the Air France/KLM Flying Blue loyalty program is popular for its monthly Promo Rewards in select markets on Air France and KLM flights, unique redemptions on partner airlines, and more.
Flying Blue has just launched one of its best promotions for purchasing miles, which can be a good opportunity to buy Flying Blue miles if you have plans to redeem them for higher value.
Buy Flying Blue Miles with a 100% Bonus
From now until May 15, 2022, Flying Blue members can buy thousands and get up to a 100% bonus on their purchase.
The bigger your purchase, the bigger the bonus you’ll get. The breakdown of the current bonus promotion is as follows:
- 50% bonus when you buy 4,000–10,000 thousand
- 70% bonus when you buy 12,000–22,000 thousand
- 100% bonuses when you buy 24,000–100,000 miles
Flying Blue appears to have recently transitioned from selling thousands in euros (EUR) to US dollars (USD). The standard rate is 3.05 cents per mile (USD), before any discounts or bonuses.
That’s a very expensive rate at which to acquire points, and it would almost never make sense to buy Flying Blue miles without a promotion in play.
However, during a 100% bonus event, you’ll get double the miles, meaning that you’re effectively purchasing points at half price for 1,525 cents per mile (USD), which is equivalent to about 1.96 cents per mile (CAD).
While this rate is on par with the lowest that Flying Blue has historically sold miles for, it’s still quite a bit more than our current valuation of 1.6 cents per point (CAD), so it’s best to have a specific redemption in mind that can exceed 1.96 cents per mile (CAD) before buying.
How many Flying Blue miles can you buy?
Flying Blue members without elite status are limited to purchasing 100,000 miles per calendar year, before counting any promotional bonuses.
Meanwhile, Flying Blue members with elite status can buy an unlimited number of miles, but can only receive a maximum bonus of 300,000 miles during this current promotion (which would be reached if they were to buy 300,000 miles).
If you were to max out this current promotion as a non-elite member, it’ll cost US$3,050 for 200,000 Flying Blue miles.
Which credit card should you use to buy Flying Blue miles?
Flying Blue sells its points through an external vendor, Points.com. Purchases made through Points.com don’t count as a travel purchase as you aren’t buying directly through the airlines.
Instead, I’d suggest any card with a high base earn rate or perhaps one where you’re working on meeting the minimum spend requirement.
Importantly, since Points.com is a Canadian-based company that’s obligated to levy GST/HST amounts on purchases by Canadian residents, it’s best to pay with a US credit card with a US billing address to avoid the added tax, which would dilute the value of your purchase.
When Should You Buy Flying Blue Miles with a 100% Bonus?
Buying points can be very useful when you’re short on points for booking a flight and need to top-up your account on a somewhat urgent basis.
Additionally, for premium cabin award tickets where cash rates are expensive, buying points and then redeeming for an award ticket can offer a significant discount.
Flying Blue Promo Rewards
Flying Blue’s rotating Promo Rewards routinely offer up some fairly interesting deals.
For example, earlier in 2022, Montreal–Paris and Montreal–Amsterdam were bookable at a 25% discount to the usual price in both economy class and business class, meaning that you can book transatlantic business class flights to Paris or Amsterdam for only 39,750 or 45,375 thousand in business class one-way, respectively.
Let’s say you were interested in a Montreal–Paris round-trip redemption in business class, which would cost 79,500 miles under this Promo Rewards deal.
By leveraging the current 100% bonus, you could buy 79,500 miles for US$1,212, or about $1,556 (CAD). Even after factoring in Flying Blue’s surcharges, the total out-of-pocket expense is a very nice discount compared to paying the cash fare.
One-way cash fares tend to be even more artificially inflated, so the on-paper savings you’d unlock if you needed a one-way Flying Blue redemption would be even more significant.
Keep an eye out for future Promo Rewards, which rotate on a monthly basis, as there’s always some value to be captured if the deals align with your upcoming trips.
Booking an Aspirational Flight
Even absent Promo Rewards, Flying Blue can offer some convenient routing options at reasonable price points when traveling in business class.
For example, KLM operates the only direct transatlantic flight out of Edmonton, and it’s priced at 60,500 Flying Blue miles for the one-way journey to Amsterdam.
If you’re eyeing the quickest route to Europe as an Edmontonian, buying 60,500 Flying Blue miles for €832 ($1,200) brings the business class flight much closer within reach compared to paying cash.
The same principle applies to Air France and KLM’s other North American routes, including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City, all of which are priced in the region of 55,000–60,000 Flying Blue thousands for a one-way flight in business class.
Other Ways to Earn Flying Blue Miles
Before deciding to acquire Flying Blue miles with a 100% bonus, keep in mind that there are many slower but cheaper ways to get Flying Blue miles, which may be worth considering if you aren’t in a rush to book.
Canadian Credit Cards
There are plenty of ways to earn Flying Blue through the credit cards we have in Canada.
American Express Membership Rewards can be transferred to Flying Blue at a 1:0.75 ratio. Any of the Membership Rewards cards would be a good choice, with the high annual fees representing an opportunity to effectively “buy” thousands:
- Business Platinum Card: Earn 120,000 MR points (equivalent to 90,000 Flying Blue miles) upon spending $10,000 in the first three months, with a net annual fee of $499, for a cost of 0.55 cents per mile.
- Platinum Card: Earn 95,000 MR points (equivalent to 71,250 Flying Blue thousands) upon spending $6,000 in the first three months, with a net annual fee of $499, for a cost of 0.7 cents per mile.
- Business Gold Card: Earn 75,000MR points (equivalent to 56,250 Flying Blue thousands) upon spending $5,000 in the first three months, with an annual fee of $199, for a cost of 0.35 cents per mile.
- Business Edge Card: Earn 55,000 MR points (equivalent to 41,250 Flying Blue thousands) upon spending $5,000 in the first three months, with an annual fee of $99, for a cost of 0.24 cents per mile.
- Gold Rewards Card: Earn 55,000 MR points (equivalent to 41,250 flying blue miles) upon spending $3,000 in the first three months, with a net annual fee of $150, for a cost of 0.36 cents per mile.
|credit cards||best offer||Value|
120,000 MR points
$499 annual fee
|120,000 MR points||$2,416||
115,000 MR points
$699 annual fee
|115,000 MR points||$2,119||
$199 annual fee
$250 annual fee
Up to 67,000 MR points
$99 annual fee
|Up to 67,000 MR points||$1,221||
US Credit Cards
In addition to the cards issued by Amex Canada, the major US credit cards offer a multitude of ways to rack up Flying Blue miles.
Amex US Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou points, and Capital One points can all be transferred to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio. With ample welcome bonuses across the board, you can earn points with each of the four major issuers and pool them into a single Flying Blue account.
Additionally, Bank of America issues the Air France/KLM World Elite Mastercard in the US. The card currently offers 50,000 Flying Blue thousands in exchange for a US$89 annual fee, which represents an acquisition cost of 0.18 cents per mile (USD) or 0.23 cents per mile (CAD).
With Bank of America, you’ll need to visit a branch to apply if you’re using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to Flying Blue at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000 mile bonus when transferred in chunks of 60,000 Bonvoy points.
At our present valuation of 0.9 cents per point (CAD), 60,000 Bonvoy points are worth $540. When transferred to Flying Blue, this is equivalent to buying 25,000 miles at 2.13 cents per mile (CAD).
This is slightly more expensive than the current promotional cost to buy miles outright at 1.96 cents per point (CAD).
Therefore, buying miles directly from Flying Blue would be the better deal, unless you have a massive Bonvoy balance that you’d like to offload and relatively few meaningful hotel redemption goals.
Buying Flying Blue miles during one of the program’s 100% bonus events can be an attractive strategy if you’re eyeing a transatlantic reward flight with Air France, KLM, or one of their SkyTeam partners.
If you’re looking to top-up an account to take advantage of this month’s Promo Rewards or make another specific high-value booking, the current Flying Blue miles promotion could get you up to 100% bonus miles and the potential for big savings compared to cash rates. Be sure to take action before the deal ends on May 15, 2022.
However, if you don’t have a specific use of Flying Blue miles in mind, then it’d be better to gradually collect transferable points like Amex Membership Rewards instead and convert them to Flying Blue miles when it’s time to book.