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A Guide to the Lufthansa Frequent Traveler Program: Miles and More

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When it comes to European airline loyalty schemes, the Lufthansa frequent traveler program is one of the best. Part of the Star Alliance network, the Miles and More program gives you access to numerous rewards and redemption options. Here is a complete guide to Miles and More, the Lufthansa frequent traveler program.

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What is the Lufthansa Frequent Traveler Program?

Miles and More is Europe’s most extensive frequent flyer program. 

All the Lufthansa Group airlines (Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Air Dolomiti, and Edelweiss Air) participate in the program. Better still, the Lufthansa Group is also part of Star Alliance, the biggest airline alliance in the world. 

Star Alliance includes global airlines like Turkish and Singapore, but also North American carriers United and Air Canada. 

Thanks to the global Star Alliance network, you can use your Lufthansa frequent traveler benefits with over 30 airlines – making it easier to redeem your points. 

One of the primary benefits of the Miles and More program is that you can use the miles to fly anywhere. 

Here are some examples of the global possibilities with the Lufthansa frequent traveler program. 

These are some of the flights I booked or upgraded with Lufthansa miles: 

  • Copa flight from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Panama;
  • United flight from Atlanta to Miami;
  • Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Bangkok; and 
  • Aegean Flight from Larnaca to Barcelona via Athens. 

In short, Miles and More is a top-notch program because you can use the miles on so many airlines. Even if you aren’t a super-frequent traveler, you’ll find ways to redeem your miles, which isn’t always the case with other loyalty programs. 

Lufthansa Frequent traveler program - Star Alliance Members

Star Alliance members / picture courtesy of the Copa Airlines website.

The Lufthansa Frequent Traveler Program: How to Earn Lufthansa Miles

Now that we know what the Miles and More program is, it’s time to earn some sweet Lufthansa air miles. 

How to Earn Lufthansa Miles Through the LH Group and Star Alliance Flights

The easiest way to earn Lufthansa miles is by flying with one of the Lufthansa Group airlines or a Star Alliance member. 

It’s simple, but you don’t get a lot of miles if you fly in economy class. For flights within Europe, you get between 100 and 1,500 miles, depending on the booking class. 

For intercontinental flights from or to Europe, the miles you get are calculated by distance. In economy class, you’ll get around one mile per mile flown. In business class, it will be between 1.5 and two times the miles flown.

As an example, if you book an economy flight from Frankfurt to Sao Paulo, you get around 7,000 miles. If you buy that same ticket in business class, you’ll gain over 14,000 miles. 

In short, you’ll quickly get lots of Lufthansa miles if you frequently fly intercontinental or buy business class tickets. 

Lufthansa Frequent Traveler Program - planes in airport

Miles and More is also the Austrian and Swiss frequently flyer program

How to Earn Lufthansa Miles Through Hotels and Car Rentals

You can access the Miles and More hotel and rental car booking platform through the website. 

The prices for hotels are a bit higher than on Booking.com, for example, but you can earn a lot of miles this way. 

In this context, if you book an upper-mid-range hotel for 70-150 USD per night, you often get around 1,000 miles per night.

Consequently, earning Lufthansa miles by using their hotel booking platform is a worthwhile option if you are not a frequent flyer. 

You can also use partner companies like Marriott Bonvoy and Booking.com. On these websites, however, the number of miles you get per euro spent is lower than on the Miles and More platform. 

How to Earn Lufthansa Miles Through Credit Cards

Miles and More has partnerships with credit institutions in over 20 countries. 

In the US, you can get a Miles and More Barclay’s credit card if you meet the qualifications. If you spend 3,000 USD in your first three months, you usually get around 50,000 bonus miles – enough for a transatlantic economy flight. The card has an 89 USD annual fee, making it a better value than many comparable ones. 

There are other credit card solutions, depending on where you live. 

Credits cards are generally a great solution to earn miles, and Lufthansa is no different. However, the Miles and More credit cards only give you one mile per dollar spent. That amount isn’t competitive with some other cards that provide two miles per dollar spent. 

Can You Buy Miles and More Miles?

The Lufthansa frequent traveler program does not currently offer the option to buy miles. 

What Are Lufthansa Status Miles and HON Circle Miles? 

There are three different types of Miles and More points: miles, Lufthansa status miles, and HON Circle miles.

First, the regular miles are the ones you earn on flights, hotels, and other partner companies.

Secondly, you earn Lufthansa status miles through Lufthansa Group and Star Alliance flights. 

Finally, you earn HON Circle miles by purchasing business or first-class tickets on Lufthansa Group and codeshare partner airlines. 

The status miles will determine your status with Miles and More. There are four qualifications:

  • Member: no status miles required;
  • Frequent Travel: 35,000 status miles or 30 flight segments within a calendar year; 
  • Senator: 100,000 status miles within a calendar year; and 
  • HON Circle member: 600,000 HON Circle miles within two consecutive calendar years.

Every status level has different benefits like free baggage allowances, business lounge access, more miles, and upgrades. 

Lufthansa Boeing 747 in Frankfurt / Unsplash

The Lufthansa Frequent Traveler Program: Best Ways to Redeem 

Now that we’ve covered the part on how to earn Lufthansa miles, it’s time to get to the fun part: spending them.

How to Redeem Miles and More Points on Flights 

Redeeming miles on flights is undoubtedly the best-valued option with the Lufthansa loyalty program. 

See the chart below for the prices of an award ticket. These awards work for all Lufthansa Group airlines as well as their mileage partners. Be aware that not all Star Alliance members are Lufthansa mileage partners. 

If an airline is a Star Alliance member but not a mileage partner, you can earn but not redeem your miles on that airline. 

You can, for example, earn Lufthansa miles on Turkish Airlines flights, but you cannot buy a Turkish airlines ticket with Lufthansa miles. 

United, on the other hand, is both a mileage partner and a Star Alliance member.

If you are wondering how to use Lufthansa miles on United, the following is the best solution. You can buy an award ticket with United from New York to Austin, for example, and pay with Lufthansa miles on the Lufthansa website. 

Prices for Lufthansa Award Tickets in Miles

The prices depend on the length of the flight and the booking class. The miles you see in the chart are always for return flights. So, you can get can a one-way ticket with half the miles. 

In this context, I recently bought an Aegean Airlines ticket from Cyprus to Barcelona via Athens with 17,000 Lufthansa miles, which is more or less what the chart states. 

Lufthansa Frequent Traveler Program - Miles and More - miles chart

The prices of flights in miles (only available in German)

How to Get a Lufthansa Upgrade With Miles 

Getting a Miles and More business upgrade is straightforward on some routes and challenging on others. 

As a rule of thumb, it’s easy to upgrade from premium economy to business on a transatlantic flight. Upgrading from economy to business requires a lot of miles that you could easily spend on an award ticket. Some economy tickets aren’t upgradable, especially if it’s a promotional fare. 

Upgrading from business to first class is the best value for your money, but you still need to purchase an expensive business class ticket. 

For a transatlantic flight, you can generally upgrade from premium economy to business class with around 30,000 miles. For Asian flights, the price is closer to 50,000 miles. 

Here’s an example of a Lufthansa upgrade:

  • I bought a premium economy ticket from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Panama City (Copa Airlines – part of Star Alliance) and then to Frankfurt (Eurowings – part of the Lufthansa Group) for around 900 USD. 
  • I then upgraded the Panama-Frankfurt flight to business class by paying 30,000 miles. 

The business class ticket from Panama to Frankfurt alone would have cost in the region of 3,000 USD, so the Lufthansa upgrade was a no-brainer. 

Business Class upgrade on Eurowings from Panama City to Frankfurt

Redeem Miles and More Points on Hotels 

You can redeem your miles on the Miles and More hotel booking platform, but I do not recommend that. 

You’ll get a discount on the nightly price of your hotel, but the monetary value is low. As such, redeeming your miles on awards flights and Lufthansa business upgrades will save you a lot more money. 

Other Lufthansa Frequent Traveler Rewards 

You can spend your miles in Lufthansa’s online shop and other travel-related platforms. 

However, much like spending miles on hotels, this isn’t the best-value option. 

All in all, earning miles through hotels and car rentals is a better option than redeeming them in that manner. 

Conclusion on Miles and More: the Lufthansa Frequent Traveler Program

Miles and More is one of the best frequent flyer programs out there. 

If we compare it to the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program, for example, it’s easier to earn and spend miles with Lufthansa thanks to their partnership with Star Alliance.   

Here’s a recap on the best ways to earn and spend Lufthansa miles:

  • The easiest way to earn Lufthansa miles is through flying a lot, booking hotels on their platform, and credit cards;
  • The best ways to spend Miles and More points are to buy award tickets or upgrade;
  • The main limitations of the program concern airlines that are Star Alliance members but not mileage partners like Turkish Airlines. 

To conclude, it’s best to use the Lufthansa loyalty program if you fly a lot in Europe and North America. Those are Lufthansa’s bases, but the group’s partnerships also cover Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. 

The hotel booking platform gives you a lot of miles for your money – creating additional possibilities to earn Lufthansa miles. 

As such, the Lufthansa program shines through versatility – making it one of the most usable airline loyalty schemes. 

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