September 10th, 2012
Fly round-trip to Israel for about 37K points with no fuel surcharges!
-Get A 40% Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into British Airways Avios!
-50,000 Point Signup Bonus For the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card!
-Air France/KLM Flying Blue Slashes Fuel Surcharges On Delta Award Tickets
-Which Miles To Use To Fly To Israel?
25% Bonus For Transferring Membership Rewards Points To Flying Blue
Through 09/16 you will get 1,350 Flying Blue miles for every 1,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points. You are able to borrow up to 60,000 points by calling Membership Rewards if you have a Platinum card and up to 15,000 points on other charge cards. Points must be paid back (through opening new cards or spending) within 12 months.
Flying Blue is the mileage program of Air France and KLM. They are both Skyteam alliance members, as is Delta.
Flying Blue is known for low mileage rates but high fuel surcharges. However they don’t charge fuel surcharges when flying on Delta. Another nice thing about Flying Blue is that they allow one-way redemptions, something that Delta does not allow you to do with their miles.
Bear in mind that Flying Blue points expire after 20 months and the only way to extend them is to credit a paid Skyteam flight (like on Delta) to Flying Blue. So think twice before sending points over without having any use in mind and remember that promos like these come and go and will likely be back in the future.
With their promo awards you can fly from rotating cities in the US and Canada (currently JFK, Chicago, and Miami are among the cities on the current list for example) to Europe (which includes Israel in the Flying Blue program) for just 25,000 miles round-trip. However fuel surcharges on promo awards to Israel can run you about $550 round-trip. Promo awards are only for travel on Air France or KLM, not on any partners.
Availability with the promo awards to Israel is always low, but is especially low right now as the current award runs through October, peak travel time for Israel. They will open up November and December next month when availability should be better. For now though a quick search from JFK-TLV showed that you can fly one-way to Israel on 10/23 for 12,500 miles plus $249.10 in fuel surcharges or from Israel to JFK on 10/17 or 10/24 for 12,500 miles plus $302 in fuel surcharges.
With the current 35% bonus that’s using the equivalent of just 9,259 AMEX points. In business class the rate would be 25,000 miles each way plus fuel surcharges, or the equivalent of just 18,518 AMEX points.
Delta awards: Surcharge-free.
Flying Blue will book you on Delta to Israel with no fuel surcharges and at the Europe rates. That means 50,000 miles round-trip in coach or 100,000 miles round-trip in business.
With the transfer bonus that means you can get to Israel for the equivalent of just 37,037 AMEX points in coach or the equivalent of 74,074 in business, and there are no fuel surcharges!
The major caveat is that Flying Blue can only book you on Delta’s “Low” availability and you won’t even see Delta as an option when you search for flights on Air France’s website unless there is Delta Low availability (the green dates on Delta.com)
You can find Delta low availability on the Air France site by locating dates on the calendar with significantly lower fees than the other dates.
Beware that Delta’s “Low” availability, especially in business, can be very hard to find at times as they are quite stingy with releasing it. Always search for award availability before transferring points!
Delta charges 80,000 miles to Israel in coach and 120,000 miles in business (if you find low tier availability) if you book on Flying Blue it’s only 50,000 in coach and 100,000 in business on Delta.
By transferring to Flying Blue for Delta flights to Israel you will save about 43,000 points on coach (37K vs. 80K) or 46,000 points on a business (74K vs. 120K) ticket as opposed to booking directly from Delta.
Delta flies nonstop between JFK and Tel Aviv.
You can see that on 10/30 there is a promo award as it prices out at 12,500 miles (plus $249), right now the promo awards have not yet been released for November though.
The dates that have 25,000 miles plus $19 are the Delta nonstop flights, pretty easy to find. Bear in mind that taxes from Israel will run $59.
Business class is attainable as well, as you can see here:
Again, the dates for 50,000 miles plus $19 are in Delta BusinessElite class.
Of course this isn’t good just for Israel.
-The same rates that apply for Israel will also work for all of Europe. Delta flights will be just 25K miles each way.
-A one-way flight from JFK to LAX is 12,500 miles plus $2.50 and will be the equivalent of just 9,259 AMEX points.
The dates with 12,500 miles+$2.50 are nonstops.
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