New Air France KLM Credit Card out, not very exciting

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.

The Offer

Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard
25K miles
25K after $1K in the first 3 months

$89 Annual Fee

Key Card Details

Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard

Annual Fee: $89

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Earning rate: 3X on Air France, KLM, and SkyTeam purchases ⚬ 1.5X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: 5K after anniversary when you spend $50 or more the previous year ⚬ 40XP points towards status after anniversaru when you spend $15K or more the previous year

Quick Thoughts

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

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Sam
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Sam

Does gaining Silver status allow to reedem AF miles for First Class? Thanks

Brands
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Brands

One reason this might be a useful card is I have a large amount of miles that are expiring in about 4 months, and I have no plans to fly on any SkyTeam flights by then, which was the only way to extend the expiration date of Flying Blue miles until this card came out. By putting credit card spend on this card, I can essentially extend the life of the miles by 2 years, and also add 25,000 miles to my account.

Dave
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Dave

“Not very exciting” is a pretty nice way to put it. This card is dogsh*t, brother. Hoping they buff the benefits down the road.

Jim Lovejoy
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Jim Lovejoy

Bank America also issues the Virigin Atlantic CC. BA occasionally give “90K” welcome bonuses for VA. We can hope they’ll do the same with Air France.

Hopefully before My ’21 when my miles will be scheduled to expire.

macleancd
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macleancd

I think this card could be quite useful for someone who travels often to France or Italy and hopes to pay the basic economy rate for tickets. Getting to 100 XP and silver status means free bags on all SkyTeam flights. Gold status at 180 XP means access to SkyTeam lounges worldwide with a guest (with limitations.) I live in Italy and AF often has the best price on travel to the U.S. For travel within Italy, AlItalia is sometimes the best option.

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[…] new Air France KLM credit card launched the other day, and I wrote that the card isn’t particularly exciting. A few years back, I probably would […]