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.
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.
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.
- You can cash out small amounts into Heathrow Airport shopping vouchers via Heathrow Rewards (0.27p per mile)
- You can redeem for UK High Street gift cards from 3,700 miles for £10 (0.27p per mile, but you can get 0.32p on John Lewis and Tesco cards at present in a special offer)
- There are hotel and car hire redemptions available via the M&M hotel booking portal (0.29p per mile, assuming the rates match what you can find elsewhere)
- You can also buy random nonsense from the Lufthansa WorldShop (0.3p per mile)
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 ….
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 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.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points. Apply here.
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
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
30,000 points bonus (to 13th June) 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 bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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.