UPDATE – MARCH 2024: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry. We produce a monthly summary of the top hotel bonus point offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ menu above. Thank you.
Hilton Honors is offering an 80% to 100% bonus when you buy points by 12th March 2024. Click here to buy.
IHG One Rewards is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points by 7th March 2024. Click here to buy.
Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 35% to 40% bonus when you buy points by 31st March 2024. Click here to buy.
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Lufthansa is currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Miles & More frequent flyer programme.
It has been running a number of promotions linked to this, but none have generated any real interest. And then, with no external promotion at all as far as I can see, it turns out there is an exceptionally generous hotel booking deal.
You will earn 30 Miles & More miles per €1 you spend with Booking.com in December. You can stay at any point in the future.
Full details of the offer are on this page of the Miles & More website.
There is minimal small print:
- the offer is valid on all bookings you make in December
- you can stay whenever you want
- you can earn the bonus on multiple bookings
- miles will be awarded up to 64 days after your stay
There is only one key rule, which you don’t see until you click through to the Booking.com website. You are capped at earning 150,000 Miles & More miles under this offer which is equivalent to a €5,000 spend.
Nothing stops a big spender splitting an expensive booking into two parts, of course, with your partner booking some days and you booking the rest.
I also suspect, although it isn’t clear, that you may only earn on the ‘base’ price before taxes (VAT, in the case of UK bookings) although this isn’t mentioned anywhere.
What are Miles & More miles worth?
I’m happy to put a 1p value on Miles & More miles. This would mean that you’d be getting (at 30 miles per €1) a 35% rebate on the cost of your hotel.
If Booking.com doesn’t pay out on the VAT element, this would reduce depending on the tax rate in the country in which you are staying.
Miles & More miles can be spent across all airlines in Star Alliance, including Lufthansa, SWISS, United, Turkish, Singapore Airlines etc etc.
In general, because of the way the Lufthansa redemption chart works:
- short-haul redemptions (eg UK to Germany) are poor value compared to using Avios
- long-haul redemptions are good value, with sweet spots including UK to the Middle East
Premium cabin availability across Lufthansa Group airlines has been far worse than it was pre-pandemic, however. There is no concept of ‘guaranteed’ seats as you get with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic.
Children get a 25% mileage discount with Miles & More which is a valuable discount.
Lufthansa First Class is relatively easy to book on those routes that still have it, especially as it is not made available to partner programmes (eg United MileagePlus) for their members until the last minute.
Note that Miles & More miles have a hard three year expiry. Unless you have elite status with Miles & More, your miles will disappear after three years irrespective of how many you earn in the meantime.
Note that it is hard to top-up a Miles & More balance. It is no longer a transfer partner with the major hotel loyalty schemes and has never been an American Express or HSBC transfer partner in the UK. You can now buy miles again after a long hiatus.
Third party booking site caveats also apply
Booking with Booking.com also means you have to remember a few things:
- you won’t earn hotel loyalty points if you stay with a branded chain, because this is a ‘third party’ booking
- you won’t receive any elite status benefits you may have with the chain you booked, because this is a ‘third party’ booking
- whilst pricing should match the official rate that the hotel is advertising directly, the Booking.com price may be undercut by any ‘member rate’ offered by the hotel you are booking
The net result of all this is that this deal will work best if you are booking an independent hotel or one where you don’t have elite status and/or do not want their loyalty points.
Despite all of the above, this could be a stonking deal in the right circumstances.
Crazy though it sounds, if you wanted a one-way Lufthansa First Class flight anywhere it would almost certainly be cheaper to book a hotel via Booking.com than it would be to buy the ticket outright! Obviously this is not an apples to apples comparison but it does highlight the value here.
My wife is still thinking about going away for New Year, and if it turns out that we end up at an independent property then I will taking a very serious look at this.
You can find out more on the Miles & More website.
Hotel offers update – March 2024:
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.
Want to buy hotel points?
- Hilton Honors is offering an 80% to 100% bonus when you buy points by 12th March 2024. Click here.
- IHG One Rewards is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points by 7th March 2024. Click here.
- Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 35% to 40% bonus when you buy points by 31st March 2024. Click here.
- World of Hyatt is offering a 20% discount when you buy points by 9th April 2024. Click here.