Lufthansa and MBNA have extended the current offer for the Miles & More credit card. It was due to end on 30th November but will now end tomorrow, 15th December.
As I recently re-applied for this card myself – and got the bonus for a third time! – I thought it was worth running through it.
Normally the sign-up bonus is a dull 1,500 miles. However, until tomorrow you will receive 10,000 miles.
The card has no fee. The representative APR is 22.9% variable. This is 6% higher than it was a year ago and is a response to the cut in interchange fees.
The bonus miles are paid in two instalments:
1,500 miles with your first purchase (as per normal)
8,500 miles when you spend £1,000 within 90 days
You will also receive a £15 discount code valid against a future Lufthansa flight booking. I would not value this highly as such codes are commonly available as regular HFP readers will know.
What does the card earn?
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.
What else do I need to know?
The card has no annual fee.
The issuer is MBNA, which also issues the American Airlines, Etihad, Emirates, Virgin 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 few years ago).
In theory, you cannot churn MBNA cards except for the Virgin Atlantic ones (and that is a recent policy change).
If you have already had the Miles & More card, you should not receive a second sign-up bonus if you apply again although they are happy to give you the card. In reality, if it has been a few years, you may find that you do get it. I applied in October to replace my bmi Diamond Club MasterCard and I DID get the bonus. This was the third time over about 7 years or so that I have got the bonus.
What can I do with Miles & More miles?
I would only recommend this card to someone who already has an active Miles & More account where they credit their Star Alliance flight. This is because 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 ….
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, or 0.625 if you transfer 20,000 Starwood points at once to get the 5,000 miles bonus.
My situation is not typical. Because I am self-employed I can pay my income tax on a credit card. I can also pay VAT and a range of other taxes on plastic. This allows to put through enough to generate enough miles for a good redemption.
And, by ‘good redemption’, I mean Lufthansa First Class. I have a soft spot for this product, with the excellent First Class Terminal in Frankfurt and the superb food and drink offered. Lufthansa allows one-way redemptions and I can put enough spend through the card to generate a decent trip for myself – sorry family! – for 2018. I already have a Lufty F in the diary for 2017 ….
Lufthansa First Class reward seats are tricky to get via other Star Alliance partners because they are only made available two weeks before departure. Booking via Miles & More I can take my pick in advance.
There are things you can do with smaller amounts of Miles & More miles. Miles & More does runs monthly mileage sales which often have very good bargains – see this post for example. 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. In general, though, it is best used for long haul premium redemptions.
You can find out more about this sign-up bonus on the Miles & More website here. Remember that you need to apply by tomorrow in order to get the 10,000 miles bonus.
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.