Lufthansa and MBNA have brought back a decent sign-up bonus for the Miles & More credit card.
Normally the bonus is a dull 1,500 miles. However, until 30th May, you will receive 11,500 miles.
These are paid in two instalments:
1,500 miles with your first purchase (as per normal)
10,000 miles when you spend £1,000 within 90 days
The cards come as a double-pack with an Amex and a Visa. The earnings rate is surprisingly good – 1.5 Miles & More miles per £1 on the Amex and 0.75 miles per £1 on the Visa.
You also receive a 33% miles bonus on ALL your spending for the first six months, on both cards. This takes the Amex up to 2 miles per £1, a very impressive earnings rate for a free card.
One of the key benefits of the Miles & More credit card is that it stops your Miles & More miles expiring. Without the card, your miles have a 3-year expiry. Unlike Avios, Miles & More miles expire after three years even if you have earned other miles in the meantime.
The card has no annual fee.
The issuer is MBNA, which also issues the American Airlines, Etihad, Emirates and United cards in the UK. They are generally quite good at accepting modest earners (my Mum, who is retired on a modest pension, got a BMI card with no problem a couple of years ago).
You cannot churn MBNA cards, though. If you have already had the Miles & More card, you will not receive a second sign-up bonus if you apply again – although they are happy to give you the card.
Miles & More miles only have value for long-haul redemptions, due to the crazy taxes on short-haul flights. These are often higher than the cost of buying a cash ticket outright ….
If you are a solo traveller, there might be some value in getting this card. A one-way in Business Class from the UK to, say, Dubai is only 30,000 Miles & More miles on Swiss, Lufthansa or Austrian. An 11,500 mile sign-up bonus would leave you 18,500 miles short, which would only require £9,250 of Amex spend at the ’2 miles per £1′ rate for the first six months.
Miles & More also runs monthly mileage sales, which often have very good bargains – see this post for example.
Miles & More is NOT an American Express Membership Rewards partner, so you cannot top up your balance directly using Amex points. The only option would be to transfer Amex points to Starwood and then to Miles & More, but that only gets you 0.5 M&M miles per 1 Amex point. You could, of course, also get the Starwood Amex card (review here) with a sign-up bonus 10,000 points and transfer those into 10,000 Miles & More miles. Lufthansa is also a Heathrow Rewards partner if you have any of those to convert.
(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)