Last chance for 10,000 Miles & More miles with the NEW Lufthansa payment card – and my experiences with it so far

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Of all the surprises that the miles and points industry threw up in 2018, I think Lufthansa launching a Diners Club charge card must be close to the top of the list.

This card comes with 10,000 Miles & More miles as a sign-up bonus but ONLY until 31st December.  It will drop to 5,000 miles in the New Year.  Given that you need to pay a £79 fee to apply, you should be jumping on the higher bonus.

You can find out more, and apply, here.

I now have the card and so I have a better idea of how it works.

New Lufthansa Miles & More UK charge card Diners Club

The new Lufthansa credit card really is from Diners Club!  And it isn’t a credit card.

Yes, the card that time forgot is back.  Unfortunately, just because the card is back, it doesn’t mean anyone is accepting it.

Diners Club was the first ever ‘deferred payment’ card, I think, but I can’t remember the last time I saw one before this launched and I’ve certainly never had one until now.  If you thought using American Express was tricky at times …..

The good news is that it is actually a double pack.  You ALSO receive a Mastercard, featuring a smart picture of the virtually unknown Boeing 747-800 with the extended upper deck:

New Lufthansa Miles & More UK charge card Diners Club

What is the card called?

The Miles & More Global Traveller Card

Who is behind the card?

The Miles & More Global Traveller cards are issued by Affiniture Cards Ltd which is Diners Club in disguise.

However, the companion Mastercard card is issued on behalf of Affiniture by Cornercard UK Ltd.  Cornercard is a Swiss bank which offers a Lufthansa-branded card in Switzerland.  This complex structure is required because Affiniture / Diners Club does not have a licence to issue a Mastercard itself.

What is the sign-up bonus?

10,000 Miles & More miles, until 31st December 2018.  This credits with your first purchase – there is no spend target to hit.

From 1st January it will drop to 5,000 Miles & More miles.

If you apply before 31st December you will also receive a voucher for a Lufthansa Business Lounge visit.  This would include the Lufthansa lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2.   The voucher is valid for six months.  (I haven’r received mine yet, despite having had the card for a couple of weeks, so I don’t know if there is additional small print.)

What is the on-going earning rate?

This is the interesting bit.

You earn 1.25 miles per £1 spent.  This is a VERY good rate for a Mastercard, even one with an annual fee.  It isn’t as good as the market leading Virgin Flying Club Reward+ Mastercard (1.5 Virgin Atlantic miles per £1) but the fee is 50% lower.

What is the annual fee?


Is there a foreign exchange fee?

Yes, 2.99%

What is the interest rate?

There isn’t one.  This is a charge card and NOT a credit card.

You MUST repay your balance in full each month.

You MUST pay by Direct Debit.  There is no option for cheque payments or even manual online payments.

What the heck does this bit of the T&C’s mean?

“My Mastercard says pre-paid on it, do I have to add funds before I can use it?”

“No. The card works in the same way as your Diners Club Charge Card with all charges and credits appearing on your monthly statement. The card is automatically “loaded” with cash from your account for every transaction you make. You don’t have to do anything, nor do you have to have a credit balance on your Mastercard.”

What this means is that Diners Club will, in effect, load your pre-paid Mastercard a fraction of a second before the money is authorised for the payment.  You don’t need to do anything out of the ordinary.  The risk here is that you get a higher rate of declined transactions because each transaction must be authorised TWICE – once by Mastercard and then a split second later by Diners Club as it decides whether to load your pre-paid Mastercard or not.

Can I get a supplementary card?

No. They are not allowed.  No idea why.

Is there an app?  Can I use it with Apple Pay?

There is no app.  You can use the Mastercard with Apple Pay / Android Pay, but not the Diners Club card.

Any other problems I may face?

You do not automatically get Section 75 protection if a retailer goes bust as this is not a credit card. I don’t know if Diners Club is voluntarily offering cover, as Amex does to charge card holders.

The Mastercard, as a pre-paid card, may not work at places requiring preauthorisation, eg hotels and car rental outlets.

Changing the PIN on the Mastercard is easy, as it can be done at any bank.  Changing the PIN on the Diners Club card requires you to use a cash machine run by Cardtronicsthere is a list here.  If your local corner shop has an ATM, it is probably from Cardtronics.

One other lesson I learnt the hard way – after you call to activate your Diners Club card, you need to wait until the next day before using it or changing the PIN.  The Mastercard activates immediately when you call.  Online activation is not possible.  The good news is that Diners Club doesn’t try to sell you anything when you call to activate.

One other point to note is that, for some reason, the Mastercard looks cheap.  Your details are not embossed on the front, they are printed on – but in a font which makes it look like embossing!

What other benefits do I get with my Miles & More Global Traveller Card?

You can access a curated portfolio of airport lounges for £15 per visit.

Does this credit card stop my Miles & More miles from expiring?

Yes.  Miles & More has a VERY aggressive expiry policy – your miles expire 36 months after you earn, irrespective of what activity you have.

There are only two ways to stop expiration.  You either need Miles & More elite status or you need to hold a Miles & More payment card.  Miles expiry will stop when:

  • You have been a holder of the Diners Club card for at least 3 months and
  • You make at least one miles-earning purchase on the card each month going forward

Is this card better than the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express for getting Lufthansa miles?

Here is an important thing to remember:  this card has the same earnings rate (1.25 Miles & More miles per £1) as you get indirectly via the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card, which has a £75 fee. 

The only caveat is that you need to convert your Starwood / Marriott points in chunks of 60,000 (£20,000 of card spend) to get the 1.25 Miles & More miles per £1 rate.  On the other hand, Starwood / Marriott points are MASSIVELY more flexible than Miles & More miles because there are another 40 airline partners plus of course hotel room redemption options.

If you have Lufthansa status – and so don’t have a problem with miles expiry – the Starwood Amex may be a better option.  You should sign up for the first year, of course, because you will get 10,000 miles for just £79.

For the rest of us who are worried about our Miles & More miles expiring, we are stuck with this new Diners Club package.


This is one of the oddest card packages to come along in a long time ….. perhaps ever!

The bottom line is a simple one, however.  If you want to protect your Miles & More miles from the three-year hard expiry, and don’t have Miles & More status, you MUST get this card and use it once per month.  Your miles are then protected.

If you have Miles & More status you don’t need this card.  It is worth getting it JUST for the sign-up bonus (£79 for 10,000 miles is a decent deal) but you can then happily cancel it and stick with the Starwood Amex as a more effective way of earning 1.25 Miles & More miles per £1, with the extra benefit of also being able to use your points for hotels or other airlines.

Personally …. my Mastercard now sits in my office desk.  Once a month I will buy my lunch on it.  The Diners Club card is hidden away and unlikely to ever be used.  The £79 fee I paid for Year 1 was worth it purely for the 10,000 miles sign-up bonus, so I have no problems with that.

I am less keen to pay £79 per year going forward but that will depend on when we find a good opportunity to spend our existing 200,000 Miles & More miles.  Given that it is never easy using Avios during school holidays for a family of four, having access to all of the 29 Star Alliance airlines via Miles & More is worth having.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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.

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  1. Some may not be old enough to remember that before British Airways launched their Amex card, the only way to earn Air Miles (as they were known in those days) was with the BA Diners Club card back in the 90’s. The prepaid Mastercard is handy for places that don’t accept Amex. All airlines seem to accept DC although I always use my Amex card for the travel delay and baggage insurance that it provides. I did manage to spend quite a lot on the Diners Club itself, it’s accepted by

    • I am old enough to remember the day that Air Miles were launched in this country, as I had just stopped doing long journeys that would have earned a lot of miles.
      As I remember it. the main initial ways to earn miles were Sainsbury’s and NatWest credit cards. I had a quick look and it seems to have been 1992 when Natwest stopped giving them.

      • Mark LLL says:

        I regret that I failed to opt in to earning air miles on my Natwest credit card (groan) which IIRC was an Access card (remember those?)

      • RussellH says:

        I remember the launch too. It struck me as a masively unlikely-to-work promotion, but my partner was hugely in favour, and as well all know, it did work. Ironically, she is much less bothered now, though she still gets waves of enthusiasm. She would put everything onto her Access Card to get AirMiles – not sure if it had to be a NatWest Access. Later we had to get NatWest Visa cards costing £20 / yr to keep going.
        We were getting loads of Sainsbury’s points, which had to be converted into AirMiles, but the real pain with the Sainsbury’s scheme was each shop had its own cards, and you could only redeem points for AirMiles at the shiop whose location was embossed on the card. I have vivid memories of buying huge numbers of Chicken Kievs at Cameron Toll, Edinburgh when these had a big bouns points offer, but I had at least two other Sainsbury’s cards too.
        The other launch partner I remember was Debenhams – I once got invited to a pre-sale ‘event’ where there were loads of cheap offers carrying huge numbers of AirMiles.
        One big advantage in those days was that they were all paper vouchers, so no problems with combining with other people. My parents rapidly became disillusioned and gave me all their vouchers.

    • … and a BA Diners Club card is still offered in Switzerland, as well as gold and standard MasterCards. All fron Cornercard Switzerland.

  2. I’m still waiting for the lounge access vouchers and I signed up for the card early on.

    My experience of their customer service so far is, frankly, awful. I’ve emailed in a couple of chasers on things like the 10k bonus not arriving, card not arriving, lounge vouchers not arriving and whilst they do reply quickly, they seem totally incapable of doing anything but saying “wait a bit longer”.

    This feels like a product rushed to market.

    That said it does protect my LH balance.

    • Tom Smith says:

      “This feels like a product rushed to market.” More like a last throw of the dice. Diners Club are the HMV of the card market.

  3. Slightly O/T, sorry, but related to M&M – has anyone not yet had all of their 2500 miles from Hilton stays, from that Lufthansa 25th anniversary promotion a while back? Most of mine have gone through, but I’m missing one stay’s worth – Hilton say “speak to Lufthansa”, Lufthansa say “Hilton no longer gives air miles on stays”…

    • The Original Nick says:

      I received my M&M miles from my Hilton stays. Have you sent Hilton a screen shot of your receipts from your stays? Is try that first.

    • Jon, I’m In the same boat as you… Miles for all but one of my stays have credited. The one that hasn’t was for a stay that happened during Hilton’s systems downtime at the end of October.

      When you made your claim to Lufthansa, did you tick on the box which says “miles received for the stay but promotional miles not received” – or words to that effect anyway!? If not, then I suggest you do that, even though you didn’t get any miles for the stay itself. It should flag to Lufthansa that it’s promotional miles that you are missing and not miles directly from a stay.

    • I have a stay which Hilton refuses to credit which in theory will trigger 2,500 – not holding out much hope now though!

      • I have the same issue – 2 x Hilton stays at the end of Oct. M&M miles showing on the Hilton app – but have not been transferred to the M&M account. Must have spent 30+ mins on phone to Hilton Diamond line last night. (This was the second call – I first spoke to them and raised a case in early Dec.). They now say they have escalated internally and will email me with an update – but not holding my breath. Is there anything else I should try?

        • Thanks all. Yep, it was right at the end of October during the system switchover. I’m guessing it will turn out that Hilton have not in fact sent it over to Lufthansa, but I’ll keep pushing…

          @JAD – I’ve been trying to escalate a complaint (on a separate matter) via email for months with no success – my emails just get ignored, including ones sent to various Directors and VPs of Customer Service. Will try CEO next (addresses sourced from which may or may not be accurate of course, but none have bounced back so far…).

      • Same here! They ignore my chaser email’s and when, in frustration, I speak with them, they say that they’ll look into it and have then come back on the last two instances to say that I registered for the promotion the previos day!!! Quite frankly I’ve just given up as they seem to be totally incompetemt on this one!

  4. The lounge vouchers come as an attachment to a later e-mail. Mine took 5-6 weeks to arrive. Theoretically available for 12 months for use by ‘the primary Miles & More credit card holder or a travel companion for one (1) visit to Lufthansa Business Lounges worldwide …’ .

    ‘Worldwide’? Germany yes, of course, otherwise meagre.

    My invitation shows a use by date of 31.10.19, so about 10.5 months for me. Not sure if ‘or a travel companion’ applies with a non-status cardholder. I’ve printed two just in cas, but it has a
    v-e-r-y long reference number..

    • The reference number includes expiry date and my M&M membership number.

    • Richmond says:

      Problem with this lounge voucher is that it does not apply to Star Alliance flights but only to Lufthansa group flights. I doubt I will fly on any Lufthansa Group flight any time soon unless there’s some great promotion. Was hoping to use it when flying SAS.

      Regarding customer service, they called me after spotting that my Diners card was rejected twice and told me I didn’t activate it. I thought activating Mastercard was enough and didn’t bother with Diners. Service seems to be very personalised.

  5. I no longer have Priority Pass membership with an AmEx plat since their ’embellishments’ (= reduced benefits) of a few years ago, so I’m thinking the DC lounge service (£15 a go) may be a reasonable alternative for us, more so for easyJet passengers.

    I see Groupon have another PP offer, but for us DC has the edge.

  6. OT does anyone know how long it takes to upgrade to plat? Want to use the 10% off Morrison’s to make the spend, before the offer finishes
    Also, as soon as my online account shows plat, do I use my gold card as plat card?

    • Immediately if you’re accepted, and yes use gold as Plat until your card arrives a few days later. Needless to say your current gold card is the charge card (not the credit card)?

      • Yes it’s charge card, applied on Friday and it’s still not changed, gave them a call yesterday and they said it can take 48 hours

  7. TGLoyalty says:

    Actually applied for this yesterday. Thought I’d give it a go and build up a lufthansa balance with it plus the SPG card.

  8. “You MUST repay your balance in full each month.
    You MUST pay by Direct Debit. There is no option for cheque payments or even manual online payments.”

    Like almost everywhere in the world except in the US and in the UK maybe.

    It is almost what happens if you have a vueling or british airways card in France.
    That was what I tried to explain in a previous post about the launch of the vueling card in France.

    The UK and the US have more flexibility for means of payment of balance due on cards.

    • RussellH says:

      Tomorrow is the last day for paying Amex directly by cheque.
      You will still be able to go into a branch of your own bank and pay by a combination of cheque and Bank Giro.
      Cheques? I think they are bound to die fairly soon. I think that I have used just one this last year.

    • Are you sure – that doesn’t sound right at all.

      No country I’ve lived in has operated that way, and I don’t know how so many countries will have large average credit card debts if they require payment in full.

  9. I have 2,500 Miles & More from one Hilton stay and don’t fly with Lufthansa often but I’m tempted to get this card just for the novelty of having a Diners Club card!

  10. RussellH says:

    Full Pedant mode…

    > Cornercard is a Swiss bank which offers a Lufthansa-branded card in Switzerland.

    Cornèr Bank Group is an independent Swiss private bank, based in Lugano. Cornercards in Switzerland are issued by Cornèr Bank. Cornercard UK Ltd seems to be the only company called Cornercard. The bank also owns Diners Club Italia S.r.l.
    They also have a separate Swiss subsidiary which issues Visa Cards, which earn points which can be used for flight on Swiss, rail journeys on SBB and a number of other things.

  11. Same thing for me, I had seven eligible stays, had one on 23rd October which credited, the one from Gatwick on 29th has not.

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