You can no longer get the Lufthansa payment card – bad news for those paying HMRC
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It seems we were correct when we wrote a few weeks ago that something seemed to be ‘up’ with the Miles & More Global Traveller payment cards.
The cards have now been closed to new applicants.
A replacement card – purely a Visa, as I suspected – will replace it in ‘Summer 2021’.
Why was this such a great card?
The Miles & More Global Traveller Card was, to put it mildly, a weird product.
- You received a double pack of a Diners Club card and a prepaid Mastercard debit card (yes, you read that right – a Diners Club card and a prepaid Mastercard)
- BOTH cards earned a whopping 1.25 miles per £1 spent, an astonishingly good rate for a non-Amex card
- You could NOT run a balance on the card – you had to pay it off in full each month
- If you had the card and used it each month, it stopped your Miles & More miles from expiring. Miles & More miles have a ‘hard’ expiry – they expire 36 months from when you earn them, irrespective of your activity. This is FAR tougher than the Avios policy and makes it incredibly hard to build up a large balance.
This was an outstanding product for paying personal tax to HMRC
Because the Mastercard was techinically a prepaid debit card, you could use it in many places where credit cards were not accepted.
The key one was HMRC. You were not allowed to use it to pay business taxes – you would get a warning from the card issuer if you did – but it was fine for personal tax. There were no fees attached.
If, like me, you are self employed and paying substantial amounts of income tax via Self Assessment each year, it was (and remains, as long as they don’t cancel existing cards) a miles goldmine.
As Lufthansa is part of Star Alliance, the miles got you access to redemption flights across 26 airlines.
Why has the card been closed?
This is my best guess. I could be wrong.
The issuer was Affiniture, which has the Diners Club licence for the UK.
Because Affiniture knew that no-one would apply for a pure Diners Club product, they did a deal with Cornercard – which issues Lufthansa cards in other European countries – to add the prepaid Mastercard element.
Charges from both cards went onto the same statement and you paid your bill to Affiniture.
The problem, I am guessing, is that usage of the Diners Club element was virtually nil. I have put substantial sums of through my Mastercard over the last couple of years but diddly squat on the Diners Club card. A few months ago I actually cut it up.
Where Affiniture went wrong was having the same earning rate on both cards. If the Mastercard had earned 1 mile per £1 and the Diners Club card 1.25 miles per £1, I would have used the Diners Club card to settle big bills such as hotel stays or flights. These transactions would have been far more profitable for Affiniture.
I still wouldn’t have bothered to carry the Diners Club card around day to day, even if it did earn more miles, but I would have made the effort to use it for four figure payments.
However, as both cards earned the same rate, I didn’t need to bother.
The new card will be purely a Visa
What appears to have happened is that Affiniture has walked away from the deal.
The website, milesandmorecards.co.uk, is now branded as Cornercard. Cornercard will be the issuer of the new Visa card in ‘Summer 2021’.
The new card looks like the old card
Nothing appears to be changing with the new Visa card, either physically (see the image above) or in terms of benefits.
The sign-up bonus is still showing as 5,000 miles and the earning rate still shows as 1.25 miles per £1.
The card is being described as a charge card, but it may technically remain a prepaid debit card. It must be paid off at the end of each month.
The only question mark is over the £79 annual fee. There is no mention of a fee on the website. This either means there won’t be a fee or Cornercard has yet to decide what it is.
What can I do now?
It isn’t clear if the current Diners Club / Mastercard package will be withdrawn, either immediately or in Summer 2021 when the new Visa card launches. Existing cardholders should sit tight for now.
If you don’t yet have this card but like the sound of it, you will need to wait until Summer 2021 to apply.
We will keep you updated with news as we get it, although neither Affiniture or Cornercard have chosen to engage with us in the past.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 2023 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
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.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 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 & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable 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:
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.
Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card
1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review