5 Best Uses of Lufthansa Miles
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Lufthansa’s Miles & More frequent flyer program may not be a household name for U.S.-based travelers, but with valuable award redemption options, it should not go overlooked. The program offers reasonably priced awards and provides extra opportunities to book Lufthansa’s coveted first class.
On top of that, Miles & More has some valuable sweet spots that help maximize your miles. Whether you are looking to fly in style in first or business class or get the most from your miles, the program offers plenty of great redemption options.
Here are our top picks for getting the most value from your Lufthansa miles.
1. Fly business class to Australia, New Zealand or Asia
Booking a long-haul business class flight across the Pacific is an excellent way to use Lufthansa miles. Stretching out on a lie-flat seat in business class during a longer flight should help you arrive more well-rested. You’ll also have plenty of cabin time to relax and enjoy in-flight service.
It costs 71,000 Lufthansa miles to book a one-way business class flight from the U.S. to any country included in Miles & More’s Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania award regions. Airline options are plentiful within the Star Alliance, and taxes and fees are reasonable on most routes.
Here are a few examples:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Seoul (GMP) on EVA Air for 71,000 miles + $79.15 taxes and fees.
Chicago (ORD) to Tokyo (HND) on ANA for 71,000 miles + $6.60 taxes and fees.
2. Fly business class across North America
It costs 20,000 Lufthansa miles one-way to fly in business class on a Star Alliance partner across the U.S. or Canada. Taxes and fees on these awards are reasonable, and there are no carrier-imposed surcharges.
Two standout routes to book are United’s Premium Service from New York (JFK or EWR) to San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) and Air Canada’s Signature Service from Toronto (YYZ) to Vancouver (YVR). Both of these routes offer lie-flat seats in business class and a premium in-flight dining experience.
3. Book Lufthansa first class in advance
Flying first class on Lufthansa is almost a rite of passage for miles and points enthusiasts. The airline's first class tickets get you access to one of the most sought after cabins in the sky, not to mention an extraordinary lounge experience and refined onboard service.
The bad news is that it’s nearly impossible to book Lufthansa first class flights through a Star Alliance partner airline. Miles & More releases first class seat availability to partner airlines within 15 days of departure only, so planning a Lufthansa first-class flight can be a challenge.
However, if you opt to book Lufthansa first class awards with Miles & More miles (not through a partner), you have up to 359 days before departure to redeem. It makes booking Lufthansa much more attainable.
Of course, you can’t have it all — you will have to pay fuel surcharges on most routes.
» Learn more: How much are your airline miles and hotel points worth?
4. Fly business class to South America
It’s to your advantage that Miles & More defines South America as a single travel region on the award chart. This means that it costs the same to fly on a shorter flight to northern South America as it does to fly on a long-haul flight to southern South America. In this case, flying to southern South America is the sweet spot.
It costs 56,000 Lufthansa miles to fly one-way in business class to anywhere in South America from the U.S., including southern South American countries such as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. With most other airline programs, you’ll have to pay more to book an award flight to these destinations.
5. Book a discounted award
If you're looking to stretch your miles further, booking one of Miles & More discounted awards may be a good option. The program offers three ways to save when booking award flights:
Early Bird flight awards.
You can save up to 65% on award flight prices by booking Early Bird flight awards. These discounted awards are offered on select nonstop economy class flights on Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Luxair that are booked at least 30 days before departure. Although flights are offered to many worldwide destinations, the itinerary must start from Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Zurich, Geneva or Luxembourg.
If you prefer saving miles on last-minute bookings, then the Fly Smart flight awards are for you. You can save up to 50% off the standard award price when you book flights two to 14 days in advance on Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS, Eurowings, Brussels Airlines, Condor, Croatia Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines.
The last way to save on Miles & More awards is with the Mileage Bargains awards. Each month Miles & More publishes a list of select flights on their website. You can find great deals, such as Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian business class flights to the U.S. for 55,000 miles round trip. It will cost just 30,000 miles in economy class. The caveat is that you'll have to pay hefty fuel surcharges on most airlines.
The bottom line
Lufthansa Miles & More offers a handful of valuable sweet spots for redeeming miles. Whether you want to experience Lufthansa’s one-of-a-kind first class cabin or get the most from your miles, exploring the Miles & More program is well worth the effort.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card