Chase has just added Flying Blue as an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, which means you can now transfer your Ultimate Rewards points into your Flying Blue miles account on a 1:1 basis. As an overview Flying Blue is the Frequent Flyer program for Air France and KLM airlines. Flying Blue is part of the Skyteam alliance (which Delta is also a part of in the US). My analysis on the news:
- Overall great new partner for Chase, as adding transfer partners is a key strategic way to pump up the value of the overall rewards platform
- GREAT news for people who use Flying Blue to book awards on Delta domestically, as these are the Flying Blue awards that levy the least amount of taxes and carrier imposed surcharges
- Still pretty good news for people who want to book Flying Blue partner awards using their UR points, as the only other option to do that before this was with Korean Airlines, an awful site when it comes to navigation and ease of booking.
- Flying Blue has constant award prices with few black out periods. So, for example, a trip to Europe during peak season can be cheaper with Flying Blue than with other rewards airlines. The negative aspect here is that usually on KLM and Air France flights, taxes and surcharges can be pretty high. Even still, paying a couple hundred dollars for RT to Europe is peak season is not bad
Here are some decent redemptions out of SFO/LAX on Flying Blue:
- US to Hawaii for 30k miles RT
- 25k for flights within the North America region which include Mexico, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin islands. So basically this means you can get flights from anywhere in the US to Cancun for 12.5k miles each way — killer!
Hope that Chase keeps adding partners to its transfer program, and this is bread and butter for frequent flyer travel.
Make sure to sign up for a Flying Blue account here: https://www.flyingblue.com/account/login.html
The best part about all this is that AMEX MR, SPG and Citi Thank You Points ALSO transfer to Flying Blue, so you have multiple options of transferring and redeeming. Here are just a few of many cards that can get you Flying Blue miles, now with Chase cards added into the mix:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Ink Plus
- SPG Personal
- SPG Business
- Amex Premier Rewards Gold
- Amex Platinum
- Citi Thank You Prestige
Happy travel hacking!