of June. You can book tickets from airports like Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), Denver International Airport (DEN) and Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to various European cities from just 18,000 miles one-way, plus taxes and fees.
Taxes and fees equal just over $60 on this sample itinerary from Dallas to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), meaning you can book the ticket for just $490.70 when you buy miles during this promotion and factor in taxes and fees. You can find similar pricing on other connecting itineraries operated by Air France and KLM.
If you prefer to travel in business class, here’s a flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Edinburgh Airport (EDI) for 55,000 miles and $220 in taxes and fees. So with the promotion on buying miles, it would require $976 to buy enough miles for this flight. Once you add in the taxes and fees, you can still book this flight for under $1,200. Normally, this flight sells for twice this price.
Other ways to earn Flying Blue miles
Many award travelers already have easy access to Flying Blue miles. After all, the Flying Blue program partners with all the major transferable points programs:
- American Express Membership Rewards: 1:1 ratio, instant transfer time, 25% transfer bonus until June 15.
- Bilt Rewards: 1:1 ratio, instant transfer time.
- Capital One miles: 1:1 ratio, instant transfer time.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards: 1:1 ratio, instant transfer time.
- Citi ThankYou Rewards: 1:1 ratio, instant transfer time.
- Marriott Bonvoy: 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred, three-day transfer time.
If you’re short on Flying Blue miles, it’s often a better idea to boost your account balance by moving miles from one of these programs.
Again, you’ll want to run the numbers before you make a transfer. For instance, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio. TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, so before you transfer you’ll want to be sure you’re getting close to that value from the award you want to book.
Bear in mind you might even get a better deal by booking your flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. With all the cheap airfare deals to Europe we’ve seen recently, you could end up spending fewer points by booking directly through the portal.
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get a value of 1.5 cents per point while Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 1.25 when booking flights through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Sapphire Preferred cardholders also earn 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Use the right credit card
If you choose to buy Flying Blue miles through this promotion, you’ll want to use a card that earns bonus rewards for everyday spending and doesn’t add foreign transaction fees. Some cards that fit the bill include the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Spark Miles for Business.
Buying miles and points without a bonus is almost never a good idea without an immediate plan to redeem them. Even with a promotion like this, it’s important to do the math before jumping on the deal, because there are often better ways to save your hard-earned cash (and points).
Additional reporting by Kyle Olsen.
Featured photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
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- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees