Barclays Lufthansa Card with 50,000 Miles (Use For 2 Coach Tickets or 1.5 First Class Tickets Within the US)

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Update: The current sign-up bonus has reduced to 35,000 miles

[Disclosure:  Emily and I get a commission to the 50,000 Mile Lufthansa card, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, and the Starwood personal and business cards.  You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful to all the readers who use our link!]

Barclays increased the sign-up bonus from 20,000 miles to 50,000 miles with the Lufthansa Miles and More card.  The $79 annual fee is NOT waived in the first year.  But $79 for 2 domestic coach trips seems worth it to me.

50,000 Lufthansa Miles

50,000 Lufthansa Miles

Lufthansa is a German airline, but is a member of the Star Alliance.  This means that you can redeem Lufthansa miles for flights on other Star Alliance airlines, including United & US Air in the US.

That said, the $5,000 minimum spending requirement is higher than it usually is for Barclays cards.  For example, you get 35,000 miles with the US Air card after your 1st purchase, and have to spend only $3,000 on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® to get the sign-up bonus (worth ~$440 in travel)

With the Lufthansa offer, you get:

  • 20,000 miles after the 1st purchase &
  • 30,000 miles after spending $5,000 within 3 months

You get the same amount of miles even if you are approved for a lower version of the offer (as Barclays sometimes does).

You also get a companion ticket, but it is almost worthless because it is valid only on coach tickets and you have to buy 1 coach ticket at a higher price than regular coach tickets AND also pay the taxes and fees for the free “companion” ticket.

Spending $5,000 within 3 months is stiff.  I’d rather spend $5,000 within 3 months on the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or the American Express Business Gold Rewards card for 50,000 points.

But this could be a good option, for folks who can manage the minimum spending requirement because the card is from Barclays which usually uses the TransUnion credit bureau, which is often not used by the other banks.  It is nice to have a decent offer which is not from Chase!

Flyertalk member habsben has found a link to an offer with 50,000 miles, but with only a $2,500 minimum spending requirement within 3 months.  However, you will get only 5,000 miles if you’re approved for the lower card.

I hate these bait and switch tactics, so applying for the offer with the higher minimum spending ($5,000 within 3 months) could be worth it since Barclays doesn’t spell out exactly what makes you qualify for the better card.

How to Use 50,000 Lufthansa Miles

In short, you will pay fuel surcharges for all award redemptions except on United (except flights to Europe & Asia), US Air and LOT (a Polish airline).

You can also book 1-way awards at half the price of round-trip awards with Lufthansa miles, which adds flexibility to how you can use the miles.

You can book awards online on the Lufthansa website for flights on Lufthansa, Austrian Air, Swiss Air.  But you have to call Lufthansa to book awards on other partners including United and US Air.

Here’s a link to the Lufthansa award chart.  Note that you can fly entirely within 1 country (say within the US) for 25,000 miles round-trip or 35,000 miles (17,500 miles for a 1-way) in United First Class (since it books as business class) within the continental US.

I personally feel that using Lufthansa miles for travel within the US is the best use of their miles because you don’t pay high fuel surcharges.

25K

25,000 For a Round-Trip Coach Award (on US Air or United) & 35,000 for a Round-Trip First Class (on United) Award Within the Continental US or within Canada

Mighty Travels shares his thoughts on the Barclays Lufthansa 50,000 mile card and has another post on how to find value using Lufthansa miles.

1)   2 Coach Tickets Within the Continental United States

It is only 25,000 Lufthansa miles for a round-trip in coach, within the Continental US or within Canada, on US Air or United.  If you find a low-level award on US Air or United, you can use your Lufthansa miles to book that award. There are no fuel surcharges on US Air or United.

Note that flights to Hawaii cost more miles, and that you have to call Lufthansa to book the award.

2)   1.5 First Class Tickets on United Within the Continental United States

It costs 35,000 Lufthansa miles (compared to the 50,000 miles it would usually cost if you used United miles) for a round-trip First Class award on United within the continental US or within Canada.

You will have more than 17,500 miles left over once you complete the minimum spending requirement, so you can book another 1-way award in business class on United within the US!

However, this won’t work on US Air.  It works on United because United First Class seats books as business class when you use Lufthansa miles.

Note that flights to Hawaii cost more miles, and that you have to call Lufthansa to book the award.

3)  To Europe From Dallas for 55,000 Miles in Business Class

It costs 55,000 Lufthansa miles to Europe from Dallas in business class.  You have to book by May 31, 2013, and travel from May 8, 2013 to June 16, 2013.

dfdf

55,000 Miles in Business Class From Dallas to Europe

Note that you will also pay fuel surcharges of ~$400+ each way.  But a paid business class ticket will cost ~$3,000.

4)   To Europe From The US for 50,000 Miles in Coach

It costs 50,000 Lufthansa miles in coach from the US to Europe on Lufthansa or any partner airline.  Note that you will pay fuel surcharges (~$300+ per 1-way) if you’re NOT flying US or LOT, so this may not be worth it in coach.

5)  Access to First Class Seats on Swiss & Lufthansa

Lufthansa & Swiss block other Star Alliance partners (like United) from accessing some of their First Class award seats.

But folks with Lufthansa miles get access to more award seats on Lufthansa and Swiss flights in First Class, so using Lufthansa miles is a good way to get into First Class on those airlines.

First Class on Lufthansa

First Class on Lufthansa

But you will pay a lot!  It costs 170,000 miles for a return first class award (or 85,000 miles for a 1-way award) + fuel surcharges of ~$400+ per 1-way segment.  On the other hand, you may get to sleep in a bed while flying!

You can also transfer Starwood hotel points from the Starwood hotel personal and business credit cards to Lufthansa if you need to top-off your account for an award.

Bottom Line

Either way, the Lufthansa 50,000 mile offer could be worth it for some.  At the very least, you are getting 2 coach awards within the Continental US with just 1 credit card.

But do your own research to see if it makes sense for you because there WILL be high fuel surcharges added to many awards (except on United, US Air, and LOT).

PS: I’m traveling, so I won’t be able to get to the comments soon!

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These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

39 responses to “Barclays Lufthansa Card with 50,000 Miles (Use For 2 Coach Tickets or 1.5 First Class Tickets Within the US)

  1. Hey Daraius,

    Thanks for the informative post! I do plan on using one of your links up top to sign up for this card. Quick question though, I see that you have SPG personal/business listed for referral links. I was under the impression that those cards referral links weren’t around anymore. Would you mind telling me how you accessed the link? I have a few friends that are going to sign up for them and I’d like to refer them.

  2. Great post.

  3. I appreciate your repeated warnings about the high fuel surcharges. It looks like a good offer on the surface, but with a partner that has devalued its miles to where that kind of spend is better placed elsewhere, as I look at it.

  4. There is another offer for the card that requires only $2500 minimum spend to earn the bonus: https://www.barclaycardus.com/app/japply/WebAppGate.jsp

    See the T&C above the application page for details.

  5. tassojunior

    Are you sure awards to Europe on US, UA and LOT don’t have fuel surcharges? Usually airlines that have YQ on their own flights charge YQ on partner flights to the same destination.

  6. tassojunior

    also the “domestic” chart you have above is the “one-country” chart, US/Canada would be higher.

  7. I have no luck so far with Barclays that they declined me twice even I called the reconsideration line. They said that I have enough credit line with other banks so that they are unwilling to extend credit to me. Low income kid suffers…

  8. MileHunter

    One caveat:

    “2.5. Mileage expiry

    Any mileage not redeemed within 36 months of the date of accrual (date of flight, start of hotel stay, time of car rental) will expire at the end of that quarter (e.g. miles expiring in August of any given year would expire at the end of September of that same year), failing other arrangements published in the Miles & More communication media. Attention will be drawn in good time to the date and extent of the lapsed mileage in the Miles & More account information or in the personal Internet mileage account.”

    I think the only exception to their mile expiration policy is if you hold their credit card and use it every single month from what I understand.

  9. Darius,

    Great post, why did you make no mention of the annual companion pass, seems like it can pretty useful. Is there something I’m missing?

  10. So no YQ on LOT? Inluding YYZ>WAW? If so, something to think about!!

  11. @Kalboz,
    That better offer has been discussed for the last few days on other blogs (who reads blogs when you are on the road?). No need to bring it up here. Darius needs the commission. This clearly passes the “mother-in-law rule”!

  12. @ABC… perhaps im reading an updated post, but clearly he points out the lower spend link re FT post HOWEVER if you get “bait and switch”-ed for the lower card, you will only receive 5k. Are you willing to take that risk?

    Per T&C: Miles & More Platinum MasterCard cardmembers will receive 5,000 bonus miles upon the first use of your new Account for a purchase or balance transfer within the first 60 days that the Account is opened.

  13. @Kalboz: Darius has the $2500 spend offer listed, but it is an inferior offer because of the possibility that you will get stuck with the platinum version of the card and only 5000 miles…

  14. Robert Hanson

    “I think the only exception to their mile expiration policy is if you hold their credit card and use it every single month from what I understand.”

    From what I have read elsewhere, not only do you need to use it every single month, but the spend has to be in each billing cycle, so you need to really watch those dates. But after what we have seen recently with HHonors, etc. it’s better to use those miles up in less than 3 years anyway.

    Other blogs have confirmed no fuel charges when MM are used for awards on United, Lot, etc.

    @ Gold I’m guessing the companion pass can not be used with an award ticket, like you can do with the Southwest pass. You would have to buy a very pricy LH ticket to use the companion pass.

  15. So with LH Miles, can you get the SWISS First Class award as well?

  16. Way overpriced. 170,000 for R/T plus 800.00 is fuel surcharges. We are talking minimum $2500.00 at 1c value and you dont earn any miles and are subject to capacity.

  17. Does Continental United States include Hawaii? If yes, it would be nice to redeem business class onto United from New York to Honolulu round trip at only 35000 miles?

  18. @Eric - Thanks for using our links! The SPG link is an affiliate link which I get from my affiliate network. AMEX isn’t offering a referral bonus (where you get points for referring the card) any more.

    @Lively @Samuel – Thanks!

    @DaveS @Jorge – I like the option to redeem for 2 domestic tickets on United, but the card isn’t for everyone.

    @Kalboz – I’ve listed the card with the $2,500 minimum spending in the post, but you could also get 5,000 miles with that version, whereas you always get 50,000 miles with the $5,000 minimum spending version.

    @tassojunior – I don’t believe there are fuel surcharges on those airlines when using Lufthansa miles. I’ve edited the post to clarify that the chart applies for flights within the US OR within Canada (and flights between the US and Canada will be higher!)

    @Ray - With Barclays it is best to wait ~4 to 6 months before reapplying.

    @MileHunter – That’s correct. You have to use the miles within 3 years or have the card AND make a purchase (after the 3 years expiration is up) to keep your points alive.

    @Gold @Robert Hanson – I didn’t mention it because it requires you to purchase a “H” fare economy ticket which is much higher than the regular economy tickets. And because the companion pass is valid only in economy and you have to pay the high taxes and fees on the companion ticket as well. But I updated the post to mention the companion ticket!

    @JohnnieD – I’d call to double check, but I don’t believe there are fuel surcharges on LOT flights with Lufthansa miles.

    @ABC - Perhaps you should read a little more closely! The post *does* mention the offer with the lower spend and also mentions that you may get only 5,000 miles if you get approved for the lower offer with the $2,500 spending requirement.

    @tri – Thanks! The lower offer was mentioned in the original post, but some like to be snarky!

    @PhatMiles
    – You can book Swiss First Class awards with Lufthansa miles.

    @audisfo – Continental US doesn’t include Hawaii. It will be 40K in coach on United to Hawaii and 70K in business in United.

  19. Is it possible (or recommended) to apply for two Barclays cards on the same day? Any thoughts on that?

  20. SHOOTER MCGAVIN

    too many other great card deals out there, not for me.

  21. @sl – You can apply for more than 1 Barclays card at a time, but I wouldn’t call their recosnideration line if you were denied for any or all of them.

  22. Is it possible to book one-way US-Europe tickets with Lufthansa miles or it has to be roundtrip?
    Thank you

  23. “Miles & More integrated airline partners are: Adria Airways, Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines Group, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Lufthansa Regional, Lufthansa Private Jet, Luxair and SWISS. Certain restrictions apply. See Terms and Conditions or details.”
    “50,000 award miles is enough to redeem for a round-trip flight award from the U.S. to Europe, on a flight operated by Lufthansa, SWISS or Austrian Airlines (with a marketing flight number of the respective carrier). Taxes and fees are not included in the flight award. Taxes, fees and carrier charges up to $1,000 may apply.”

    It does not mention United. Is the option to redeem on United for US-Europe flight without paying the hefty fuel surcharges available?!

  24. What does FarEast mean in LHs language? What countries can you travel. The companion ticket fine print reads:
    “Application: select published fares in Economy Class. The paID Economy Class ticket must be for travel departing from the U.S. to Europe/Middle East/Africa and Far East”.

    Also, is there a way to check a ball park pricing for the companion ticket eligible price on a specific travel. It is mentioned you have to call their customer care and the pricing on lufthansa.com could be lower at times. Which code classes are eligible?

  25. Robert Hanson

    One way flights are indeed available with LH at half the miles of a R/T award. To find out how many miles are required for airlines in the MM program, simple Google:

    “miles and more mileage calculator”

    Then you can put in your origin and destination, and class of service, and it will tell you how many miles you need. Mileages given are for a one way award.

    Under that it will tell you which countries are included in each area. For instance, there are 3 different areas for “Asia”, each with a different amount of miles needed.

    While I have no personal experience with this, several other blogs seem quite certain that LH miles used for tix on UA, US, and LOT do not incur fuel surcharges.

  26. Will be interesting to see if this card also offers the 15k bonus 750 spend for 3 months similiar to the US Air & NFL Barclays cards.

  27. Daraius – great post. I understand that to book a United flight, you have to call LH, are there phone booking fees? Also, seems like a 1-way economy award prices at 12k and a RT prices at 25k. Almost makes more sense to book two 1-ways?

  28. Can miles be used on Condor?

  29. Pingback: Lufthansa 50,000 Mile Card – Confusion Over Bonus & Fuel Surcharge Update | Million Mile Secrets

  30. @Dima - You can book 1-way awards, but certain United flights will have fuel surcharges.

    @PhatMiles – I believe you have to call their call center to find out pricing and only “H” fares or higher are eligible for the companion ticket.

    @MYRflyer – I’m guessing that it will!

    @MissMiles
    - There are no phone booking fees. It does make sense to book 2 1-ways instead of a return, but note that you will pay $60 twice if you do decide to cancel the ticket (vs. once if you booked a round-trip).

  31. Can I use the miles on a domestic united flight that has a short stopover or is there any stipulation that it would have to be a direct flight at the economy saver award level?

  32. @danny - You can use it for flights within the US as long as it has only 2 segments and the layover is less than 24 hours.

  33. Daraius:

    I am trying to apply for Barclays Lufthansa card using your link. For some reason, your link is not loading and I am getting could not connect to server message.

  34. @Sara - Thanks for using our links! They seem to be working for me.

  35. Milechasers

    You mentioned not to call Barclays recon line if denied.
    I applied for 2 cards on the same day. First ever card with Barclays. No enquiries on Transunion in the last 2+years.
    1) US Air card – instantly approved with 10k credit line
    2) – Miles and More – We’ll need more time to review the information you provided for your Premier Miles & More World MasterCard application.

    Is it a good idea to call recon? if yes, what is the number.

  36. Milechasers

    Never mind, I called recon and was approved after 1 minute worth of questions.
    Main question – why second card?

    thanks for all the good work Mr. D

  37. @Milechasers – Glad it worked out! If these are your 1st cards with Barclays it is okay to call, otherwise best to wait.

  38. I just got approved for Barclays arrival and I’m willing to go to Morocco through Europe what the best to use this card?

  39. Pingback: Why You Should Choose Your Barclays Cards Wisely | Million Mile Secrets

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