20K *A miles + 3Y The Economist for 352 euro

I’ll be up-to-date with World Economic news for the next three years, all because of my quest for more Lufthansa Star Alliance miles

Collecting airline miles can be tough.  My latest Turkish Airways flight Istanbul – Brussels (booking class Q) was ‘rewarded’ with 125 status miles.  The amount of Star Alliance miles for many discounted fares is just ridiculous.  Next time, make sure to check the booking class of an airfare.  You might have the option to select a different flight which is slightly more expensive but offers you a lot more miles.

If flying alone doesn’t offer you enough miles to obtain that First Class award you’re looking for, alternative options might help you out.  Unfortunately, we Belgians can’t rely on Credit Card sign-up bonuses of tens of thousands of miles like our US travel friends.  There’s only the MasterCard or American Express card by Brussels Airlines Miles and More (part of Lufthansa, Star Alliance).  They earn you 1 0r 1.5 miles per euro spent and come with a maximum sign-up bonus of 3000 miles.  In comparison, our US travel companions can count on sign-up bonuses of up to 150,000 miles!

If you take a look at the miles earning opportunities on the Brussels Airlines Miles and More website, you’ll notice none of the offers are really appealing.  You’ll realize saving miles as a frequent non-business traveler is hard.  But sometimes an acceptable offer comes along, if you look hard enough.

One of the offers on the Brussels Airlines website is 5,000 miles for a three-year “The Economist” subscription.  That same three-year subscription via the German Miles and More website offers you 20,000 miles (offer valid from March 1 to May 31, 2011) As the terms and conditions do not state you have to be a German citizen, Miles and More members worldwide can enjoy this offer.

Now how valuable are those 20,000 miles?  If you’re going to use them for an economy reward flight, they are definitely not worth 352 euro.  On the other hand, if those 20K miles are going to be used to top-up your balance to obtain a business or first class award, it might be money well spent.  At least it’s a better option than buying miles directly for Lufthansa Miles and More.  You can buy a maximum of 12,000 miles per year for 290EUR.  Even with the 20% bonus which was offered 1Q2011 on buying miles, you would still only get 14,000 miles for 290 euro.

As I’m saving miles for a First Class award, I signed-up for this miles boost.  My Brussels Airlines Miles and More credit card was charged 352 euro and 20,000 miles were posted 6 days later on my Miles and More account.  Oh yes, almost forgot, for the next three years I’ll receive a weekly issue of The Economist too.

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