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Can You Really Earn More Miles with Lufthansa Miles And More?

Ok, so I am getting more and more annoyed at British Airways’ antics. First, the introduction of paid food on short-haul economy flights, followed by the stealthy removal of self-select seating, and now the incessant striking playing havoc with people’s travel plans. Sadly, their loyalty club is the one that offers the most opportunity to earn airmiles in the UK and fly business for less than economy. Maybe I should consider switching allegiance to the Lufthansa Miles and More program!

British Airways redemptions using AVIOS
Source: PIxabay
V
Lufthansa
Source: Pixabay

How do the other frequent flyer programs compare?

It is time to establish if there is an alternative UK frequent flyer program which can allow us to fly business class, without having to wait years for the privilege. I am going to be looking at a number of options over the coming months to see how they compare with the British Airways Executive Club. I’m starting off with Lufthansa Miles and More to consider how feasible it is to rack up sufficient points for two people to fly business.

Last year, I earned 332,000 AVIOS principally from credit card churning and shopping at Top Cashback, so how realistic is it to replicate this in the Miles and More programme?

Introducing Miles and More

Miles and More is Europe’s biggest frequent flyer program. Whilst it is technically the Lufthansa loyalty programme, as Lufthansa is part of Star Alliance, it allows you to earn points for flights on all Star Alliance airlines. This alliance includes some airline giants, such as Singapore Airlines, South African Airlines and Swiss. Download your FREE infographic showing you which airlines are part of the alliance.

Ways to earn

Flights

As many of you know, flying is not the way I earn  the bulk of my points, but if you are lucky enough to be a frequent flyer, check out the mileage accrual rates for each airline.

Lufthansa awards a fixed mileage amount for European flights, with points based on distance for international flights. Not all flights qualify though so be sure to check before booking.

Lufthansa flight
Source: Pixabay

Likely miles: based on 2016 activity 1,810

Download the Miles and More App

Download the Miles and More App before 30th September and you will bag 500 Miles.  I have just done it and it was super easy! Don’t forget to do it for your partner or spouse too!

Likely earnings: 1,000

Lufthansa Miles and More AMEX card

The Miles and More credit card is a disappointment compared to the British Airways Amex or Gold Amex, which offer sign up bonuses of 26,000 and 22,000 respectively if you use these referral links. The card offers a meagre 1,500 bonus points for signing up which is certainly not worth the effort of churning every six months.

The earnings rate is however attractive and matches that of the British Airways Amex at 1.5 points per £1 spent on the Amex. It also comes with a handy VISA which awards 1 point per £1 of spend. As an additional bonus, you get 2 points per £1 for the first six months on the AMEX.

The card carries no annual fee (compared to £195 for the British Airways Premium AMEX) and cardholders’ miles are protected from expiry. This means it doesn’t matter if it takes you four years to earn enough to fly business.

Assuming £2,000 of spend per month (including my business expenses) this would earn 43,500 points in the first year.

Likely earnings: 43,500

Shopping

Although there are numerous shopping options for Miles and More customers, the two biggest sources of my shopping earnings in previous years (Avios and Topcashback) do not link to Miles and More. This means the shopping potential is seriously limited for those based in the UK. You can find the full shopping list here but I have indicated the best option for UK travel hackers below (pitiful I know!). Many of the other options are more geared to those living in Germany.

Shopping bag for in flight shopping
Source: Pixabay

Heathrow Rewards

If you join Heathrow Rewards before  the end of the year, you’ll receive 100 extra Heathrow Reward points. You can also earn a further 1,500 points when you spend £100 or more in a day at Heathrow. Now there is an incentive to do your Christmas shopping at the airport! You need to add promotion code MMAO17 when you register to qualify.

Each £1 earns 1 point which converts into 1 mile in increments of 250.

Likely earnings: 100

Hotels

Miles and More has links with a number of hotel chains whereby you can earn miles. You simply need to set your preferences within the relevant hotel scheme to Miles and More and present your Miles and More card on check in. This may deny you the opportunity to earn points in the respective hotel’s reward program, so if you have a preferred chain, please check the terms first.

Hotels include H-Hotels, Best Western, Marriott, Aloft and many more and earnings varies between one to two miles per $ spent or a minimum of 500 points. Admittedly, this could be quite a lucrative way to rack up miles if you are willing to sacrifice rewards and potential tier status in the individual hotel reward schemes.

Aloft Hotel, Liverpool
Aloft Hotel, Liverpool intimate seating area

Sadly, neither Kaligo or Rocketmiles, which are two great earnings opportunities for AVIOS, link to Miles and More.

Likely earnings: 0

Car hire

You can earn miles with a variety of car rental firms including Alamo, Avis and Sixt. You will earn upwards of 500 miles when you hire a car. The only downside is that you have to search prices from each company individually, so it is a painful process.

Likely earnings: 1,000

Total earnings

A not so whopping 45,600. Pretty shabby in comparison to that 332,000 AVIOS!

Business class redemptions

There is one slight sliver of hope however. Those of you who have flown business class with British Airways will know that those redemptions need a lot of points. Our recent flights to Seoul required 150,000 points plus a companion voucher.

Seoul for less tips
Seoul Hanok

Lufthansa on the other hand, offer regular business class deals. I’ve seen Europe to Beijing flights for as low as 40,000 and Europe to Chicago was 55,000 when I searched on the 21st August. Paying for two using miles clearly uses less than the cost of one flight with British Airways and looks considerably better value. Of course, the problem is accumulating enough points to be able to book the flights in the first place.

Although my possible earnings would be enough to grab that business class flight to Beijing, it is going to take me two years to book flights for two unless I fly solo.

Other Lufthansa Miles and More key facts

Companion voucher

The British Airways Companion voucher is the passport to flying business for less than economy. Earn enough AVIOS for one to fly business, bag the companion voucher and then just pay taxes and fees for both. In addition, I can accumulate points from both my account and that of my husband’s to meet the AVIOS needed.

Miles and More offers a companion award but this only allows you to book an accompanying traveller for 50% less miles and you only qualify if you have achieved Hon or Senator status in the program. To qualify for these, you will need at least 100,000 status miles from flights, so no use if you are not a frequent flyer.

Miles and More also offers no household account option, so a couple needs to accumulate sufficient points in individual respective accounts to fly together. You can also accumulate them in one account and book flights for both but it is a little tricky if you already have vastly different balances in two accounts.

Miles and More companion voucher
Take your loved one with you on your Companion Voucher

Usability

One last gripe I have with Lufthansa Miles and More is that the website is not great. When you wish to conduct certain activities like investigating redemption options, it bizarrely reverts to German. I find myself wondering if I am on the wrong site, and whilst I passed my GCSE German with flying colours, I hate using it and frankly cannot be bothered to translate.

Verdict

So who is the winner?

Sadly, it is a slam dunk. British Airways wins by a mile, because of the flexibility of the household account, more ways to earn and the companion voucher. It is possible to earn business class flights with Lufthansa but it is likely to take a lot longer because there simply aren’t enough earning options in the UK. I am going to persevere with them but don’t think I will be ditching my primary earnings strategy just yet.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 80 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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12 comments

  1. This is a very candid post and gives some honest opinions. The tips that you have underlined are also great. We have not really made much use of frequent flyer programmes as we tend to fly different airlines all the time. But will definitely pick a pointer or two from your post and start working towards this.

  2. Oooh intriguing, I have to admit, the breadth of this conversation was way over my head because I don’t do any mileage strategizing but in the same vein, you package it in a way that is approachable to newbies like me. I have a friend looking to build her mileage so I will send this to her immediately, such a great resource!

  3. Your tips are so great. Usualy I fly with our national company Tarom, but they have a loyalty club as well. When I fly, they always ask us to fill out a form and subscribe to their program. But as I prefer to fly less and stay more in a location, I use flight once or maybe twice a year. What tips do you have in this case?

  4. I’ve never used my miles. For a long time it was so infrequent that I flew that they expired before I got to them. I have started using a card that does points, and I like it! However, I’ve not heard of Miles and More, so I’ll have to check those out! I LOVE flying Lufthansa anyway!

  5. I use miles for British Airways but to be honest they don’t go to far these days and I am getting annoyed with them too. There flights are super expensive and as you said you have to pay for food which I don’t think is on. I do use my card for every though like you said. I have not heard of miles and More and it is even bad that it is Europe’s biggest frequent flyer program and I don’t know. I have flown Lufthansa a few times before and after this I might consider changing.

  6. I have a love hate relationship with British Airways. I have a ton of points with them and in the beginning (about 5 years ago) it was so easy to find flights and the point system was very reasonable. Fast forward to present, and I haven’t used my points in over 3 years. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find decent flights. This post was very informative and I am going to look into my points again 🙂

    • Remember you can use them on American Airlines and other oneworld carriers so you may find better availability on those (and lower taxes if you avoid using them to fly into or out of the UK)

  7. The premiere membership loyalty card by Lufthansa does provide rewards but at times it can get cumbersome to navigate through the process of utilizing the same for anything apart from miles. I have faced issued where M&M miles could not be redeemed for partners’ products.

  8. Megan Jerrard

    Thanks for the honest comparison on Lufthansa Miles and More program – ugh I had no idea that British Airways were starting to become so stingy with their price policies. Sad that they don’t measure up to British Airways as it would have been nice for you to find a comparable program for your primary earnings, but interested to see how you go as you persevere.

  9. We are just starting to use Miles and More. I wasnt very familiar with it until very recently. I agree that the website does need some help and optimization

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