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Miles & More miles expiry is coming for ex-cardholders – what can you book before Friday?

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The Lufthansa Miles & More Global Traveller payment cards closed on 4th April 2021.

One of the key benefits of holding this card, and paying the £79 annual fee, was that it stopped your Miles & More miles from expiring.

Lufthansa has an unforgiving expiry policy with your miles disappearing three years after being earned, irrespective of activity. The only way to stop it was to have Miles & More elite status or to hold a Miles & More payment card, which hasn’t been possible in the UK for the last 24 months.

EDIT: Literally at the last minute (3pm on 31st March) Lufthansa announced that it would extend miles expiry for a further six months. Your miles are safe until the end of September.

lufthansa miles expiry uk credit card

For the last two years, Lufthansa has been giving ex-cardholders a grace period from having their miles expire.

Ex-cardholders were credited with 1 mile every three months, ostensibly marked ‘credit card spend’. This told the Miles & More computer not to expire any miles this quarter.

The plans was to keep doing this until a new UK payment card was launched. However, last April, Cornercard dropped plans to launch a new Lufthansa payment card in the UK and no-one else has picked up the baton.

A Flyertalk reader received this email from Lufthansa after asking if further protection would be received for the quarter ending 31st March 2023:

We understand that you may be a little disappointed and we apologise if we have not answered all your questions in our previous emails

We would like to take this opportunity to point out that our members who had a Miles & More Credit Card in the UK initially had their award miles protected until the end of June 2022, even though the partnership had already ended. As we were not able to offer a replacement Miles & More credit card in the UK market, this measure was extended as a gesture of goodwill until the end of December 2022, with 1 mile being credited from time to time, to prevent miles from expiring.

This mileage credit was designed to give our members extra time to use their miles and was discontinued in 2023 and will not be reinstated.

This means that you only have a few days, literally, to redeem any expiring Miles & More miles.

No more Miles & More expiry protection for ex-cardholders

If you log in to your Miles & More account you will be told how many miles are due to expire this quarter, and indeed next quarter. Any miles earned more than three years ago will expire on Friday.

In my case, I have 22,000 Miles & More miles to burn this week. This is manageable – I should be able to book a return flight to Europe which works around my existing plans.

More worrying is the 100,000 miles I have which expire at the end of June, especially as Lufthansa appears to have sharply cut back on long-haul premium cabin reward availability.

How can you spend expiring Lufthansa Miles & More miles?

If you are looking to spend miles in the next few days, here are some ideas. All non-flight options offer terrible value, unfortunately.

If you are looking at flight redemptions, look at the current destinations which are on mileage sale. These tickets are NOT refundable or changeable. From Heathrow, one option is Switzerland and Poland (on SWISS and LOT) at 25,000 miles return, plus taxes and charges, in Business Class until late May.

Note that ‘cash and miles’ (reducing the cost of a cash ticket by using as many miles as you wish) was withdrawn on 13th March. It will be reintroduced in a new form at some point.

Remember that one-way redemptions are allowed on Lufthansa and all its partners, so you need fewer miles than you think to book a trip. Come back with Avios ….

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Comments (63)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Bagoly says:

    If there are two of you, then mileage pooling applies for residents of EU+Switzerland.
    I don’t know whether proof of residence is required, or one just changes the address on their database.

    • Carbonaddict says:

      Aargh. Just got email offering extra 6 months validity. As I made a booking last night hoping they will cancel for free.

  • NFH says:

    I have nearly 300,000 miles, of which around 150,000 will expire on 31st March 2023. I can’t find any availability for bookings on any route. It is disingenous of Miles & More to expire miles before making sufficient seats available for booking.

    • Rob says:

      Just looked at SeatSpy and, for eg, FRA-JFK is available on at least 80% of dates (Business) over the next year.

      Dubai, on the other hand, has literally nothing from August to January in Business from Frankfurt. SWISS has one day in the next year (12th May) when you can fly to Dubai in Business.

      What I find off is that LH is currently THE most aggressive EU airline for discounting (Dubai is regularly offered at £999 from the UK in Business for eg) but reward availability is thin even though – factoring in the surcharges – the revenue to LH must be identical.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Any idea which routes actually have first class from FRA? Also seems going from Munich opens up awards that don’t exist from FRA even when there’s a FRA connection unless Seatspy has errors.

      • NFH says:

        Thanks, but JFK is far more convenient from LHR rather than taking an extra hop to FRA.

        I was looking more at Singapore or for flights that are never direct from the UK such as TAP Air Portugal to its many destinations in northern Brazil, but I couldn’t find anything.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          When you’re about to get nothing then sometimes you have to take something

        • Arkadio says:

          Try different airport of origin. I had some flights to EZE and GRU from AMS.

        • NFH says:

          I managed to book LHR-MUC-SIN-LHR in business class by phoning them. LH outbound, SQ return. They told me that it can be amended as long as the origin and final destination airports remain the same. Intermediate airports and airlines can be changed.

  • AndrewM says:

    I converted my Miles to Tesco vouchers by connecting Miles and More with Heathrow Rewards. Not amazing, but was better than the Miles expiring.

  • Concerto says:

    My next post also concerns flight redemptions at M&M. Like BA, they can have real value if booking on partner airlines away from the Lufthansa Group. I’ve done a couple of redemptions on SAS which were really great. But the best value for them was on intra Asian flights for example, in both Economy and Business. You can also redeem on all sorts of obscure airlines, like I did with Air Do, the airline of Hokkaido which is also an affiliate of ANA All Nippon Airways. I believe that they can be a good deal on Ethiopian Airways flights too, although I’ve never tried.

    Another great use of them is on domestic US flights which have very low to nonexistent taxes. This would obviously be on UNITED and their regional affiliates and you can book itineraries with more than one segment per direction without having to redeem more miles (unlike with BAEC). Under current rules these tickets would be fully flexible too (changes free of charge) within the 1 year validity period, although cancellations are charged at the standard €50 rate.

    Lastly, given that we’ve got very little time now, there is a bit of a trick you can employ that can extend the miles a bit. It’s worth considering if you’ve got a lot of them (someone mentioned having around 100,000 of them). Make a booking for a date later this year and if you find something you want to change it to (different zone,. different routing) just cancel it. If you do it on the phone, the agent can recredit your expired miles for a short time (I’ve heard reports that they can last until the end of the month, or just a day or two). While you’re on the phone get the same agent to book the new desired itinerary, because otherwise the chances of the miles disappearing completely are rather high. At least this variant will buy you a bit more time for making a redemption.

    • A N Wilson says:

      Very interesting – thank you. Do you or does anyone else have experience of booking a business class or first class around the world ticket using large quantities of M&M miles…? How…? Isn’t there some good flexibility on those tickets…? I have 600,000 expiring this week and feel utterly let down by M&M given a) no communication with me re the latest UK credit card situation and intention not to extend mileage validity; b) apparent lack of availability of reward flights; c) recent switch-off of Cash & Miles booking option on 13 March; and d) switch-off of LoyLogic fee-based mileage extension functionality. Absolutely amateurish and a blatant redemption optionality reduction exercise that is absolutely infuriating when UK customers cannot get a credit card to protect their miles…! Help!

      • His Holyness says:

        600k is a lot. There’s availability on BOS in F for the next few weeks.

        • A N Wilson says:

          Thanks. But how are you uncovering that availability…? It’s not appearing on SeatSpy…

    • Bagoly says:

      Ethiopian is good.
      And your point about pricing by region rather than sectors is very relevant for getting to hard-to-reach places.
      I once did Berlin-Istanbul-Asmara (Turkish) and Asmara-Addis-Vienna-Berlin (Ethiopian & Austrian) in Business for 70k + EUR270.
      The only way to leave Asmara other than in the middle of the night.

      There’s also Eurowings, which flies to places more people might want to go for holidays (E.g. Mombasa and Zanzibar)

  • Concerto says:

    I think that RTW tickets are not such a great use of miles. I’ve found it better to just piece together itineraries as a series of one ways. I think LH don’t make it easy to book such tickets.

  • tical says:

    Is Egypt Air any good? Judging by comments on-line not really but they do have availability with Miles and More to Dubai on most days

    • Rob says:

      I’d be OK with it BUT look closely at aircraft types which move around between short haul and long haul.

  • elguiri says:

    If you are converting to Tesco vouchers, be aware that although it shows a 10% discount for them, this isn’t automatically applied. You have to type in ‘202303MAR10’ at the last stage and click apply.
    This also means that you probably need to add in more gift cards than originally selected as it would have told you you didn’t have enough miles beforehand…

  • Paul Benny says:

    Just received an email extending expiry for another 6 months.

    • Xmenlongshot says:

      Same – good call by Lufthansa – I’m grateful

    • A N Wilson says:

      What e-mail address is that message from …?Don’t seem to be getting these…. But the expiry date has vanished from my account which is a massive relief….

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