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-   -   Flying Blue Silver vs. Gold (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-france-klm-other-partners-flying-blue/1969992-flying-blue-silver-vs-gold.html)

kmersh May 16, 19 11:35 am

Flying Blue Silver vs. Gold
 
I am curious as to your (FlyingBlue Experts) opinions regarding what I should do going forward for the rest of the year regarding crediting flights to Flying Blue.

A little background:

I am a citizen of the USA and travel 100% for leisure, I mostly fly domestically in the USA and that means DELTA for the most part.

I have never credited a mile in my flying history to DELTA’s own SkyMiles program and honestly with the devaluations over time I really do not see a good reason to start now. With that said, I have for a while now credited my DELTA miles to Frequency Plus, now Flying Blue (I have always been Silver or iirc RED before that) to have the ability to redeem for Air France First Class which both my wife and I very much enjoy, but would otherwise be out of our price range.

Since the newest incarnation of Flying Blue I have generally earned around 150XP a year, 100% from DELTA and last year as an example, I carried over 50XP which made qualifying this year even easier. Due to an AeroMexico Business class trip which I took in March, I am now sitting at 150XP with approximately 30-40 more XP to go this year after all is said and done. I am wondering if it is worthwhile to go for Gold (180 XP) or just credit the rest of miles to another program for the rest of year leaving me with 50XP starting off next year to make qualifying easier.

I guess my question is this, if the only use for FlyingBlue status is the ability to redeem for First Class is going for Gold status worth it, am I missing something that might be useful which Gold provides?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

fifty_two May 16, 19 12:18 pm


Originally Posted by kmersh (Post 31108231)
I am a citizen of the USA and travel 100% for leisure, I mostly fly domestically in the USA and that means DELTA for the most part.

if you fly business class it makes sense , otherwise if economy you might need to think cause each domestic segment in economy gives you 2xp


Originally Posted by kmersh (Post 31108231)
I have never credited a mile in my flying history to DELTA’s own SkyMiles program and honestly with the devaluations over time I really do not see a good reason to start now.

Be aware that this is a global trend in the industry , FB is doing the same


Originally Posted by kmersh (Post 31108231)
Since the newest incarnation of Flying Blue I have generally earned around 150XP a year, 100% from DELTA and last year as an example, I carried over 50XP which made qualifying this year even easier. Due to an AeroMexico Business class trip which I took in March, I am now sitting at 150XP with approximately 30-40 more XP to go this year after all is said and done. I am wondering if it is worthwhile to go for Gold (180 XP) or just credit the rest of miles to another program for the rest of year leaving me with 50XP starting off next year to make qualifying easier.

Its up to you , if silver is already enough or not , depends on your travel plans your the next qualification year


Originally Posted by kmersh (Post 31108231)
I guess my question is this, if the only use for FlyingBlue status is the ability to redeem for First Class is going for Gold status worth it, am I missing something that might be useful which Gold provides?!

check the rates for awards flight in first class aka P (i guess you are talking about la premiere and not business class) .

If you have amex rewards card or chase sapphire card and you spend a lot with these cards , you might be able to collect a lot of miles to book these flights in P

Goldorak May 16, 19 1:00 pm

The main interest in your case to reach Gold is to have lounge access. But you will not have lounge access for pure domestic flights in the US. So you will not really enjoy a lot of benefits if you only fly domestically in the US.


Originally Posted by kmersh (Post 31108231)
With that said, I have for a while now credited my DELTA miles to Frequency Plus, now Flying Blue (I have always been Silver or iirc RED before that)

FB Silver was the equivalent of Fréquence Plus Blue, not red ;)

kmersh May 16, 19 1:09 pm


Originally Posted by Goldorak (Post 31108500)
The main interest in your case to reach Gold is to have lounge access. But you will not have lounge access for pure domestic flights in the US. So you will not really enjoy a lot of benefits if you only fly domestically in the US.


FB Silver was the equivalent of Fréquence Plus Blue, not red ;)

With regards to lounge access, I did see that and since I fly almost USA 100% domestically I have been a lifetime SkyClub member since the days of Northwest Airlines World Club.

Ooops I could not remember Red/Blue, thanks for the correction.

HeartFist May 16, 19 4:45 pm

Keep in mind in case you make it to Gold you can still soft-land to Silver the following year even if you neither hit the requirements for Gold nor Silver.

Another remark: by signing up for the BoA FB card you get 60 XP in the first year (and afaik 20 XP every following year).

paris1000 May 16, 19 11:12 pm


Originally Posted by HeartFist (Post 31109131)
by signing up for the BoA FB card you get 60 XP in the first year (and afaik 20 XP every following year).

20 XP yearly, and an additional 40 XP if meet a spending threshold of $15,000 within the year.

kmersh May 17, 19 7:18 am


Originally Posted by HeartFist (Post 31109131)
Keep in mind in case you make it to Gold you can still soft-land to Silver the following year even if you neither hit the requirements for Gold nor Silver.

Another remark: by signing up for the BoA FB card you get 60 XP in the first year (and afaik 20 XP every following year).


Originally Posted by paris1000 (Post 31109976)
20 XP yearly, and an additional 40 XP if meet a spending threshold of $15,000 within the year.

I did not even know about the BoA credit card, that is a a good option for myself and something that I will look into.

Thank you all for your advice!

irishguy28 May 17, 19 7:50 am


Originally Posted by kmersh (Post 31108231)
I am wondering if it is worthwhile to go for Gold (180 XP) or just credit the rest of miles to another program for the rest of year leaving me with 50XP starting off next year to make qualifying easier.

Can you explain the logic behind the option of "just credit the rest of miles to another program for the rest of year"?

That you even present it as an option implies you see some merit to this strategy, in that it is of at least of similar value to the strategy of pursuing FB Gold. Can you therefore elaborate for us what those merits are? (Perhaps in doing so, you will convince yourself of the correct answer!!)

kmersh May 18, 19 8:53 am


Originally Posted by irishguy28 (Post 31110992)
Can you explain the logic behind the option of "just credit the rest of miles to another program for the rest of year"?

That you even present it as an option implies you see some merit to this strategy, in that it is of at least of similar value to the strategy of pursuing FB Gold. Can you therefore elaborate for us what those merits are? (Perhaps in doing so, you will convince yourself of the correct answer!!)

My thinking which maybe entirely flawed is as follows: If I were to go for Gold, next year I will have less XP (maybe none) to start with (after FlyingBlue deducts the 180) and will have to fly more to obtain Silver where as say if I stop at 150XP, I will have 50XPs to start off with next yer only necessitating 8.3 (really 9) segments at 6XP per DELTA First Class segment to qualify again for Silver.

Essentially, FB status is more about redeeming for Air France First Class rather than any other tangible benefits, so Gold probably does not provide that much more to me and the miles would be better off deposited into my China Airlines account for a free ticket somewhere in Asia for 150,000 a ticket after I hit 150XP for the year or at least that was thinking prior to learning about the BoA credit card which changes things a little.

I am not as savy as you all, honestly, I travel probably a small fraction of you all and thus my logic is probably flawed most of the time when it comes to frequent flier earnings, etc.

Boturham May 19, 19 12:51 am


Originally Posted by kmersh (Post 31114171)
My thinking which maybe entirely flawed is as follows: If I were to go for Gold, next year I will have less XP (maybe none) to start with (after FlyingBlue deducts the 180) and will have to fly more to obtain Silver where as say if I stop at 150XP, I will have 50XPs to start off with next yer only necessitating 8.3 (really 9) segments at 6XP per DELTA First Class segment to qualify again for Silver.

Essentially, FB status is more about redeeming for Air France First Class rather than any other tangible benefits, so Gold probably does not provide that much more to me and the miles would be better off deposited into my China Airlines account for a free ticket somewhere in Asia for 150,000 a ticket after I hit 150XP for the year or at least that was thinking prior to learning about the BoA credit card which changes things a little.

I am not as savy as you all, honestly, I travel probably a small fraction of you all and thus my logic is probably flawed most of the time when it comes to frequent flier earnings, etc.

An idea might be to credit to FB until Gold. When you reach that, don't credit for 1 year (while you're Gold), after you drop down to Silver, you have one full year to accrue 100 XP again while still being Silver.

kmersh May 19, 19 7:00 am


Originally Posted by Boturham (Post 31115948)
An idea might be to credit to FB until Gold. When you reach that, don't credit for 1 year (while you're Gold), after you drop down to Silver, you have one full year to accrue 100 XP again while still being Silver.

That is not a bad idea, if my math is correct, that would be 16.6 (really 17) Delta First Class segments at 6XP each segment or 12XP each direction (assuming a connection at a DL hub).

Plus 20XP a year from the BoA credit card would put me in a pretty good place.

You all are amazingly insightful and helpful, thank you!

irishguy28 May 19, 19 8:35 am


Originally Posted by kmersh (Post 31114171)
My thinking which maybe entirely flawed is as follows: If I were to go for Gold, next year I will have less XP (maybe none) to start with (after FlyingBlue deducts the 180) and will have to fly more to obtain Silver where as say if I stop at 150XP, I will have 50XPs to start off with next yer only necessitating 8.3 (really 9) segments at 6XP per DELTA First Class segment to qualify again for Silver.

If you make Gold (requiring an additional 80XP), you have a whole year of Gold, followed by a guaranteed year of Silver.

To say that you "have to fly more to obtain Silver" is incorrect; when you reach 180XP, that gets you a year of Gold, followed by a year of Silver, regardless of what flying you do in those two years.

As your priority seems to be just to maintain status, then you are turning down the opportunity to earn a further year of Silver for only just 80XP.

Even if you don't make it up to Gold, you will still start the new Silver year with a significant head start on making the 100XP necessary for that further year of Silver.

brunos May 19, 19 9:40 am

I might misunderstand your post, but I don't see what benefit you currently derive from FB.
As you have noticed, you need a huge amount of miles to get a F award. As you don't fly much, you have been hit by successive devaluations of the FB program.
You seem to mostly fly domestic and FB is of little use. If you were on DL SM you might get upgrades. And spreading your limited travel into two skyteam programs seems a bit strange.

BobTL May 19, 19 10:22 am


Originally Posted by brunos (Post 31116816)
I might misunderstand your post, but I don't see what benefit you currently derive from FB.
As you have noticed, you need a huge amount of miles to get a F award. As you don't fly much, you have been hit by successive devaluations of the FB program.
You seem to mostly fly domestic and FB is of little use. If you were on DL SM you might get upgrades. And spreading your limited travel into two skyteam programs seems a bit strange.

From a miles earning and burning perspective, you are correct. FB doesn’t offer anything interesting.

But FB is interesting in getting, and especially, keeping status. It makes a hell of a difference to travel with perks like preferred seats, security fasttrack, lounge access, sky priority and free luggage.

irishguy28 May 19, 19 10:37 am


Originally Posted by BobTL (Post 31116911)

But FB is interesting in getting, and especially, keeping status. It makes a hell of a difference to travel with perks like preferred seats, security fasttrack, lounge access, sky priority and free luggage.

But again, the OP in this particular case travels mostly domestically on Delta so no lounge access . Silver doesn't get security fasttrack anymore (to the best of my knowledge) and I'm not entirely sure that FB Silver/Gold get any meaningful seat fee discount on Delta.

Goldorak May 19, 19 10:49 am


Originally Posted by irishguy28 (Post 31116931)
But again, the OP in this particular case travels mostly domestically on Delta so no lounge access . Silver doesn't get security fasttrack anymore (to the best of my knowledge) and I'm not entirely sure that FB Silver/Gold get any meaningful seat fee discount.

And priority lanes at security in the US are a complete joke.

kmersh May 19, 19 10:58 am


Originally Posted by brunos (Post 31116816)
I might misunderstand your post, but I don't see what benefit you currently derive from FB.
As you have noticed, you need a huge amount of miles to get a F award. As you don't fly much, you have been hit by successive devaluations of the FB program.
You seem to mostly fly domestic and FB is of little use. If you were on DL SM you might get upgrades. And spreading your limited travel into two skyteam programs seems a bit strange.

I have a bunch of AMEX miles and unless I am mistaken, if I were to hold DL status I could not redeem for Air France F which I have redeemed in the past (via AMEX points transferred to FlyingBlue) and have always enjoyed the experience. My wife is Swiss and living the USA she rarely gets the chance to speak in other languages, so she enjoys speaking in French when flying Air France, generally the crews recognize almost immediately that her accent is Swiss, how they can tell is beyond me, but they can.

Also, as I only fly F when flying DELTA (I am willing to fly Economy on other airlines), upgrades are of little benefit to me and the entire SkyMiles scheme just never appealed to me personally.

I do not know a lot when it comes to Frequent Flier miles, but I know this much FlyingBlue works best for me because if I want to fly Air France F, I have to maintain some level of status to be able to redeem for F.

One of my best friends in Medical School is Taiwanese and my wife and I try and head to Taiwan every 4 years to visit with him and his wife, generally my wife earns enough miles from business travel that in four years we have 300,000 China Airlines miles for two business class tickets to Taiwan, so that is why I have this dual frequent flier mile system.

It maybe terribly inefficient and wrong (it probably is) but it how I have done things for a while. I more than happy to hear about a better way forward, I openly admit that I probably doing things wrong.

brunos May 19, 19 9:20 pm

Thanks for the clarification.
It is sad for you that FB does not have household accounts like BA. Then you could merge your family miles. I don't know if China airlines does that.

irishguy28 May 20, 19 3:58 am

China Airlines, Delta and AF/KLM are all Skyteam airlines. Therefore, you can earn miles on flights on any of these carriers into a single frequent flyer program, which (in theory) you can also use to redeem for flights on all of those airlines.

I don't really see the benefit of maintaining separate China Airlines Dynasty Flyer and AF/KL Flying Blue accounts; it may be easier to redeem on China Airlines metal using a Dynasty Flyer account, but the redemption rate you gave doesn't sound particularly beneficial or great in comparison to what a redemption from the US-Taiwan would cost in Flying Blue.

You should consider carefully whether spreading your miles across several accounts like this makes actual sense; in your case, you seem to prize having FB status the most, so therefore unless there is a compelling reason to also collect miles in China Airlines Dynasty Flyer, or in any other Skyteam affiliated programme, it would probably make sense to use only your Flying Blue account for collecting miles when flying AF, KL, CI, DL, or any other Skyteam airline. I would advise you to determine which programme makes most sense for you, and to run down the accumulated mileage balance in any other account(s) - possibly after topping it up in order to reach a better mileage balance that enables you to make good use of the miles - in the most beneficial manner possible; and then to focus only on your single Skyteam-affiliated FFP, and discard the other(s).

styleflyer May 30, 19 6:44 am

I am Silver now and it is quite useless.

fifty_two May 30, 19 8:05 am


Originally Posted by styleflyer (Post 31153093)
I am Silver now and it is quite useless.

why useless ?? useless for you ?? whats your situation ??

Deeetcha May 31, 19 12:04 am


Originally Posted by styleflyer (Post 31153093)
I am Silver now and it is quite useless.

don't you already receive priority check-in and boarding ? you also get free check-in.

kmersh Jun 1, 19 3:29 pm


Originally Posted by styleflyer (Post 31153093)
I am Silver now and it is quite useless.

I can only speak for myself here, but I find that for my needs Silver is plenty, however, I maybe an outlier as I need status strictly to redeem for AF First Class.


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