News: Flybe went into Administration on 5 March 2020 and has ceased operations.
Flybe offers a new and different way to earn air rewards on a credit card for those who frequently travel around Europe rewarding cardholders with free return fares. Read our review to find out what kind of rewards rates you can achieve and how to do it.
Flybe Credit Card Review
If you frequently fly within Europe, Flybe can be an incredibly rewarding credit card. Instead of managing a miles account, Flybe credit cardholders earn free return fares either within the UK or in Europe, according to their level of spending each year.
Higher levels of annual spend mean cardholders can fly further afield, earn more rewards flights and/or book premium ticket types. How much do you need to spend to get a free return flight? The table below shows what tickets types and destinations you can go to for different levels of spending:
|Flybe Credit Card Spend||Geographical Flight Cover||Bonus Return Flight (you pay taxes and charges)|
|£4,000||UK||Just Fly or Get More UK Bonus Return Flight|
|£5,500||UK||All In UK Bonus Return Flight|
|£6,000||EU||Just Fly or Get More European Bonus Return Flight|
|£7,500||EU||All In European Bonus Return Flight|
Your accrued Spend&Fly balance can be used to make flight bookings for friends and family, in addition to yourself.
Flybe Rewards Rates
Returns are potentially higher with the Flybe card than nearly any other rewards card; but beware of restrictions such as not all flights are eligible and flights to Spain and Portugal are not a part of the Spend&Fly programme.
Depending on how you use your Bonus Return Flights and the value of those fares, you can earn a rewards rate from less than 1% up to as high as 17% or more on The Flybe Credit Card. We've gathered a selection of fares so you can get an idea of potential returns, which will vary widely from situation to situation.
The data consistently shows that you'll get more value by redeeming your Spend&Fly balance for higher-tier ticket types (e.g., Get More and All In) than Just Fly tickets.
|Estimated Flybe Rewards Rates on Flights from London City to:||Aberdeen||Belfast||Amsterdam||Average|
|Just Fly tickets||2.5%||0.7%||2.7%||2.0%|
|Get More tickets||5.1%||2.2%||4.1%||3.8%|
|All In tickets||17.5%||10.0%||8.6%||12.0%|
There is no limit on the number of free flights you can earn. Depending on your spending and flying habits, this detail means the Flybe card has the potential to create a lot of value.
When do Vouchers/Spending Expire?
Your Spend&Fly balance is valid for 12 months—purchases made on your card expire on a rolling 12-month basis. The same applies to vouchers once issued, so cardholders need to stay on top of their account in order to not lose out on rewards.
Taxes & Charges
A Bonus Return Flight is a free fare but, like all air rewards flights, you still have to pay fees, taxes and charges which can be hundreds of pounds on some flights. Before you decide to redeem your Bonus Return Flight, be sure to check the online prices for your desired route—discounted web fares may occasionally be found at a lower cost (including taxes & charges) than equivalent reward flights.
Limitations: What's Excluded
One drawback of the Flybe programme is that Spend&Fly Bonus Return Flights are not available on routes to Spain or Portugal, so if you frequently fly to the Iberian Peninsula you may prefer a different rewards credit card, such as the Virgin Reward Credit Card.
Also, flights operated by Stobart Air, Blue Islands or codeshare services are not eligible for Bonus Return Flights. Finally, as the voucher codes are redeemable against selected flights only and subject to availability online, you may not be able to find a Bonus Return Flight to match your desired dates, times and/or destinations. That means people with more flexibility in their travel dates and destinations are more likely to get full use of their bonus reward flights.
Using the Flybe Credit Card Abroad
While the Flybe card can be useful for earning flights, it's not a great card for foreign spending once you're overseas. Non-sterling purchases made abroad will be subject to a 2.99% foreign transaction fee; cash withdrawals abroad from an ATM would be hit with the 2.99% foreign transaction fee plus an additional 5% (min £5) cash fee. You may want to also consider a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees if you anticipate significant expenditures overseas.
Bottom Line: If you frequently travel around Europe (excluding Spain and Portugal), the Flybe card can be a great way to earn free flights.
Flybe Credit Card Benefits & Features
|Flybe Credit Card||Features|
|Earning Spend& Fly Awards|
|Avis Discount||10% off Avis car rentals around the globe (applies to the cost of the rental plus basic insurance only, excluding extras like additional drivers, child seats, ski racks and pre-paid fuel)|
Flybe Ticket Types
Flybe sells three tiers of tickets: Just Fly, Get More and All In. What's the difference between the Flybe ticket tiers? Basically, paying for a higher ticket tier gives you more benefits, such as reserved seating, extra legroom, lounge access, fast-track security and free food.
|Flybe Ticket Tier Perks||Just Fly||Get More||All In|
|Standard Cabin Bag + 1 under-seat bag (e.g., handbag or laptop)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hold Luggage||Extra fee||23 kg (fee to upgrade to 46 kg)||46 kg (2 items)|
|Reserved standard seating included||Extra fee||Yes||Yes|
|Upgrade to extra legroom||Extra fee||Extra fee||Yes, where available|
|Changeable/Flexible Ticket||Extra Fee (Flybe Flex)||Yes (you pay any fare difference)||Yes (includes change fees and fare difference)|
|Executive lounge access||n/a||n/a||Yes|
|Complimentary in-flight food and drink (excl. Champagne)||Extra fee||Extra fee||Yes|
How do you get a Bonus Return flight at the Get More level?
If you decide to use your Bonus Return Flight on a Get More ticket, you'll need to pay a Get More Supplement—this is because both Just Fly and Get More seats are earned with the same amount of credit card spending. Flybe then charges a supplement if you want to upgrade from a Just Fly to a higher-tier Get More ticket.
If you redeem your Bonus Flight for the higher-tier All In ticket type, there is no extra supplement payment to make—you already satisfied the requirement of higher credit card spending in order to earn an All In ticket.
Flybe Credit Card vs Other Credit Cards on the Market
To better understand the value of the Flybe Credit Card you need to see it relative to other available options. We compared the card to other UK rewards credit cards so you can decide which is the best rewards card for you and your situation.
Flybe Card vs British Airways American Express Credit Card
The British Airways American Express card is another solid free air miles card, for those trying to accumulate more Avios points (especially for those who spend between £20,000 and £39,000 a year on general purchases and who don’t spend much on BA flights or Holidays). Those spending less than £20,000 won’t earn the Companion Voucher, which is potentially worth hundreds of pounds. By spending more than £39,000 you’re better off with the higher rewards of the paid BA Amex Premium Plus card, despite the annual fee. With 1 mile earned per £1 of spend, you'll earn around 1% on your spending.
Quick Takeaway: The BA card might might be a better option if you fly outside of Europe.
Flybe Credit Card vs Virgin Credit Card
The Virgin Credit Card is a free air rewards card aimed at those who are part of the Virgin Flying Club loyalty programme. Cardholders earn Flying Club miles when they spend, and can earn an ongoing rewards rate estimated between 0.75% and 1.5% on purchases (the higher rate is earned on Virgin Flight and Holiday spend, when you earn 2x rewards).
Quick Takeaway: Frequent Virgin Atlantic flyers who are savvy managing an air rewards programme may well extract higher rewards from the Virgin Reward card, especially by putting the Premium Upgrade or Companion Voucher to good use. Individuals who would rather not actively manage a rewards program may value the simplicity of Flybe's rewards program, but travel destinations are limited.
Flybe Credit Card vs Platinum Cashback Everyday Card by American Express
The Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card by American Express is one of our favourite free cashback rewards cards for those seeking an easy and flexible rewards program. Cardholders earn an ongoing rewards rate between 0.5% and 1% on all purchases. Plus there's an initial rate of 5% for up to £100 cashback in the first three months (earned by spending £2,000).
Quick Takeaway: Individuals who would rather not manage an air rewards program may value the simplicity of Amex's cashback rewards program, despite the lower potential rewards. But remember that American Express is not accepted everywhere so the Amex can't be the only card in your wallet.