There is a new Lufthansa Miles & More credit card in the UK and at first glance, it looks pretty good. 

The new Miles & More Global Traveller cards are being offered as a double pack consisting of a Diners Club card (yes, Diners Club!) and a Mastercard.


Background

Back in November 2017, MBNA withdrew all of their co-branded airline credit cards without warning. This meant that you could/can no longer apply for any of the Virgin Atlantic Black/White, Lufthansa, American Airlines, United Airlines, Emirates or Etihad credit cards in the UK.

While Virgin Atlantic launched two new credit cards via Virgin Money in April of this year, there has been little by way of movement from any of the other airlines thus far.

2018 has been pretty rough on UK credit cards in general, with the withdrawal of the Hilton Honors Barclaycard and the Lloyds Avios Mastercard, among others.

Bearing in mind the above, it’s fair to say that this move by Lufthansa has come somewhat out of the blue!


Welcome bonus

There is a limited-time special welcome offer currently available on these cards.

Apply before 31st December 2018 and receive 10,000 Miles & More miles after making your first purchase. 

The regular offer is 5,000 miles.

You’ll also receive a one-time Lufthansa Business lounge voucher.


Day-to-day earnings rate

This card earns 1.25 Lufthansa Miles & More miles per £1 spent on the card. For a non-Amex card, this is an excellent return.

Note: Strangely, it is NOT possible to add supplementary cards to this account. If you normally rely on spending from both yourself and a partner to maximise mileage earning, this is a frustrating restriction.


Other card perks

Stop your existing miles expiring – As I’ve explained in the past, Miles & More miles have a 36 months ‘hard’ expiry date. This means that earned miles expire three years after they were earned, irrespective of activity on the account. There are a number of exceptions to this rule: Elite Miles & More members are not affected by this and importantly, neither are Miles & More credit cardholders.

Airport lounge access – As this page suggests, your Diners Club card ‘grants you access’ to a network of over 800 airport lounges worldwide. Visits are charged at £15 per person.


Annual fee

This card carries a £79 annual fee. 

It’s not 100% clear at this point whether they will adopt the Amex model of offering pro-rata refunds should you choose to cancel your card mid-year. The T&Cs do suggest a partial refund of the fee would be possible.

Like the American Express Platinum card (and previously the Amex Gold card) the new Global Traveller card is a charge card. This means that you must clear your balance, in full, each month.

This also means that Section 75 protection doesn’t apply to purchases made using this card – something to be aware of.


What can you do with Lufthansa Miles & More airline miles?

Miles & More is the frequent flyer program for numerous airlines including Lufthansa, SWISS Airlines and Austrian Airlines – all members of (the) Star Alliance.

I may do a more in-depth article looking at the pros of building a mileage balance with a Star Alliance airline such as Miles & More in addition to more traditional Oneworld options such as BA Avios. 

There are some good redemption options when it comes to using Miles & More miles from the UK.

Not short-haul though – an economy return ticket from London to Zurich on SWISS can easily cost 35,000 miles + £95. When you consider that the same route can cost as little as 9,000 Avios + £35, it’s clear that short-haul bookings aren’t the way to go.

Long-haul, on the other hand, is a different story. A business class return redemption to much of North America from the UK can be had for just 105,000 miles + taxes. Alternatively, you can experience Lufthansa First Class for just 85,000 miles one way (again to North America).


Verdict

While unexpected, the launch of the new Lufthansa Miles & More Global Traveller credit cards is a pleasing development. To see a new (and appealing) Visa/Mastercard rewards card make an appearance in the UK credit card market can only be a positive. It will also come as a relief to those sitting on reasonable piles of M&M miles who were faced with letting them expire because there was no practical way to extend their expiry.

The application page for the new Miles & More credit card can be found here

Will you be applying for this card?


Disclaimer: The above information is intended solely as a helpful guide to the relevant travel rewards card products on the market and their various features. You should always conduct your own research as the recommendations provided may not be suitable for your personal financial requirements.

 

 

 

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