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New award availability gold mine? Lufthansa's new St. Louis service has wide-open business class space

Dec. 17, 2021
6 min read
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Earlier this week, Lufthansa announced it would start nonstop


service from St. Louis (STL) to Frankfurt (FRA) with its A330 aircraft.

Service will start June 1, 2022, and operate 3x weekly on Sunday, Wednesday. and Friday. This will be the first time the St. Louis area has seen mainline nonstop service to Europe in over 20 years, making flights to Germany and beyond far easier for those in the St. Louis metro area.

If you're in the market for a flight on this route, you're in luck. Right now, you can take advantage of wide-open business class award space on the route throughout the summer. Let's take a closer look at the award space.

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Lufthansa business class award space from St. Louis to Frankfurt

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Virtually every date that the flight operates next summer has at least one open award seat, with many dates having three or more seats available. This can be helpful if you're flying on just the St. Louis to Frankfurt flight, or even if you're connecting on for a trip elsewhere in Europe. Additionally, you could potentially use this flight as your way to get across the pond even if you are originating elsewhere in the U.S.

(Screenshot courtesy of united.com)

You can any type of Star Alliance miles to book this award ticket, but you'll want to remember that Lufthansa does add fuel surcharges to award tickets. With this in mind, consider booking with a loyalty program that doesn't pass these fees along to its customers. Some good options to consider include Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles and United MileagePlus.

As discussed, you're not limited to Frankfurt as your final destination. You can add a connecting leg to your itinerary and pay a similar number of miles with these three programs.

(Screenshot courtesy of aircanada.com)

Alternatively, you can add a stopover to a one-way ticket for just 5,000 extra miles if you book with Aeroplan.

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Likewise, United MileagePlus will let you add a free stopover to a round-trip itinerary with its famous Excursionist perk, though it generally charges slightly more miles than Aeroplan for business class awards to Europe.

This itinerary features a free connection between Frankfurt and Oslo, thanks to United's Excursionist perk. (Screenshot courtesy of united.com)

Related: How to plan a free stopover on your next trip abroad

Earn points to book

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Currently, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One and Citi ThankYou points to both Avianca LifeMiles and Air Canada Aeroplan.

If you need to top up your points balance for a future award, consider opening a card that earns Capital One miles. These points transfer instantly, so you can transfer the points as soon as you're ready to book your ticket to Europe.

Here's a look at some of our favorite Capital One credit cards:

Or if you'd rather book with United miles to take advantage of the Excursionist perk, consider topping up your balance with one of these Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. Ultimate Rewards points transfer instantly to MileagePlus and Aeroplan at a 1:1 transfer ratio.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on dining and 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. Earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel and dining purchases.
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months from account opening. Earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent per account anniversary year (then 1 point per dollar) on shipping; internet, cable and phone services; advertising with social media sites and search engines; and travel.

Related: 5 incredible sweet spots of Capital One’s revamped transferable miles program

Bottom line

If you're looking to fly from the St. Louis metro area to Europe next summer, this could be a great opportunity to book your flights. You have plenty of options to choose from and can connect on to the huge Star Alliance European network, which covers virtually every major city in the region.

Feature photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

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Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

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Recommended Credit

740-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more