Update 6/30/2014: The current welcome bonus has been reduced to 35,000 miles. All links in this post go to the following offer:
Application Link: Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®
- Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
- Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
- Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
- Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
- Annual Companion Ticket after first purchase
- 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 airlines and other partners
- $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members
The 50,000 mile Lufthansa Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard® offer is currently one of the best airline credit card offers available. It’s one of the few welcome bonuses that is worth a roundtrip flight to Europe from the US. Over the next few weeks, I’ll publish a series of article focusing on the Lufthansa Miles and More program. I’ll cover how the Lufthansa Miles & More program works and some of the most powerful ways of redeeming the miles for award tickets. This post will cover the best ways to earn Lufthansa miles.
[The current 50k offer is a limited time offer and published to end on June 30, 2014. As always, if you decide to apply for the credit card through my links the support is greatly appreciated!]
Lufthansa Miles & More Basics Series
Part 1: The Program and Award Chart
Part 3: 10 Great Uses of Lufthansa Miles
Part 4: Stopover & Open Jaw Rules
Part 5: How to Book Awards
Best Ways to Earn Lufthansa Miles
With any frequent flyer program there are numerous ways of earning their airline miles. From co-branded credit cards, flying on promotional earning routes, to earning extra miles through partners, each has its own benefits and one may fit your needs better than the other.
Often a great way to get a head start on earning airline miles is to apply for the airline’s credit card, in this case the Miles & More Premier World MasterCard. After building up a sizable balance from the welcome bonus you can easily continue to earn the airlines’ miles through various earning opportunities. Below I’ve outlined some of the best ways to earn Lufthansa Mile & More miles.
Miles & More Credit Card - 50,000 Bonus Miles
The Miles & More Premier World MasterCard is currently offering an increased welcome bonus of 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 within 90 days of account opening. This is 30,000 miles higher than the normal offer on this card, and Barclays has historical increased the bonus twice a year for around a month at a time. The current offer is slated to last until June 30, 2014.
Application Link: Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®
With the miles earned from the bonus you will have enough for:
- 2 round trip economy flights within the continental US,
- 3 First Class one-way flights on United within the continental US
- 1 one-way Business Class flight to Europe from Dallas for 55,000 miles
- 1 round trip economy flight to Europe from the US for 50,000 miles
Miles & More has a competitive award chart that offers some great values on both domestic and international award flights. You’ll have to pay attention to which partner airlines you redeem miles on because the program does pass on fuel searches with some airlines. I’ll cover this more and show you the ways to avoid paying high fuel surcharges on Miles & More award tickets.
Lufthansa is a member of Star Alliance, which means you can use your miles on any of the 26 partner airlines including United for domestic flights. You can fly to almost anywhere in the world and book flights in some of the best cabins using Star Alliance partner airlines.
Lufthansa Miles & More miles can be used to book one-way awards at half the round trip price. You also get very generous stopover and open-jaw rules with the Miles & More program and you can book up to 2 stopovers and 2 open-jaws on a round trip reservation. These are among the most valuable miles for making creative and flexible award routings.
The $79 annual fee is not waived in the first year, but it seems worth it since you’ll get at least 2 free domestic economy flights from the 50,000 mile bonus. If you are in search of premium cabin flights you will also get a much better access to premium awards on Lufthansa and SWISS.
Earn 500 Miles for Subscribing to Miles & More’s Newsletter
When you create a Miles & More membership account you can opt in for their newsletter and earn 500 bonus miles. This is a quick and easy way to get some miles in your account.
500 miles for subscribing to the newsletter
You also need miles in your account to have access to the award search tool, so be sure to sign-up and subscribe to the newsletter if you want to start searching for award tickets and routing.
Earn Miles from Flights
You can earn two various types of Miles & More miles. The first are miles that can be used for award flights which I will cover in depth here, and the second are miles (EQMs) which qualify for elite status which will be covered in a future post. For most US based travelers it’s likely that award miles will be the most easily earned and most useful.
Lufthansa miles can be earned via the Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®, flying with Miles & More partner airlines, and through their partners. These miles can be redeemed for free award flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, and even shopping. You can find all the ways to use award miles here.
You’ll earn miles when you fly on any Miles & More partner airlines, and all you have to do is enter your Miles & More number at time of booking. If you happen to forget this step you can always request flight miles on previously flown flights.
Miles & More has 38 partner airlines which you’ll be able to earn miles with, and you’ll have access to all Star Alliance partners plus 7 unique Miles & More partner airlines. Check out the Lufthansa Miles & More site for a full list of all partner airlines and earning details.
Each partner airline has its own earning rates for different booking classes and also tells you which miles you will earn, either status miles or award miles. Take note that not all partner airlines earn status miles, and in some cases you may only earn award miles or partial status miles (e.g. none on Jet Airways and 25% on Turkish Airlines).
When you fly with a partner airline you’ll want to know which booking class you’re flying on in order to determine how many miles you will earn. To insure you earn the miles on partner flights you can enter your Miles & More number at time of booking or present your membership card at time of check-in.
For instance, you can earn both award and status mile when you fly on ANA.
And the number of miles earned on each flight segment will be determined by the booking class, for example you will earn anywhere from 3X the flight distance to .25X the flight distance flying on ANA.
Earn Miles for Hotel Stays
You can earn Miles & More miles when you stay at most hotels when you opt to earn Miles & More miles as the earning option. You’ll earn 500 miles per stay at most hotel brands, but each hotel has its own earning rate and some offer 1X to 4X per dollar spent. Note this may not be the best option, but depending on what kind of miles or points you want to earn it’s something to consider.
Miles & More also publishes promotional hotel offers and in the past have offered 5,000 bonus miles for every two stays at Marriott and a cross promotion with IHG’s Big Win promotion.
You can look up all Miles & More partners using this page to find extra mile earning opportunities.
Currently a few of the better ones include
earning triple miles and a free upgrade at Jumeirah Hotels or up to 4 miles per dollar spent on Hilton stays.
If you only fly Lufthansa a couple time a year or two earning miles through partner hotels stays can be a great way to top off your account to cover an award if you're short on miles.
Special Promotions with other Partners
You can find promotions with various mile earning opportunities from hotel stays, car rentals, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, and more. From time to time there are some cheap mileage earning opportunities that pop up on this page.
Earn Miles through Shopping
Miles & More offers various ways to earn miles through shopping, however most of these opportunities are for residents of Europe. However, if you frequently travel through Europe you can earn miles for every Euro spent at Lufthansa WorldShop (online and at German airports), HEINEMANN Duty Free, Heathrow Rewards, and other shops.
Their shopping portal is for European based members and if you can read the terms and conditions in German, then it may be useful for some.
Earn Lufthansa Miles Shopping at Amazon
It's also possible to earn Lufthansa miles shopping at Amazon. I haven’t done this personally and the Flyertalk thread on this is dated, but in short you can indirectly earn Lufthansa miles for Amazon purchases using a German shopping portal called Payback.
Again, given that the purchases have to be made through Amazon’s German website this way of earning miles is more obviously more geared for Germans. You’re likely better off leveraging a 5X earning card to purchase Amazon gift cards from a cash back portal in the US.
The Bottom Line
We are lucky in the US that we have such a easy way to earn Lufthansa miles with the great 50,000 bonus mile offer on the Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®. In Germany the best offer is only for 15,000 miles and usually it only offer 4,000 bonus miles!
Apart from the credit card you can earn miles from flying, hotels, rental cars, shopping, and more. If you’re looking to earn Lufthansa miles it’s always worth keeping an eye out for promotions on their current promotions page.