Air France-KLM and Bank of America® announced the new Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard® on Oct. 16, 2018, making it the airline’s only co-branded credit card available in the U.S.
This new card allows customers to earn miles and experience points (XP), the reward currency for Air France-KLM’s elite status program called Flying Blue.
Here are some ways cardholders can build travel rewards with this card:
Reach Elite status by booking one first-class flight
Approval for the card gets you 60 XP off the bat. Travelers need 100 points to earn Silver Elite status, so you’re more than halfway there before your first flight.
From there, it depends on the length of your flight to earn more XP. According to the Flying Blue program, one first-class flight on an eligible trip—one with a minimum distance of 2,000 miles—would get you to the 100 XP Silver requirement. (See chart below.)
Silver Flying Blue members also gain SkyTeam Elite Status.
A rare reward: 5,000 anniversary miles
Spend at least $50 on purchases within the anniversary year and 5,000 miles are yours. Fifty bucks in one year? That’s not much in terms of maintenance. You could use that bonus toward travel. For example, New York to Atlanta is estimated at 11,500 miles — and this reward gets you nearly halfway there.
Cardholders will also receive 20 XP for their anniversary.
Use rewards on all partner airlines
Flying Blue members can spend miles on flights with all partners in the 20-member SkyTeam alliance. This includes Delta Air Lines, which flies all over the U.S.
Flying Blue members with Silver, Gold and Platinum status receive a complimentary upgrade to Delta Comfort seats.
Lower change and cancellation fees than Delta
Flying Blue allows reward tickets to be changed or canceled for a fee of 45 euros, or about $50 depending on the exchange rate at the time of your change/cancellation. That same change or cancellation for a Delta Air Lines reward ticket is $150 (except for Platinum and Diamond status holders.) That means the opportunity to change a single flight would more than cover the card’s $89 annual fee.
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 2018, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).
- Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (Earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase).
- Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Get 3 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases).
- No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (Earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, with no annual fee).
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Get 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, plus get access to the Global Lounge Collection). Terms Apply.
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program: The complete guide
Air France-KLM launches U.S. credit card
This strategy is how I started earning major travel rewards