Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard Review (2023)

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The Air France KLM Flying Blue program has become very interesting lately.  The program recently reduced award prices between North America and Europe so that you can now fly one way for 20K miles economy or 50K miles business class.  That’s excellent!  Additionally, they’re starting to offer international first class awards with some partners.  All of this excitement led me to take a closer look at the Air France KLM credit card.  In light of the latest Flying Blue changes, I wondered if this card had become exciting as well…

a credit card with a park and people in the background

Current Welcome Offer

Card Offer
70K miles + 100XP ⓘ Non-Affiliate
70K miles + 40 XP after $3K in the first 90 days + 60 XP upon approval
$89 Annual Fee
Alternate Offer: Going through the steps to make a dummy booking at the Air France website may result in an offer that also includes a $100 statement credit.
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 70K miles + 100XP points [Expired 9/23]

Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard Review

The Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard is a bit of a snoozer unless you’re interested in earning elite status.  For those uninterested in elite status it’s not a bad card, but there’s nothing exciting about it.  Even if you just want to earn Flying Blue miles, it’s not very good.  While this card earns 1.5x everywhere, you can do much better elsewhere.  For example, you can earn 2x everywhere with transferable points cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards card, Citi Double Cash (paired with the Citi Premier), or Amex Blue Business Plus (2x on the first $50K spend each year).  Then, you can transfer those points to Flying Blue or to any other supported loyalty program.  Even better, there are frequent transfer bonuses to Flying Blue so you could end up with even more miles.

On the other hand, those interested in Flying Blue elite status will find a lot to like with both a one time 60 XP boost upon approval and the ability to earn up to 60 XP each year.  Flying Blue Silver status requires 100 XP per 12 months and so this card can get you more than half way there.  I’m not sure, but it might even be possible to get multiple Air France KLM cards (by product changing from other Bank of America cards, for example) and then you might be able to get Silver status or higher from card spend alone.

  • Annual Fee: $89
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Card Issuer: Bank of America
  • What points are worth: This card earns Flying Blue miles. Our current Reasonable Redemption Values pegs them at 1.3 cents each.
  • Best Use for Points: Redeem for flights between North America and Europe at reasonable rates with moderate surcharges:
    • Economy class: 20,000 miles one-way (with some routes pricing a little less)
    • Premium Economy class: 35,000 miles one-way
    • Business Class: 50,000 miles one way.
  • Earning Categories: 
    • Earn 3 Miles per $1 spent directly on Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and SkyTeam member airlines purchases
    • Earn 1.5 Miles per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Perks:
    • Receive 5,000 Miles every year on your account anniversary after you spend $50 or more on purchases within the anniversary year
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Miles don’t expire as long as you make a purchase once every 2 years
    • Earn 20 XP towards elite status every year on your account anniversary
    • Earn an additional 40 XP (totaling 60 XP) on your account anniversary after you spend $15,000 or more on purchases within the anniversary year
  • Who’s this card for? Anyone interested in earning Flying Blue elite status can do well with this card.
  • Is this card a keeper? Those seeking elite status will certainly find this card worth keeping.  For everyone else, it’s an okay card to keep since it offers 5,000 points every year as long as you spend at least $50.  Plus, that spend keeps your points alive.

Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Relatively cheap at $89 per year
  • Keeps points from expiring by simply putting some spend on the card once every two years.
  • Easy to earn 5,000 miles per year with only $50 spend.
  • Easy way to pick up extra XP (experience points) towards elite status

Cons

  • Low earning rate compared to what is possible with cards that earn transferable points
  • Very few perks
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13 Comments
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PATRICK

You don’t explain what all elite status is and XP points
How many for what

Andy

20 XP gets you an AF concierge who will Google things for you that you’re too lazy to look up yourself. You may want to check that out.

Last edited 6 months ago by Andy
Fenspinbi

I’ve had the card two years (2nd anniversary was this week), and it’s a keeper. It used to be my go-to card for non-bonused everyday spend on international trips, but the Altitude Reserve can do that job now. I use it for MSing fee-free GCs at Staples/ODOM. I don’t have (and can’t get) a C1 Venture, Citi Double Cash, or Chase Ink (yet), so this is my second-best option. It enables me to print AF miles cheaply in parallel with my Chase/Amex/Bilt/US Bank points activities. Getting the 5,000 annual miles offsets the annual fee for me, given that Promo Rewards can be had for as low as 11k. The aforementioned and a couple of casual purchases of $1200 MGCs at Staples is an almost-free one-way to Europe in Y, without burning transferable points, and can’t be beat.

BBQman

Any data points if having 2 FB cards stacks the 20 yearly XPs?

Billy Joe Bob

Why no mention at all of the issuing bank? That makes a pretty big difference as to the attainability for some people.

Francois LeTour

If you get silver status, like I did when signing up last Summer, you get a free bag on any SkyTeam booking. Just provide your Flying Blue id to Delta when you book an economy ticket and you get that perk, regardless of the payment method.

About the 1.5 earning rate – yes, you can do better with Citi Double Cash, Amex BBP etc, but only in USA. If you travel outside the country this card has no foreign currency fees and a very decent rate for unbonused spend.

Summit Hotwani

Could do better with Venture or Venture X (2x on everything) or 2.62% cashback with BofA Premium Rewards with Plat honors (No FX txn fee), or 4.5% cashback towards travel via ApplePay on Altitude Reserve.

anonymous

I picked this card up during the recent 70,000-mile offer, also got the $100 statement credit, plus 40 XP bonus upon completion of required spend ($2000). Added to the initial 60 XP for my application, I was suddenly at Silver, and it was just before my end of summer trip to Italy on a Flying Blue Premium Economy award ticket that I got for 106,000 miles RT +$340. Silver status got me Sky Priority boarding, at least, if nothing else. Unfortunately, I had already paid for the seat assignments months prior.I’ll keep this card for the annual bonus, and to keep my miles alive without having to jump through any hoops. I even did a speculative transfer from AmEx when the extra 25% was offered. I know that goes against conventional wisdom, but I’m confident I’ll be able to use them with Flying Blue next year.By the way, service was excellent on KLM and AF, during both my outbound and inbound flights.

Last edited 6 months ago by anonymous
anonymous

By the way, this card gets BofA offers, too.

Biggie F

And free museum visits first weekend of the month (not sure if this is ending after 2023). Some darned expensive museums, too!

Biggie F

If you spend a little time in Europe and do a bit of paid AF travel, this card is actually a keeper. In the first year, it is pretty easy to make Flying Blue Silver, which can help with things like seats and bags when buying discount AF tickets. (You get almost nothing on within-France flights, but cheap RTs to Spain, for example, accumulate XPs pretty reasonably. As you guys have posted lately, AF Business availability and price make AF miles a good value – getting 5,000 each year pays back over half of the annual fee. Conversely, spending occasionally on the card is the easiest way to keep your AF miles alive.

Also, in Europe, 1.5x on non-bonused spend is not bad in an environment where Chase Unlimited and Amex Blue Business (our usual “whatever” spend cards) have prohibitive out-of-US fees.

Agree that it is niche, but if you fit into that niche, it’s a nice piece of the toolkit.

Justin

“out-of-US fees.”

Does that just mean literally foreign transaction fees? Otherwise I’ve never heard of the concept

Lee

And, the elite status ain’t worth talking about either. As you said, other prospects.