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The Air France/KLM Flying Blue program is one of the best frequent flyer programs for those who want to book affordable award flights to Europe in economy, or even in Business class. It’s also one of the easiest programs to accrue points in thanks to the fact that it’s a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards. Flying Blue is also a partner of Bilt Rewards, which is a newer loyalty program that helps people earn rewards on rent payments.
This means you can earn points or miles with a range of flexible travel credit cards over time, then transfer them to your Flying Blue account and pool them all together when you’re ready.
If you are wondering what Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles are worth or the best ways to earn miles, you should know that this program is full of surprises and unique ways to extract additional value. Read on to get an overview of this program and the best ways to use your miles.
Flying Blue basics
First off, you should know that Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program of multiple airlines, including Air France, KLM, Transavia, Aircalin, Kenya Airways and TAROM. Since Air France and KLM are by far the biggest carriers among this selection of airlines, you’ll mostly see this program associated with these two.
It’s also worth noting that Air France, KLM and other program airlines are part of the SkyTeam airline alliance, so you can seamlessly use rewards from this program to book flights with Delta Airlines and other partners within this alliance.
How to earn Flying Blue miles
There are quite a few ways to earn Flying Blue miles, which you can use to book for flight awards and a handful of other options.
Fly with Air France, KLM or partner airlines
Like other frequent flyer programs, Flying Blue lets you earn miles when you fly with an eligible airline. Generally speaking, you’ll earn miles based on your status level with Flying Blue, and based on each euro you spend on Air France and KLM marketed flights. For example:
- Explorer members earn 4X miles per euro spent
- Silver members earn 6X miles per euro spent
- Gold members earn 7X miles per euro spent
- Platinum members earn 8X miles per euro spent
Book other types of travel with partners
The Flying Blue program also lets members earn more miles when booking with various partners, including car rental companies, online excursion booking platforms, hotel brands and more.
Use a Flying Blue credit card
The Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard®* is available to applicants in the United States, and it offers a generous welcome bonus as well as miles on all your purchases. This card currently offers 70,000 miles and 40 Experience Points (XP) when you sign up and spend $2,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening. An $89 annual fee applies.
Transfer flexible travel rewards to Flying Blue
As mentioned, Flying Blue is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards. This means you can focus on earning flexible rewards with eligible credit cards from any of these programs, then transfer your rewards to Flying Blue when you’re ready to make a redemption.
Shop through the online portal
You can also earn bonus Flying Blue miles through the Flying Blue Shop for Miles portal.
Book hotels with the Flying Blue hotels for Miles platform
The Flying Blue hotels for Miles portal lets you earn (or spend) miles for eligible hotel bookings. While offers vary by location and your travel dates, you can earn up to 10,000 miles for each night you book through the platform.
You can pay for your stay with cash to earn miles, use a combination of cash and miles for your booking or redeem Flying Blue miles to pay for your booking. Some partner hotel brands found in this portal include Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Four Seasons, Marriott and Park Hyatt.
How to redeem Flying Blue miles
When it comes to redeeming Flying Blue miles, you won’t find a shortage of options. Here are the best ways to use miles in this program.
Book an award flight
Flying Blue is an excellent program to use for travel awards to and from the continental U.S. to Hawaii and the U.S. to the Caribbean. This is mainly due to the many routes you can access with this program through the SkyTeam alliance.
However, the program really shines when it comes to its affordable flight awards to Europe. You can frequently find one-way economy flights to cities like Amsterdam and Paris starting at 19,000 miles, as well as one-way Business class flights in lie-flat seats starting at around 55,000 miles.
Note that you can also use miles to upgrade a paid flight into a premium cabin, or to cover baggage fees, seat selections and more.
Look into Flying Blue Promo rewards
Flying Blue also offers even better value with its Promo rewards program, which is an ongoing flight deal program that offers awards for fewer miles than usual. While these offers change frequently, you can find deals like (accurate as of writing):
- Amsterdam, Netherlands to Geneva, Switzerland starting at 5,625 miles one-way
- Paris, France to Lyon, France starting at 4,875 miles one-way
- Paris, France to Chicago, Illinois starting at 12,750 miles one-way
Shop in the Flying Blue store
You can also use miles to shop in the Flying Blue store, although this option isn’t recommended since you’ll get less-than-average value for each mile you redeem. But if you do choose this option, you can get items like a Sony Wireless BT Headphone set for 17,070 miles or a Clarins Make-Up Remover set for 10,425 miles (accurate as of writing).
You can also donate Flying Blue miles to a range of partner charities, including Miles4Migrants and Unicef.
How much are Flying Blue miles worth?
According to our points and miles valuations, Flying Blue miles are worth approximately 1.3 cents each, on average. This makes these miles worth more than American AAdvantage miles (about 1.0 cents each) and around the same as Delta SkyMiles (around 1.2 cents each).
How do Flying Blue miles compare to other programs?
The chart below shows how Flying Blue miles stack up against the rewards value of other popular frequent flyer programs.
|Airline loyalty program||Bankrate value|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||1.5 cents to 1.1 cents|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||1.5 cents|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||0.7 cents|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||2.9 cents|
|American AAdvantage||1.0 cents|
|Delta SkyMiles||1.2 cents|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1.3 cents|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||2.6 cents|
Flying Blue elite status
Flying Blue elite status is determined based on flights with the airline and eligible partners, which lead to you earning a program currency called Experience Points (XP). Note that you can also get a boost toward elite status by earning XP with the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard (terms apply).
The chart below shows some of the main benefits you’ll get for reaching each elite status tier with Flying Blue.
|Elite status tier||Flying Blue Explorer||Flying Blue Silver||Flying Blue Gold||Flying Blue Platinum|
|Earning rate||4X miles per euro spent||6X miles per euro spent||7X miles per euro spent||8X miles per euro spent|
|Checked baggage benefit||10% discount on first checked bag on eligible flights||1 extra checked bag on eligible flights||1 extra checked bag on eligible flights||1 extra checked bag on eligible flights|
|Lounge access||N/A||Access to some lounges for a fee; applies to international flights operated by a SkyTeam partner||Free access for you and 1 guest on eligible same-day international flights operated by an eligible airline||Free access for you and 1 guest on eligible same-day international flights operated by an eligible airline|
|SkyTeam status||N/A||SkyTeam Elite (includes priority service at check-in, baggage drop-off and boarding)||SkyTeam Elite Plus (includes priority service at check-in, baggage drop-off, boarding, immigration, security, ticket offices, transfer desks and baggage delivery)||SkyTeam Elite Plus (includes priority service at check-in, baggage drop-off, boarding, immigration, security, ticket offices, transfer desks and baggage delivery)|
|Access to premium seats on Air France/KLM||N/A||Free 24 hours before departure||Free 72 hours before departure||Free|
Flying Blue partners
Flying Blue currently has over 70 partners. Some of the current partners you can earn (or spend) miles with include (but are not limited to):
- American Express Membership Rewards
- Capital One miles
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Citi ThankYou Rewards
- Aerolíneas Argentinas
- Air Corsica
- Air Europa
- Air Mauritius
- Bangkok Airways
- China Airlines
- China Eastern
- China Southern Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- Czech Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- ITA Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Korean Air
- Malaysia Airways
- Middle East Airlines
- Saudi Arabian Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Accor Live Limitless
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Best Western Hotels & Resorts
- Hilton Honors
- Radisson Hotel Group
- Golden Tulip Hotels
- Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
- IHG Hotels & Resorts
- Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Top credit cards for earning Flying Blue miles
Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard
As mentioned, the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard* is available to U.S. applicants. It comes with an $89 annual fee and a welcome offer of 70,000 miles and 40 XP when you spend $2,000 within 90 days of account opening. As for rewards, you’ll earn 3X miles per dollar on direct purchases with Air France, KLM and SkyTeam member airlines, plus 1.5X miles per dollar on all other purchases.
Plus, you can get 60 XP after card approval, 20 XP each year on your card anniversary and 5,000 miles each account anniversary after you spend $50 or more on purchases within the previous anniversary year. This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which comes with a $95 annual fee, offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. For rewards, you’ll earn 5X points on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 31, 2025); 3X points on dining, select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs); 2X points on other travel; and 1X points on other purchases.
Notably, this card allows you to transfer Chase points to a number of airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio, including the Air France/KLM Flying Blue program. It also comes with benefits like trip cancellation/interruption insurance, an auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services, purchase protection and extended warranty coverage. However, if you’re looking for a premium credit card with even more travel perks, you may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s sibling card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
American Express Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card is a great option for people who spend a lot on both travel and dining. It offers 4X points at restaurants worldwide (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year), 4X points on Uber Eats purchases, 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or via American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases. As a welcome offer, you can earn 60,000 points after spending $6,000 within the first six months of card membership. A $250 annual fee applies.
Some key benefits of this card include up to $120 annually ($10 per month) in dining credits at eligible restaurants, up to $120 annually ($10 per month) in Uber Cash, up to a $100 experience credit when you book a minimum two-night stay with The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel, the ability to transfer Amex points to Amex airline and hotel partners (including Air France/KLM Flying Blue), no foreign transaction fees, car rental loss and damage insurance and baggage insurance.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with a $395 annual fee, which is on the lower end for premium travel cards. It comes with a welcome offer of 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 within the first three months, along with ongoing rewards: 10X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5X miles on flights through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases.
Like the other cards on this list, Capital One Venture X cardholders can transfer miles to the Air France/KLM Flying Blue program (plus numerous other travel partners). Other notable card benefits include up to $300 in annual travel credits for Capital One Travel bookings, up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 in travel) every account anniversary and unlimited access to Capital One and Priority Pass lounges.
Citi Premier Card
The Citi Premier® Card offers 3X points on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel purchases, plus 1X points on all other purchases. However, for a limited time, you can earn a total of 10X points per dollar on hotels, car rentals and attractions (excluding air travel) booked through the Citi Travel portal (offer available through June 30, 2024). This card also includes a $95 annual fee and a welcome offer of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.
Notable card benefits include the ability to transfer points to Citi travel partners (including Air France/KLM Flying Blue), $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) on bookings through ThankYou.com and no foreign transaction fees.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Flying Blue miles can expire if you don’t earn or redeem miles in your account every 24 months.
The Flying Blue Family program lets you share your miles with others at any time and with no added cost. Up to eight people (two adults and up to six children) can form their own Flying Blue Family pool.
You can buy airline miles in the Flying Blue program if you need to top off your account to make a redemption. However, costs and promotions vary over time.
*The information about the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.