UPDATE OCTOBER 2014: THIS OFFER IS STILL VALID!
Brussels Airlines is relaunching its Miles & More credit cards with a very attractive limited time offer: double sign-up bonus for friend referrals. To receive a personalized sign-up link for this offer, please complete the form below.
- Brussels Airlines Preferred American Express (€120 annual fee)
Sign-up bonus: 6000 miles (instead of 3000 miles)
- Brussels Airlines Premium American Express (€150 annual fee)
Sign-up bonus: 12000 miles (instead of 6000 miles)
- Pay your cellphone bills with Brussels Airlines American Express
Extra bonus: 2000 miles (one time)
Earning airline miles is not limited to flying, you can earn miles with almost anything these days. One of the easiest ways to earn extra miles is signing up for a credit card. You will receive a number of miles just for signing up for the card and you will get 1,25 or 1,5 miles per euro spent. American Express also provides a bonus when you spend a certain amount in one year. Unfortunately, the number of credit cards earning airline miles is very limited in Belgium. Still, they can offer you a great opportunity to travel the world in luxury on a budget. For Belgian residents, the credit card offers are limited to one program, Miles and More of the Lufthansa group. Miles of this program can be used to book (and upgrade) flights of any Star Alliance carrier.
Brussels Airlines offers three Miles and More credit cards: the Preferred MasterCard, the Preferred American Express and the Premium American Express. I don’t detail the MasterCard in this posts as it comes with only 2000 welcome miles. I signed-up for the Brussels Airlines Preferred American Express Card back in 2008 and switched to the Premium American Express card in 2011 earning me a total of more than 400,000 miles! The key to earning the maximum amount of miles is to pay as much as possible with your credit card. Pay all your bills and purchases (both online and offline) with your credit card, every euro counts! Shopping (including groceries), dining, gas, electronics, hotels, airline tickets, … almost everything! Some payments might even result in an extra bonus. Example: Paying your cellphone bills with your Brussels Airlines American Express card gets you 2000 bonus miles!
The yearly fee also includes a number of insurances:
Full details of the Brussels Airlines Preferred and Premium American Express insurances.
How much are those miles worth?
It all depends on what you spend them. In my opinion, only long-haul Business Class and First Class flights are worth spending miles on. These allow you to maximize the value of your miles as Business Class flights easily cost >€2000 and First Class flights >€8000. Airline loyalty programs will do everything to make you spend your miles on less valuable options e.g. use miles to buy goodies in their online shop, book hotel nights or rent a car. You really don’t want to do that! Miles and More is currently selling miles with a 20% bonus, which is still way too expensive, but it gives you an idea how they value the miles.
Signing up for the Brussels Airlines Premium American Express earns you 12,000 miles which are being sold for €245 by Lufthansa.
Include the 2000 extra miles you get for paying your cellphone bill with American Express, and you have 14,000 miles which are being sold for ~€290!
How do I maximize the number of miles earned?
I would recommend to sign-up for the Brussels Airlines Premium American Express card now to get the 12000 miles. Complete the form to pay your cellphone bill with the card and earn an additional 2000 miles. Next year, you could cancel the Premium card and switch to the Preferred card. You would earn the sign-up bonus again (this time for the Preferred card, which is 6000 miles via the friend referral) and you would earn another 2000 miles when you register to have your cellphone bills paid with the Preferred card. That’s 22,000 miles in one year, just by signing up for these cards!
What are the pitfalls?
- The annual fees of the Brussels Airlines American Express cards are high (€120/€150). You might want to consider canceling your card after you collected all the sign-up bonuses.
- American Express cards have a high conversion fee (2,5%) for non-euro payments. Use your Brussels Airlines American Express cards for euro payments only. For non-euro payments, I recommend the BKCP Visa card. See all details in our Credit Cards for Belgian Travellers post.
I’m not yet a Miles and More member, where do I sign-up?
You can enroll at the Miles and More website.
To receive a personalized sign-up link with double welcome bonus, please complete the form below.
Full disclosure: By signing up for the Brussels Airlines American Express card using my personalized link, I will receive bonus miles (friend referral program). Thank you for supporting my travel blog and enjoy your double sign-up bonus!