Through September 25, 2017 you can buy Flying Blue miles with a 100% bonus. That brings the standard price of 3.28 cents a mile down to 1.64 cents a mile.

The minimum amount of miles you have to buy to earn the 100% bonus is 4,000 (for paying roughly $131.50 you’ll receive a total of 8,000 miles). You have to buy miles in increments of 2,000.

Assuming you don’t have status and are just the bottom tier Ivory level Flying Blue Member, the maximum bonus miles you can receive from this promotion is 75,000.

Review of Flying Blue Miles

Flying Blue is the loyalty program for Air France and KLM, as well as a handful of other airlines:

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Fuel Surcharges

Fuel surcharges are omnipresent on Flying Blue awards (on their own metal) no matter which level it is: Classic (the cheapest), Flex, or Promo. When redeeming Flying Blue miles on Flying Blue’s own airlines, the surcharges are as follows:

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From the US to Europe, the fuel surcharge each way is 50 euros in economy, 110 euros in Premium Economy, and 180 euros in Business or First.

At current exchange rates, that works out to:

  • a modest $118+ taxes out of pocket on roundtrip awards to Europe in economy
  • an annoying $260 + taxes out of pocket on roundtrip awards to Europe in Premium Economy
  • a more painful $426 + taxes out of pocket on roundtrip Business Class awards to Europe.

Flying Blue Sweetspots for Redemptions

Flying Blue awards in Business class are generally a terrible value because of the crippling fuel surcharges, but there are deals to be found flying Economy between the US and Mexico, Hawaii, Israel or Northern Africa as well as utilizing their Promo Awards between American cities and Europe that rotate every few months.

  • 30,000 Flying Blue miles + $5.60 in taxes/fees- Mainland US to Hawaii roundtrip in Delta Economy
  • 25,000 Flying Blue miles + $122.81 in taxes/fees- US to Mexico roundtrip in Delta Economy
  • 50,000 Flying Blue miles – US to Israel roundtrip in Economy, with taxes/fees as low as $122.13 depending on what carrier you fly
  • 50,000 Flying Blue miles – US to North Africa roundtrip in Economy, with taxes/fees as low as $123.48 depending on what carrier you fly

Promo Awards

Every month, Flying Blue releases a new list of Promo Awards, which allow travel from specified cities in the USA to anywhere in Europe, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, or Algeria from 25% to 50% off the normal miles price. Typically the discount is 25% off–I have’t seen 50% in ages.

Usually you have one month to book awards that must be flown 1-4 months in the future.

So what does 25% and 50% off an award to between the United States and Europe look like?

  • 25% off an Economy roundtrip ticket: 37,500 miles + taxes + $118 in surcharges
  • 50% off an Economy roundtrip ticket: 25,000 miles + taxes + $118 in surcharges

Business Class Promo Awards can be reduced to reasonably competitive mile prices, but the excessive fuel surcharges lower their value. But as you can see, the Economy prices are absolute steals.

An important point to keep in mind with Promo Awards is that they cannot be changed, cancelled, or refunded, so speculative bookings are not an option.

Here are the current Promo Awards.

Logistics of Buying Flying Blue Miles

Flying Blue miles sales are handled through points.com, so they are not considered airfare or travel purchases for the purposes of earning a category bonus on your credit card. Buy them with whichever card earns the most valuable type of point to you (perhaps that’s the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, whose points I value at 2.5 cents each, or the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from Amex which earns 2 Membership Rewards per dollar spent on ALL purchases (that’s like earning a 4 cent return on every dollar spent as I value Membership Rewards at 2 cents each).

Miles should be credited to your account within 72 hours of purchase. Since award space can change during that window, try to take advantage of Flying Blue’s free award holds they typically offer for up to 48 hours. Whether or not an agent will let you hold an award is going to depend on them, but if you don’t like what you hear, hang up and call again for a new agent.

Bottom Line

You can buy up to 75,000 Flying Blue Miles at the moment and earn a 100% bonus for doing so, garnering 150,000 miles. The promotion lasts through September 25, 2017 at 23:59 Central European Time + 1.

This is not (nor is it nearly ever) a good enough deal to buy speculatively. Do your own math to see if this a good deal for you or not. Like always, if you just need to top off your account for a sweetspot redemption then there’s little doubt this is a fantastic deal for you (and remember, Flying Blue is a transfer partner of all four major transferrable point types: Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and SPG Starpoints). If you want to fly Business Class for less money, this promotion could provide you with a deep discount, but don’t forget to factor in fuel surcharges on top of what you’d pay for the miles if it’s an award flying Air France, KLM, or one of Flying Blue’s own airlines.

Hat tip Doctor of Credit

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