Update 6/30/2014: The current sign-up bonus has been reduced to 35,000 miles.

The current 50,000 Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard® will end on December 15, 2013If you were thinking of grabbing this card while the bonus offer is high, this week would be the time to do so.

I’ve been researching the ins and outs of Lufthansa’s mileage program and some of the best uses of Lufthansa miles and personally I think this sign-up offer is well worth it. An added benefit is that it is a Barclaycard which means it opens the opportunity to spread your card applications across other issuers like Chase, Citi, and Amex.

I was on the fence about whether to apply for this card or the Barclays Arrival World MasterCard during my last round of applications. I ended up going for the Barclay Arrival card because I wanted to earn some straight cash back that I can redeem on any travel, but after exploring some of the options with Lufthansa’s 3 regions awards and the immense value you can get out of one award…I am rethinking my decision.

Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard® Offer Details

You will earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase and an additional 30,000 miles after you spend $5,000 in 90 days. Here are some of the card’s additional perks:

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • With 50,000 award miles you can redeem a round-trip award flight to Hawaii, Europe or the Caribbean!
  • Cardholders receive a Companion Ticket annually
  • Enjoy 2 award miles per $1 on Miles & More integrated airline ticket purchases and 1 award mile per $1 spent everywhere else
  • No mileage expiration with monthly qualifying purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $79 annual fee NOT waived the first year

Application Link: Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard® [expired]

Lufthansa is one of the best airlines in the world, and once you fly in their premium cabin flights you will realize that it is an experience to be had–and hard to match. In the past I have mostly focused on using United miles to maximize award trips with stopovers, but the devaluation last month is a reminder that it is always good to diversify your miles and learn about new programs. This insures that you always have something to fall back on.

With the new United devaluations taking effect February 2014, earning 50,000 Lufthansa miles is a great way to book premium cabin flights in the future. United is increasing partner awards in business/first class by up to 60%. After the devaluation you can pretty much forget about booking premium partner awards using United miles.

There is a lot of talk about the high fuel surcharges and other fees on Miles & More awards, but these can be avoided by booking flights on the handful of airlines that have low or no fuel surcharges.

Airlines that have no/low fuel surcharges:

  • US Airways (all flights)
  • United (domestic flights)
  • Polish LOT
  • TAM
  • TACA
  • Air New Zealand
  • Avianca

For example you can book a round trip economy flight to Europe on Polish LOT for 50,000 miles and ~$200 in taxes and fees. Plus you can include a stopover both on the way to your destination and the way back! This means you can visit 3 European cities on one award for no extra cost.

 

Only 50k for a rountrip economy flight to 3 European cities

Only 50k for a round-trip economy flight to 3 European cities

There are some real sweet spots in the Miles & More award chart, like the 50,000 miles round trip economy award to Europe. This award price is less than both United and American Airlines. With Lufthansa miles you also get access to extra premium award seats on Lufthansa, Swiss, LOT, other Miles & More members.

Another great use of the miles is to book a First Class one way flight within the US on United for only 17,000 miles and only $2.50 in taxes (no fuel surcharges). You can get a First Class one way flight on United’s premium service flights between LAX/SFO and JFK which has a flat bed. This is 7,000 miles cheaper than using United miles and US Airways doesn’t price out one way awards so you would have to book a round trip for 50,000 miles.

 

United ps service

United’s premium service with flat bed

Lufthansa also has very generous stopover and open jaw rules that allow you to book some awesome award trips. You are allowed 2 stopovers and 2 open-jaws on round trip awards. Essentially you can book a single round trip award and visit 3 cities in any one region for no additional miles.

If you are ever booking an award and are short on miles you can transfer Starwood points to your Lufthansa Miles & More account and receive a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 transferred. By having either the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express you can be earning points that have the flexibility of either getting you free hotel nights or Lufthansa flights (or any partner airlines).

Recap

The current high 50,000 Premier Miles & More World MasterCard® is published to end on December 15, 2013. This if the highest offer on this card and has been offered twice this year and there is no saying for sure but if you don’t apply this time it may be back in the future as it seems to be one of Barclays premier airline credit cards.

Grabbing this card is a great way to diversify your miles in preparation for United’s upcoming devaluation. With Lufthansa miles you will get access to more award space (better than United miles) on premium awards on Miles & More alliance members. Plus Lufthansa miles offer some great values like 50k round trip to Europe and 35k for domestic First Class on a United premium service flat bed.

Between this card and Barclays other top card, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, these are two great offer coming from Barclays. Check out my credit cards page if you are looking to add some other offers to a round of applications.

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About the author

Rand Shoaf

Introduced to traveling at a young age, Rand has since traveled to over 45 countries. Learning how to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses in college has allowed him to earn millions of travel miles and points. Using the same tips and tricks he writes about here has ultimately allowed him to explore the word for pennies on the dollar.