At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
Capital One just announced a 20% bonus for point transfers to Flying Blue for certain Capital One cardholders. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Flying Blue is the joint rewards program of Air France and KLM.
Capital One introduced Flying Blue and 13 other airlines as transfer partners back in December 2018, with most transfer ratios at 2:1.5. That’s not quite as favorable as the 1:1 transfer ratio of most Chase Ultimate Rewards® and AmEx Membership Rewards partners, but it was a great start for a program that previously offered redemptions only in the form of travel credits. Capital One’s latest promotion increases the Flying Blue transfer ratio to 2:1.8.
To qualify for this promotion, you must have one of the following Capital One credit cards.
The promotion started on Nov. 1, 2019, and ends on Nov. 30, 2019, at 11:59 PM (ET).
The important question is whether utilizing this Capital One Flying Blue transfer bonus is worth it for you. Our answer is that it certainly can be, depending on how you utilize your rewards.
Flying Blue Promo Rewards are one of the best deals out there when it comes to award travel. Every month, the list gets updated with award flights discounted up to 50%. These discounted fares are a great way to maximize the 20% transfer bonus between Capital One and Flying Blue. For example, right now you can get 50% off round-trip business class tickets to Europe departing from Minneapolis or Chicago.
Travel dates are between Dec. 31, 2019 - Feb. 28, 2020, and flights must be booked by Nov. 29, 2019. This brings down the price of a one-way award ticket between Chicago and Paris to just 29,000 miles in business class. All you have to do is transfer 32,223 Capital One miles for each leg of the trip. Essentially, you’re giving up $322.23 worth of travel redemptions in exchange for a one-way business class award to Europe — which we think could be totally worth it.
Flying Blue sweet spot redemptions
Even outside of Promo Rewards, this promotion can make transferring miles from Capital One to Flying Blue worth it. For example, you need just 43,000 miles round-trip for an economy class award between San Francisco and Tel Aviv. Under this 20% bonus promotion, you’ll only need to transfer 47,778 Capital One miles to Flying Blue in order to secure this award. That’s an awesome deal.
Be sure to read up on Flying Blue sweet spots to find travel inspiration and learn more about some of the best deals using Flying Blue miles.
The importance of comparing redemption value
It’s important to keep in mind that those 47,778 Capital One miles are worth $477.78 toward travel booked when you book with Capital One (1 cent each). Barring a mistake fare, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a round-trip ticket between the West Coast and Tel Aviv for under $500. So transferring points to Flying Blue, in this case, could be an excellent value.
It’s important to compare the value of your Capital One points when redeemed for travel directly vs. transferred to Flying Blue. Even if you are getting a 20% transfer bonus, do the math so you understand whether it’s a good value.
The bottom line
While a 2:1.8 transfer ratio is a significant improvement, it’s important to compare the value you’ll receive from a Flying Blue transfer vs. a Capital One redemption. Capital One points redeemed for direct flight bookings are worth 1 cent each. Transferring them to Flying Blue during this 20% bonus promotion can make them go even further, depending on how much higher cash airfare prices are vs. Flying Blue’s award redemption rates.
Keep these things in mind and Capital One’s 20% transfer bonus to Flying Blue can work out in your favor. With the current welcome bonus from the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, this transfer bonus promotion becomes even more appealing: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
If you applied for this card and expect your points to post before the Flying Blue transfer promotion end date, hats off to you. You’ve got a world of travel possibilities available to you, and the deal has just been sweetened with the 20% transfer bonus.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card