Update 6/30/2014: The current sign-up bonus has been reduced to 35,000 miles. All links in this post go to the following offer:

Lufthansa Miles and More World MasterCard

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 sign-up bonuses that is worth a roundtrip flight to Europe from the US. Since it’s a valuable recurring offer I’m updating and adding more info to this series that will cover the basics of the Miles & More frequent flyer program and using 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!]

Get 50,000 Lufthansa miles - 2 flights within the US or 1 flight to Europe!

Get 50,000 Lufthansa miles – worth 2 flights within the US or 1 flight to Europe!

Lufthansa Miles & More Basics Series

Part 1: The Program and Award Chart

Part 2: Best Ways to Earn Lufthansa Miles

Part 3: 10 Great Uses of Lufthansa Miles

Part 4: Stopover & Open Jaw Rules

Part 5: How to Book Awards

Part 6: Maximizing the 3 Region Award Chart

Part 7: How to Avoid Paying High Fuel Surcharges

The increased 50,000 mile bonus offer for the Lufthansa Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard® is currently one of the best airline credit card offers on the market. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 within 90 days, and after meeting the spending requirement you will have enough miles for a round trip ticket to Europe from the US or two round trip flights within the continental US.

In my opinion this is a great offer considering it will get you a round trip award flight to Europe, if you end up grabbing this card be sure to read up on how to maximize your miles with this series!

Maximizing the 3 Region Award Chart

Miles & More’s 3 region awards can be a great value if you are planning an award that ONLY visits 3 regions. On the other hand the 3 region award can kick in when you don’t want it to on a 2 region award, making it a bad deal. By using the Star Alliance route map you can find direct flights from the regions you are visiting in order to not add an additional region or go over the maximum flight segments allowed.

A 3 region award lets you fly between 3 different regions on the award chart for a flat price of 100,000 miles. You can choose any 3 regions. Just remember that you cannot touch land in a 4th region or go over the maximum allowed flight segments for it to be a valid 3 Region Award.

Flight Segment Rules

You can have up to 4 segments per direction on a 3 region award, so you get up to 8 flight segments on a round trip ticket. Similar to a two region round trip award, the destination is considered the farthest city you visit. You are also allowed one stopover per award.

If you fly from the US to Sydney and Bangkok and then return home, Bangkok will be considered the destination because it is the farthest distance-wise from the origin city. You could have 4 flight segments on the way to Bangkok and 4 on the return, and also add a stopover in either direction!

3 Good Uses of a 3 Region Award

Round trip economy flight to Asia with two stopovers in any region–Europe, Africa, South America, etc.

 

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JFK – IST (stopover) – BKK (destination) – ARN (connection) – WAW (stopover) – JFK

JFK – IST (destination) – BKK (destination) – ARN (connection) – WAW (stopover) – JFK for 100,000 miles and $664 in taxes and fees.

You can book a round trip economy award to Asia and visit Europe twice–a stopover in each direction. If you booked a round trip to Asia using United miles you could only have 1 stopover. I didn’t try all route combinations, but if you can find direct flights between the regions you can visit ANY country on your way to Asia for only 100k miles.

This award would cost 130,000 miles if booked as 2 separate round trip awards saving you 30,000 miles.

Round trip economy flight to Australia and Asia with 1 stopover

 

SFO-SYD (destination) -BKK (destination)-NRT (stopover) - SFO

SFO-SYD (destination) -BKK (destination)-NRT (stopover) – SFO

SFO – SYD (stopover) – BKK (destination) – NRT (stopover) – SFO for 100,000 miles and $740 in taxes and fees

In this case, if you were to book this as separate one way awards, it would cost you 122,000 miles, so you are saving 22,000 miles using a 3 region award.

An economy round trip award to South America and South Africa + a stopover and open jaw in South America on your return.

 

IAH – EZE (stopover) – GRU (connection) – JNB – GRU (stopover/open jaw) – GIG – IAH

IAH – EZE (stopover) – GRU (connection) – JNB – GRU (stopover/open jaw) – GIG – IAH for 100,000 miles and $915 in taxes and fees

You could book an economy award that visits South America and South Africa. Plus you could add a stopover and open jaw in South America on your return direction.

This award would be 120,000 miles if booked as two separate round trip awards, so you can save 20,000 miles by using the 3 region award chart.

1 Bad Use of a 3 Region Award

Round trip economy flight to South America and Europe

 

JFK - GRU (stopover) - MUC (connection) - IST (stopover) - JFK

JFK – GRU (stopover) – MUC (connection) – IST (stopover) – JFK

JFK – GRU (destination) – MUC (connection) – IST (destination) – JFK for 100,000 miles and $242 in taxes and fees.

Since this is a circle ticket and there is not a stopover it would be cheaper to book it as 3 one-ways for 95,000 miles. Adding a stopover to a 3 region award generally makes the award worth more than booking it as one way awards.

Recap

Lufthansa’s 3 region award chart can offer some great values for 100,000 miles. With a little planning you can book an amazing award that covers 3 regions that includes a stopover and open jaw. The flexibility is limited to not going over the maximum number of segments or connecting through an additional region.

Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®

  • 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
  • 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. Please see Terms and Conditions for complete details

Application Link: Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®

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