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

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There’s a lot of questions on the best link to use for the 50,000 mile Barclaycard.  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.

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 Barclaycard.  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.

Barclaycard 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 Barclaycard 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!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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