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At the beginning of May, Amex introduced a 25% bonus on points transfers to the Air France KLM Flying Blue program. This is a transfer bonus we don’t see often, and if you’ve been thinking about whether or not to transfer points, this is your last chance. The Amex Flying Blue transfer bonus ends tomorrow, Friday, June 15, 2018.
As a reminder, US Membership Rewards points ordinarily transfer at a 1:1 ratio, so during this promotion you get 1,250 Flying Blue miles per 1,000 Amex points. There’s no limit to how often you can take advantage of this promotion, and the bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, meaning that you can earn the bonus on multiple transactions.
It has been over a year since we’ve seen such a transfer bonus, so this is a situation where it may indeed make sense to speculatively transfer points.
There are so many great cards that accrue Membership Rewards points, and when you consider that some cards earn up to 2x points per dollar spent, you’re looking at quite a good return when you stack with a transfer bonus.
Do keep in mind that major changes were made to the Flying Blue program as of June 1, 2018, and award pricing is now dynamic, rather than zone based. So the cost of many awards has gone up, while the cost of some awards has gone down.
The great thing about Flying Blue is that it gives you access to more award availability on Air France and KLM than if you’re booking through a partner program. So pricing varies, but with a 25% bonus this could be an especially good deal.
You could also leverage this bonus to score a deal on a Delta ticket. Award tickets on Delta have new award pricing that’s roughly distance based rather than zone based, so in some cases you’ll pay less than before, and in other cases you’ll pay more than before. Flying Blue doesn’t impose surcharges on Delta if booking a one-way ticket from the US to Europe, for example (for travel from Europe to the US they do, though).
You could redeem 59,000 Flying Blue miles for a one-way business class ticket on Delta from New York to London, which requires just 48,000 Membership Rewards points. That’s a solid deal.
Alternatively you could pay 72,000 Flying Blue miles for a one-way business class ticket from Seattle to Amsterdam, which requires just 58,000 Membership Rewards points.
What I love about Amex Membership Rewards is that we see transfer bonuses with some frequency, which isn’t the case with Chase Ultimate Rewards. At the same time, transfer bonuses to Flying Blue are pretty rare, so if this is something you’re interested in, you’ll want to transfer points by tomorrow.
Personally I’m still trying to decide what to do. I don’t have any immediate need for Flying Blue miles, but at the same time I suspect that within a few months I’ll have a use for them. While a lot of the value of transferrable points comes with their flexibility, I feel like it makes sense to transfer points given the significant bonus, which we don’t see often.
Have you taken advantage of this bonus yet? Anyone else trying to decide whether to speculatively transfer over points or not?