Buy Flying Blue Miles With up to an 80% Bonus

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Flying Blue—the shared loyalty program of Air France and KLM—just launched its newest mileage sale. Now through April 11, 2021, members can buy Flying Blue miles with up to a 80% bonus.

At the current exchange rate, this translates into the ability to buy miles for around 1.82¢ per mile.

A Note on Buying Points

Before we look into some of the possible value, it's important to first recognize that buying miles should typically be a last resort. Loyalty programs tend to sell miles at a price point far higher than the redeemable value they can deliver. Consequently, without a discount, you're better off saving your money and building your balance using other (cheaper) methods.

However, there are a few unique scenarios where buying miles can make sense. If you're just on the cusp of having enough miles for a sweet redemption, buying the remaining miles can be quick and easy. Moreover, if you have your heart set on a fancy premium cabin, buying enough miles for an award redemption is likely cheaper than paying the cash rate. Lastly, if you're struggling to meet a minimum spending requirement, buying miles can be a nice way to reach the target via an investment in future travel.

Key Terms to Buy Flying Blue Miles

  • The promotional 80% bonus offer is available for mileage purchases between March 22, 2021 and April 11, 2021.
  • Members must purchase at least 2,000 miles in one transaction to receive either bonus.
  • Flying Blue elite members can purchase an unlimited amount of miles throughout the calendar year. Explorer members can purchase up to a maximum of 100,000 miles per calendar year.
  • During this promotion, elite members can receive a maximum bonus of 240,000 miles. Explorer (non-elite) members may receive up to 80,000 bonus miles.
  • Miles will be deposited within 72 hours of purchase.
  • You may withdraw your full mileage purchase (no partial withdrawals) for any reason within 14 days of purchase.
  • The full terms and conditions are available here.

Flying Blue sells miles in units of 2,000 at the cost of €55 (~$66 at current exchange rates) per unit. During this promotion, you'll get a bonus based on how many miles you're buying:

  • 60% bonus for purchases between 2,000 and 8,000 miles (1.72 euro cents or 2.05 US cents)
  • 70% bonus for purchases between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (1.62 euro cents or 1.93 US cents)
  • 80% bonus for purchases between 20,000 and 100,000 miles (1.53 euro cents or 1.82 US cents)
Buying the maximum would net 180,000 miles for €2750, or roughly 1.82¢(US) per mile.
Buying the maximum would net 180,000 miles for €2750, or roughly 1.82¢(US) per mile.

Opportunities Through Buying Flying Blue Miles

Flying Blue is a powerhouse loyalty program full of lucrative sweet spots. In addition to utilizing some unique geographical interpretations to determine award rates, it also offers monthly award discounts for spontaneous getaways.

Let's look at a few examples where buying miles can save you money compared to paying a cash rate.

Los Angeles — Tel Aviv in Air France Business Class

  • Mileage Rate: 106,000 miles + $551 round-trip
  • Typical Cash Price: $3,213 round-trip
  • Redemption Rate: 2.51 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Miles (at 1.82¢ per mile): $1,933

Atlanta — London in Virgin Atlantic Business Class

  • Mileage Rate: 53,000 miles + $236 one-way
  • Typical Cash Price: $9,248 one-way (or $4,151 round-trip)
  • Redemption Rate: 3.5 cents per mile (based on half the round-trip price)
  • Cost to Purchase Miles (at 1.82¢ per mile): $967 one-way

Los Angeles — Paris in Air France ‘La Premiere' First Class

  • Mileage Rate: 220,000 miles one-way
  • Typical Cash Price: $11,227 round-trip
  • Redemption Rate: 5.1 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Miles (at 1.82¢ per mile): $4,012

To be fair, this example is more of a proof of concept rather than a viable option. But, since Air France's ‘La Premiere' is said to be one of the world's best first-class experiences, I felt it was worth mentioning.

As I mentioned in the ‘Offer Details' section, to buy more than 100,000 Flying Blue miles in a year, you have to have Flying Blue elite status. Likewise, to book Air France's chic first-class product with miles, you need to have at least Flying Blue Gold status.

Elite members can get up to 240,000 bonus miles when buying 300,000 miles through this promotion. Even with the 80% bonus, you're going to be paying more than $4,000 to buy enough miles. Still, you can save thousands of dollars compared to paying the astronomical cash rate for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Notes on Price Comparisons

  1. I've based all of these examples on the minimum mileage required between these destinations. You can find this using Flying Blue's award calculator.
  2. In some cases, I've opted to compare one-way award prices to half the rate of a round-trip cash fare. This is because one-way cash fares are often much more expensive than round-trips. Since I wanted to avoid using misleading cent per point values, I based my calculations on the more conservative price.

Maximize Your Purchase

Like many other loyalty programs, Flying Blue partners with Points.com to process mileage purchases. As Points.com is a third party, the purchase won't code as ‘travel‘, and likely won't trigger any travel-oriented category bonus.

With this in mind, the best credit card to use is one that bonuses online purchases or a card optimized for everyday spending. It's worth noting that since Flying Blue mileage purchases are charged in Euros, mileage purchases likely will process as a foreign transaction. If you want to maximize your earnings while avoiding a foreign transaction fee, you should consider using one of these cards:

Other Ways to Earn Flying Blue Miles

Flying Blue is one of the few loyalty programs that partners with every major transferable currency. Consequently, Flying Blue miles are some of the easiest to accrue via credit card sign-up bonuses and spending. Simply transfer the miles you need whenever you want to complete a redemption.

Additionally, Flying Blue partners with Bank of America to offer a co-branded credit card. The Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard® currently offers a respectable 50,000-mile sign-up bonus after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening, as well as 1.5X miles per dollar spent. While not a terrible offer, you may be better off sticking to cards that earn transferable bank currency. This would offer more flexible redemption options while also providing similar earning abilities.

Final Thoughts

We don't see buy miles promotions from Flying Blue all that often, and this one is pretty solid. It's certainly worth considering if you need to plan travel soon and don't have another source of Flying Blue miles.

With that said, it's still not exactly the best time to be planning international travel. Moreover, Flying Blue miles are among the easiest to acquire without paying for them—thanks to its many transfer partners.

Are you buying Flying Blue miles for 1.82¢ each?

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Miguel Angel Baltanas says:

    Super, super reminder!! I received an e-mail from KLM but didn’t really pay attention to the treat. Will buy the extra
    miles I need to fly from Paris to Buenos Aires this September. Thanks lot.

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    I have bought AF miles when they gave a 100% bonus for even 2000mi. Mainly to extend the life of my miles but I felt it was a good buy at the time. I think it’ll be a good base to add from my credit cards. I like that AF can be easily gotten from credit card partners. Plus, they have options that are great to use miles on. I love that they often have discounted mileage tickets.

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    Alejandro Caracoche says:

    I have never buy miles in any company, but I will consider that in my nex trip. The offer looks like atractive.

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    pretty good deal if you could actually travel anywhere right now

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    super feliz y contenta!

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    It’s a helpful adventure consider to buy miles for a future trip. The pandemic atmosphere needs fresh air, planning a future vacation.

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    Whilst this is a good promotion unfortunately I’ve never been able to find any redemptions that work for me. The tax and charges seem to make them poor value.

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    I wish they would have a transfer bonus from chase. That would be very helpful!

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    Great tip to make sure you buy miles from them with a card that will maximize regular category spend but has no foreign transaction fees. I’d be so upset if I used my Freedom unlimited or Blue for Business and was charged fees.

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    So tempting but I’m not sure it’s something I can commit to until Europe opens up. This is a really solid promo.

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    A good bonus to build up a points balance. I hesitate to build up a big balance with an upcoming purchase due to the risk of devaluations.

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    Are your comparisons including taxes and fees? On both the cash price and miles prices? I am unable to look up the miles price atm as I don’t currently have any miles.

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    Seems like 100% bonus is becoming the norm now, might have to up that to get my attention going forward.

  • Avatar

    never find any sweet spot in SkyTeam.

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    I feel as if I’ve haven’t seen a promotion with such universal enthusiasm in the comments for some time. I’ve been patiently waiting for Covid to produce such offers.

  • Avatar
    Juan Ignacio says:

    Excellent deal! Even better if the miles are purchased with the World Elite Mastercard.

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    Wow this is a very good promotion.
    I’m going to buy some this time.

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    If you need the points, sure it’s a good deal but I think cheaper to transfer Chase UR points

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    Thanks, great post!. Is there any benefit if I buy the miles with an American Express Card?

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    This is a really attractive offer. Flying Blue also restarted their promo awards so if you can combine this deal with a promo award that works for you, that would an excellent proposition, well assuming that you can ACTUALLY travel in this COVID-19 world.

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    Wow, a 14 day withdrawal period. That is terrific in case you cannot pull the trigger quickly enough on an award deal you have your eyes on but has now disappeared. Thank you!

  • Avatar

    This is SO tempting!!! I actually have plans for AF miles so I think I will be taking advantage of this promo. Now MR needs to have a bonus miles promo and it’ll be perfect! lol!

  • Avatar

    anyone think there will be no end in sight? now 100% bonus, next month 120%?

    • Avatar

      Actually, I don’t think there will be a lot more big promos going on bc as the vaccine rolls out (we’re getting our 2nd doses this week as are a lot of people we know) and the pharmacies will have them soon, then it is going to be wide open running I do believe. Even though people are supposed to still wear masks, I’m sure many won’t and the virus will rage on in many places, but those who have been vaccinated will be allowed to roam so the motivation to get it will increase and travel will according increase, promos will slow down.