30% Transfer Bonus to Air France Makes Booking Business Class Awards For Whole Family Easy

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Citi ThankYou Rewards is offering a 30% bonus for transfers to Air France KLM Flying Blue through August 29. (HT: IadisGR8 even though it is far from great.)

Flying Blue:

  • Is a transfer part of Chase, American Express, Citibank and Barclays so a great place to pool points for a single award.
  • They offer much better award space on Air France to their own members than they do to partner frequent flyer programs.
  • Their expire points after an account has lacked flight activity for 24 months (Those with Air France co-brand card access can extend their points by using it as well.)
  • They add fuel surcharges to most but not all awards.

Example of How Good Air France Award Space Can Be Using Flying Blue Miles

Throughout the summer and again starting next May there’s exceptional availability for four or more passengers in business class flying Washington Dulles – Paris on Air France.

There’s an Airbus A380 and a Boeing 777 on this route. You’ll definitely prefer flying the 777 with direct aisle access lie flat seats versus angled seats on the larger aircraft.

Delta and other partners not have access to this space, here’s a search for 4 business class awards Washington Dulles – Paris and where there’s 75,000 SkyMiles space it’s Virgin Atlantic to Heathrow connecting on Air France to Paris.

Delta Award Search, Washington Dulles – Paris, Reveals Lack of Access to Air France Space

You’ll also find really good business class space this fall using Air France’s own miles to fly Miami – Paris as well. Houston space is also reasonably good. And a couple of weeks ago I wrote about great transatlantic availability out of New York.

Getting Air France KLM Flying Blue Miles

You need to be using Air France’s own miles for these awards. Fortunately Air France KLM Flying Blue miles are easy to come by since it’s a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards. So points can be transferred from cards such as:

  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has an 80,000 point signup bonus after $5000 spend within 3 months. It earns 3 points per dollar on travel — that’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, tolls, even Uber — and 3 points per dollar on shipping and advertising on social media and search engines, so great for anyone who advertises on Facebook or Twitter, or who spends money advertising with Google.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. With a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95, I suggest that as the number on card to get started with in miles and points. The card earns two points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

  • Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN offers 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 spend on purchases with the card within your first 3 months of cardmembership. (Offer expired)

  • Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is offering a 50,000 point signup bonus after $4000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of account opening. It has a $0 annual fee the first year, $95 thereafter. And it’s a stronger points-earning card than the $450 annual fee Citi Prestige Card since it doesn’t just earn triple points on air and hotel (Prestige) but on all travel (such as gas). (Offer expired)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. Does flying blue tend to have availability close in like star alliance? I’m trying to get from Ord to Bilbao in July, or even just to Amsterdam or Paris and can’t find anything.

  2. I think that mentioning the drawbacks would be the right thing to do as well. For instance, if you are traveling from Memphis to Frankfurt, will you will have to pay for flights from Memphis to a gateway city and from Paris to Frankfurt, or will connecting flights be covered in the cost? Also, how many miles does a Business Class seat cost? Give or take, how much are the mentioned surcharges? Saying that there’s a great deal with great availability is nice, but maybe mentioning exactly what the deal actually is would help.

  3. Gary, in your experience, is the availability 11 1/2 months out as good as it gets? I’m only finding 162,500 point availability for either of the two days that I need to travel. Or I’m finding a quirky lengthy routing via Guangzhou.

  4. @Carol historically Air France was great with availability when their schedules opened and ironically they gave partners access to their seats earlier than their own general members, although I also find that space really does come and go as travel approaches, indeed I note here where it’s exceptionally good out of DC in the coming months.

  5. Seems to be a lot of availability out of jfk to Europe but nothing from Ord in July. I guess a lot more seats to Paris from nyc! Not sure if worth buying the domestic leg to get to jfk to pay 70k and $224 (minus the Citi discount). Haven’t flown AF before though.

    Gary, what do you think? Altenarice is rubbish Lufthansa.

  6. Is the title of this article misleading? Is the 30% bonus available from Chase to Flying Blue? If so, how do I do it? I can’t find t on the Flying Blue site.

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