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Update 5/2/2020: Thankfully, it seems this was just a temporary issue. Flying Blue has been re-added to the list of Membership Rewards partners on Saturday morning. I was able to successfully make a transfer of 1,000 Membership Rewards points to Flying Blue. As AwardWallet has tracked in past transfers, the points immediately posted to my Flying Blue account.
American Express Membership Rewards is regarded as one of the most-valuable transferrable currencies. This is due to a combination of having over 20 transfer partners and offering occasional transfer bonuses. However, there's been a negative change, but hopefully it's just temporary.
On Friday afternoon, American Express updated the list of Memberships Rewards transfer partners. But unfortunately, this wasn't to add another transfer partner or a lucrative transfer bonus. Instead, Amex removed Flying Blue as a transfer partner.
The good news is that this is may just be a temporary loss. An American Express chat agent told AwardWallet Editor-in-Chief Erik Paquet that this loss “is not permanent”:
Meanwhile, I called American Express to request a transfer of Membership Rewards points to Flying Blue. The agent I was connected with was confident that Flying Blue was still a transfer partner. However, when he attempted to transfer 1,000 points from my Membership Rewards account to my Flying Blue account, he received an error that led him to believe that Flying Blue was no longer a transfer partner.
This could certainly be a short-term technical problem. But it's also possible that Flying Blue is gone for good, and Amex hasn't yet communicated the change to customer service agents. AwardWallet has reached out to an American Express spokesperson to clarify, but no response has been received by the time of publishing. We will update this post when we receive an official statement.
Flying Blue Overview
Flying Blue is best known as the mileage program of Air France and KLM, but it also serves as the mileage program for Aircalin, Kenya Airways, Transavia, and TAROM.
The program has seen some dramatic changes in the past few years. However, it's appreciated by award collectors for being one of a few programs that are a transfer partner of all five major transferrable currencies. And while it's not a broadly-valuable program, Flying Blue has its sweet spots.
Thankfully, you still have plenty of options to accumulate Flying Blue miles. As of publishing, Flying Blue is still showing as an active transfer partner of Citi ThankYou, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy. That means you can still take advantage of Flying Blue sweet spots and Promo Rewards—once the program is restarted after a COVID-19 hiatus.
Even if this is a permanent loss, Membership Rewards still has 21 transfer partners: 18 airlines and 3 hotel programs:
|Membership Rewards Transfer Partners||Minimum Points to Transfer||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Aer Lingus AerClub||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Avios||Unknown|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1,000||1,000 : 1,600 Premier Points||1-2 days|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Aeroplan Miles||Instant|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Flying Blue Miles||Instant|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Alitalia Miles||1 day|
|ANA Airlines Mileage Club||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 ANA Miles||1-2 days|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 LifeMiles||Instant|
|British Airways Avios||250||250 : 250 British Airways Avios||Instant|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Asia Miles||1-2 days|
|Delta SkyMiles||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 SkyMiles||Instant|
|El Al Matmid Club||1,000||1,000 : 20 Matmid Points||Instant|
|Emirates Skywards||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Skywards Miles||Instant|
|Etihad Guest||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Etihad Guest Miles||Instant|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Hawaiian Miles||Instant|
|Iberia Plus||250||250 : 250 Iberia Avios||Instant|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||250||250 : 200 TrueBlue Points||Instant|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||500||1,000 : 1,000 Qantas Points||Unknown|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 KrisFlyer Miles||1 day|
|Virgin Atlantic FlyingClub||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Flying Club Miles||1 day|
|Choice Privileges Rewards (Hotel)||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Choice Privileges Points||Instant|
|Hilton Honors (Hotel)||1,000||1,000 : 2,000 Hilton Honors Points||Instant|
|Marriott Rewards (Hotel)||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Marriott Rewards||Unknown|
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