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Sweet Spot Sunday: Fly Lufthansa first class for 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points

Sept. 12, 2021
7 min read
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Lufthansa first class is one of the best ways to get from the U.S. to Europe — and it's getting easier to book.

The airline used to restrict award space to partners to be bookable 14 days prior to departure, meaning it was only possible to book last-minute tickets if you didn't have Lufthansa Miles & More miles. Thankfully, the partner booking window was recently extended to 30 days prior to departure, giving travelers more time to plan out their first-class excursions.

Each of the major Star Alliance mileage programs has its own pricing for these tickets, and one reigns supreme for booking Lufthansa first class to Europe: Asiana Club. It offers the best award pricing, charging half of what some of its competitors charge.

In turn, this makes it the best to book Lufthansa first-class awards with Marriott Bonvoy points. For reference, Marriott is Asiana's sole transfer partner.

Let's take a closer look at this sweet spot and why you may want to consider booking it.

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Why it’s special

Lufthansa's iconic first-class cabin. (Photo by EQRoy/Shutterstock)

Lufthansa first class is one of the best first-class cabins in the sky.

Onboard, you'll find a huge lie-flat seat and be treated with excellent service. I flew Lufthansa first class in 2018 and found its food and drink service to be the highlight. There were a ton of excellent drink options and the food tasted similar to what I'd expect from a high-end restaurant on the ground.

Lufthansa first-class tickets aren't cheap, though. The airline often charges over $10,000 for a round-trip ticket from the U.S. — for example, Miami (MIA) to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA), costs a whopping $11,715 this October. It goes without saying that this is no small price to pay for a trip to Europe.

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(Screenshot courtesy of google.com/flights)

Of course, you can use United MileagePlus, Avianca LifeMiles or any other Star Alliance award program to book a Lufthansa first-class award ticket. That said, these programs charge significantly more miles than the 50,000 miles Asiana Club charges for a one-way ticket. For example, United charges over 100,000 miles for the same one-way ticket.

The only downside to booking with Asiana Club is that you have to pay high taxes and fuel surcharges on award flights operated by Lufthansa, Austrian and other carriers that add these fees. These taxes and fees could be up to $800 on a one-way Lufthansa first-class ticket to or from the U.S when you book with Asiana.

That said, it may be worthwhile for those who want to spend fewer miles, and for those wanting to book Lufthansa first class with Marriott Bonvoy points. Do your own cost analysis and see if transferring points to Asiana Club for a Lufthansa first-class award makes sense for you.

Related: The ultimate guide to Lufthansa first class

How to book this award

Booking Asiana partner tickets isn't easy — but it's worth it. (Photo by Lukas Wunderlich/Shutterstock)

Unfortunately, you cannot book Asiana partner tickets online. Instead, you need to call.

Thankfully, this is a simple and straightforward process. You'll start by using your favorite Star Alliance search tool to find Lufthansa first-class award space. As discussed, partners like Asiana Club can now book Lufthansa first-class awards within 30 days of departure.

I recommend using Air Canada's website to find award space. To do this, head to the Air Canada website and sign in to your Aeroplan account. Then, enter your search criteria at the center of the homepage. Make sure to select the "Points" button so you see award prices instead of cash pricing.

(Screenshot courtesy of aircanada.com)

Look through the list of available flights and find a Lufthansa-operated flight with first-class award space. You will see Lufthansa listed as the operating carrier at the lower left-hand corner of the search result box. Any flight with a price listed under the first-class column has bookable award space.

(Screenshot courtesy of aircanada.com)

Now, click the "Details" link underneath the flight time and a pop-up window will appear. Write down the flight number (it starts with "LH") and the date of the flight you'd like to book.

(Screenshot courtesy of aircanada.com)

Now, call Asiana Club at 800-227-4262 and ask the phone representative to book an award ticket for you. They should ask for the date, route and flight number. Then, you'll get a mileage and tax quote and can complete the booking by providing your credit card information.

Related: Ultimate guide to searching award availability for the major airlines

How to earn points for this award

Asiana Club miles are some of the most difficult airline miles to earn.

Unfortunately, the program isn't a partner of any major transferable credit card points programs. Instead, you can only transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy to Asiana Club at a 3:1 transfer ratio. Marriott adds a 5,000-airline-mile bonus to transfers of 60,000 Marriott points or more, so 60,000 Marriott points equal 25,000 airline miles.

In other words: You can book a one-way Lufthansa first-class ticket to Europe for 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which is an excellent deal if you don't mind paying high taxes and fees.

There are plenty of ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points. The hotel group has a suite of cards issued by American Express and Chase — here’s a look at current offers:

You can also earn Asiana Club miles by crediting Star Alliance flights to the program or by booking travel with its rental car and hotel partners. Unfortunately, Asiana no longer offers cobranded credit cards in the U.S.

Related: 6 tips for booking Lufthansa first-class awards

Bottom line

Booking Lufthansa first class for just 50,000 Asiana Club miles (or 120,000 Marriott points) one-way is an incredible deal. These tickets often cost well over $5,000 depending on your departure city, so this deal can make an otherwise unattainable trip possible.

Featured image by Lufthansa First Class (Photo by Zach Honig/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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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 Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.