To kick off the month of May, Amex US is offering a 25% transfer bonus from Amex US Membership Rewards to Air France/KLM Flying Blue.
Transfer bonuses such as this come up a couple of times a year, with the last similar promotion offered in December 2022 with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Flying Blue miles are most useful for booking Air France/KLM transatlantic awards from major cities in Canada and the US, especially when redeemed in conjunction with Promo Rewards. Combining these monthly promotional redemptions with this Amex US MR transfer bonus can make this a very lucrative deal.
25% Transfer Bonus to Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Until May 22, 2023, you can transfer Amex US Membership Rewards points to Air France/KLM Flying Blue and receive a 25% bonus.
Points are normally transferred at a 1:1 ratio between the two programs, but with this promotion, the ratio improves to 1:1.25. With the 25% bonus, for every 1,000 US Membership Rewards points transferred, you’ll receive a total of 1,250 Flying Blue miles.
The minimum transfer amount is 1,000 points, and the maximum transfer is 999,000 points. You’ll need to transfer points in increments of 1,000, and it can take up to 48 hours for the points to arrive in your Flying Blue account.
This transfer promotion is only for those who dabble in US credit cards and have access to Amex US MR points. If you’ve yet to get started with US credit cards, it’s possible to get your first Amex US MR card this month, although you’d need to take action quickly.
Is This Transfer Bonus a Good Deal?
Any time a transfer bonus comes around, it’s a good idea to see if there are ways for you to leverage the promotion in your favour. A 25% transfer bonus effectively reduces the number of points required by 25%, which can wind up being a great deal.
As mentioned, one of the best uses of Flying Blue miles is in conjunction with Promo Rewards, which are monthly promotions through which the number of miles required to redeem on specific routes is discounted by up to 50%.
For the month of May 2023, for instance, you can get 25% off business class redemptions between Montreal to Europe with Promo Rewards.
A one-way business class ticket booked with Flying Blue from Montreal to Amsterdam is normally starts at 55,000 miles, but with this month’s Promo Rewards, you’re looking at paying just 41,250 Flying Blue miles plus taxes and fees. This is already a pretty good deal for a transatlantic flight in business class, as long as you’re able to find awards at that pricing level.
However, your savings don’t stop there, as you can still factor in this transfer bonus. With the 25% bonus, you’ll only need to transfer 33,000 Amex US MR points to Flying Blue miles for the same flight, which winds up being a 40% discount from the standard lowest cost.
A good point of comparison for how this can be a fantastic deal is to look to an Aeroplan redemption with Air Canada on a similar route.
For example, a one-way business class ticket from Montreal to Amsterdam ranges between 60,000–160,000 Aeroplan points. By taking advantage of the Promo Rewards and the transfer bonus, you’re looking at almost half of the cost in points as if you were to book with Aeroplan, assuming you can find flights at the lower end of dynamic pricing in both programs.
Flying Blue miles can also be useful for economy class flights with Delta or other partner airlines, either within North America, to Europe, or to South America.
For example, you can find Delta and Virgin Atlantic redemptions in economy from Boston to London for 23,000 Flying Blue miles. Factoring in the 25% bonus, you’ll only need 18,400 Amex MR points (or 19,000 points when rounded up to the nearest thousand) for the same flight.
The upside of redeeming with partners is that you’ll also benefit from lower carrier-imposed surcharges. For a Delta economy redemption from Boston to London, you’ll only be on the hook for a minimal $13.70 (CAD) in taxes and fees.
Air France and KLM, by contrast, charge a moderate amount of fuel surcharges on redemptions on its own flights, typically to the tune of $200–300 (CAD), depending on the class of service.
Before transferring your Amex US MR points, make sure to check out the Promo Rewards and award availability with partner airlines, as these are the best uses of Flying Blue miles.
Remember, once you’ve transferred your points from one program to another, you cannot reverse the process. While offers like these are lucrative, it’s best to have a planned redemption lined up already before you take the plunge and transfer your points.
You have until May 22, 2023 to complete the transfer, which should leave you plenty of time to look for flights. Once you’ve found them, you can call Flying Blue and place an award hold on the flights for up to 72 hours, which should leave you plenty of time to transfer points in.
Until May 22, 2023, Amex US is offering a 25% bonus when transferring Amex US Membership Rewards points to Air France/KLM Flying Blue. You’ll need to transfer points in increments of 1,000, and the transfer can take up to 48 hours to take place.
The Flying Blue program offers great transatlantic redemptions through its Promo Rewards program and with its partner airlines.
Be sure to take advantage of the transfer bonus to score meaningful discounts on award travel in the upcoming weeks and months.