Citi 25% bonus to Flying Blue: U.S. to Europe
UPDATE 06.2019: I’ve thoroughly updated this post and removed the outdated information. Many sweet deals that were available are gone or I can’t find them any longer, for example:
- JFK-DUB on Delta for 56,500 miles (46,000 points) and no YQ: GONE
- JFK-MAD on Delta for 58,000 miles (47,000 points) and no YQ: GONE
- JFK-CDG on Delta for 61,000 miles (49,000 points) and no YQ: GONE
Yet, in this hobby it often happens that whenever one door slams shut, another one opens. Read on!
Cheap rates to Europe start at 53,000 and go up from there. I wish I could figure out how Flying Blue is pricing their award redemptions, but I don’t see the rhyme or reason. Sometimes, longer flights cost more (but not always); connecting flights often cost more, but (again) not always — in fact flights connecting in Europe often cost less. Just check the Flying Blue Miles Calculator and go from there, but it can be inaccurate too. Nevertheless, here are some datapoints.
Here are some notable Business Class deals.
New York to Madrid from 62.500 miles (50,000 Citi points with the Citi 25% Bonus) on Air Europa
Have you heard of Air Europe? This airline, alone with Delta, is one of only 2 Flying Blue member that don’t add fuel surcharges to transatlantic flights (at least to the ones originated in the U.S.).
New York to Amsterdam from 57.500 miles (46,000 points with the Citi 25% Bonus) on KLM
Or you can pay more in miles and less in cash on Delta (finding a transatlantic on Delta is pretty hard, but possible)
Or (rarely) you can fly from New York to Amsterdam on Delta also for 72,000 miles
Miami to Madrid for 72,000 miles (60,000 Citi points with the Citi 25% Bonus) and no fuel surcharges
Other good Citi 25% bonus to Flying Blue Deals
Some other decent (not great) Business Class Flying Blue deals include flights to South America. Just to be clear: they are decent only because of good-to-great availability, no fuel surcharges, and the Citi 25% transfer bonus. Flying Blue partner airlines for South America include Delta, AeroMexico, Aerolineas Argentinas, Copa, and GOL.
- U.S. to northern South America is 50,500 miles (41,000 Citi points). Think Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru.
- U.S. to southern South America is 72,000 (60,000 Citi points). Think Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.
These values are not spectacular, but availability is solid, at least at the time of writing.
I’ve tried to find deals from the U.S. to Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific. Unfortunately, I haven’t discovered any more sweet spots. What you would be dealing with, mostly, are high redemption rates and fairly high fuel surcharges.
And now — the unicorns!
As I’ve mentioned in Part 1 (DoubleDip with the Flying Blue Promo Awards), Flying Blue runs monthly promos. These promos combined with the Citi 25% transfer bonus can offer a terrific value. I’ve already covered incredible deals between the U.S. and Israel that start at 11,000 miles each way. Flights to Europe follow the same pattern. You must fly on Air France and KLM to be eligible, but you can travel to any cities in Europe served by these 2 airlines. If you don’t mind paying around $500 in taxes and fees, you can get a terrific bargain. Remember that you must book by June 31 to travel between August 1 to September 30. Here are some examples of pricing in Business Class.
Chicago to Amsterdam for 53,250 miles (43,000 Citi points with the Citi 25% Bonus) one way
Things get even better if you want to fly to Paris.
Chicago to Paris for 43,500 miles (35,000 Citi points with the Citi 25% Bonus) one way
So, should you transfer Citi points to Flying Blue with the current 25% bonus?
- Please keep in mind that the purpose of these updates is to find sweet spots FROM/TO the U.S. Flying Blue is huge; it’s larger than any airline alliance and has 37 SkyTeam and individual airline partners. I encourage you to look for other interesting options around the world!
- Flights between North America and Europe/Israel/North Africa are the strongest feature of Flying Blue, but finding ones with no/low fuel surcharges is a challenge.
- Flights to Israel can be a terrific value even with surcharges, especially considering the 25% bonus, both in Economy and Business Class.
- Cheap Delta redemptions with no fuel surcharges are mostly gone.
- If you’re planning on flying to Europe or Israel from Chicago or Montreal between August 1 and September 30, definitely double dip with the 25% Citi bonus and 25% Promo Awards. Flights start at 32,000 Citi points. This is an incredible redemption value for Business Class despite the moderately high fuel surcharge.
- If you’re not crazy about these possibilities (or hate fuel surcharges even more than I do) consider hoarding Citi points, as it often has transfer bonuses to other programs, such as Virgin Atlantic, Avianca, and Flying Blue, as well. No one will blame you if you sit this one out. 🙂
Well, that’s about it. Have I missed any other bargains? Are you going to transfer your Citi points to Flying Blue? Share your thoughts.
Photo By: Trending Topics 2019