Points Panda has partnered with a variety of financial companies including CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points Panda and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. For more information please read our full Advertiser Disclosure.
The Lufthansa Group has been expanding its reach in the travel industry for the past few years as they continue to acquire a couple of European airlines to add to its extensive network.
This is one of the reasons why multiple airlines such as Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Condor, and Swiss International Airlines use the Lufthansa Miles & More loyalty program for their clients because they belong under one network.
In this article, we’ll get down to the basics by discussing the Miles & More loyalty program, how to earn Lufthansa Miles, and even a few tips on redeeming Lufthansa miles.
Difference between Status Miles And Award Miles
Before we talk about the Lufthansa Miles & More program, you need to know that there’s a difference between award miles and status miles.
Award miles are used to redeem flights, hotel stays, and get upgrades on your flights. The most common way to earn award miles is to use a co-branded Lufthansa credit card and make eligible purchases.
Meanwhile, status miles are used to determine your tier in a specific frequent flyer program. Earning status miles vary per airline but the most common qualifying factor is the number of miles you travel from the flights you take.
Miles & More Elite Status Tiers & Benefits
Just like any airline loyalty program, there are also tiers in Miles & More and you can reach three different tiers in the program which are Frequent Traveller, Senator, and HON Circle.
Each tier comes with different types of benefits such as priority check-in, upgrades, and VIP lounge access.
You need to accumulate 35,000 status miles within a calendar year to reach Frequent Traveller status. You need to fly with Miles & More airlines (excluding Condor) and Star Alliance partners in order to earn these miles,
Apart from that, you can also reach Frequent Traveller status if you accumulate a total of 30 flight trips with Miles & More airlines (excluding Condor).
Despite being the lowest tier in the Miles & More program, having a Frequent Traveller status can still give you some solid benefits such as business class check-in, a free checked bag, and also Star Alliance Silver benefits.
You’ll get access to all Lufthansa Business Class lounges whenever you fly with Miles & More and Star Alliance carriers. Just remember that you only have access to Lufthansa lounges and not Star Alliance partner lounges such as SilverKris business class lounges and Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges.
The reason why is that Star Alliance lounge access is only available for Star Alliance Gold Members. As mentioned above, Frequent Travellers only include Star Alliance Silver benefits.
Additionaly, Frequent Travellers will also earn 50% more award miles, 25% more Status, Select, and HON Circle miles.
Reaching Senator status requires 100,000 status miles in a calendar year. You can also earn miles by flying on Miles & More (excluding Condor) and Star Alliance airlines.
You’ll have more benefits if you reach this tier such as first-class check-in, two free checked bags, and two eVouchers which you can use to get an upgrade to a higher travel class. You may use one voucher to upgrade your class if you’re traveling within a single region, however, you’ll need two vouchers to get a travel class upgrade on an intercontinental flight.
Senator members will also have access to Lufthansa Senator lounges and Star Alliance partner lounges (if you fly with any Star Alliance carrier). You can even get access to United Club domestic lounges when you fly with United Airlines. Just use your Miles & More membership number on your flight ticket.
You can also get Companion Awards which gives you a 50% mileage discount if you add a travel companion to an award ticket on eligible airlines. Additionally, you’re also entitled to get Star Alliance Gold benefits if you reach Senator status.
You need to accrue 600,000 Hon Circle miles within two consecutive calendar years to reach HON Circle status (Miles & More’s top tier).
HON circle miles are just the same as regular status miles however, they can only be earned by flying first or business class on Miles & More airlines (excluding Condor). Another way of earning these miles is by riding Germany’s Lufthansa Express Rail or Switzerland’s Airtrain.
Reaching HON Circle status gives you all Senator status benefits and exclusive access to Frankfurt’s First Class Terminal when you fly on Miles & More flights. This terminal is entirely dedicated to first-class and HON Circle members only.
Apart from that, you will also get limousine transfers when you fly with LOT Polish Airlines, Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, and SWISS. HON Circle members will also get six upgrade eVouchers.
Related Article: Understanding The Delta Medallion Program & MQMs
Updated Miles & More Loyalty Program For 2022
Miles & More’s current qualification criteria for determining your status level is quite complicated. The current system includes a lot of factors such as the type of trips you take, the airlines you fly on, and fare class.
For example, European flights will earn fixed rates while international flights earn miles depending on the distance multiplied by its fare class metrics that can range between .25 – 3x.
Basically, the old system is really complicated so this is why Lufthansa will be updating its current frequent flyer program which will take effect in January of 2022.
Here’s a quick look on what the new changes and updates will be.
- A simpler and transparent points system
- Lifetime Frequent Traveller and Senator status will be given to loyal members
- Earning period and validity will be consolidated to one year
- Removal of complicated program criteria
The old program used multiple metrics such as status miles and HON Circle miles to determine your status and the benefits that come along with it. One of the biggest updates in the new frequent flyer program is the metrics used to determine your status membership. The new program will only use two metrics which are:
- Points – Earned by flying on Miles & More airlines and Star Alliance Partners.
- Qualifying Points – Earned by only flying on Miles & More airlines (Lufthansa, SWISS, Croatia Airlines, Adria Airways, Luxair, Austrian, and Air Dolomiti.
In January of 2020, the chart below will be the basis for determining your elite status.
You basically need to hit both criteria or at least half of each to reach your desired status.
This means that you won’t qualify for a Frequent Traveller status if you only earned 160 points flying with Star Alliance airlines. What you can do is earn at least 80 points with Miles & More airlines because it will credit 80 points each to both Points and Qualifying Points.
Now, you’ll only need 80 Points more from Star Alliance airlines to have a total of 160 Points and 80 Qualifying Points.
Earning Status Miles Under The New Program
The new program is very simple because you’ll earn points based on two metrics only: the class service and the type of flight (continental or intercontinental).
To simply put it, there won’t be any difference between lower-fare and higher-far tickets within a single class service. For example, if you book a flight on Lufthansa under K class, it will still earn the same points if you were to book that same flight under Y class.
How To Earn Lufthansa Miles
As we mentioned above, award miles are different from status miles because award miles are used to redeem award flights, stays, and more. In the case of the Lufthansa/Miles & More loyalty program, there are various ways on how to earn Lufthansa miles and we’ve listed a few examples below.
Enroll in Miles & More
Signing up is free and it’s the easiest on how to earn Lufthansa miles right way regardless if you have a credit card or not. Whenever you make eligible purchases, you just need to put in your membership to number to have the miles credited to your account.
You’ll be able to print out a temporary card after signing up but after you’ve earned your first Lufthansa mile, they will mail you a regular plastic card.
Sign Up For Miles & More Card
Getting an affiliate credit card comes with sign up bonuses. For example, the Miles & More World Elite Mastercard gives new cardholders a 50,000 miles welcome offer.
Make Purchases Using Your Miles & More Card
If you have a Lufthansa Miles & More card, you can use it to earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on airline partners. All other purchases will earn 1 mile per $1.
Book With Affiliate Hotels & Car Rental Services
If you’re a frequent traveler, booking with partner hotels such as IHG and Radisson will also help you earn more miles. You can check out Miles & More’s complete list here.
The same thing goes with car rental services. You can earn between 500-2,000 miles if you book with their partner companies.
Download The Miles & More App
Download the app and sign up for an account to instantly get 500 miles. You’re miles will be credited once you log in to the app.
Earn Miles Through Shopping
If you frequently fly to Europe, you’ll be able to earn miles whenever you shop at Heathrow Rewards, Lufthansa WorldShop, and other partner retailers.
Subscribing To The Economist
New subscribers who purchase a 1-year Print+Digital package will get up to 4,000 Lufthansa miles. If you only subscribe to either the Print service or the Digital service, you’ll only get 3,000 miles for each.
Tips To Redeem Lufthansa Miles & More Miles
There are various ways on how to redeem you Lufthansa miles but here are a few tips on how to do it.
Access Lufthansa’s First Class Award Space in Advance
You’re only allowed to book a Lufthansa first-class flight 15 days (maximum) before departure so having access to Lufthansa’s award space can help you plan your first-class flight way beyond that 15-day time frame.
Miles & More allows flyers to plan ahead by giving them a 1-year booking window for first-class award flights prior to departure.
One Way Awards Are Cheaper
The Lufthansa Miles & More loyalty program allows passengers to book two stopovers for round trip award flights. This is one of the best redemption offers available since you can use a single award flight to visit multiple destinations for a few days or weeks at a specific region before you continue on your journey.
However, you can also have the option of booking two open jaws in a round trip award. You just need to arrange transportation between the cities. This is cheaper because it’s like booking two one way award trips, and if you ask why it’s cheaper, here’s why…
One way awards are cheaper because the total round trip price is cut into half and then the prices would then be rounded down to the nearest 1000 miles. For example, a 45,000-mile award flight costs 22,500 if you divide them equally for two one-way flights but it will be rounded down to 22,000 miles for each one-way flight.
Sure, you can’t book a stop over if you opt to redeem one-way awards, however, you can get two open jaws which is pretty much the same thing but with more savings.
Thoughts From Points Panda
Despite being a German airline, there are various ways on how to earn Lufthansa miles even if you’re a U.S.-based Miles & More member.
You can sign up for our travel concierge and get expert advice on how you can maximize the use of your credit card and redeem the best awards using your points.
PointsPanda Deal of the Week!
Looking for the best flight deals? Each week we'll send you updates with the best deals on flights and hotels both using points and cash.