25% Transfer Bonus: Membership Rewards to Flying Blue

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Today through June 15, 2018, you can transfer your Membership Reward points–the points earned by cards like the Amex Platinum, Business Gold Rewards, and the Blue Business Plus–to Flying Blue and earn a 25% bonus. This means 24,000 Membership Rewards = 30,000 Flying Blue miles, which is enough for a roundtrip between the mainland US and Hawaii in Delta economy, at least if booked before June 1. More on impending Flying Blue award pricing changes below.

Minimum transfer is 1,000 Membership Rewards, which equals 1,250 Flying Blue miles.

Crash Course on Flying Blue Miles

Get an idea of how searching for/redeeming Flying Blue miles works by reading Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Flying Blue (Flying Blue is also a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, but once points are in your Flying Blue account, they are Flying Blue miles, and all the same rules/prices discussed in that post apply).

Flying Blue Award Pricing Changes Coming June 1

Flying Blue is doing away with award charts and instead pricing based on origin, destination, and travel date (in other words, how much it costs with cash).

Mileage earning rates and elite status qualifications that also reflect a shift towards a revenue-based loyalty program have already changed, as of April 1, 2018.

Read more about the shift in Big Changes to Flying Blue Effective June 1. Some awards you’ll want to wait to book until June 1 or later, and some you’ll want to book before. To look up the price of an award as of June 1, check this Flying Blue Calculator (scroll down to Mile Price Estimator). Prices reflected in the results are the new Saver level price for any award flights booked as of June 1, 2018, and later.

Here are some award price sweet spots to utilize, how many membership rewards they will cost considering the transfer bonus, and when to book (now or post June 1).

  • CURRENT SAVER PRICE: 30,000 Flying Blue miles to fly from the mainland US to Hawaii roundtrip in economy. That means you’d need to transfer 24,000 Membership Rewards to Flying Blue as 24,000 x 1.25 = 30,000.
    • I checked prices between Atlanta, Los Angeles, JFK and Honolulu. As of June 1, it will cost a minimum of 35,000 Flying Blue miles to fly from Atlanta or Los Angeles to Honolulu roundtrip in economy (JFK to Honolulu’s Saver award price is not listed). If you were thinking of taking advantage of this sweet spot, I would check your city pair in the new Flying Blue Calculator. I expect the price will increase.
    • Conclusion: Probably book before June 1
  • CURRENT SAVER PRICE: 25,000 Flying Blue miles to fly from the US to Mexico roundtrip in economy. That means you’d need to transfer 20,000 Membership Rewards to Flying Blue as 20,000 x 1.25 = 25,000.
    • I only checked Atlanta to Mexico City, but as of June 1, it will cost 29,000 Flying Blue miles to fly roundtrip between the two cities in Delta economy. If you were thinking of taking advantage of this sweet spot, I would check your city pair in the new Flying Blue Calculator. I expect the price will increase.
    • Conclusion: Probably book before June 1
  • CURRENT SAVER PRICE: 50,000 Flying Blue miles to fly from the US to Israel roundtrip in economy. That means you’d need to transfer 40,000 Membership Rewards to Flying Blue as 40,000 x 1.25 = 50,000.
    • I checked JFK to Tel Aviv as well as Los Angeles to Tel Aviv. Looks like JFK to Tel Aviv will stay the same (50k roundtrip) and Los Angeles to Tel Aviv is increasing to 58k roundtrip. The Business Class price however is going down across the board as of June 1, from 62,500 miles to 58,000 miles one way (47,000 Membership Rewards w/transfer bonus).
    • Conclusion: Book before June 1 if you’re flying from the west coast in economy. Otherwise, book on or after June 1. 
  • CURRENT SAVER PRICE: 50,000 Flying Blue miles to fly from the US to North Africa roundtrip in economy. That means you’d need to transfer 40,000 Membership Rewards to Flying Blue as 40,000 x 1.25 = 50,000.
    • I checked JFK to Morocco (Casablanca), and it will cost only 43,000 miles roundtrip (35,000 Membership Rewards w/transfer bonus) if you wait until June 1 or later to book. Business class JFK To Morocco is also dropping (to 53k instead of 62.5k one way, which would be 43k Membership Rewards). However, if you’re coming from the west coast (I checked Los Angeles), it will cost 58,000 miles roundtrip in economy as of June 1. It will cost only 58k instead of 62.5k one way in Business though (47k Membership Rewards w/transfer bonus)!)
      • Conclusion: Book on or after June 1 if you’re flying from the east coast, or the west coast in Business. If you’re flying from the west coast in economy, book before June 1.

When I quoted a June 1 or later price above, note that those are the Saver level (minimum) prices quoted by their new mileage calculator. It is likely there will be at least some award space available at that price, but we won’t really know whats up until we can see a picture of award space availability and pricing post-May 31–perhaps there won’t be Saver Space available, and the price will actually be higher. You’ll have to make the call of whether you book pre- or post-June 1.

Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport
Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, photo by UggBoy♥UggGirl

Don’t Have Enough Membership Rewards?

Flying Blue miles, like Singapore miles, are easy to come by as they transfer 1:1 from all the other major transferrable point types as well:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • SPG Starpoints (which you can access via your Marriott Rewards if you have any, by transferring 3 Marriott points for every 1 Starpoint you need…and remember you’ll get a 5k mile bonus for every increment of 20k Starpoints transferred to an airline loyalty program, like Flying Blue)
  • Citi ThankYou Points

Bottom Line

Transferring Membership Rewards to Flying Blue (loyalty program of Air France, KLM, etc) will garner 25% bonus miles until June 15, 2018. There are various awards you should consider utilizing this bonus for, many of which should cost less miles if you book before Flying Blue changes its award pricing on June 1, 2018.

I am in the process of updating my series covering the histories of transfer bonuses over the last four years. I just re-published the post covering Membership Rewards Transfer Bonuses a couple weeks ago, and added this latest bonus just now. Expect updates on ThankYou Points Transfer Bonuses and SPG Points Transfer Bonuses soon.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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3 COMMENTS

    • Yea, if the calculator tells you that your award will be more expensive as of June 1, then definitely. If it doesn’t tell you the award price of your exact city pair, then I would look up another award with an American city near yours, and see if you can get a price that way. And yea, if you’re quoted a more expensive price for June 1 and on using that method, then I would still book speculatively.

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