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Barclays and Lufthansa are now offering up to 75,000 miles for new cardholders — 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days, and an additional 25,000 miles after spending $20,000 in purchases within the first year. According to the most recent TPG valuations, those miles are worth as much as $1,050.
The card earns 2x miles on Lufthansa and integrated airline partner ticket purchases, plus it comes with benefits like two complimentary Lufthansa Business Lounge Vouchers and one Companion Ticket (subject to taxes and fees) annually.
While the Miles & More program has seen recent devaluations, you can still find valuable redemption options for Lufthansa miles — especially through Star Alliance partners — but you’ll have to watch out for annoying carrier surcharges, which can get extremely high on international flights. Thankfully, Lufthansa doesn’t add surcharges on United flights within North and South America, or on United-only transoceanic flights, so you can avoid Lufthansa’s notoriously high fees when you book those redemption options.
For instance, with this bonus, you can book three one-way United business class flights within North America (and still have 15,000 miles left over), including nonstop transcon routes such as Newark (EWR) to San Francisco (SFO). You can also find business class tickets to Hawaii for 70,000 miles or to Central America and the Caribbean for 60,000 miles — at least until Lufthansa ditches its published award chart in favor of dynamic award pricing in November.
However, keep in mind that you could end up paying hundreds of dollars in additional fees on award flights on both domestic and international Lufthansa or non-United Star Alliance partners. For example, when I looked up a one-way business class ticket on Lufthansa from New York (JFK) to Brussels (BRU), fees included $617.50 in surcharges.
While 75,000 miles can also get you a couple of one-way flights in economy within North America, Central America and the Caribbean, economy award flights aren’t the best use of your miles. But having miles with the Miles & More program is also the only way you can book Lufthansa First Class redemptions more than 15 days in advance — again, if you’re willing to pay the tacked on surcharges.
Lufthansa miles are harder to earn by US-based award travelers because of its lack of transfer partners, especially with the suspension of the Marriott transfer program earlier this year. This means the only way to rack up chunks of miles is by flying Lufthansa or utilizing the Miles & More World Elite Mastercard. This elevated bonus is one of the highest we’ve ever seen on the card, so if you don’t already have it in your wallet, it’s a good time to consider applying.
Featured photo by Ryan Patterson / The Points Guy
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