This article is brought to you by Capital One. We get approached for sponsored posts all the time, but only take them up when they offer value or useful information to our readers. We think this is definitely one of those times.
The moment you start turning every purchase into travel rewards, life gets a lot better. But once you’ve gotten used to maximizing your daily spending, you start to look for the added bonuses, and limited time opportunities that lead to the very best stuff.
As wild as it may sound, when it comes to converting credit card points into airline miles, a European loyalty program from Air France and KLM called Flying Blue is actually one of the very best options for US travelers to maximize their points. Going further, using the program in tandem with Capital One can unlock some real gems. Here’s how to maximize the Flying Blue loyalty program with your Capital One Venture card…
Most credit cards only reward you with points for your monthly spending at the end of your statement. That’s sometimes ok, but when you want to take a limited time transfer bonus like the current Capital One bonus to Air France/KLM Flying Blue – you’re out of luck.
However, with Capital One, your miles typically post to your account within 3 days. This allows you to transfer more points to airline miles during these limited time bonuses. Good to know, right?
Limited Time Transfer Bonuses
Maybe we should’ve lead with this one, but perhaps one of the greatest features of Capital One’s new miles transfer program, are the limited time bonuses, like March’s Emirates Skywards 100% transfer bonus. Through June 30th, Capital One is currently offering a 20% bonus on miles transfered to Flying Blue (Air France and KLM). If you choose to take advantage of this promo before the end of the month, you’ll effectively earn 1.8 Flying Blue miles for every dollar you’ve spent.
That’s an amazing earn rate, considering it applies to all purchases, and not just bonus categories. After that date, the program goes back to earning 1.5 Flying Blue airline miles or two Capital One Venture miles for every dollar spent. Considering Capital One only launched miles transfer at the end of 2018, it’s incredible to see how many transfer bonuses they’ve come out the gates with. Long may they last!
Monthly Promo FlyingBlue Promos
When you take a transfer bonus from your credit card points and pair that with one of the monthly “Promo Awards” from FlyingBlue, you can really-really win. Each month, FlyingBlue puts select flights on sale, where you need 25-50% fewer miles than usual. Sometimes, even less. These promo awards change each month and are released on the 1st of each month, for travel up to three months in the future.
For a taste of what’s out there, some recent favorites have included flights between USA and Europe from just 31,500 FlyingBlue points one way in business class, even including West Coast cities. The East Coast consistently tends to have at least one city available for 43,375 Flying Blue points. And that’s for flat beds in business class, where legroom isn’t even a part of the conversation! Some highlights of the current Promo Awards include:
- 50% off economy flights between Houston, Atlanta and Europe.
- 25% off business class flights between Chicago, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Europe.
- Remember, there are new opportunities every month!
“Erase” Travel Purchases For Greater Date Flexibility
With champagne served in economy, Air France is a solid choice for adventures to Europe. For peak travel dates, it can sometimes be easier to just book a cash fare, rather than transfer points. When you do this, not only do you have access to any date where cash tickets are available, but you’ll also earn miles for the booking.
Capital One allows you to “erase” travel expenses (ex: hotel, flight, rental car, cruise, etc.) with your miles . Basically, you could buy a ticket with Air France using your Venture card, and then use your miles to cover some or all of the cost. 100,000 Venture miles would take $1,000 off of whatever you spent in this instance. When blackout dates get in the way, this is a great tool to still get what you want!
FlyingBlue Award Sweet Spots
You didn’t think we’d leave you hanging without any concrete ideas for how to use your points, did you? FlyingBlue has some awesome sweet spots for redeeming your Capital One Venture miles, such as 50,000 points round trip to Israel in economy, or 58,000 points to Argentina or Brazil round trip too.
If business class is more your speed, 62,500 miles can unlock one way flights between the US and Europe without a bonus, and are even sweeter when Promo Awards are on offer. Keep in mind that FlyingBlue allows travel on Delta, Air France, KLM and many more, so you’ve got more options than you might have imagined! Booking with any Skyteam partner is easy too.
Just login to FlyingBlue, search for a flight and if a Delta, or other partner option is available, it’ll show up. Quite often Delta offers great availability from the US to Europe on dates that Air France or KLM might not!