Flying Blue is a new Ultimate Rewards points transfer partner, making Flying Blue one of the few frequent flyer programs that all transferable points (AMEX Membership Rewards points, Citi ThankYou points and SPG Starpoints) transfer to. When is it worth transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue?
I highly value my SPG Starpoints (since they have so many transfer partners) and also value Chase Ultimate Rewards points more highly than Citi ThankYou points, which I primarily only find useful for Singapore KrisFlyer redemptions.
Here are the times I'd suggest transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue:
1. Redeem Orphaned Flying Blue Miles Before They Expire
If you flew Air France or KLM and credited to Flying Blue, note that your miles expire 20 months after earning, and you can't keep them alive simply by transferring points into Flying Blue; you have to credit a paid SkyTeam flight to keep them from expiring.
So if you have a good number of Flying Blue miles that would otherwise expire, it could make sense to top up your account by transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue and use up your miles before they expire. You could even first transfer Citi ThankYou points to Flying Blue, to minimize the number of Chase Ultimate Rewards points needed.
2. Reserving Air France New Business Class with a Classic Award from SFO from 7/30/16: 62,500 Miles Each Way
Air France's new business class is a great way to get to Europe–if you can get a flight that has it. Unfortunately, only a few flights between U.S. and Europe offer the new flat bed seats, all with direct aisle access, and many of the routes have a mixture of Air France old angled flat business class and new business class, called “BEST” on the routes.
One of your best bets is to monitor this Flyertalk page with the exact flight numbers that offer Air France new business class. Here are the current flight numbers to look for, on flights to and from the U.S. Particularly valuable if you're on the West Coast is the SFO to Paris Air France Flight 85, from July 30 onwards, which should then offer the new business class, barring any delays or equipment swaps.
- New York JFK: AF008 / AF009 *except* weeks of 7/25/16 and 10/24/16, when it could have or not have the new business class
- San Francisco SFO: AF80 / AF85 from 7/30/16
- Washington DC IAD: AF054. AF055 until 6/5/16 and from 9/19/16
3. Cheap Economy Award to Hawaii or the Caribbean
There are some inexpensive Flying Blue economy awards, such as the mainland U.S. to Hawaii or the Caribbean for 15,000 miles each way on Delta with no fuel surcharges, if award space is available, so if paid tickets are $600 or more you're looking at a ~2 cents per mile redemption. Personally, I'd rather use my Ultimate Rewards points for Singapore Suites on the A380 or Singapore First Class or Business Class and get 8 cents or more per point in value, but this is a possible award.
Are Ultimate Rewards Points Transfers to Flying Blue Instant?
Yes, Ultimate Rewards points transfers (and AMEX Membership Rewards points transfers) to Flying Blue are instant. Citi ThankYou points can take a day or so to transfer.
Can I Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Someone Else's Flying Blue Account?
Only if that person is your spouse or significant other or your business partner, in the case of an Ink Plus card linked to Ultimate Rewards. Otherwise, no.
If I Change or Cancel a Flying Blue Award, What is the Cost?
The cost to change or cancel a Flying Blue award is 45 EUR.
Do you plan to transfer any points to Flying Blue for award travel?
Air France New Business Class Seat Unveiled
Air France New Business Class and La Premiere Photos (Air France Expo)
How Long do AMEX Membership Rewards Points Transfers Take?
Photos: KLM New Business Class Seats
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