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My favorite frequent flyer program is Miles & More – belonging to the Lufthansa Group. Miles & More is the frequent flyer program of Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings (Europe and Discover), SWISS International Air Lines, LOT Polish Airlines, Luxair, and Croatia Airlines. As this is a Star Alliance frequent flyer program, you can earn and redeem miles on all Star Alliance operated flights.

Miles & More Overview

The frequent flyer program is mainly used by Lufthansa Group passengers as it offers the most benefits when flying on these airlines, especially when you have frequent flyer status. Even the entry-level Frequent Traveller (Star Alliance Silver) status allows you to access Lufthansa Business Lounges when flying in Economy Class. While most benefits to status members apply on Lufthansa Group flights, there are the usual Star Alliance Silver and Gold benefits that are available on all Star Alliance flights (like Priority Check-in and Boarding, for example).

Miles & More miles are harder to earn than most miles – the main reason is that there is no way to transfer in miles into Miles & More from any transferable bank points program or even Marriott Bonvoy. Transfers from Marriott were possible way back in the day, but have since been suspended.

The best way to earn miles is by flying in Premium Economy Class, Business Class, and First Class on Star Alliance airlines. The cheapest Economy tickets earn between 0% – 25% of the miles flown and First Class tickets can earn up to 300% + your elite status bonus. You can also earn miles through hotel stays, car rentals, and a variety of other partners.

The quickest way to receive a significant amount of miles is through the Barclays US Lufthansa Miles & More World Elite Mastercard – which frequently offers a sign-up bonus of around 50,000 – 60,000 miles upon qualifying activities.

SWISS International Air Lines, a Miles & More airline

SWISS International Air Lines, a Miles & More airline

Award Redemptions

Miles & More does still publish an official award chart, unlike some other airlines, so you’re able to see how much a flight costs in miles based on availability. The rates are quite reasonable and in some cases offer a better value than other Star Alliance programs (for example, Business Class to/from North America to/from Europe is less expensive in miles when booking through Miles & More when compared to most Star Alliance programs). The major disadvantage is that the program does charge fuel surcharges when flying airlines within the Lufthansa Group and a few others, these can be significant – especially when departing from North America.

Miles & More allows award ticket cancellations on regular tickets for a fee of EUR50 and some award tickets can be changed for free while others for the same EUR50 fee. Promotional and discounted award tickets usually cannot be cancelled. In addition to all of that, the program does have great routing rules which allow stopovers and open-jaws on round-trip tickets. Basic one-way and round-trip tickets can be booked online, but more complex tickets must be booked over the phone.

Miles & More Mileage Bargains

The highlight of the program are the Mileage Bargains – a list which is updated monthly and features discounted award tickets by half. The origins and destinations of the promotional tickets change frequently and not surprisingly, these tickets come with a lot of restrictions:

  • no cancellations
  • changes generally not allowed (but in some cases could be depending on the situation)
  • all taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges are the same as on a regular ticket; only the mileage requirement is discounted
  • the offer has limited availability (just because there will be an award seat doesn’t mean it will be available as a mileage bargain)
  • round-trip booking is required
  • mileage bargains can only be booked online
  • minimum stay requirements apply
  • booking period applies
  • travel period applies

Let’s take a look at a specific offer right now:

  • departing select cities in the USA on Lufthansa
  • arriving select cities in Europe on Lufthansa
  • Business Class for 55,000 miles round-trip (instead of 112,000 miles)
  • booking period: 01 December 2022 – 31 December 2022
  • travel period: 15 March 2023 – 30 April 2023

Mileage bargains are offered on major, fully-integrated M&M airlines (Lufthansa, Austrian, SWISS, etc.), and based on the offer above it would be valid as follows:

  • you must depart a city under the promotion in the USA on Lufthansa
  • you must arrive in a city under the promotion in Europe on Lufthansa (so you could connect in Frankfurt or Munich)
  • the mileage requirement is half of the normal award
  • you must book in a certain period
  • you must travel in a certain period

Every mileage bargain offer has different destinations, operating airlines, booking classes, booking periods, and travel periods. First Class is not offered as a mileage bargain.

Mileage Bargain Examples

The list of Mileage Bargains frequently changes and currently some of the offers available right now include:

  • DEN/DTW/LAX/SFO/SEA/STL to Paris in Economy Class for 30k miles round-trip
  • ATL/DTW/LAX/SEA to Paris in Premium Economy Class for 40k miles round-trip
  • ATL/ORD/DTW to Paris in Business Class for 55k miles round-trip

As you can see, the list of the departure airports is quite limited and doesn’t include all of the airports Lufthansa operates flights to in the USA.

This month, other cities in Europe that are also available for a mileage bargain award include places like Athens, Barcelona, Geneva, Helsinki, London, Oslo, and many more. Each city pair (origin and destination) has different offers – for example, you might be able to fly from New York to Athens only in Premium Economy under a mileage bargain while another bargain could be available out of Boston to Athens, but only in Business Class.

Miles & More is Lufthansa's program

Miles & More is Lufthansa’s program

All in All

Mileage Bargain award tickets are promotional, discounted award tickets which are offered by Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program and frequently change based on a variety of factors. You can book round-trip award tickets at half of the cost in miles, but the full cost in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges. While surcharges can be expensive in some cases, there are good deals to be found – taxes and fees on an award ticket always depend on where you’re flying from, to, and where you are transiting.

Miles are a bit harder to acquire than other miles, but in some cases they are more valuable for awards like Mileage Bargains or even booking Lufthansa First Class in advance (while other Star Alliance frequent flyer programs can only book it a maximum of two weeks before a flight). There are other gems to be found as well, especially when you’re a member and fly with the Lufthansa Group.

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