Review: Lufthansa Miles and More Mastercard

The nuts and bolts of this deal were covered by my colleague Milos here. Here's my take on the card and in general, the Miles and More program:

Standard to most airline-branded cards, the Miles and More Mastercard offers 2x miles for every $1 spent on Lufthansa miles and 1 point per $1 on spend anywhere else. Normally, that wouldn't excite me at all, but there are two particular attributes of this card that I like: The first is that although Barclay's normally only provides a 20,000 mile sign up bonus for this card, recently this has jumped back up to 50,000 miles after $5,000 in minimum spend.

As I've noted here before, Lufthansa miles aren't the greatest when it comes to redeeming on their own flights due to high fuel surcharges. Flying from North America to Germany will cost you upwards of $600 in economy and closer to $1000 in premium cabins. While it might be worth it to some of you, I've found that the most advantageous way to use Lufthansa miles is for United flights in premium cabins, especially the PS flights to New York. This is the second attribute of Miles and More that appeals to me so much.

Compared to the 50,000 mile round trip redemption rate on United for their own flights, the same flight only costs 35,000 miles with Miles and More miles. This is a 30% savings in mileage redemptions, plus with no fuel surcharges and only $2.50 in taxes per segment. You can reduce this even further by 1000 miles by booking the trip as two one-ways: Lufthansa will only charge 17,000 miles per way. Give it up for German efficiency.

After making the $5,000 in minimum spend, the 55,000 bonus miles from this signup would be more than enough to get you three one-way segments in United's excellent lie-flat PS service. For the $79 annual fee, that's a winning proposition and enough to make me pull the trigger on this card.

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