50,000 Points for the Lufthansa MasterCard is Back!

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  1. BoardingArea

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    The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®

    • 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
    • $79 annual fee

    • This offer was around earlier in the year but then pulled, it’s great to see it return albeit for a limited time.

      This offer ends December 15, 2013 and may be canceled at any time without notice.​
      (Emphasis mine.)

      Some readers are going to see this as a niche product, but it’s a great signup offer, it’s from Barclay’s (great offers from banks that don’t start with “Ch” or rhyme with “Bamex” are always welcome) , and there are some real gem opportunities for the miles.

      There are really two ways to leverage this card.

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      The cheapest domestic premium cabin awards – United first class for just 17,500 miles each way

      United domestic first class awards are just 17,500 miles each way, 35,000 miles roundtrip (the program offers one-way awards at half the roundtrip price).

      New York JFK-Los Angeles is thus 35,000 miles roundtrip for a first class saver award. You do have to call to book, but Lufthansa’s Miles & More has the same access to regular saver award space that United offers to their own members and to the rest of the Star Alliance.

      When you meet your minimum spend on the card for the full 50,000 mile bonus, you’ll have 55,000 miles in the Miles & More program. That’s more than enough for a roundtrip domestic first class ticket on United, plus a one-way first class award.

      For heavy credit card spenders who travel predominantly domestically, this could be your go-to strategy for the great value (30% cheaper than comparable awards from United and US Airways) of the domestic first class award. No need to go for elite status.

      The reason this works is because a domestic (within one country) award is just 35,000 miles roundtrip for business class. United publishes their domestic forward cabin inventory as “I” or business class, even though they call the product first class. You can’t book the US Airways forward cabin at this price since it’s published as “O” or first class inventory. Also note that while Hawaii awards are a good value, they are pricier.

      The Miles & More program adds fuel surcharges onto awards, but there are no fuel surcharges for domestic US award tickets.

      The Aspirational First Class Awards You Can’t Get With United or US Airways Miles

      I have often said that United probably has the best frequent flyer program for redeeming miles towards business class to Europe or to Asia. But for first class the program just isn’t that good anymore, especially to Europe.

      In fact, using United (or US Airways) miles, if you want to fly first class across the Atlantic it’s going to be on United.

      While Swiss is removing the ability for general members to redeem for first class awards next year, Lufthansa continues not to offer much in the way of first class space to their their partners in advance — Miles & More offers better premium cabin award space. You can actually book Lufthansa First Class awards more than a couple of weeks out if you’re using these points.

      So if you want access to the legendary First Class Terminal in Frankfurt and don’t want to book your tickets in the days prior to departure, Miles & More miles are the best way to get there.

      The award chart isn’t cheap at all but it’s the way to get there, and there really isn’t a ton of competition for those seats since US frequent fliers are essentially shut out from competing for them through United and through US Airways.

      Candidly for spend on an ongoing basis, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is a better play because of the transfer bonuses — for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer to Miles & More you receive 5000 bonus points. That’s effectively earning 1.25 points per dollar on your spend, compared to one point per dollar for most of your spend with this card.

      But 50,000 points are a great start to the aspirational trip or to cash in for domestic premium cabin travel. Plus the card has no foreign transaction fees, and the annual fee is waived for Senator and HON Circle elites in Miles & More.

      (Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)

      The post 50,000 Points for the Lufthansa MasterCard is Back! appeared first on View from the Wing.

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