Miles & More - more than just collecting miles
You've probably heard "Miles & More" at least once before. The program has been around since the 90s. In the meantime, Lufthansa's award program has hundreds of partners. But is Miles & More also worthwhile for you?
Miles & More is the name of Lufthansa's rewards program. The points system has been in existence since January 1, 1993, when it was founded with seven partners in Germany. Miles & More now works with around 300 partner companies. Of these, more than 270 companies come from the shopping, hotel, car rental, electronics, book, banking and insurance sectors.
The Frankfurt-based company also cooperates with 40 airline partners. These include the 28 airlines from the "Star Alliance" aviation alliance.
You can sign up for Miles & More online, at all Lufthansa and SWISS sales offices, at airports, on board Lufthansa aircraft and in travel agencies with LH agencies. As a rule, you will receive a provisional Miles & More paper card that you can use immediately. With your (provisional) Miles & More card, you can earn miles on flights and other activities in the future. All you have to do is present the card when making a booking or purchase. Nearly one in three miles was earned outside of flight activities in 2021, for example, by using the Miles & More credit card - of which there are many to choose from. You get one award mile for every euro spent at 150 online stores.
To earn miles, you always have to enter your Miles & More service card number. You will automatically receive the corresponding number of miles credited to your mileage account. However, this mileage crediting can take up to 14 days. You should keep receipts such as boarding passes or flight tickets accordingly until the miles are in your account. If the 14-day period has passed, you can submit a request for retroactive credit. If you are missing miles for scheduled flights with Star Alliance partners or with the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings, you can have them credited after 14 days via online forms. After six months, miles that have not been credited automatically expire.
By the way, you can no longer buy miles. This was still possible until a few years ago. Miles & More has also discontinued the "Give miles away" service.
You should note that miles are personal. So you cannot transfer them to other participants. However, you can redeem your earned miles at hundreds of partner companies. Of course, you can freely dispose of these products or services and give them to friends or family members, for example.
Among the partner companies are airlines, but also many companies without a direct connection to aviation, for example, hotels, banks and insurance companies. You can redeem your miles in the following ways:
- for products or services
- for vouchers (at more than 20 retail partners)
- for flights
- donate to:
SOS Children's Villages worldwide
In addition to online stores and brick-and-mortar stores, you can also redeem your miles via the WorldShop catalog. The catalogs are published four times a year. If you wish, you can have them sent to your home. They are also available on Lufthansa short-haul flights.
Award miles vs. status miles
What exactly is the difference between award miles vs. status miles? Award miles - as the name suggests - can be exchanged for Miles & More awards. These miles are credited to your account when you
- fly with Star Alliance partners,
- fly with other airline partners
- book with hotel partners,
- book with car rental partners,
- make sales with your Miles & More credit card or
- participate in mileage promotions from
o Austrian Airlines Group
o LOT Polish Airlines
o with partners from various industries.
You will receive award miles for each credit.
In the case of status miles, the name already reveals the purpose, because the more miles you earn, the higher your status. You can use them to upgrade to Frequent Traveller or Senator. You earn status miles on scheduled flights with:
- Adria Airways
- Air Dolomiti
- Austrian Airlines Group
- Brussels Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- Eurowings (including Germanwings flights)
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Lufthansa Regional
- and all Star Alliance partners
If you have collected a total of 35,000 status miles within one calendar year, you will be promoted to Frequent Traveller. If you collect 100,000 status miles, you become a so-called Senator. You become a HON Circle Member when you have earned 600,000 miles in two consecutive calendar years - but only on flights in First and Business Class and in Germanwings' Best fare. A status is valid for a period of two years until the end of February. If you reach the respective number of miles again, your status is automatically extended for another two years.
There is one special feature to note with both award types: As the holder of a Miles & More Credit Card Gold, a Lufthansa Frequent Traveller Credit Card or a Lufthansa Senator Credit Card, you have been able to exchange award miles for status miles since October 2014.
Validity of the award miles
You should redeem your award miles within 36 months from the date of the activity, as they lose their validity after that. Miles expire at the end of each quarter if they are not used. If you are already a member with a high status (Frequent Travellers, Senators or HON Circle Members), your miles will never expire. Your miles also do not expire if you have at least one international Miles & More Credit Card and make at least one miles-eligible purchase each month.
You will receive a newsletter approximately every two months informing you of the status quo of your miles that expire at the end of the quarter. However, you can also check the status online in your account at any time.
Miles & More competitors
There are many alternatives to Miles & More. However, deciding on your frequent flyer program depends on many factors: Which airlines do you usually fly with? What routes do you usually travel in a year? How often do you fly?
Turkish Airlines (TK), for example, offers its own award program called "Miles&Smiles". Here, too - as with most programs of this kind - you can collect miles and exchange them for awards. TK cooperates for this purpose with, among others:
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air India
- Air New Zealand
- Asiana Airlines
- Austrian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- United Airlines
After Star Alliance, SkyTeam is the second largest airline alliance with 20 members worldwide. As a member, you can earn miles on all member airlines and redeem them for awards. You also earn status miles to advance in the program. These are some selected programs of participating airlines:
- Flying Blue from Air France/KLM
- Aeroflot Bonus from Aeroflot
- SkyMiles from Delta
- Suma from AirEuropa
- Eastern Miles from China Eastern
- SKYPASS from Korean Air
The global aviation alliance oneworld Alliance has been in existence since 1999 and has 14 members. The alliance includes the following partners, among others:
- American Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airlines
Emirates Skywards is the name of the airline's bonus program from the United Arab Emirates. Here, too, you can earn miles, increase your status and collect awards. The partners include:
- Alaska Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Jet Airways
- Korean Air
- South African Airways
Security and privacy
Miles & More collects the following data from you:
- Miles & More card number
- Master data: Personal data from the registration form and voluntary personal information
- Program data: Data that accrues when earning and redeeming miles
- Status data: Your status and the number of status miles you have
- Online data: Click data from browsing behavior
- other data, in order to receive offers tailored to you
The co-publishers and partners of Miles & More do not exchange participant data with each other. However, there is one exception: The airlines of the Lufthansa Group manage your personal and program data (see above) in a database. However, you will only be contacted by Miles & More partner companies if you have concluded your membership with them or have given their express permission. The company behind the program has also assured that it does not sell participant data to third parties.
Advantages and disadvantages of Miles & More
- unlimited mileage validity with Miles & More Credit Card Gold
- largest frequent flyer program
- represented worldwide
- iOS app
- many registration options
- immediately usable with temporary paper card
- donate miles
- personal data is collected
- miles usually have an expiration date
- airline-bound program
- own app only for iOS
- Conditions of participation: no legal claim to membership
- Partially lengthy process for crediting miles
- Miles cannot be bought/given away
- Miles are personal
- Status is only valid for two years
- Award miles expire after 36 months