Miles & More is the frequent flyer program for the Lufthansa Group whose airlines include Lufthansa, Swiss, Edelweiss Air, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines as well as regional carriers Germanwings and Eurowings. Lufthansa is a founding member of the Star Alliance.
- Competitive reward redemption values
- Good reward availability from 361 days out
- Lufthansa First Class rewards
- Reduced domestic rewards for Europe and North America
- Ability to pay surcharges, taxes and fees with flat rate point option on tickets within Europe
- Reasonable cancellation fees
- Elite members can get companion reward for 50% discount
- Fly Smart and Mileage Bargain reduced rewards can be very lucrative
- Has US branded Miles&More credit card
- Hotel booking portal offering excellent point earnings
- Star Alliance rewards must be round trip
- Expensive surcharges collected on all tickets
- Forfeiture of points and surcharges on special fares if cancelled
- Points expire 36 months from earn date
- Difficult 3rd region routing rules on Star Alliance rewards
- Reward search may not return the selected class of service
- Reward search does not show point totals, surcharges, taxes and fees
- Must have enough points in account to view total cost of reward
- Only one credit card transfer partner
- Does not sell points
This chart represents round trip Miles&More and Star Alliance rewards. For Miles&More Lufthansa Group carriers you can book one-way rewards for 50% of the published point total.
There is no difference in Lufthansa reward and Star Alliance reward redemption values. However Star Alliance rewards can only be booked as round-trips. One-way redemptions are not allowed.
The Miles&More reward chart has a special section at the bottom showing "Domestic" rewards that are inside Europe or outside Europe. No other information is available other than the Mileage Calculator which returns the sames value for both inside and outside Europe rewards. Of interest is within the United States, i.e. First Class on United. It also states that a one-way reward is available and can be booked online. While a one-way is potentially available, online bookings are not. The economy reward is the same as United however the first class reward is 20,000 points less. If this reward interests you please contact the call center for verification.
Note: Ich habe meinen Whohnsitz in USA means are you a resident of the USA.
Miles&More has a Three Region reward that allows travel between three regions with a single ocean crossing. For example, the three could be North America, Europe, South America. Additionally if you are traveling to a destination on a Star Alliance carrier, and the connection is only available through a 3rd region, then you are required to pay the higher redemption. See Routing Rules for more information.
Star Alliance / Round the World
Miles&More offers the Star Alliance Round the World reward. These conditions apply.
- Travel in a single direction and include one Pacific and one Atlantic crossing
- A maximum 10 flight segments are allowed
- Open-jaws are permitted however each one counts as a flight segment
- Minimum of 10 days between the first and last international flight
- Maximum 7 stopovers are allowed.
- From the origin country only one departing and one arriving international flight is allowed
- All flights must be used within a one year time frame from the date booked
- Only two flights out of any given city are allowed
Surcharges, taxes and fees are additional.
Miles&More requires all carrier imposed surcharges to be paid on all reward tickets. This includes Star Alliance carriers when applicable.
For Lufthansa and select Miles&More (not defined but assume Austrian, Swiss and Brussels ) carriers you have the option of paying for all surcharges, taxes and fees with a flat rate of 15,000 points on tickets within Europe.
Rebooking or cancelling fee is EUR50 or about $55USD.
Rewards may be booked beginning 361 days from departure. Tickets are valid for one year from the original booking date. Star Alliance rewards can be booked up to one day before departure. Mile-and-More online rewards may be booked same day as departure.
Certain changes may be made to rewards that do not require rebooking that may waive any fees. A re-issue based on route change requires cancelling the reward and re-booking. Service fees apply to cancellations. Cancellations must be made with the call center.
You may book a reward ticket for anyone, however once issued it is non-transferable.
Reduced Flight Rewards
- Fly Smart
- Mileage Bargains
- Children's Flight rewards
Reduced Flight Rewards may not be changed or cancelled. Points and Surcharges paid for these rewards will be forfeited. Fees and taxes are refunded.
An explanation of Fly Smart and Mileage Bargain rewards can be found under "Sweet Spots"
Multiple booking class rewards
Multiple booking class rewards are allowed, when one-way is in one class and the other way is in a different class. The ticket price will be based on the higher redemption. In this case it would be better to book two one-way rewards if allowed.
Elite Miles&More members having Senator or HON Circle status can book a companion reward for a 50% discount. This only applies to flight awards and not Reduced Flight rewards.
Infants / Children
Infants under 2 years of age fly at no charge provided they do not occupy their own seat. Children between the ages of 2 to their 12th birthday qualify for a 25% discount from the normal flight reward. This is applicable only on Lufthansa Group airlines as well as Adria Airways, Air Dolomiti, LOT and Luxair. Infant and Children rewards can only be booked through the call center. Surcharges, taxes and fees may be required for these tickets.
Miles&More points expire 36 months from the date earned. Forfeiture occurs and the end of the following quarter. An example is had you earned points from a flight, hotel stay, transfer, etc., on July 5, 2014, by following the published rule if these points were not used by September 30, 2017 you would lose them. No extensions are possible unless longer expiry dates are published by Miles&More.
Holders of a valid Lufthansa International Miles&More credit card are excluded from mileage expirations provided the card has been active longer than 3 months and certain spending requirements have been met.
Rewards are region based and redemptions are region to region only. You can not build an itinerary that transits through a third region. For example, if you are looking for a Star Alliance reward from Seattle to Sydney you can transfer in North America, meaning a flight to the gateway city that has the flight direct to Sydney. You can't fly to Tokyo then to Sydney. That requires a three region reward.
The exception to this rule is a Miles&More reward that is returned through the search engine. For example, you could get a reward from Washington D.C. to Tokyo through Frankfurt on Lufthansa.
Stopovers / Open Jaws
Stopovers, transits longer than 24 hours, may be allowed by contacting the call center.
Open Jaws are permitted. An open jaw is arriving at one city and departing from another city. In the case of an open jaw being in different regions, the reward ticket will be based on the region with the higher redemption value. If you flew into Europe from North American and returned from the Middle East you would pay the Middle East fare and be responsible for transit from Europe to the Middle East.
Lufthansa.com / miles-and-more.com
You must be a member of the Miles&More program to search for reward flights.
You can book reward flights on their website for these carriers:
- Adria Airways
- Austrian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
Searching is fairly straightforward. Simply fill in the blanks.
The search results have a number of problems. First and foremost the request was for a First Class reward. However the results returned a Business Class reward.
The second issue is once you pick an itinerary (some cases you will get more than 1 choice), unless you have sufficient points in your account you are stopped cold. This means you can not view the actual cost of the reward in points and more importantly surcharges, taxes and fees.
The lack of transparency is a major negative to the Miles&More program.
This necessitates a call to the service center as do any Star Alliance rewards.
If you have a desire to fly Lufthansa First Class then the Miles&More program is your best opportunity. While Lufthansa First Class space is made available to Star Alliance partners, it is released 14 days prior to departure resulting in late booking fees as well as gambling on whether space will open or not. Miles&More makes Lufthansa first class inventory available 361 days out.
Comparison with Air Canada and United
Some Miles&More highlights (when flying exclusively on Lufthansa Group aircraft you can get one-way rewards while both Air Canada and United offer one-way redemptions):
- Lufthansa first class to Europe is reasonably priced. While more than Air Canada you get availability 361 days out versus 14 with Air Canada. Either program could be a one-way redemption for 1/2 the points.
- Taking Lufthansa aircraft to the Middle East in premium class is also the better of the 3. Lufthansa would be the only first class option, but you could use Miles&More points on Air Canada, Swiss, Austrian or SAS for this route.
- Round trip travel to Japan using Miles&More points is the best option. The best carrier here is ANA over Lufthansa aircraft.
- Traveling to Australia or New Zealand on Star Alliance aircraft with Miles&More points is a very good deal as well assuming you can get a flight that doesn't transit in a 3rd region.
Fly Smart rewards are close in bookings that can save up to 50% of typical redemptions for economy class worldwide and business class in Europe. These rewards apply to Miles&More carriers and are booked online. Round-trips are required.
Fly Smart rewards become available two weeks prior to departure and are subject to capacity controls. A minimum Saturday night stay is required for European Fly Smart rewards. For international economy Fly Smart rewards a 7 day stay is necessary.
This is the current Fly Smart chart.
These are promotional rewards offered from select cities to various destinations on Miles&More carriers. These rewards can potentially offer tremendous savings. For example, a current Mileage Bargain from Miami to Vienna (as well as other European cities served by Austrian Airlines) is only 55,000 points round-tip in business class. Typically these are economy specials.
Use this link to get the current Mileage Bargains.
North American Cost
You can use Miles&More points to upgrade any Lufthansa Group flight as well as Star Alliance flight. See complete booking code list below. The Mileage Calculator will show how many points are necessary for a one-way upgrade. These are the North American upgrade redemptions to Europe.
Upgrade or Reward?
When upgrades are available it is always a good idea to see if upgraded is better than purchasing the flight or getting a reward ticket, especially when surcharges are applicable. This comparison may not be completely accurate to the exact amount of surcharges, fees and taxes because Miles&More doesn't disclosed them until you are ready to redeem the reward. The comparison is a round trip from JFK to FRA. Fees and taxes were used from the following fares; Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First.
The comparisons use a point value of 2.5 cents ,which is what you could purchase some for, and 1.5 cents which is what you could have gotten back on a cash back credit card. Of course the value of bonus points and points earned through flying and other sources is arbitrary.
- Economy upgrade to Premium Economy: The lowest fare was $614, however taxes were $484 on the ticket. Buying the lowest fare and spending 40,000 points to upgrade was break-even at 1.5 cents and a $500 loser at 2.5 cents.
- Premium Economy to Business: Here the surcharges were more reasonable and an upgrade in general was a good way to go.
- Business to First: In both case and upgrade was better than purchasing the ticket.
- Economy: Getting a reward economy ticket was significantly more expensive that simply buying the ticket. Economy tickets rarely do well with points.
- Premium Economy: The same situation as economy.
- Business: Depending on how you value you points determined the outcome, with 1.5 cents per point a decent value and 2.5 cents a point not so good.
- First: As typical a reward in First offered the best value on your points.
These are the booking codes for all possible upgrades using Miles&More points.
Effective: March 12, 2018
Miles&More points will be earned based on revenue at 4 points per 1 Euro for the total fare including surcharges on all Star Alliance flights. A 500€ flight will earn 2,000 Miles&More points. Flyers with status will earn a 50% bonus on Star Alliance International partners or a 25% bonus on Eurowings. Brussels Airlines and other lower tier Star Alliance regional airlines.
Effective: Until March 11, 2018
You can earn Miles&More points by flying any Lufthansa Group carrier as well as Star Alliance carriers. Mileage is distance and booking class based. With Lufthansa Group carriers you also have a minimum earn. Follow this link to look up any of the 37 carriers you can earn Miles&More points on.
Miles&More has a US branded credit card issued by Barclays. Sign on bonuses range from 20,000 points to 50,000 points. This page from the Miles&More website offers a 35,000 bonus. Another excellent award from this card is an annual companion ticket in economy for taxes and fees.
Currently Miles&More has only a single credit card transfer partner in SPG as well as a few Hotel transfer partners that generally don't offer great value.
- Starwood Preferred Guest 1:1 (Plus 25% bonus on 20K increment transfers)
- Hilton HHonors 10:1
- IHG Rewards 5:1
- Le Club Accor 2:1
- Marriott Rewards 6.66:1 to 4:1 based on transfer amount
You can earn Miles&More points with hotel stays. Select from 102 partners including:
- Fairmont, Raffles, Swissotel
- Kempinski Hotels
- Langham Group
- Mandarin Oriental Group
- St. Regis
- Shangri-La Hotels
Miles&More has their own hotel booking portal that earns additional points, like you might earn from RocketMiles or Kaligo. You will earn at least 1,000 Miles&More points for each overnight stay. In many cases you can collect thousands of points. This is a random sample for a 3 night stay.
Miles&More has numerous ways to earn points outside of flying and credit cards. Many opportunities are limited to living in Europe. If Miles&More points are something you want to collect follow this link to learn more.
Miles&More has discontinued a point purchase program.
Reward inventory with Miles&More is very good and the reward redemption values are in-line with competing Star Alliance partners. The main issue is surcharges. Potentially paying for these surcharges with points could be a great deal. The lack of transparency with the search engine showing total costs is a concern as is the ability to earn non-flying points. The branded US credit card when offering 50,000 points is a great deal. If your objective is to fly a Lufthansa Group carrier or destination, Miles&More should be given strong consideration.