With the advent of credit cards such as the Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve, you might have checked whether booking a flight or hotel using points via their travel portal provided better value than simply transferring points to the respective loyalty program. While there are benefits, watch out down below for some major pitfalls!
Sometimes this can provide quite good value. For example, if a ticket is <$200 on American, this method is better value since through American, you’d still be forced to use 12,500 miles in most cases. Say if a flight is $150, you would have to use only 190 / .016 = 9,375 ThankYou points. Citi ThankYou points are worth 1.6 cents per point (cpp) when used on American Air flights. And these code as revenue flights so you earn miles and EQMs too!
With airlines devaluing their mileage programs willy nilly, there exist a few sweet spots in the game of getting the best bang for your miles. I’m talking about the Flying Blue monthly promo awards!
At the beginning of every month, KLM and Air France’s frequent flyer program, Flying Blue, releases a specific list of awards that are up to 50% off. These are for both economy and business class, one way and roundtrip, and by continent. What makes this opportunity attractive is not just the discount but the flexibility to fly to/back from pretty much anywhere in Europe. The offer typically allows travel in the upcoming 2-3 months. Under Flying Blue, you can fly KLM or Air France metal which have quality business class hard products as well, especially KLM with their new World Business Class. Additionally, your Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou points can be transferred 1:1 to FlyingBlue.