Lufthansa 50,000 Mile Card – Confusion Over Bonus & Fuel Surcharge Update

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.  You don't have to use our links, but we're very grateful to all the readers who use our link!]

BEST OFFER

There’s a lot of questions on the best link to use for the 50,000 mile Barclays card.  Having years of, umm, experience :) with credit cards, here’s what I can very confidently say:

If you apply using my affiliate link, you will get 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 within 3 months regardless of whether you get approved for the Premier World OR Platinum MasterCard version.

50,000 Lufthansa Miles

50,000 Lufthansa Miles

The terms and conditions are very clear about this and say (under Welcome Bonus):

Premier World and Platinum Miles & More MasterCard cardmembers will receive 20,000 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.  Cardmembers will receive an additional 30,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening.

So even if you’re approved for the lower Platinum (instead of World MasterCard) you WILL get the full 50,000 mile sign-up bonus after meeting the minimum spending requirements.

But I can understand why it is confusing, because footnote 1 on the application page says:

“If at the time of your application you do not meet the credit criteria previously established for this offer, or the income you report is insufficient based on your obligations, we may not be able to open an account for you or you may receive a Platinum MasterCard which has fewer benefits.”

Some interpret “fewer benefits” to mean a lower sign-up bonus, but that is NOT true with Barclays.  The “fewer benefits” actually refers to the concierge and Preferred Access benefits of the World MasterCard (which you don’t get with the Platinum version) & which are virtually useless in my opinion.

“Fewer Benefits” does NOT refer to a lower sign-up bonus, but you already knew that if you read Million Mile Secrets! ;)

In contrast, the non-affiliate offer which requires $2,500 in spending within 3 months to get the full 50,000 miles says (under Welcome Bonus):

Premier Miles & More World MasterCard cardmembers will receive 20,000 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.  Cardmembers will receive an additional 30,000 bonus points after spending $2,500 in purchases within 90 days of account opening.

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.

Barclays has had similar varying offers in the past, so it is very important to read the terms and conditions of the offer carefully.  Sometimes the affiliate offer is better and sometimes the non-affiliate offer is better.  In this case, the affiliate link is the better offer, unless you’re comfortable with getting only 5,000 miles as a credit card sign-up bonus.

You’re more likely to get the lower Platinum card if you have lots of credit card applications, lower income, and a lower credit score.  But Barclays doesn’t publish specifics, so I can’t give you exact numbers.

Emily and I have both been approved for lower versions of the US Air card in the past.

To be clear – if you’re new to miles and points, there are better cards to apply for.

Fuel Surcharges

In my initial review of the Lufthansa 50,000 mile card, I mentioned that you won’t pay fuel surcharges when you use Lufthansa miles to redeem for awards on United, US Air, and LOT (a Polish airline).

But that isn’t true ALL the time.  Here’s what I’ve found out after making a few bookings using Lufthansa miles.

1.   US Air

ALL US Air flights do not currently have fuel surcharges when you use Lufthansa miles to book.

This means that you can use the 50,000 miles from the Lufthansa credit card to book 2 round-trip flights in coach within the continental United States on US Air.  You will pay only $2.50 per segment as a security fee.

You can also use Lufthansa miles to book flights on US Air to Europe and not pay fuel surcharges.  US Air flies to may cities in Europe from  Charlotte and Philadelphia and you will (currently) pay NO fuel surcharges for using your Lufthansa miles on those flights.

If you find a flight on US Air at the LOW mileage level on the US Air website, you can call Lufthansa to book that with Lufthansa miles.

2.   UNITED

There are NO fuel surcharges on flights:

  • Within the US
  • From the US to Canada
  • From the US to Mexico or the Caribbean
  • From the US to South America

Mighty Travels also confirmed that there are no fuel surcharges on United flights from the US to South America.

So this means that you can use the 50,000 miles from the Lufthansa credit card to book 2 round-trip flights in coach within the continental United States on United.  You will pay only $2.50 per segment as a security fee.

However, you WILL pay fuel surcharges on United flights from the:

  • US to Europe (~$260 in coach per 1-way)
  • US to Asia (~$290 in coach per 1-way)

If you find a flight on United at the LOW mileage level on the United website, you can call Lufthansa to book that with Lufthansa miles.

3.   LOT

I wasn’t able to find availability on any LOT flight from the US to Europe, so I can’t verify if Lufthansa charges fuel surcharges or not.

But this is a moot point because there was NO availability when I checked!

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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 Lufthansa 50,000 Mile Card – Confusion Over Bonus & Fuel Surcharge Update

  1. Though it states there is an annual fee in the screen print portion (with a note), you failed to mention the $79 annual fee in your article when covering the various fine points of the card.

    ———————————–
    Annual Fee
    $79 for the Premier World and Platinum Miles & More MasterCard (NOT WAIVED).
    ———————————–

  2. can it be booked to Honolulu, HI without surcharge?

  3. Billy Bob – The first article mentioned the annual fee.

  4. FL Traveler

    How good are LH miles for upgrading to higher class of service on paid LH or other Star Alliance tickets?

  5. For some reason LOT availability isn’t showing up on United.com anymore. However, I tried searching for it on ANA.com and found availability from both Chicago and New York to Warsaw on the Dreamliner 787. After calling Miles & More to price the award, one-way business class from ORD to WSW was 52,000 miles in business plus $2.50. Not a bad deal at all!

  6. @BillyBob @Chris – What Chris said. I mentioned it in the earlier post, but not in this update.

    @Alex – It is 40,000 miles roundtrip to Hawaii in coach, but there are no fuel surcharges.

    @FL Traveler
    – You can upgrade using miles, but the price varies on the booking class of your ticket.

    @Greg – Thanks! I used ExpertFlyer, but wasn’t able to find availability. I’ll do some more digging. Thanks!

  7. Companion pass, can that be upgraded using miles? I can’t not find anything in the T&C starting yes or no.

  8. I echo Tony.

    What about an analysis on whether there is value in the Companion Pass? It’s the only one I’m aware of that provides CP to Asia, Europe, and Africa. It is H-class only, though.

    Still, can it be valuable?

  9. Robert Hanson

    Congratulations for getting this right, {as usual}. Several other “big name” travel bloggers have had this totally wrong. I still can’t figure out why they are suggesting that people apply for the rogue link, which pays the blogger nothing and risks that his readers miss out on 45K miles, rather than for the affiliate link that pays a commission. And if you are lucky enough to have VR cards at your local CVS you can meet that extra $2,500 spend for total VR fees of $20.

  10. Darius,

    Any idea of when the offer is valid until? I looked at the T&Cs but couldn’t find a mention.

    My next churn is planned in early June but can do earlier… depending on when this might be valid till.

    Thanks

  11. Hi. Lets say I have the 50k miles with Lufthansa and none with United. How do I book a flight on the United website using my Lufthansa miles? Also, what does Robert H mean about “VR cards” at CVS? Thanks!

  12. @Rob. VR’s are Vanilla Reload cards. Purchase with new cc(at CVS drug stores) and load onto BlueBird to pay bills that do no accept cc’s. There are tons of threads and info on these. In fact Darius has a great explanation about what I mentioned.

  13. Oops, I should have known that one. I have a BBird cause of this blog. My bad. Thanks Geoff!
    How about the first part of my question about transferring Lufthansa miles? Anyone? ;)

  14. Hi Daraius,
    In your opinion, do you think it’s worth it to get the wellsfargo credit card no annual fee that gives 5x/$1 for 6 months on any purchase.

  15. There are reports that the rogue link doesn’t even work. The application will not go through. So the debate over the better link (which you make quite clear!) is a moot point.

  16. @Tony – Not sure I understand the question, but the companion ticket is in coach, and you can’t then use miles to upgrade that ticket.

    @DrewBird – I’ll work on it!

    @Robert Hanson – Thanks!

    @WL – I really don’t know, but would guess it will be around for a month.

    @Rob
    - Go to the United website and search for low level awards. Then call the Lufthansa Miles & More center to book the award. I’ll have a post on it soon.

    @leslie – I don’t think that is worth it because it is hard to use Wells Fargo points.

    @Samuel – There’s so much drama with Barclays!

  17. your link is not working.

  18. There is plenty of LOT space on milesandmore.com. Since it is a Miles & More airline, it unfortunately releases more award space to Miles & More.

  19. Approve with your link for the Platinum MC. 50k LH miles here I come!! :-)

  20. ProfessorAce

    Can Lufthansa miles be used on Air New Zealand? Any idea on what fuel surcharges would be like for trips between Auckland & Sydney, or within NZ? Seems like I can’t check this myself without becoming a member of their program first and waiting for activation, so advice greatly appreciated!

  21. @leslie – Which link isn’t working?

    @MileValue – That is true, though it seems to be more economy than business.

    @efilon87 – Congrats and thanks for using our link!

    @ProfessorAce - They can since Air New Zealand is a Star Alliance member. The fuel surcharges are low, and you have to call Miles and More for details since you can’t book these online.

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  23. ArrivalVsLufthansa

    Hi Daraius,

    Thanks for the detailed information. I want to point out one more thing that may or may not be important for MMS readers. Both the Barclays Arrival Card and Lufthansa cards offer 0% APR for 12 months (free money for a year if you have better return opportunities).

    I am confused whether the Lufthansa card (with Annual fee) is better than the Arrival card. Which one according to you is better? Considering there are very few 50k points bonus personal cards (I do not want to apply for business cards) how does this offer stack up? I appreciate your thoughts.

    One last question, do you have any idea about whether Barclays give lower credit limits compared to Citi or Chase.

    Thanks!

  24. Hi Daraius:

    Would I able to avoid the close in award booking fee charged by United and US Air if I use Miles & More to book the award ticket within 21 days? I believe if I use BA Avios, there is no close in fee on American. so is it the same case here? Any idea?

  25. @ArrivalVsLufthansa – If you’re new to miles and points, the Arrival card is easier to use because you get ~$440 towards any travel. With the Lufthansa card, you have to spend a bit of time for the redemptions. But it also depends on how you want to use the miles. The Arrival card also has a lower minimum spending requirement. Barclays does tend to give lower limits than Citi or Chase.

    @Sara – There are no close in fees for using Lufthansa miles. See this series for more details!

  26. Hi Daraius:

    Thanks for your reply and it helped me decide. I really appreciate the work you do at MMS and the sincerity with which you reply our queries (even the silly ones unlike flyer talk). You have helped me a lot just this past month. I will definitely apply for the Lufthansa card (and all cards in future) using your links. Before I submit my application, I have one last question. Are you aware when this offer might expire? I recently got 3 credit cards in March/April and you advised me to wait for 90 days. I am just worried that I might lose this 50k offer if I wait. Should I still wait for 60 more days?

  27. @Sara - Thanks for your kind words and for using our links! I really don’t know when the 50K offer will end, so do whatever you’re comfortable with. Do note that you are allowed only 2 segments when you book a US Air or United flight using Lufthansa miles, but there are no close-in ticketing fees.

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