Bank of America has launched a new Air France KLM credit card. Hopefuly, this is a sign of Bank of America expanding partnerships to eventually offer a transferable currency…because neither the opening bonus nor ongoing benefits make this card particularly interesting.
Key Card Details
The initial bonus on this card is disappointingly weak. Air France is an Amex transfer partner, Chase transfer partner, Citi transfer partner, and Marriott/SPG transfer partner. That means that you can do better than 25K for a welcome bonus on a myriad of other cards whose points can transfer to Air France / KLM.
Further, the benefits aren’t particularly exciting. Probably the biggest benefit is that earning miles from using the card will keep your stash of Flying Blue miles from expiring (H/T: Brands). Otherwise, the only free ongoing benefit is 20 XP points towards status each year (Silver status requires 100). Otherwise, yearly benefits are based on spend — 5K miles after your anniversary if you’ve spent $50 or more the previous year and 40 XP points towards elite status if you’ve spent $15K the previous year. The fact that they think they need to incentivize you to spend at least $50 per year on your credit card should really tell you what you need to know about this card.
The everyday earning rate of 1.5x beats out most airline credit cards, but since you can earn an uncapped 1.5x everywhere with a Chase Freedom Unlimited and have the flexibility to transfer to Air France or to use your points differently to higher value means that 1.5x just isn’t special. The fact that the Air France KLM Mastercard earns 3x on all SkyTeam purchases is interesting, but seems like more of a novelty than anything else since plenty of other cards earn 3x on airfare purchased directly from airlines (and many of them come with better travel protection against things like trip delay, baggage loss, etc). If you’re spending enough on SkyTeam airfare to get excited about 3x Air France miles, you should probably be looking at earning Ultimate Rewards, Thank You points, or Membership Rewards.
I’m not sure exactly where BOA is going with this card, but as mentioned at the outset I hope it is towards a transferable currency with bigger plans than this card. You can find more information and a link on our dedicated Air France Flying Blue World Elite Mastercard page by clicking on the name of the card under “The Offer” or “Key Card Details”.
H/T: Doctor of Credit