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13 Best Ways To Redeem Flying Blue Miles (Air France-KLM) for Max Value

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Ehsan Haque
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Ehsan Haque

Content Contributor

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Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and mile...
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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
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Flying Blue is the loyalty program of Air France, KLM, and several partner airlines. With the ease of earning award miles and a long list of airline partners, Flying Blue offers plenty of value to travelers.

Using Flying Blue miles for award flights is relatively simple. Most itineraries can be booked online, and award charts and routing rules are straightforward across member airlines.

Flying Blue utilizes dynamic pricing for awards, so award prices change depending on the day, exact route, and even the date of the search. Even with dynamic pricing, Flying Blue generally provides better award rates than many of its SkyTeam partners.

You can get incredible award prices and availability from Flying Blue if you’re flexible with your travel dates. Flexibility is key if you’re hoping to pay fewer miles for an award redemption.

The program levies fuel surcharges on its award tickets, which can be a few hundred dollars at times. However, the Flying Blue loyalty program is incredibly valuable, with a ton of airline partners, including quite a few valuable non-alliance partners.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to redeem Flying Blue miles.

Best Ways To Earn Flying Blue Miles

Earning Flying Blue miles is relatively easy as the program is a transfer partner of several major points currencies, including American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Citi ThankYou Rewards (all at a rate of 1:1) or from Marriott Bonvoy at a transfer rate of 3:1.

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms 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.

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

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 huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$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 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM, 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 TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 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.

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 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth $1,125 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$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 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • $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 TravelSM 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 TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 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: $0
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Business owner? See our list of the best Chase business credit cards.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit 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.

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$95
19.99% - 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 Credit (670-850)

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.

Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.

Pros
  • 5x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Cons
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit 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.

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$395
19.99% - 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.
Excellent (740-840)

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.

Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.

Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.

 

Pros
  • 10x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles per $1 on flights purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $395 annual fee (rates & fees)
  • Does not offer bonus categories for flights or hotel purchases made directly with the airline or hotel group, the preferred booking method for those looking to earn elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

 

Marriott Bonvoy Transfers

You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer those to Flying Blue at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you’ll receive a bonus of 5,000 Flying Blue miles.

See our list of the best Marriott credit cards in our guide.

The 13 Best Ways To Redeem Your Flying Blue Miles

1. Save Big With Flying Blue Promo Rewards (Air France-KLM)

Air France New Business Class A350
Air France offers an excellent long-haul business class cabin. Image Credit: Air France

Arguably the best way to book an Air France-KLM award with Flying Blue miles is through Flying Blue Promo Rewards.

Promo Rewards can provide an excellent deal on award tickets. Each month, Flying Blue discounts the award price on select routes, up to 50% off normal award rates. The discount is valid for award bookings throughout a specific travel period, typically a few months or so months in advance.

For example, you can book a one-way award ticket between certain U.S. airports and select destinations in Europe for under 40,000 miles one-way in business class. Of course, Promo Rewards change each month. You can find the current Promo Rewards here.

Flying blue Promo Rewards
Promo Rewards are an excellent way to use Flying Blue miles. Image Credit: Flying Blue

Pricing varies, but being able to book an economy class award for under 10,000 miles is an excellent way to redeem Flying Blue miles. Best of all, thanks to frequent transfer bonuses, these awards can be booked for even fewer miles.

Bottom Line:

Promo Rewards offers deeply discounted award tickets. These discounts can be up to 50% off normal award prices.

2. Fly to Amsterdam, Paris, and Beyond (Air France-KLM)

Although Flying Blue uses dynamic pricing, the program has an award chart with standard saver-level pricing. This award chart shows the lowest award prices can be between 2 cities and is for flights operated by Air France and KLM and not any of their partners.

Here is the general one-way saver-level pricing for flights between the U.S. and Europe.

  • 20,000 miles in economy
  • 35,000 miles in premium economy
  • 50,000 miles in business class

You can connect onwards in Europe for no extra cost, assuming you can find award space. However, flights can cost significantly more than the price shown on the award chart, as dynamic pricing will do that.

For example, here’s a one-way business class award between Chicago (ORD) and Amsterdam (AMS) at the 50,000-mile pricing.

KLM ORD AMS in J FlyingBlue
Image Credit: Air France

Booking a business class award seat from the U.S. to anywhere in Europe for 50,000 Flying Blue miles is an incredible deal. Best of all, award space is not too difficult to find

Hot Tip:

When looking for award space with Air France-KLM, leave the “flying date” section empty. This will give you a calendar view of award space for an entire month.

3. Get to North Africa for the Same Price as Europe (Air France-KLM)

Chefchaouen Morocco
Visit Chefchaouen in Morocco for the same number of miles as going to Europe with KLM/Air France Flying Blue. Image Credit: Robert Brands via Unsplash

An incredible sweet spot with Flying Blue is that the program prices flights to Northern Africa the same as for flights to Europe. This means that destinations such as Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and the Canary Islands can be booked for the same amount of miles as a flight to Europe.

This provides an excellent redemption as most other programs place these countries in the Middle East or Africa regions which are more expensive than Europe when coming from North America.

For example, here is a one-way award in economy between Chicago (ORD) and Marrakesh, Morocco (RAK) for 20,000 miles.

Air France Flying Blue ORD RAK pricing
Image Credit: Air France

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Paris (CDG) – Tunis (TUN) on Air France round-trip in economy for as few as 40,000 miles + taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Paris (CDG) – Algiers (ALG) on Air France round-trip in business for as few as 100,000 miles + taxes and fees

4. Fly to Hawaii From the Contiguous U.S. (Delta and Alaska Airlines)

Maui Hawaii - Katie Seemann
Using your Flying Blue to get to Hawaii can present some incredible value! Image Credit: Katie Seemann

Another excellent way to redeem Flying Blue miles is for flights to Hawaii on Delta Air Lines. Flying Blue charges far fewer miles than Delta does for flights to Hawaii.

Round-trip pricing starts at only 35,000 Flying Blue miles in economy, which can be tens of thousands of fewer miles than what Delta charges.

However, finding award availability can be a challenge.

5. Fly Between the Caribbean and Europe (Air France-KLM)

Both Air France and KLM offer many routes between the Caribbean and Europe. Fortunately, award pricing between the 2 regions is incredible.

A one-way economy class award ticket can be booked for as few as 25,000 Flying Blue miles, and a one-way business class award ticket can be booked for as few as 70,000 miles.

For example, here is a one-way economy award ticket between Havana, Cuba (HAV) and Paris (CDG):

Flying Blue HAV CDG
Image Credit: Air France

6. Take Cheap Economy Flights to the South Pacific (Air France, Delta)

Although Tahiti is far away, Flying Blue has excellent award rates for flights to French Polynesia on Air France. Air France operates a nonstop flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Tahiti (PPT), which can be booked for as few as 27,500 miles one-way in economy or 70,000 miles in business class.

AF Flying blue lax ppt
Image Credit: Air France

This is an excellent use of Flying Blue miles, as that route is generally quite expensive.

7. Book Flights to Europe With SkyTeam Partners (Delta and Virgin Atlantic)

With Air France-KLM being part of the SkyTeam alliance, you can use your Flying Blue miles to fly on partner airlines. These include popular airlines such as Delta and Virgin Atlantic.

For example, here is a one-way economy award between New York (JFK) and Manchester (MAN) that can be booked for just 22,500 Flying Blue miles and $64 in taxes and fees.

Virgin Atlantic JFK MAN with flying blue miles
Image Credit: Air France

Best of all, you’ll pay significantly less in fuel surcharges than when booking directly with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

You can fly between the U.S. and Europe on Delta using your Flying Blue miles. Delta doesn’t charge fuel surcharges, making this an even better option. However, award space can be difficult to find at times.

8. Fly U.S. to Central and South America (Copa)

Copa Airlines is a Star Alliance member, though it has a non-alliance partnership with Flying Blue, meaning you can use your Flying Blue miles to fly Copa’s extensive route network in Central and South America. Many of these routes are expensive when booked with cash, adding even more value to your points and miles.

From its hub in Panama City (PTY), you can reach Central and South American destinations that are often expensive cash tickets.

Pricing between the U.S. and Central America starts around 21,500 miles one-way in economy. You can connect onwards for the same price on certain routes.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • New York City (JFK) – Panama City (PTY) on Copa Airlines round-trip in economy for as few as 43,000 miles or business for 100,000 miles
  • Panama City (PTY) – San Salvador (SAL) on Copa Airlines round-trip in economy for 23,000 miles or business for 56,000 miles

You can connect onwards to many destinations in South America for just a few thousand more miles. Copa travels to several South American destinations, including Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.

9. Take Intra-Europe Flights

Another excellent way to use Flying Blue miles is for intra-Europe awards. Certain routes between major European cities can be expensive, so using points and miles is an excellent way to get high value.

You’ll want to book intra-Europe award flights in economy because business class on most of these routes is nothing more than normal economy seats with the middle seat blocked.

Best of all, many routes are featured as a part of Flying Blue Promo Rewards. Most routes are from Paris and Amsterdam, as they are the base airports for Air France and KLM, respectively.

Flying blue promo rewards jan 2024
Image Credit: Air France

It’s important to shop around as European flights usually have a high cash component due to taxes that are passed on for awards. It may be better value on some trips to buy a cash ticket.

10. Fly to Japan (Japan Airlines)

The SkyTeam alliance lacks a Japanese partner airline, so it’s great that Flying Blue partners with Japan Airlines, which is a member of the Oneworld alliance.

You can use your Flying Blue miles to book an award to Japan. You can add a domestic Japan Airlines flight connecting through Tokyo.

Hot Tip:

11. Fly Etihad to the Middle East and Beyond (Etihad Airways)

In late 2023, Air France-KLM and Etihad Airways announced plans to expand their partnership. You can now use Flying Blue miles to book Etihad-operated awards. Although Flying Blue doesn’t have a published Etihad award chart, pricing seems to depend on routing.

This is a great way to redeem Flying Blue miles, as there aren’t too many other programs you can utilize for Etihad awards. This also allows for creative itineraries where you can experience multiple airlines for the same award redemption.

For example, here’s an award ticket between Paris (CDG) and Abu Dhabi (AUH). On this itinerary, you can fly on both Saudia Airlines and Etihad in business class.

Flying Blue etihasaudia
Image Credit: Air France

On these awards, Flying Blue charges per segment, meaning that you can expect to pay slightly more miles if you want to connect onward.

12. Visit Africa From Tip to Toe (Air France-KLM and Kenya Airways)

Air France-KLM has an extensive route network in Africa, thanks in part to the countries’ colonial legacies. Add in Nairobi-based Kenya Airways, and you have one of the most extensive African networks in the industry.

Cash fares on many routes to South Africa can be quite high, so using miles is an excellent way to save money.

Award rates are competitive as you can get a one-way award from the U.S. to faraway destinations like South Africa starting at just 35,000 miles in economy.

JFK JNB on KLM Flying Blue
Image Credit: Air France

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Addis Ababa (ADD) – Nairobi (NBO) on Kenya Airways round-trip in economy for 27,000 miles or business for 54,000 miles
  • Paris (CDG) – Johannesburg (JNB) on Air France round-trip in economy for 50,000 miles or business for 140,000 miles

12. Go Indian Ocean Island Hopping (Air Mauritius)

Air Mauritius is a key Flying Blue partner that gets you to magnificent Indian Ocean islands such as Mauritius, Reunion, and Madagascar.

These are typically expensive cash fares which can be thousands of dollars, even in economy. Award pricing begins at 35,000 miles one-way in economy or 95,000 miles in business class. Although nearly 20 hours in economy can be brutal, it’s hard to beat these award rates.

JFK TNR Flying blue redemption
Image Credit: Air France

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Paris (CDG) – Antananarivo (TNR) on Air France round-trip in economy for as few as 70,000 miles or business for 190,000 miles
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Paris (CDG) – St. Denis (RUN) on Air France round-trip in economy for as few as 70,000 miles or business for 190,000 miles

13. Reach the Remote African Beaches of Cabo Verde (Transavia)

flying blue miles to Cabo Verde islands
Drift away your cares in the Cabo Verde Islands. Image Credit: Panayu Chairatananond via Shutterstock

The beaches of the islands of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) are not easy to reach but are oh-so-beautiful.

Transavia is a subsidiary of Air France-KLM, and you can use Flying Blue miles for awards to its destinations around Europe, Morocco, and all the way to Praia and Sal in Cape Verde.

Check the Transavia website for Flying Blue award availability.

The Flying Blue Program

To get started earning and redeeming Flying Blue miles, you need to sign up for the loyalty program. You can sign up with Flying Blue for free here.

Award Booking Guidelines

Flying Blue allows one-way and round-trip awards. The program also allows for stopovers. However, you will need to call in to book them.

Flying Blue also has a “multi-destination award” option which is an open-jaw ticket. This means you can fly to 1 destination and return from another.

Most partner airlines can be searched on the Air France website. For others, you can search on alternate SkyTeam sites or call Air France for availability.

Hot Tip:

Not all partner airlines will show when looking for award space on the Air France-KLM website. This is especially true for Air France-KLM’s non-SkyTeam alliance partners.

Phantom Partner Award Availability

The Air France-KLM websites are great for searching for award space, both for its own flights and for its partners. However, they do have 1 big flaw: so-called phantom availability on partner airlines.

Phantom award space is when an award ticket appears to be bookable it isn’t actually possible to do so.

It’s always best to call Air France to confirm an award is available before transferring miles to Flying Blue. You can also cross-reference award space with another program to ensure you can book the award ticket with miles.

How Much Do Flights Awards Cost?

Flying Blue does not publish full award charts. Instead, you can check the cost of an award flight using the Flying Blue Miles Calculator.

air france search
Use Air France’s award search function to plan your travel. Image Credit: Air France

Thanks to dynamic pricing, award redemption rates can vary significantly. Unlike many other airlines, award prices in miles are the same regardless of airline.

What can differ among airlines is the cash component since some Flying Blue partner airlines assess fuel surcharges and others do not. Always check alternate Flying Blue partner options for your trip.

Booking Upgrade Awards

Upgrade awards are available on Air France, KLM, and several partner airlines (Delta, Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Aircalin, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Korean Air).

Flying Blue Upgrade Awards
You can upgrade paid flights on Air France, KLM, and select airline partners. Image Credit: Flying Blue

Air France and KLM upgrades are the most flexible. They can be requested online up to 24 hours before departure and may also be available at the airport or on board the aircraft.

Partner awards are subject to availability and various restrictions specific to the airline, route, and fare class of ticket. It is best to contact Flying Blue at least 72 hours prior to departure for availability and price. See upgrade award terms here.

Check the cost of upgrade awards using the Flying Blue Price Estimator.

Mileage Expiration Caveat

Flying Blue miles expire after 2 years, but there are several ways to extend them.

To keep miles from expiring, you can fly on Air France, KLM, or any of its airline partners. You can also shop at the Flying Blue store, or you can use your miles to book a hotel stay with Flying Blue.

Final Thoughts

Flying Blue is a versatile airline frequent flyer program with strong mileage redemption opportunities and plentiful award availability. It is often considered to be one of the best SkyTeam loyalty programs.

The program has a vast network of airline partners that allow you to redeem Flying Blue miles to nearly every corner of the globe. Flying Blue also has incredible Promo Rewards, which are often the best way to use its miles. Best of all, Flying Blue is a transfer partner of several major credit card programs, making it easy to earn Flying Blue miles.

Now that you know some of the best ways to use Flying Blue miles, we hope you’ll enjoy your next redemption!

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Flying Blue? How much does it cost?

Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program of Air France and KLM. It’s free to join and you can earn miles from flying Air France, KLM, and their airline partners.

Flying Blue also has many other travel and non-travel partners where you can earn miles.

You can use Flying Blue for award flights, upgrades, and more!

How do I enroll in Flying Blue?

Sign up for Flying Blue here.

Where can I log in to my Flying Blue account?

Sign in to your Flying Blue account on the Flying Blue website. You can learn about Flying Blue, check account activity, and research awards. To book award flights, you’ll need to use the same login on either the Air France or KLM website to search and book.

Can I earn miles with Flying Blue partners?

Flying Blue has many partners, such as airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and retailers.

How much do Flying Blue award flights cost?

Check the cost of award flights using the Flying Blue Miles Calculator. Prices are zone-based regardless of airline. However, Flying Blue uses dynamic pricing for awards.

What are Flying Blue Promo Rewards?

Flying Blue Promo Rewards are monthly discounts of 20% to 50% for award travel. Promo Rewards are for travel between 2 specific cities or regions, in either direction, one-way or round-trip. Each promo award is available for Air France, KLM, or both. You cannot change, cancel, or refund Promo Rewards. You must book Promo Rewards online.

Is it possible to upgrade a flight with Flying Blue miles?

Yes, you can upgrade Air France or KLM flights with Flying Blue miles.

Can I earn Flying Blue Miles by flying Delta?

Yes, you can earn Flying Blue miles on Delta flights marketed as DL, AF, KL, or a SkyTeam partner. You will earn Flying Blue miles at the rate of the marketing airline on the ticket. This mostly occurs with connecting tickets that involve multiple airlines.

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About Ehsan Haque

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and miles annually, primarily using them for luxury hotels and long-haul premium cabins.

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