Convert your miles to status miles. Once per year, you will have the ability to convert award miles you’ve earned with the card to status miles at a 5:1 ratio. You can convert between 5,000 and 25,000 award miles in total. If you’re a little bit short on reaching the status that you would like, this is an easy way to do it.
Lounge access passes. Every year, you will receive two certificates to enter the Lufthansa Business Class Lounges. There’s nothing fancy about them, but you’ll find free drinks, some light hot food, and salty snacks.
$89 annual fee. This isn’t an overly high annual fee, but it isn’t waived the first year. With many credit card options available, you’ll have one year without an annual fee to see if the benefits of the card are worth it for you. In this case, you’ll need to decide before you apply. The annual fee is waived for Senator and HON Circle members.
Relatively low earning rates. You’ll earn 1 mile per dollar spent on most purchases and 2 miles per dollar spend on Miles & More ticket purchases. There are other cards available that are more competitive for spending on providing you don’t think you’ll get enough value out of the pros of this card to justify paying the annual fee.
Right now the only really good reason to get the card is for the sign-on bonus so you can build up some Miles & More miles, or, if you’re a heavy Lufthansa flier, to take advantage of the feature that helps you reach Miles & More elite status.
The companion ticket that comes with the card is almost useless for travel from the United States.
While it promises you can bring along a companion when you buy Economy Class airfare from the U.S. to anywhere Lufthansa flies in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East, the reality is they restrict it so heavily it’s just not going to save you much, or any money at all.
That’s because you can’t use it with the cheapest Economy fares.
Instead, you need to buy an ‘H’ class or higher fare to use it, and those fares are often $2,000 or more roundtrip.
That’s almost double the price of the cheapest fares, so you’re often better off just buying two Economy tickets on your own, without the companion certificate.
As a Miles & More credit card holder, you can convert up to 25,000 of the miles you’ve earned from purchases on the card into status miles at a 5 to 1 ratio. So, 25,000 miles earned via the card can get you 5,000 status miles.
Here’s how many status miles you need to reach each level:
So if you fly Lufthansa a lot and think you’re on the edge of being able to reach the next status tier, using the card to earn enough status miles at the 5 to 1 rate can be worth the choice. Just beware you’re going to need to spend a lot ($25,000 in a year) just to earn 5,000 status miles.
Miles & More is a grouping of multiple airlines within Star Alliance.
The program was launched in 1993 by Lufthansa, and now includes:
You can also use Miles & More miles to fly any Star Alliance airline, including United and Air Canada.
The catch with Miles & More is that it imposes big fuel surcharges on awards across the Atlantic, so you could end up paying $500 or more on your ‘free’ award ticket.
But there are no fuel surcharges for flights within North and South America, so using Lufthansa miles for flights on United and Air Canada is a great option.
Miles & More has a special ‘domestic’ award chart that lets you book First Class seats on United flights within the mainland U.S. for just 35,000 miles roundtrip. That’s because Lufthansa considers United First Class to be a Business Class, and charges the lower Business Class price for those flights.
Compare that to the 50,000 miles you’d pay if you used United miles and you can see it’s a good deal.
Lufthansa miles are also a good deal if you want to fly Lufthansa First Class. Only members of Miles & More have access to book Lufthansa First Class awards more than a couple weeks in advance of the flight, so if that’s in your plans it’s helpful to have Miles & More miles around.
Outside of that though, unless you already earn a lot of Miles & More miles from flying Lufthansa, you’re probably not going to find much use for Lufthansa miles.
The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express earns points you can transfer into Lufthansa miles anytime.
The annual fee is a little higher at $95, but you earn points that are a lot more flexible because you can transfer them into miles with dozens of other airline programs, including American AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles, and Air Canada Aeroplan.
You can also use them for free hotel nights at all Starwood hotels, and the points also convert into Marriott Rewards points anytime, so you can book free nights at thousands of Marriott affiliated hotels.
That makes it an incredibly useful and versatile card, and while it doesn’t offer any Lufthansa perks, there are so few with the Miles & More Mastercard that you won’t miss much by using the Starwood Amex instead.
The downside is transferring points from Starwood to Lufthansa isn’t instant, but if you’re not in a hurry it’s a good deal.
If you’re just interested in flying Lufthansa with miles, a good bet is to earn United MileagePlus miles.
With United miles you can book Lufthansa flights for about the same mileage price as with Lufthansa Miles & More, but with the advantage that you don’t have to pay big fuel surcharges on awards.
And, United miles are a lot easier to rack up quickly.
You’ll pay 60,000 miles for a roundtrip flight to Europe in Economy Class, or 140,000 miles in Business Class.
And if you really want to rack up miles fast, you can get another bonus by signing up for a United MileagePlus Explorer Card.
The downside of this strategy is you won’t add to the Lufthansa miles you might already have, but if you’re looking to earn miles you can use for Lufthansa flights, this is a good way to go.
The Miles & More credit card is a niche card that won’t make sense for most people to get, or at least to keep beyond one year. The companion ticket isn’t very useful, and the only unique benefit of the card is the ability to earn miles toward Lufthansa status.
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