Credit Card Review: Lufthansa Miles & More Global Traveller Diners Club and Mastercard
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When travellers in the UK think of airline loyalty programmes, they may automatically think of British Airways’ Executive Club or Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club. But there are plenty of other airlines loyalty programmes worth a look. Miles & More is the loyalty programme of the Lufthansa Group, which includes Lufthansa, as well as Swiss, Austrian, Eurowings and Brussels Airlines.
Like most loyalty programmes, Miles & More has its own strengths and weaknesses, but the shining star in the programme and the reason you should consider it is easy access to one of the world’s best products — Lufthansa first class.
Who Is This Card For?
This card is marketed toward anyone who is a regular flyer of any of the Lufthansa Group airlines and wants to boost their Miles & More balance. For example, if you regularly travel to Germany or Austria for work or leisure.
It’s also worth a look if you’ve ever wanted to experience Lufthansa’s famous first class product and its first class terminal in Frankfurt and need a straightforward path to book it with miles.
Sign-Up Bonus and Annual Fee
This card comes with a reasonably low annual fee of £79.
Unfortunately, the sign-up bonus is disappointing — only 5,000 Miles & More miles. However, that bonus is earned after just the first purchase on the card without having to meet a higher minimum spend amount. Based on TPG UK’s current valuation of Miles & More miles this sign-up bonus is worth about £55.
Now, this ‘card’ is actually two separate cards — a Diners Club card and a Mastercard. If you are wondering what a Diners Club card is, it was sort of what American Express is now — only about 30 years ago. You will find very few retailers in the UK or abroad will accept a Diners Club card anymore because its usage has decreased so rapidly. It’s odd that this product still bothers to offer a Diners Club option.
The Mastercard option is widely accepted, so can be used where Diners Club is not accepted.
This is a charge card not a credit card, so while it does not have a spending limit you will be required to pay off the balance in full every month.
One of the real strengths of this card is the excellent earning rate. You’ll earn 1.25 Miles & More miles per £1 spent. This is great for a non-American Express card, noting that while the Diners Club card may rarely leave your desk drawer, the Mastercard can be used everyday.
Miles & More is not a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards UK, meaning there are not many easy ways to earn them.
Arguably the best use of Miles & More is for Lufthansa first class. You can read a complete guide of the product here. Note that Miles & More members can redeem these miles for the product in advance, while members of partner programmes must wait until just before departure for a chance to book.
Note that Miles & More does impose significant fuel surcharges on redemptions.
One great benefits of this card is that your existing Miles & More balance will not expire as long as you make a purchase on the card each month.
Like many points currencies, Miles & More miles expire after three years. Given the relative difficulty to earn them in the UK without flying Lufthansa Group airlines regularly, having this card is an easy way to keep your balance active if you think it will take some time to build up your balance for that dream redemption.
Probably the best perk of the outdated Diners Club programme is that is provides access to the Diners Club lounge programme, which is similar to the Priority Pass network. The network boasts more than 800 lounges worldwide, although you will have to pay an entry fee of £15 per entry. You will also receive one voucher to use at any Lufthansa business class airport lounge.
Frustratingly, for a card issued in the UK by a loyalty programme based in mainland Europe, there is still a 2.99% fee on all purchases in foreign currencies. This is in line with all other credit/charge cards that earn loyalty points in the UK.
Which Cards Compete With This Card?
This is a very unique card, so it doesn’t really have any competition. It is mainly for people who either fly Lufthansa Group airlines regularly or want to.
This is a strange card. Diners Club is hardly accepted anywhere and the sign-up bonus seems strangely low, considering there is an annual fee.
But this card has two big things going for it. First, the standard earning rate is fantastic when using the Mastercard, given it’s accepted at more retailers than American Express. And second, Lufthansa first class is truly an aspirational product, and this provides a fantastic path to be able to fly it using points.