Lufthansa Premier Miles & More MasterCard 50,000 Mile Bonus

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For a limited time, Barclaycard has brought back the 50,000 mile sign-up bonus on The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®. The basic terms are as follows:

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer and payment of the annual fee
  • Earn an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Cardholders receive a companion ticket after first use of the account and annually after each account anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Redeem miles for flight awards and upgrades on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Swiss, Star Alliance member airlines and other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee.

Link: The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®

When it comes time to redeem Lufthansa Miles & More miles, there are a few things worth noting:

  • They have a zone based award chart, and as you can see the redemption rates aren’t especially attractive in many cases.
  • Miles & More imposes fuel surcharges on the majority of award redemptions, which can add up quickly.
  • Lufthansa Miles & More miles are valid for 36 months from the date of issue, even if you have activity in the account.

That being said, there are a few circumstances under which the program can be extremely valuable, and if you’re considering taking advantage of this offer it’s worth knowing how to maximize Lufthansa Miles & More miles:

For travel within the US

Lufthansa Miles & More charges just 25,000 miles for a roundtrip domestic US coach award, or 35,000 miles for a roundtrip domestic US business class award. They even offer one-way awards at half the cost of a roundtrip.

  • While 25,000 miles is the standard roundtrip coach award cost, the 35,000 miles for a domestic business class award is among the lowest premium cabin redemption rates for any airline.
  • Lufthansa will charge the business class price for United domestic three cabin business class or United domestic two cabin first class, both of which book into the “I” (business class) award fare bucket.

So after you’ve completed the minimum spend you’d have more than enough miles for either four United one-way domestic coach tickets or three one-way domestic business class tickets.

For travel in Lufthansa first class

Nowadays Lufthansa only releases first class award space to Star Alliance partners at most 15 days out, and even within that time frame they’re stingier than ever before. Sadly even for cabins that are half empty a couple of days out they’re often still not releasing space. A one-way first class ticket between the US and Europe costs 85,000 Miles & More miles, plus taxes and fuel surcharges.

This sign-up bonus gets you a good ways towards that, and given that you can transfer in points from Starwood it might be a good value to make up the difference and book Lufthansa first class.

Lufthansa First Class - book in advance using Miles & More miles

Bottom line

This is a very good sign-up bonus, especially given that the card is issued by Barclaycard. They have quite a few strong offers right now, actually!

Link: The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®

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Comments

  1. I meant to ask this at FTU this weekend and forgot – if I were to book a FRA-xxx US first class ticket, how early would I be allowed to enter the first class terminal? Could I show up, say, eight hours before my flight?

  2. Not certain about now, but it used to be that your miles would not expire if you put a charge on the card every single billing period. Not every month, but every billing period.

    Miss just one, and then they expire no matter what you do. Of course, somebody is going to chime in that you shouldn’t hold miles for more than 3 years anyway. But still, if you end up with a few thousand miles left over, why have them expire?

  3. Lucky,

    speaking of Barclays,how long before closing out a USAirways card and applying for another? Trying to grab that sign-up bonus one more time!

  4. @ Greg — I haven’t found there to be a hard and fast rule. It seems to vary from person to person. Generally I would give it at least 60 days.

  5. The Lufthansa website says that your miles will not expire if you have a Lufthansa Miles and More credit card.

  6. I will caution people out there that the agents at the US Miles and More call center are not always the sharpest. I’ve had them tell me all sorts of stories including that the availability on the M&M website is different than the availability they see.

    That being said, now that they brought the 50K mile offer back, I’m considering a second card given that I’ve had my first card for a year now and the new annual fee is coming due.

    @Lucky, and anyone else have you had simmilar experience with somewhat clueless Miles and More agents? Or is it just like any other airline where some agents are great and some just are not.

  7. Robert Hansen is correct about the activity keeping the life of the miles going…….with activity they do not expire………

  8. Barclays rejects a lot lately… they seem to be focused on people who do not spend any money on their existing cards… they are wising up!

  9. Um…contrary to the above 50k miles is NOT enough for three business one-way domestic awards. (35,000/2)*3 = 52,500 miles needed…

  10. And…it took that long to catch my error. Missed the minimum spend miles. Sorry for doubting you Lucky.

  11. One of the reasons I dumped the card last weekend was that there is no chip. For a foreign carrier card being able to use the card overseas would seem obvious. Side question – how long will my points last with LH now that I have dropped the card? Cheers!

  12. Is this card churnable? I signed up the last time the signup was 50k last June. If so I’ll apply with your link!

  13. Is LH F availability to Europe better using Miles and More miles? I know about the 15 day Star Alliance pattern but was curious to know if they do the same for their own frequent flier program.

  14. @ VJ — Yes, it’s much better if booking through Miles & More directly. They release more space and release it more than 15 days out as well.

  15. @Robert Hanson – That’s still the case. And it shouldn’t be a big deal if you plan on keeping the card. Just go to CVS every other week (or every week, if you’re that worried) and buy a candy bar or something.

    The main concern I would have with their 3 year expiration policy is – What happens if the relationship with Barclays ends? That happened in the Netherlands a few years ago (there was a thread on FT), M&M didn’t get another CC issuer for the Netherlands, and the expiration policy kicked in. Everyone was basically told, “You’re SOL.” I’d be concerned with that possibility, depending on how quickly I’d be able to earn enough miles for the award I’d want.

  16. My wife signed up through your link and got instant approval! I got mine last year during the 50k signup. Will use these points and SPG transfers to fly 1st class home from Germany summer 2015. Thanks Lucky, love the blog!

  17. The information about when M&M miles expire that people are posting range from misleading to simply incorrect. In order to prevent miles from expiring three years after they have been earned you need to make at least one charge of at least one dollar every month since the first month you have the card. Miss a month and there is no making it up. Miles will start expiring and there is no way to stop it.

    That being said in my experience this rule is not being enforced if for no other reason that the credit card reports out activity per billing cycle while the rules are based on a calendar month so LH cannot possibly know if you actually made a charge each month since your billing cycle isn’t synchronized the way it would need to be to know this. Rather than fix the problem, they seem to be letting the requirement slide so long as you are charging on an ongoing basis. But of course there is no guarantee this will continue.

    The redemption levels are high, the co-pays substantial, but you can, at least so far, generally find seats if you plan ahead so it a good program for when you really gotta get there. But you have to be willing to keep the credit card in your wallet and use it consistently without fail or risk the consequences.

  18. Sorry I didn’t see the earlier post which is substantially correct, thought not entirely, since it is possible if you only make one charge a month and the timing is such that both cycles will end up in one calendar month.

    Because most US programs only require a single transaction, not one every month, to extent miles it is often stated incorrectly this is the case with LH.

    Again apologies. The site wasn’t displaying all comments for a couple of minutes and I missed the post that was pretty much right.

  19. It can be very difficult to use M+M miles efficiently. The surcharges are ridiculous, often more than it would cost simply to buy a revenue ticket. I’m now sitting on 60,000 miles that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to use.

    Also, note that UA has basically stopped opening any saver J award space on ps, so if you think you’re going to burn 35,000 LH miles to fly lie-flats between JFK and SFO/LAX, forget about it.

  20. Does anyone know if you can get the bonus on this card a second time? I had the card this time last year and cancelled it about six months ago. The terms are a little unclear: The bonus “may not be available if you already have or have had an account with us.”

  21. With the surcharges this is an extremely weak card in comparison to an Alaska card…………coulda….woulda….shoulda………

  22. Any details on the companion ticket? Is it only for revenue? Only for Coach? Where can I find the complete info on it?

    Thanks!

  23. Hey Lucky– any idea if the free companion ticket is upgradeable? I did a little searching on the Miles & More site and couldn’t find anything… not sure if the companion ticket books into the same fare bucket as the paid fare. Also, for anyone interested, it lists 2miles/$spent on M&M integrated airline partners as a benefit– from the website, these are the airlines: Adria Airways, AirDolomiti, Austrian Airlines Group, Brussels Airlines,
    Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Lufthansa Regional, Lufthansa Private Jet, Luxair and SWISS

  24. @ Apu — The companion ticket is economy class only, and you have to book a minimum of an “H” fare. The big catch is that you still have to pay the taxes and fuel surcharges on the companion ticket, so I would say it’s almost never worth it.

  25. I agree that a combo of this card with 50K bonus and having an SPG account is a way to go. Just don’t forget that LX F can only be booked by M&M Senator and HON Circle members now 🙁

    @ Lucky – since M&M only charges $60 to change/cancel an award, have you ever tried a strategy of booking a flight using M&M in advance and then, if they release space to *A two weeks out, rebooking using a *A program that charges lower fees and then cancelling M&M award?

  26. Will LH let you you buy a Business ticket and then use miles to upgrade FC as a non-elite?

  27. @ JustSaying —

    That should be possible although I don’t know if it makes sense given how expensive it is. For example, to upgrade from Business to First on Europe-N.America, it’s 50,000 miles (one way). Additionally, “[u]pgrades on LH are not possible from booking classes P and Z. Upgrades on LX from booking classes P and Z are possible for a surcharge of 20,000 miles.”

  28. @ Ivan Y — Haven’t tried it, but that’s an interesting idea. Risk would be that the space doesn’t return to inventory, which is definitely possible if seats are sold in the meantime.

  29. Not being able to check availability on the M&M site unless have sufficient miles in account to book is a frustration. I am hoping to catch a 1 way first class back from UK to US this summer. Seems to be better value to book through M&M than UA Mileage-Meh following the UA devalation of partners. The YQ and tax dif seems to only be about $100 but fewer miles through M&M. If only. I could check availability (shakes fist toward LH).

  30. @Levy Do you have LH status? Isn’t that required to book a LH FC award on LH? Can you book it thru Alaska?

  31. @ justSaying — You need to be at least a Senator Member to book Swiss first class, but even non-elites can book Lufthansa first class.

  32. @ Levy – you can search for award flights on M&M site without having enough miles. It just won’t let you go to the next step to see the final price/fees. You can call them to get that information though. They also don’t have a phone-booking fee.

  33. is the signup bonus only offered to US residents? i have Dutch friends who would love to take advantage of some of these signups!

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