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The Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard® likely isn't the first card that comes to mind when you think of airline credit cards. But if you fly Air France, KLM, or SkyTeam airlines frequently — or get value from Flying Blue miles — it's worth checking out this card. It earns Flying Blue miles that you can redeem on Air France, KLM, SkyTeam, and other Flying Blue partner flights.
While the card is short on perks compared to many airline cards, one of its key perks is its ability to help you earn Flying Blue elite status. Also, the anniversary miles alone help offset the $89 annual fee, making it a card worth considering for the long term. Here's everything you need to know about the Air France KLM Mastercard.
- Air France KLM Mastercard Pros
- Air France KLM Mastercard Cons
- Air France KLM Mastercard Welcome Offer
- Air France KLM Mastercard Benefits
- Air France KLM Mastercard Earning Rates
- Redeeming Miles From the Air France KLM Mastercard
- Application Restrictions
- Cards That Compete With the Air France KLM Mastercard
- Bottom Line
Air France KLM Mastercard Pros
- Earn three miles per $1 spent on purchase with Air France, KLM, and SkyTeam member airlines.
- Earn 5,000 anniversary bonus miles after spending just $50 on the card annually.
- Bonus 20 XP toward Flying Blue status each account anniversary.
- Earn an additional 40 XP by spending at least $15,000 in net purchases within your anniversary year.
- No foreign transaction fees.
Air France KLM Mastercard Cons
- $89 annual fee means it's not free to hold.
- No airline-specific travel benefits (e.g. free checked bag).
- Poor earning rates compared to other cards that can transfer points to Flying Blue.
Air France KLM Mastercard Welcome Offer
One of the most attractive features of the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard® is the welcome offer. Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 60 XP after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
AwardWallet members have recently redeemed Flying Blue miles for an average of 2.37¢ each. Using this value, the Air France KLM Mastercard welcome offer is worth over $1,600! This is amazing value for a card that only has an $89 annual fee and moderate spending requirements.
In addition to the 50,000 bonus miles, you'll receive 40 XP after meeting the spending requirement. This is in addition to the bonus 60 XP toward Flying Blue status that is awarded upon approval for the card. In total, assuming you meet the minimum spend, you can earn 100 XP. This is enough to earn Flying Blue Silver status.
Note that if you head to airfrance.com and perform a “dummy booking” of any flight, you may see an offer that includes an additional $100 statement credit on top of the standard welcome bonus. After this statement credit, you'd be net positive the first year before even considering the value of the miles and XP.
Air France KLM Mastercard Benefits
Compared to other airline credit cards, the Air France KLM Mastercard is short on benefits. It does provide anniversary XP and miles that help offset its annual fee, but it doesn't offer much more in terms of travel perks or insurance protections. Here is a rundown of the card's perks.
You'll receive 5,000 bonus miles each account anniversary if you spend $50 on the card within your cardmember year. This is easily achievable. Given the value AwardWallet users obtain from Flying Blue miles, these annual bonus miles are worth ~$118.
If you value Flying Blue miles at 1.78 cents or higher, you'll fully offset the card's $89 annual fee with this one perk alone.
Annual XP toward elite status
In addition to the bonus miles, the card provides 20 XP every account anniversary. This is a small boost toward the next elite status tier.
However, if you spend $15,000 on the card, you'll be awarded an additional 40 XP — for a total of 60 XP. This is 60% of what you need for Flying Blue Silver (which requires 100 XP) and 33% of what you need to move from Flying Blue Silver to Flying Blue Gold (which requires 180 XP after you achieve Silver).
Although you can earn a decent number of XP, the card alone cannot earn you Flying Blue elite status year after year. However, it's a great way to augment your elite status if you already credit flights to Flying Blue.
Minimal World Elite Mastercard benefits
While there are many valuable World Elite Mastercard perks on other similar cards, the Air France KLM Mastercard doesn't provide most of them. That said, you still can take advantage of benefits like $5 in monthly Lyft credits and three free months of DoorDash DashPass.
More than 1 mile per dollar on everyday spending
You'll earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all other purchases on the Air France KLM Mastercard. That's better than what most cards offer for “other purchases” (those outside the bonus categories) — which is typically 1 mile or 1% cash back. These extra earnings can really add up at the end of the year.
No foreign transaction fees
You can use your card outside the U.S. without incurring foreign transaction fees on your purchases. This is one of the only travel benefits offered by the card.
Air France KLM Mastercard Earning Rates
The Air France KLM Mastercard earns 3 miles per $1 spent directly on Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and SkyTeam member airlines purchases and 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Earning 1.5 miles on all other purchases might sound great for an airline card. Most earn just one mile per dollar, and Flying Blue miles are among the more valuable mileage currencies.
However, keep in mind that there are many cards that can effectively earn Flying Blue miles. This is because Flying Blue is a transfer partner of six different transferable point programs. And many cards in those programs offer additional bonus categories, while the Air France KLM Mastercard lacks anything beyond “our flights” and “other” — no extra earnings for gas, groceries, etc.
Redeeming Miles From the Air France KLM Mastercard
The best way to use your miles is for award flights through Flying Blue. As we mentioned, AwardWallet members obtain 2.37¢ per point on average when redeeming Flying Blue miles. Redeeming for long-haul business or first class gets the best value, with our members averaging 2.72¢ per mile for these types of award flights. Business class flights between the U.S. and Europe on Air France and KLM start at 55,000 miles one way.
Economy flights to Europe and North Africa provide good value as well. You'll need to watch out for award taxes, fees, and surcharges, though, as these are higher than with many other programs.
Make sure you check out the monthly Flying Blue Promo Rewards. Almost every month, you'll find U.S. routes for 25-50% off standard award redemption rates. However, routes change each month.
One final thought on award travel: If you aspire to fly Air France La Premiere first class (without paying cash for it), Flying Blue miles are the only way to do so. You will have to redeem a ton, though. Flights from the U.S. to Europe start at 200,000 Flying Blue miles. You also have to hold at least Flying Blue Platinum status to book these awards, which the Air France KLM Mastercard can help you earn.
Other uses of miles
Flying Blue offers several other ways to use their miles, although none come close to the value you get from booking award flights. You can redeem miles for:
I checked out some Paris hotels bookable with Flying Blue miles. These provide abysmal value across the board (e.g. $660 USD or 132,200 Flying Blue miles for a three-night stay, yielding 0.5¢ per mile in value). Merchandise is just as poor. Again, we strongly recommend redeeming miles for flights.
Bank of America issues the Air France KLM Mastercard, which has a 2/3/4 rule for new card approvals. This isn't as onerous as the infamous Chase 5/24 rule, but you should be aware of it nonetheless. In a nutshell, the rule limits you to:
- Two new Bank of America cards in any two-month period
- Three new Bank of America cards in any 12-month period
- Four new Bank of America cards in any 24-month period
This rule applies to personal Bank of America cards, which includes the Air France KLM Mastercard. If you've already been approved for the maximum number of new cards in a given period, you won't be approved for a new account. This is different than Chase 5/24, as the Bank of America 2/3/4 rule is not looking at new card approvals across all issuers.
However, another Bank of America rule considers how many new credit cards you've opened across all issuers and provides more leniency for those with Bank of America checking, savings, and investment accounts. If you've opened three or more cards in the past 12 months (across all issuers), you won't be approved for a Bank of America personal credit card. However, that number bumps up to seven new cards for those with Bank of America accounts.
Cards That Compete With the Air France KLM Mastercard
If you don't think this is an airline card that will benefit you, here are a handful of other options:
- If you want flexible rewards you can transfer to Flying Blue, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card earns transferable Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to Flying Blue — among 11 airline partners — at a 1:1 ratio. You also can transfer points to three hotel programs, redeem them directly for travel, or cash them out. Here's our full review of the Sapphire Preferred.
- If you want miles with a U.S. airline that you can redeem for travel on SkyTeam airlines, look into the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. This card has a similar annual fee and earns Delta SkyMiles, which you can redeem for flights on Air France and KLM. Keep in mind that Delta's award rates aren't as good across the board. AwardWallet users typically redeem SkyMiles at 1.38¢ apiece, rather than 2.37¢ with Flying Blue. However, the Gold Delta Amex offers some great perks if you fly Delta Air Lines, even occasionally.
- If you want a different card that helps you earn airline elite status, check out the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. This card earns one American Airlines Loyalty Point per $1 spent, helping you earn American AAdvantage elite status. Unlike the Air France KLM Mastercard, there's no limit to how much elite status progress you can make through credit card spending here. The card also offers an array of perks when you fly American Airlines, including free checked bags. Here's our full review of the AA Platinum Select.
The Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard® may not have as many perks as other airline cards. Despite this, it can help you earn Flying Blue elite status and provides ongoing value through bonus miles each year — just enough perks to justify its $89 annual fee and keep the card in your wallet.
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