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Best Ways To Book KLM Business Class With Points [Step-by-Step]

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
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Kellie Jez

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KLM, the flag carrier of the Netherlands, is one of the world’s largest full-service airlines.

As the oldest airline in the world operating under its original name, this Amsterdam-based airline has a storied history exceeding over 100 years!

One fun fact is that KLM is actually owned by the same company that owns Air France. Along with other subsidiary airlines, the Air France-KLM Group comprises one of the largest airline groups in the world.

KLM mostly offers nonstop flights to Amsterdam (AMS), and as a SkyTeam airline, it has a variety of ways to book business class flights using points.

A Look Inside KLM Business Class

KLM 787 Business Class window seat
Image Credit: KLM

KLM, just like Air France, has an interesting hodgepodge of aircraft. Similarly, KLM’s business class seat varies depending on which aircraft you’re flying on.

Although KLM retired its 747 aircraft, it still operates the 787 Dreamliner, 777, and A330-300 on flights between the U.S. and Holland.

The best seats are aboard the 787-9 Dreamliner, as they are reverse herringbone seats that recline fully flat and are situated in a 1-2-1 configuration. Plus, every seat has direct aisle access, and the design of the seat is such that you feel like you’re in your own private pod.

The other business class seats aboard the A330 or 777 aircraft are still lie-flat, but they are staggered, forward-facing seats in a 2-2-2 layout. These seats don’t have direct aisle access at every seat and are slightly more cramped. On the plus side, though, the legroom on the 777 and A330 is generally better than in reverse herringbone seats.

Generally, your biggest motivator for booking KLM business class should be if you need to access a nonstop business class route to Amsterdam (AMS).

When you fly, you’ll enjoy extra checked baggage allowances, dedicated check-in lines, business class lounge access, priority boarding, decent catering, and solid service.

But the souvenir Delft Blue houses that the airline provides to business class passengers are one of the best perks — a very unique gift, indeed!

Again, the high-level concept here is that you should try to fly on the 787-9 business class — the other products are acceptable, of course, but the 787-9 is KLM’s flagship.

How To Fly KLM Business Class Using Points

KLM is less reliable than its sister airline Air France at releasing award availability.

In general, KLM has a smaller network of routes, owed in part to its fleet size of 115, which is around half of Air France’s 213 aircraft.

Its business class flights are best booked in advance. In general, it’s possible to find award space for up to 4 business class passengers on a KLM flight between the U.S. and Europe as long as you plan at least 7 months in advance and have a flexible departure date.

KLM imposes around $200 to $350 in fuel surcharges for flights between the U.S. and Europe, with U.S.-bound flights seeing higher fees.

Also, KLM has a reliable list of nonstop flights between the U.S. and Amsterdam:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Boston (BOS) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Chicago (ORD) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Detroit (DTW) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Las Vegas (LAS) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Miami (MIA) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Minneapolis (MSP) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • New York (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Orlando (MCO) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Amsterdam (AMS)

Nonstop service to certain cities like Los Angeles is very difficult to find Saver-level award space for, so just keep that in mind.

Let’s take a look at our favorite loyalty programs to book KLM business class with!

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

KLM’s frequent flyer program, which is shared by Air France, is called Flying Blue.

The miles you earn and redeem are called Flying Blue miles, and this loyalty program boasts excellent redemption rates that are about as good as you can get.

For flights between the U.S. and Europe, Flying Blue has multiple buckets of award fares, ranging from cheapest to most expensive. As you can imagine, the cheapest awards are generally the hardest to find, while the most expensive awards are the easiest to find.

For example, on a nonstop, business class flight between Chicago and Amsterdam, you’ll find the following award fare buckets:

  • 71,000 miles
  • 91,000 miles
  • 96,000 miles
  • 252,000 miles
  • 369,500 miles
  • 375,000 miles

With such a huge range of possible costs, you should strive to book tickets that fall under the cheapest bucket, known as the Saver award.

Hot Tip: Partner frequent flyer programs like Delta SkyMiles only have access to the lowest-level Saver awards.

Here’s the range of prices for one-way flights in the cheapest business class bucket:

SCROLL FOR MORE

Being able to redeem as few as 53,000 miles for a one-way business class flight to Europe, especially when compared to some one-way economy tickets to Hawaii being that expensive, is a treat!

If you’re redeeming Flying Blue miles, the best place to search for award space is on none other than KLM’s website!

Follow these steps to book your KLM business class flight using Flying Blue miles:

  1. Visit KLM’s homepage.
  2. Select your country (United States for most readers).
  3. On the homepage in the top-right corner, click Log in and enter your Flying Blue account details.
  4. After logging in, click Book with Miles on the top of the search box.
  5. Click Round trip or  One-way.
  6. Enter your flight information.
  7. Click Search flights.
  8. Find your desired flight option, redeem your Flying Blue miles, and pay for taxes and fees with a credit card.

Here’s what a successful award chart looks like when done on KLM’s website:

KLM business class result on KLM
Image Credit: KLM

Earning Air France/KLM Flying Blue Miles

Flying Blue miles are one of the easiest miles to accumulate. That’s because Flying Blue is a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Amex, Brex, Chase, Capital One, and Citi transfer almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio.

Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 Flying Blue miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at a time to Flying Blue.

Lastly, Bank of America issues an Air France/KLM Flying Blue co-branded credit card that earns Flying Blue miles.

Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
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The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros
  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Amex business cards that earn Membership Rewards points.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is a nifty non-alliance partner of KLM. Even though Virgin Atlantic isn’t a SkyTeam airline, it has close partnerships with Delta, Air France, KLM, and other airlines on an individual basis.

When redeeming Virgin Points, you can only book KLM business class flights at the Saver level, which limits the number of flights you can book to a small fraction of what’s available on Flying Blue’s website.

Additionally, Flying Club passes on all fuel surcharges on KLM.

Flying Club uses the following award chart for KLM flights between Amsterdam and the U.S.:

SCROLL FOR MORE

Cabin Class

Virgin Points Cost (One-Way)

From East Coast North America and the Caribbean to Western and Central Europe

Virgin Points Cost (One-Way)

From West & Central North America and Central America to Western and Central Europe

Taxes and Fees

Economy (Standard)

12,000

15,000

~$164 to $243

Economy (Peak)

22,000

25,000

~$164 to $243

Business (Standard)

48,500

61,000

~$302 to $409

Business (Peak)

58,500

71,000

~$302 to $409

As you can see, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club also mandates standard and peak dates, which are listed below:

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club standard and peak season KLM
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club standard and peak season dates for KLM flights. Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

That means a one-way business class flight departing on September 1, 2022, will be priced under peak pricing while a one-way business class flight departing on September 10, 2022, will fall under the standard pricing umbrella.

Redeeming Virgin Points for KLM flights is doable completely online — just follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Virgin Atlantic’s website.
  2. At the top banner of the homepage, there’s a search box. Enter your airport pairs, number of passengers, and travel date(s).
  3. Under the number of passengers, click Advanced search. In the area that says Show Price in, click Points. In the area that says Show Fares For, click Upper Class.
  4. Perform the search.
  5. Choose the options that fit your needs, redeem your Virgin Points, and use a credit card for taxes and fees.

Earning Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Virgin Points

Virgin Points are also very easy to earn.

Though Flying Club doesn’t have as many transfer partners as Flying Blue, it does have partnerships with Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Chase, Amex, and Citi transfer almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio.

Marriott Bonvoy transfers take around 6 to 10 business days, and its transfer ratio is 3:1 with a bonus of 5,000 Virgin Points when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

Bank of America also issued co-branded Virgin Atlantic Flying Club credit cards that earn points directly.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

GREAT STARTER CARD
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a great welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
A fantastic travel card with a great welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
60,000 points
$1,200
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
60,000 points
$1,200
$550
22.49%-29.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros
  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority PassTM Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.

Delta SkyMiles

Delta SkyMiles is the frequent flyer program associated with Delta Air Lines. Although it gets a lot of criticism for being devalued frequently, it’s still a useful program!

We wouldn’t recommend Delta as our first option, but if you happen to already have a bunch of Delta SkyMiles, using them for KLM business class flights is a good way to get value.

Here’s the award chart for flights between the U.S. and Europe:

SCROLL FOR MORE

The good news is that even though redemption prices are much higher than expected, you won’t pay for fuel surcharges on flights from the U.S. You will still have to pay for fuel surcharges on flights from Europe, however.

Delta SkyMiles allows its members to make partner award bookings completely online, so follow these steps to book your ticket 100% online!

  1. Go to Delta’s homepage.
  2. On the top banner, you’ll see a search box. Check off the box that says Shop with Miles.
  3. Click Advanced search under the number of passengers and choose Delta One from the Best Fares For dropdown box.
  4. Find your desired flights, spend your Delta SkyMiles, and enter your credit card information to pay for taxes and fees.

Earning Delta SkyMiles

Delta SkyMiles, thanks to lucrative co-branded partnerships and a strong brand in the U.S., are easy to earn.

Its 2 transfer partners are American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.

Amex transfers instantly at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers in about 1 business day at a 3:1 ratio.

Also, American Express has several Delta co-branded credit cards that each offer unique benefits, fee structures, and bonus categories to earn SkyMiles.

Recommended Delta Cards

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Delta loyalists will love the fast track to Delta elite status, lounge access, baggage benefits, and upgrade priority with the Delta Reserve card.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

Delta loyalists will love the fast track to Delta elite status, lounge access, baggage benefits, and upgrade priority with the Delta Reserve card.
Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
95,000 Bonus Miles
$1,140
$650
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a stellar option for frequent travelers who always fly with Delta thanks to its MQD Headstart towards status boost, lounge access, annual companion certificate, and many other great benefits.

Here is a full look at everything the Delta Reserve card can offer to you to help you decide whether the card deserves a place in your wallet.

Pros
  • 3x SkyMiles per $1 on Delta purchases
  • 1x SkyMile per $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights.
Cons
  • $650 annual fee (rates & fees)
  • No bonus categories other than Delta purchases
  • Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club® and bring up to two guests or immediate family members at a rate of $50 per person per visit when flying Delta. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.
  • Receive four Delta Sky Club® One-Time Guest Passes each year when you fly together on Delta. After that, you may bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person, per location.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $10 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving elevated Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Receive a Companion Certificate on First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • $240 Resy Credit: With the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Resy Credit, earn up to $20 per month in statement credits on eligible Resy purchases using your enrolled Card.
  • $120 Rideshare Credit: You can earn up to $10 back in statement credits each month on U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers after you pay with your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Enrollment Required.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • With your Card receive upgrade priority over other Medallion Members within the same Medallion level and fare class.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
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Delta SkyMiles Airline Loyalty Program

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Frequent Delta travelers will enjoy this card's bonus categories, benefits, and ability to reach higher levels of elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

Frequent Delta travelers will enjoy this card's bonus categories, benefits, and ability to reach higher levels of elite status.
Earn 85,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
85,000 Bonus Miles
$1,020
$350
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card can be a great option for those seeking additional ways to obtain a higher level of status — or to maintain their current status — with the airline.

A key feature of this card is the ability to earn bonus Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) that are essential for earning Delta status. This could help you get closer to earning a handful of valuable benefits with the airline.

Pros
  • 3x SkyMiles per $1 spent on Delta purchases
  • 3x SkyMiles per $1 spent on purchases made directly with hotels
  • 2x SkyMiles per $1 spent at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and U.S. supermarkets
Cons
  • $350 annual fee (rates & fees)
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Earn 85,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Receive a Companion Certificate on Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $20 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Receive Zone 5 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members and Reserve Card Members.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $350 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
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Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

Korean Air SKYPASS

Korean Air SKYPASS is yet another excellent-value frequent flyer program.

Although Korean Air miles have an amazing value proposition, we should warn you that Korean Air miles are actually very difficult to earn.

Fuel surcharges are all passed on, and Korean Air only permits round-trip award bookings on partner-operated flights, including KLM.

But if these quirks are fine with you, here’s the fantastic redemption chart for SkyTeam flights between the U.S. and Europe booked with SKYPASS miles:

SCROLL FOR MORE

Korean Air SKYPASS’s booking process is significantly more complicated, so be prepared to jump through more hoops to get this redemption price.

You can only book award flights for 5 immediate family members, including your spouse, children, parents, siblings, parents-in-law, children-in-law, grandparents, or grandchildren. Additionally, you must provide proof of relationship through the website, fax, or via a local office.

Here’s how to book your flight:

  1. Find partner-level award availability from Virgin Atlantic or Delta.
  2. Transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to Korean Air — this may take from 2 days to 3 weeks to complete, so just keep the timing in mind.
  3. Write down the flight details and call Korean Air SKYPASS at 800-438-5000 to book the ticket using your SKYPASS miles and a credit card for taxes and fees.

Earning Korean Air SKYPASS Miles

Korean Air SKYPASS has only 1 transfer partner: Marriott Bonvoy.

Marriott Bonvoy transfers may take upwards of 3 weeks, and transfers process at a 3:1 ratio.

U.S. Bank is also the exclusive issuer of co-branded Korean Air SKYPASS credit cards, both personal and business versions.

Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards

We discuss the best Marriott credit cards in our comprehensive guide.

Aeromexico Club Premier

Aeromexico Club Premier is a frequent flyer program that doesn’t get discussed all that often.

Because this program is quite complex, most have written it off as a non-starter. But we’re here to tell you that it’s a worthwhile program to consider anyway.

Here’s Aeromexico’s award chart for U.S.-Europe flights in KLM business class:

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High season includes the following date ranges:

  • The Monday before Easter season until the Sunday after Easter season (4 weeks)
  • June 1 to August 18
  • December 8 to January 16

For example, a KLM business class flight departing on August 1st will cost 114,000 Club Premier points while a KLM business class flight on September 30th will cost 110,000 Club Premier points.

Aeromexico Club Premier doesn’t allow any award flights to be booked online, so you’ll need to follow these instructions to redeem your Club Premier points:

  1. Find partner award availability using the Virgin Atlantic or Delta websites.
  2. Call Aeromexico Club Premier at 855-412-2650.
  3. Feed the agent your travel details.
  4. Redeem your points, pay for taxes and fees, and confirm the reservation.

Earning Aeromexico Club Premier Points

Aeromexico Club Premier is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards (1:1.6 ratio), Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:1 ratio), Brex Rewards (1:1), Capital One Miles (1:1), and Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 ratio).

Marriott Bonvoy also comes with a transfer bonus whereby if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Aeromexico Club Premier, you’ll get an extra 5,000 points.

Amex transfers take 2 to 12 business days, Citi transfers are almost instant, Brex transfers take up to 1 business day, Capital One transfers are almost instant, and Marriott Bonvoy takes around 4 business days.

Recommended Citi Cards

Citi Premier® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

*The information regarding the Citi Premier card has expired, and the card is no longer open to applicants.

*The information regarding the Citi Premier card has expired, and the card is no longer open to applicants.
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
60,000 points
$960
$95
21.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!

Pros
  • 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotel purchases
  • Access to Citi transfer partners
  • Annual hotel credit
Cons
    • $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Other Options for Booking KLM

KLM partners with a slew of other airlines (and loyalty programs) like China Southern Sky Pearl Club, and Aeroflot Bonus.

Unfortunately, these miles are typically difficult to use, difficult to earn, or don’t offer stellar value.

Great KLM Business Class Redemptions

There’s no shortage of ways to redeem points and miles for KLM business class.

In the sections above, we focused on the best frequent flyer programs to use for booking KLM business class.

Putting all of the knowledge together, here’s what it would cost for each program to book a round-trip business class flight on KLM between the U.S. and Amsterdam:

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Route (Round-Trip)

Flying Blue Miles Cost

Virgin Points Cost

Delta SkyMiles Cost

Korean Air Miles Cost

Aeromexico Points Cost

U.S. to Amsterdam

106,000 to 144,000 + ~$512

97,000 to 142,000 + ~$711

240,000 + $340

80,000 + $711

220,000 + ~$711

Korean Air is the cheapest option by around 20%, which is a big chunk! But that doesn’t take into account that Korean Air miles are hard to come by with just 1 transfer partner in Marriott Bonvoy.

The most practical transfer partners for most of us will be Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

In particular, Flying Blue has the best award availability, being that Flying Blue miles can be used for various types of award space.

Virgin Points can easily be used for KLM flights, too, but you can only use them for Saver award space, which can be hard to find.

Flying Blue and Flying Club are both transfer partners with Amex, Brex, Chase, Citi, Capital One, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Additionally, Delta SkyMiles is another option, especially if you have a ton of Delta miles sitting around — but the award prices aren’t attractive compared to Flying Blue and Flying Club.

Lastly, Aeromexico Club Premier is yet another option, being a transfer partner of Amex, Brex, Citi, Capital One, and Marriott Bonvoy.

On the topic of stopovers, you’ll encounter the following routing rules:

  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Delta SkyMiles don’t allow stopovers
  • Korean Air allows 1 stopover per SkyTeam ticket
  • Aeromexico Club Premier allows 1 stopover on round-trip flights only, not one-way flights

Let’s take a look at some of the best example redemptions you can make aboard KLM business class:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class during the standard season for 48,500 Virgin Points + ~$302 in taxes and fees
  • Boston (BOS) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 53,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$241 in taxes and fees
  • Chicago (ORD) – Amsterdam (AMS) round-trip in KLM business class for 80,000 Korean Air miles + ~$711 in taxes and fees
  • Detroit (DTW) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 110,000 Aeromexico Club Premier points + ~$241 in taxes and fees
  • Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 120,000 Delta SkyMiles + ~$6 in taxes and fees
  • Las Vegas (LAS) – Amsterdam (AMS) round-trip in KLM business class for 80,000 Korean Air miles + ~$711 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 120,000 Delta SkyMiles + ~$6 in taxes and fees
  • Miami (MIA) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 110,000 Aeromexico Club Premier points + ~$241 in taxes and fees
  • Minneapolis (MSP) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 57,500 Flying Blue miles + ~$241 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 57,500 Flying Blue miles + ~$241 in taxes and fees
  • Orlando (MCO) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class during the standard season for 48,500 Virgin Points + ~$302 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Amsterdam (AMS) round-trip in KLM business class for 80,000 Korean Air miles + ~$711 in taxes and fees
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class during the standard season for 48,500 Virgin Points + ~$302 in taxes and fees

How To Earn Enough Miles for KLM Business Class

KLM business class is easy to book, as long as you find award availability.

In the sections above, we presented a handful of the best frequent flyer programs to use for KLM business class award flights.

Korean Air SKYPASS offers the lowest rates by far, while Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club are the next best programs.

However, this doesn’t account for the difficulty of earning Korean Air miles, so we actually recommend Flying Blue and Flying Club as realistic and accessible programs.

Flying Blue has the broadest award space while Flying Club only has access to partner-level awards.

Lastly, some other options include Delta SkyMiles and Aeromexico Club Premier.

Whichever way you decide to redeem points, we want to show you how easy it is to earn enough points, as long as you stick to transferable currencies:

  • Amex Membership Rewards points transfer to Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Delta SkyMiles, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio. It also transfers to Aeromexico Club Premier at a 1:1.6 ratio in 2 to 12 business days.
  • Brex Rewards transfer to Aeromexico Club Premier and Air France/KLM Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Capital One miles transfer to Air France/KLM Flying Blue and  Aeromexico Club Premier at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards Points transfer to Aeromexico Club Premier, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to Aeromexico Club Premier (4 days), Air France/KLM Flying Blue (3 days), Delta SkyMiles (1 day), Korean Air SKYPASS (2 days), and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (6 to 12 days) at a 3:1 ratio.

In the past, transfer bonuses have been offered from Amex or Citi to Aeromexico, Flying Blue, and Flying Club. These bonuses range anywhere from 15% to 30%.

When Should You Search for Award Space

KLM usually occupies the extremes of award space. For certain stretches, even months, of the calendar, they may release sparse or no award space. And sometimes, KLM releases 8+ business class seats on the same flight for 75% of the month.

Based on our research, we’ve found that KLM business class award space is much easier to find on flights between Amsterdam and the central U.S. or East Coast.

On flights between the West Coast and Amsterdam, it’s generally pretty difficult to find business class award space, especially for the nonstop Los Angeles route.

That being said, it’s best to start your search early, at least 7 months in advance, to maximize your odds of successfully booking a flight.

We recommend performing award searches on KLM’s website if you plan on redeeming Flying Blue miles. Otherwise, you can perform award searches on Delta’s or Virgin Atlantic’s website.

What Makes KLM a Great Redemption Business Class

KLM is one of the world’s oldest airlines, so it’s an established brand with consistent service.

Unfortunately, its business class seat is inconsistent and highly dependent on the aircraft you fly. For the best privacy and experience, we recommend booking flights on the 787-9 Dreamliner.

All other planes have staggered, forward-facing seats in a 2-2-2 configuration which don’t feature direct aisle access at all seats.

Let’s take a look at why you’d want to fly KLM business class.

Convenient Schedules Nonstop to Amsterdam

Amsterdam
Image Credit: Azhar J via Unsplash

KLM flies almost exclusively to and from Amsterdam, which is the capital of the Netherlands.

The biggest appeal of flying KLM business class is being able to fly nonstop from a variety of international gateways in the U.S.

Although other airlines like Delta also offer nonstop service, KLM is, by far and away, the airline with the best route network between the U.S. and Amsterdam.

Enhanced Connectivity to Niche Cities

KLM usually gets compared to Air France in terms of its route network and list of destinations.

Sure, Air France has a fleet size of nearly double KLM’s, but KLM still offers nonstop flights to some places where Air France does not.

This includes:

  • Bahrain (BAH)
  • Dammam, Saudia Arabia (DMM)
  • Kigali, Rwanda (KGL)
  • Mombasa, Kenya (MBA)
  • Zanzibar City, Tanzania (ZNZ)

Essentially, you can fly to any of these above cities with just 1 stop on KLM, which is a convenient perk!

Final Thoughts

Overall, KLM’s business class product isn’t typically talked about in the same breath as Emirates, Qatar Airways, and even Asian airlines.

Indeed, the biggest benefit of flying KLM is the nonstop schedule to Amsterdam — it’s very much an airline of convenience.

To that end, KLM business class can conveniently be booked using any type of transferable rewards points — we recommend Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Delta SkyMiles, Korean Air SKYPASS, and Aeromexico Club Premier as our top programs.

You now have all of the information you need to book a business class flight on KLM with points!

The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi Premier® Card has expired and the card is no longer open to applicants.
The information regarding the Citi Rewards+® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi Double Cash® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi Custom Cash® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to book KLM business class?

The best way to book KLM business class is with Flying Blue miles, Delta SkyMiles, Virgin Points, or Korean Air SKYPASS miles.

The best award redemption rates are with Korean Air SKYPASS, followed by Flying Blue miles, Virgin Points, and Delta SkyMiles.

Flying Blue, however, gets you the best award availability.

What credit cards can help me fly KLM business class?

By accumulating Amex points, you can make use of Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Delta SkyMiles.

With Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can book flights with Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Citi ThankYou Rewards is transfer partners with Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Lastly, Marriott Bonvoy is Korean Air’s only transfer partner.

What do I get when flying KLM business class?

KLM has lie-flat business class seats. Depending on which plane you’re flying on, they may be reverse herringbone seats or staggered, forward-facing seats. Generally, reverse herringbone seats have the most privacy, as well as direct aisle access at every seat.

You’ll also stay occupied with a good array of inflight entertainment, an improved business class lounge offering, and a genuine crew.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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