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.
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.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2022 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.