Last Updated on February 27, 2023
Having launched in the fall of 2022, the Air France KLM World Elite MasterCard® powered by Brim Financial is one of the newest rewards credit cards in Canada. If you are someone who flies with Air France or KLM on a regular basis or fly regularly across the Atlantic you'll want to consider having this card in your wallet.
The review of the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard is broken down into the following sections:
The Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard is a card targeted towards Canadians who fly with Air France and/or KLM. It has an amazing benefit that provides accelerated mileage earning on Air France and KLM flights plus provides extra status XP to help cardholders reach that coveted next elite status level in the Flying Blue program.
The Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard has an annual fee of $132. This fee is the middle of the road when compared to other cards of this level which charge between $120 and $150 per year. You can add additional cardholders for $50 annually per card.
Interestingly enough the card does not come with any welcome bonus miles. Instead the welcome bonus is 30 bonus XP which are the elite qualifying points for the Flying Blue Program. You can definitely tell how they are trying to target frequent Air France KLM flyers with that bonus! The current welcome bonus also includes no annual fee on the primary card for the first year.
Income requirements for the card are $80,000 annual personal income or $150,000 annual household income.
The card earns Flying Blue Miles as follows:
There is also one additional earn rate that is actually a benefit for just having the card and that is earning an extra 5 Flying Blue Miles per Euro spent on tickets with Air France or KLM. You do not have to actually purchase your flights with the card, you can use any payment method and as long as your Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard is linked to your Flying Blue number you'll earn those 5 extra miles.
|Spending Category||Miles earned per dollar spent||Effective Rate of return (Travel) *|
|Food and drinks (restaurants, bars)||2||3% to 10+%|
|All other spending||1||1.5% to 5+%|
|* This is a low minimum valuation. In most cases you should be able to easily pull more value than this especially if you redeem for business class or first class flights.|
As with any airline co-brand credit card this is where the strength lies as frequent flyer programs can and do provide an opportunity to receive outsized value per mile. This is particularly the case when redeeming for business or first class flights but with Air France KLM Flying Blue you can also receive outsized value for economy class redemptions.
You can redeem for reward tickets on the two airline's flights out of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City or anywhere the airlines and their partners fly in the world. Those 30+ partners include WestJet, Delta Airlines, Korean Air and all the SkyTeam Alliance airlines.
Air France KLM Flying Blue uses a dynamic redemption model which means the amount of miles you redeem for flights will vary based on the cash price of tickets. They do however publish the starting point for each region as follows:
From the chart you can see economy class flights from North America to Europe start at only 15,000 miles and these include your first checked bag! This is the minimum redemption level for flights between Eastern Canada and Europe (as well as Turkey and North Africa) while rewards start at 20,000 miles one way from Western Canada. In our research there tends to be a good amount of availability at those lowest levels. Overall this means you only need 30,000 to 40,000 Flying Blue miles for a round trip economy class flight. The same thing on Aeroplan? You are looking at 60,000 to 70,000 miles round trip - and you have to pay for your checked bags unless you have an Aeroplan co-brand credit card.
Business class reward flights start at 55,000 miles from Eastern Canada to Europe if you redeem on KLM. Air France flights will start at 70,000 miles which is the same as Aeroplan.
In general with frequent flyer programs you should expect to receive a value of 1.5 to 2 cents when redeeming for economy class fights and we use that as a minimum value for Flying Blue Miles. However with those great 15,000 mile offers we have often seen value go beyond 2 cents per miles. In fact, there was an example we found flying Montreal to Algiers (30,000 round trip_ that provided 4.76 cents in value - an almost unheard of valuation when redeeming for economy class!
You can also book free stopovers on Flying Blue rewards tickets flown on Air France or KLM. That pretty much means a free stopover in Amsterdam or Paris on flights out of Canada. These stopovers are available on all reward tickets – even those that are only 15,000 miles! They can utilized on both one way or round trip rewards. The only caveat right now for booking the stopovers is that you have to call Flying Blue to book you reward tickets as the option is not yet available for online bookings.
One notable feature to to also be aware of with Flying Blue are their Promo Rewards. These are monthly discounted flight rewards that let members redeem less miles on select routes. The discounts range from 20% to 50% and you can imagine the great deal you get when it is 50% off Business Class rewards! The 50% off rewards are rare but they happen and the last time we saw them from Canada was December 2022.
Outside of flight rewards you are also able to redeem Flying Blue miles for upgrades and to pay for fight extras like seats and baggage. You can also convert miles to ALL Accor Live Limitless points or redeem them for merchandise.
The Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard provides several benefits and additional features that complement the earning of Avios with the card
On top of the welcome bonus XP you receive when you first get the card there are 30XP awarded annually. Silver Elite status requires 100XP so each year you'll be nearly a third of the way to that status by having the card.
The most enticing benefit that comes with the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard is the 5 extra miles awarded on Air France or KLM flights. This boosts your earn on paid flights to up to 13 miles per Euro:
What is most enticing about this benefit is that you don't actually have to buy the flights on your actual AF KLM Mastercard. So long as you have you can pay with any method and still earn this bonus. For example if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express you can take advantage of booking flights via the International Airline Program (discounts on premium class) and you would still earn the 5 miles per Euro bonus.
The Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard has a very good insurance coverage included on it. The coverage is as follows:
The best thing with this card is the 5 miles per Euro accelerator for just having the card! This provides the opportunity to earn a lot more miles for those who purchase Air France and/or KLM flights on a regular basis.
The 2x miles earn rate on food and drinks is also a good thing this card brings to the table. It is the highest earn rate for this category out of any premium airline co-brand cards and it actually matches the best earn rate that is seen on Ultra Premium airline co-brand cards!
Another good thing about this card is the annual 30XP elite status boost. For some flyers that may be just be the golden ticket to receiving elite status or jumping up to the next elite status level.
Being a Mastercard you can count on the card being accepted almost everywhere including Costco warehouses in Canada!
Not a lot of extra benefits and in particular for flying with Air France and KLM. Unlike some of this card's competitors there is no first checked bag free, no priority services (check in, boarding etc.) and no lounge passes towards Air France KLM lounges.
The lack of a welcome bonus miles offer. When the card launched we wrote that we understood why they don't offer welcome bonus miles. Air France, KLM and Brim don't want to have their card gamed where someone will get a free ticket (especially with their really low economy rewards) and then move on to the next card or another airline. They also want to target this card to those who already fly Air France KLM. However, it also works the other way. Give new cardholders enough miles to try your airline out once and you might have a customer for life! It's well known in the loyalty industry that once a member actually redeems for a reward, in most cases they will become more loyal (outside of the gamers of course).
If you are someone who flies with Air France or KLM on a regular basis this card should be in your wallet. The extra 5 miles per Euro alone are worth it to have the card even if you purchase those flights on another card. The extra XP the card offers every year is nice way for those Air France KLM flyer to reach status sooner. Overall, you have a card here that fits nicely fits a niche space in Canadian market and that's for those who like to fly with Air France and KLM or across the Atlantic frequently.
Air France KLM World Elite MasterCard® powered by Brim Financial
Annual Fee: $132 Primary Card (Waived in first year)
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