Barclay’s Lufthansa Mastercard 50,000 Mile Bonus

by on May 5, 2013 · 35 comments

in Barclays, Lufthansa

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: The Miles & More Premier World MasterCard

The Barclaycard Lufthansa Miles & More Premier World Mastercard usually comes with a bonus of 20,000 miles upon first purchase and up to 15,000 additional award miles when you complete an initial balance transfer.


However, Barclay’s just launched a new bonus offer on the card where you can earn a combined total of 50,000 award miles – 20,000 miles with first purchase and an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 on a purchase within the first 90 days.

Here are the details on the card:

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase
  • Earn an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Cardholders receive a companion ticket annually.
  • Enjoy 2 award miles per $1 on Miles & More integrated airline ticket purchases
  • Earn 1 award mile per $1 spent everywhere else
  • No mileage expiration with monthly qualifying purchases
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening, after that a variable APR currently 15.99% to 24.99% depending upon your creditworthiness
  • $79 annual fee

While 50,000 miles isn’t earth-shattering, from what I can find, the bonus on this card hasn’t been this high since April 2011, so if you’ve been thinking about getting in on this card, now is the time to do it.

You might be asking yourself why you’d want to get a mileage credit card with a non-US program, but there are a few good reasons you might want to consider it.

First, this card is a Barclay’s product, so if you’re all applied-out on American Express, Chase and Citi cards for the moment, it might be time to look at another issuer. However, Barclay’s has tightened up on accepting new credit applications and has been known to deny applications for people with a lot of recent credit inquiries. No one knows what the threshold number is, but that can make it difficult to get a new line of credit with them.

Second, Miles & More is the award program not only of Lufthansa, but also of SWISS and Austrian airlines. Finding premium award space on these airlines in advance (they tend to open up a lot more just a few days out) can be notoriously difficult, especially on SWISS unless you have a Miles & More account since the airline holds back award space for its own frequent flyers. So if you’re thinking about awards to Europe, it could be a good idea to bank some of these miles simply for that award space availability.

According to the Miles & More award chart, 50,000 miles is enough for an economy class roundtrip ticket from the US to Europe on Lufthansa, SWISS or Austrian – other carriers will be 60,000. That’s also enough for a one-way business class award on these three carriers – highlighting another positive feature of Miles & More: you can book one-way awards.

Third, Lufthansa (and SWISS and Austrian) is part of Star Alliance, so you can use these miles on any of 27 partner airlines, including United and US Airways. Also according to the award chart, domestic flights are 25,000 in Economy, 35,000 in Business and 50,000 in First roundtrip, so you could potentially score some business class tickets for a real discount at that 35,000-mile level, and if you complete the minimum spending requirement, you will have more than enough miles for 3 one-way business class award tickets domestically.

Lufthansa domestic awards

Fourth, Lufthansa Miles & More is a transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest, so you could always use some of these points to top up your account for a specific award, and remember, when you transfer in increments of 20,000 points, you get a 5,000-mile bonus – 25% more miles.

Fifth, this card entitles you to a companion ticket. According to the card terms, “Cardmembers will receive an Economy Class Companion Ticket upon the first use of your new Account for a Purchase or Balance Transfer and on your Account opening anniversary every year you are a Cardmember.” This companion ticket is good only for economy travel from the US to Europe/Middle East/Africa and Far East and must be booked in H class (not full-fare economy, but not the most discounted either) or higher on Lufthansa-operated flights only, so you will be paying more for the first ticket, but getting the second one for free.

Like other companion tickets, taxes and fees must be paid for the revenue ticket as well as the companion ticket – the companion portion is only the airfare. While most people buy the cheapest fares, with Lufthansa, you only earn 50% of the mileage on these, so this program isn’t for anyone who wants to get full mileage on the cheapest fares. However, if you do pay for refundable or high-fare classes the companion ticket could be a decent value in some cases.

For a quick example, I looked at economy roundtrip tickets from Chicago-Frankfurt in June. A non-refundable economy ticket was going for $2,227 – $1,547 in airfare and $680 in taxes and fees.

Screen shot 2013-05-05 at 9.58.44 AM

While those in B class, which is actually a higher fare class thank H, the ticket was $2,804 – $2,125 in airfare and $680 in taxes and fees.

Lufthansa econ H

To pay for two discount economy fares, you’d be paying $4,454. For the companion-eligible fare, you’d pay $2,804 on the first ticket and $680 in taxes and fees on the second for a total of $3,484. Still very steep, but it saves you almost $1,000.

With the higher fare class you earn 150% miles on the paid ticket instead of just 100% for the lowest fare class. That said, this was an extreme example, and with a bit of flexibility, in many cases you’ll likely find discount economy fares that will be much cheaper to book two of than using this companion ticket. As with all things miles-related, do the math!

As the above example also pointed out, Miles & More is also notorious for charging high award ticket surcharges, so those award tickets might incur hundreds of dollars extra in fees. According to this FlyerTalk thread on the topic, even roundtrip economy awards from the US to Europe regularly top $500 in fees, while intra-European flights can range between $200-$300 in fees. Something to keep in mind.

Also beware, there is a Platinum version of this card that only offers a bonus of 15,000 miles upon first purchase and up to 10,000 miles with a balance transfer, and which only earns 1 award mile per dollar.

Still, if you’re in the market for a new card and are looking to diversify your miles portfolio with some more Star Alliance miles, this could be a card for you to consider. I’ll cover specific features of it in future posts, but feel free to comment with your questions below.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Joey

    I’ve read elsewhere that Barclays imposes a 6-month holding period after you open your first card with them, so you can’t open a second card until 6 months later. Anyone have experience with this? I just got US Airways card and husband got the Arrival, but each of us would like to get this…

  • mehro

    Between this and the barclaycard Arrival World card, which one would rate higher? I don’t have any cards with barclays right now but I did just get the United Explorer card a couple of weeks ago and am wary of getting too many cards that I’ll want to cancel at the end of the first year.

  • thepointsguy

    It depends on what you want to use the miles for, but I think the Arrival is a great card if you’re looking for fixed-value points to cover the cost of incidental travel expenses like rental cars or cruises that you can’t use your airline miles for at favorable rates.

  • jason

    Lousy option and waste of credit resources, not to mention the steep spending requirement and horrible surcharges. I pass.

  • thepointsguy

    Not all redemptions have huge fuel surcharges, like destoc star alliance. Not the best frequent flyer program, but certainly not the worst though

  • Poo Bottoms

    No problem for me. I got the US Airways card in February and just got instant approval for this card today.

  • Jeff

    Does the points to Starwood transfer 1:1? If so, could you transfer all 50,000 points to Starwood and bank 60,000 Starwood points. I think I dreaming if so, as this would be the way to go. No?

  • thepointsguy

    Yes, it’s a 1:1 transfer partner from Starwood to Miles & More and you’d end up with 60,000 miles for transferring from Starwood.

  • BobChi

    It seems he asked about transfering TO Starwood. That would make it a dream offer, but to me transfering FROM Starwood to Miles and More would be really stupid.

  • BobChi

    It seems he asked about transfering TO Starwood. That would make it a dream offer, but to me transfering FROM Starwood to Miles and More would be really stupid.

  • BobChi

    Precisely, Jason. I think a lot of people will jump on this offer and find the points hard to use, except for a simple domestic redemption. There are many offers out there that are far superior for most people. I think people are also glossing over the harsh expiration policy. Your points expire in three years, no matter what program activity you have, unless you actually use this credit card every single billing cycle, which means paying several annual fees along the way too.

  • Leotis

    If you are looking for starwood points solely, with the 5k bonus points for each 20k transfer why would this card not be preferable to starwood Amex other than slight annual feel difference?

  • flowindex

    I used United points to book an one way award flight from the US to HKG on Lufthansa. Can I use Mile & More points to upgrade my flight?

  • MYRflyer

    With the Barclays US Air & NFL card we have seen that if you do not use the card, within a couple months Barclays will send a spending challenge your way, for example spend 750 per month for three straight months = 15,000 bonus miles

    If the same holds true for this Lufthansa Mastercard, after minimum spends you would have enough miles for (2) United First Class Saver redemptions within the USA. Pretty sweet for $79 Fee

    Yes tpg gets a referral for the CC app, yes the miles will expire after 36 months, BUT these would make for great domestic travel, being that most of us save our miles for international awards.

    Also, MightyTravels on flyertalk reports that he called the M&M Call Center in Singapore, and was quoted 17,000 miles for One-Way F United Saver, evidently they round DOWN. (Not confirmed by anyone else yet)

  • Brian L.

    If you have the M&M Mastercard, you need to use the card at least once a month to keep your miles from expiring. If you don’t use the card at least once per month, your miles will expire after three years. Not worth risking your miles on the off chance you’ll get a bonus.

  • Brian L.

    If you have the M&M Mastercard, you need to use the card at least once a month to keep your miles from expiring. If you don’t use the card at least once per month, your miles will expire after three years. Not worth risking your miles on the off chance you’ll get a bonus.

  • Brian L.

    If you have the M&M Mastercard, you need to use the card at least once a month to keep your miles from expiring. If you don’t use the card at least once per month, your miles will expire after three years. Not worth risking your miles on the off chance you’ll get a bonus.

  • MYRflyer

    Brian how long do you plan on holding 55k Lufthansa miles? Personally, they would be gone in less than 6 months.

  • Brian L.

    As long as it takes me to get enough miles for an F ticket on LH/LX to Europe.

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  • Lenny

    My family and I are going to leave to become missionaries in Africa sometime around August 2013. During our two year stay there, we will have furloughs about 2 or 3 times a year and since we are on that side of the globe, we would like to visit places in Europe as well as maybe S. Africa, etc. What airline/credit card would you recommend for such adventures? I know that Lufthansa flies to the country we are serving in, so I thought it was a no brainer to apply for a card like this Barclay one until I read some of the feedback here. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

  • ptSenator

    I got one a month before the offer for additional 30k expired. Does anyone know if I am still eligible for the bonus since I applied before the deadine?

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  • Rajeev Jog

    If you cancel the card, do the miles go away immediately?

  • thepointsguy

    No- once the miles are in your account they are yours

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  • Jonny E.

    Question: If I apply and meet the spending requirement (and now have 50,000 points), can I use that to fly coach LA-JFK for 2 people on United, a Star Alliance participant?

  • flyer99

    Just tried to apply for the link is dead. Checked a few other links online but also not working. Found a working link here and just applied:

  • Prince Narang

    Does a Balance Transfer count as a purchase?

  • CreditHeadIT

    Curious if you can clarify something I’m confused on… I’ve read the 50k points is enough for an economy fare from US to Europe AND that cardholders receive a companion fare after first purchase (and on anniversary) but I’m unclear on whether the companion fare can be used if ticket A is purchased with miles? Ticket A paid in miles, Ticket B paid with companion fare? I know with Alaska we have to use the companion fares with paid tickets.

  • msupp

    Does anyone know if the taxes and fees are high even if booking on a partner airline, such as UA? I know with other programs such as British Airways Exec Club the fees on award bookings vary wildly depending on the airline the award was booked on.

  • sazdav

    Not available in Iowa??? what???

  • Angry Traveller

    This is a clear fraud case. I have never received additional 30,000 miles though I spent more than US$5,000 within the first 90 day after joining the program!

  • eugenep01

    I agree with Angry Traveller. You apply for the card. They approve you for a “different” card without notifying you and you never get the additional 30,000 miles. Fraud.

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