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Q&A: How do I get to Germany with a mile credit card?

by on Fri February 24, 2012 • No Comment

Q: My wife and I would like to fly to Germany, to an area near Frankfurt. We want to leave Detroit and do the trip sometime over the next two years. Can we earn miles for a free ticket without flying, and what credit card is best for this?

A:  Frankfurt is a hub of Lufthansa and gets a lot of service from United Airlines as well, so a card that lets you earn miles for United would serve you best. United and Lufthansa are partners, so United miles can be used for Lufthansa flights.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is probably your best bet for earning United miles as you don’t travel enough to warrant the free checked bag or priority boarding benefits on the United Explorer credit card. The Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you transfer points into United miles 1:1, instantly, with no additional fees.
If you spend $3,000 on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (any kind of purchase, not just plane tickets) within 3 months they will deposit 50,000 points into your account. That’s almost enough for a roundtrip ticket to Germany on United and/or Lufthansa, which requires 60,000 miles.
Through your regular spending you should be able to reach 60,000 miles pretty quickly (card earns 1 point per dollar spent, 2 points per dollar on dining and travel). Then you can start searching for dates on that have availability for a free ticket. Once you find them transfer the points into United miles and book it.
Looking right now there are a decent number of dates with availability even on the daily nonstop flight Lufthansa has from Detroit to Frankfurt.
If you really want to juice your earning, have your wife apply for this card separately so she can earn the bonus as well. Just make sure you do it at a point when you think you can hit that $3,000 in spending within 3 months of getting her card.
If you have a mile credit card question you’d like answered, email us at
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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