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Thursday, September 29, 2022

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Buy Air France/KLM Flying Blue Miles with a 120% Bonus

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 its best-ever promotion for purchasing miles, which can be a great opportunity to buy Flying Blue miles if you have plans to redeem them for higher value. 

Buy Flying Blue Miles with a 120% Bonus

From now until June 30, 2022, Flying Blue members can buy miles and get up to a 120% 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 4,000–14,000 miles
  • 70% bonus when you buy 16,000–30,000 miles
  • 100% bonus when you buy 32,000–48,000 miles
  • 120% bonus when you buy 50,000–100,000 miles

Flying Blue has recently transitioned from selling miles 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 120% bonus event, you’ll get more than double the miles, meaning that you’re effectively purchasing points at less than half price for 1.39 cents per mile (USD), which is equivalent to about 1.78 cents per mile (CAD).

This is the lowest that Flying Blue has ever historically sold miles for, but it’s still 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 1.78 cents per mile (CAD) before buying.

That said, if you have been waiting for a sale to purchase Flying Blue points, this would absolutely be the right time to buy, as it’s the best sale we have seen in recent years.

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 360,000 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 220,000 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 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 amounts, which would dilute the value of your purchase.

KLM 787 business class

Should You Buy Flying Blue Miles with a 120% 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 miles in business class one-way, respectively. 

Let’s say you were interested in a Montreal–Paris round-trip redemption in business class for two passengers. That would cost 79,500 miles per person under this Promo Rewards deal, for a total of 159,000 miles.

By leveraging the current 120% bonus, you could buy 159,000 miles for US$2,210, or about $2,820 (CAD). That works out to $1,410 (CAD) per person.

Even after factoring in Flying Blue’s surcharges, the total out-of-pocket expense is a very nice discount compared to the best deal you could get when paying a cash fare.

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. 

Air France A350 business class

Booking an Aspirational Flight

Even absent Promo Rewards, Flying Blue can offer some convenient routing options at reasonable price points when travelling 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, or 121,000 miles for a round-trip.

If you’re eyeing the quickest route to Europe as an Edmontonian, buying 121,000 Flying Blue miles for US$1,681, or $2,144 (CAD), 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 miles for a one-way flight in business class. 

Other Ways to Earn Flying Blue Miles

Before deciding to acquire Flying Blue miles with a 120% 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” miles.

American Express MR Cards for Flying Blue Redemptions

Credit Card Best Offer Value

90,000 MR points

$499 annual fee

90,000 MR points $1,646
Apply Now

75,000 MR points

$199 annual fee

75,000 MR points $1,561
Apply Now

Up to 67,000 MR points

$99 annual fee

Up to 67,000 MR points $1,221
Apply Now

85,000 MR points

$699 annual fee

85,000 MR points $1,063
Apply Now

55,000 MR points

$250 annual fee

55,000 MR points $906
Apply Now

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 miles in exchange for a US$89 annual fee.

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

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).

That’s more expensive than the current promotional cost to buy miles outright at 1.78 cents per point (CAD). Thus, 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.

Previous Promotions

As you weigh whether this promotion is a good opportunity for you to meet your travel goals, here’s a snapshot of Air France/KLM Flying Blue’s previous offers on mileage sales, covering all promotions during the past year:

Up to 120% more purchased miles

Up to 100% more purchased miles

Up to 100% more purchased miles

Up to 100% more purchased miles

Up to 100% more purchased miles

Up to 80% more purchased miles

Up to 100% more purchased miles


Buying Flying Blue miles during one of the program’s 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.

This current bonus of 120% is the best we have ever seen in this program, making this an excellent opportunity to top-up your balance. Be sure to take action before the deal ends on June 30, 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. 

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