Lufthansa Miles & More: Earning miles


Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be publishing a number of articles about the Lufthansa Miles and More program.  I’ll focus on how to maximize the value of your miles by uncovering the best redemptions.  Obviously, before you can start redeeming miles, you need to earn them.  This post will explain how the Lufthansa Miles & More program works and how you can earn those miles.

There are two types of miles, award miles and status miles.  Award miles can be earned both by flying and via partners.  Award miles can be used for free* flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals and much more.  Status miles can only be earned by flying, the so called ‘butt-in-seat’ miles.  Status miles cannot be spend, they just increase your status miles counter.  After earning a certain number of status miles in one calendar year (Jan 1 – Dec 31), you’ll earn elite status which comes with a number of perks depending on your elite level.  (*you’ll still need to pay taxes & fees)

When flying any of the airlines listed above, you can present your Miles & More card at the check-in counter to earn miles.  In most cases, you’ll have already entered your Miles & More card number at the time of booking.  Still, it’s a good practice to present your card each time at check-in to make sure it’s entered correctly in the system.  For a full list of all airlines on which your can earn miles, check the Lufthansa Miles & More site.  Note that not all partner airlines earn status miles, some airlines might only earn award miles or partial status miles (e.g. 25% on Turkish Airlines).

You’ll notice there’s an earning table for each airline referring to the booking class and how much miles it earns.  It’s important to know which booking class your flights are booked in.  Each flight (segment) has its own booking class and depending on that letter, you’ll earn a certain number of miles.  Booking classes are displayed during the booking process on most sites, but that might not always be the case.  If you can’t find the booking class, contact your OTA (Online Travel Agency).

You can also use the Lufthansa Meilenrechner tool to determine the number of status and award miles you will earn on Lufthansa Group flights: Adria Airways, Austrian Airlines Group, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Luxair and SWISS.

The table above gives an overview of the different elite status levels you can reach by collecting status miles at Lufthansa Miles & More.  If you’re not flying Business or First class (or full fare Economy class on regular bases) I would NOT recommend to pursue status with Miles & More.  There are far better programs to achieve elite status and Star Alliance Gold (e.g. Aegean Miles&Bonus).  In fact, the number of award and status miles you can earn by flying economy class on Lufthansa Group airlines and its partners will be dramatically reduced as of January 1, 2014.  Conclusion: if you’re not flying Lufthansa Group Business class, First class or full fare Economy class on regular bases, it might be more interesting to credit your flights to an alternative Star Alliance frequent flyer program.  Until recently, I would have recommended United MileagePlus, but after their massive devaluation announcement on Oct 31, they are no longer a preferred alternative.  If you want to obtain Star Alliance Gold status by flying economy class, I would recommend Aegean Miles&Bonus.  I’ll have a separate post on this program soon.

For the lucky ones working in the Oil and Gas industry, there’s Lufthansa’s Oil & Energy Club which gives you instant Frequent Traveller status!

Star Alliance Gold is a status which comes with perks valid at all Star Alliance Airlines.  Collecting 100,000 status miles in one calendar year with Miles & More will result in 2 years of Senator Elite status, which includes Star Alliance Gold.

So how do you earn lots of miles at Miles & More if you only fly economy class a few times a year?  Via partners!  You can earn miles with almost anything these days, hotel stays, car rentals, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, telecom partners, … and shopping!

Above are a number of shopping opportunities to earn miles, mainly geared towards Belgians, but Miles & More might have similar or even better offers for your country.

Your main source of miles could/should come from these… Miles & More Credit Cards.  US citizens are the lucky ones here with sign-up bonuses of up to 50,000 miles! Unfortunately, Europeans are limited to way lower sign-up bonuses.  The best you can get in Belgium is 6000 miles with the Brussels Airlines Premium American Express card.  You can earn another 2000 miles by paying your cellphone bill using the card.  And then there’s 1,5 miles per euro spent.  I’ve written an article about the Brussels Airlines American Express cards in 2012 which includes an offer for double welcome miles (6000 instead of 3000) which is still valid.  However, this ‘offer’ might disappear as the distributor of the Brussels Airlines credit cards is currently evaluating its offerings in Belgium.  They already pulled the Brussels Airlines Premium MasterCard as of November 1st and there might be changes to the American Express cards too.  I recommend to sign-up for the Brussels Airlines Premium American Express now, to ensure you can enjoy the 6000 miles welcome bonus.  Note: 1) You can cancel the card at any given time and the remaining fee will (€10/month) will be refunded.  2) Do NOT use this card to pay in foreign currencies as it has a 2,5% conversion fee.  Read more about these fees and a great alternative VISA card to pay in foreign currencies in our Credit Cards for Belgian travelers review.

Hat tip: Illustrations by Thijs Feryn
Full disclosure: By signing up for the Brussels Airlines American Express card using a personalized link, I might receive referral miles.  Thank you for supporting my travel blog.

124 Comments on “Lufthansa Miles & More: Earning miles

  1. Great article!! If I would have read your blogs sooner, I wouldn’t have put my 4 star alliance legs of this summer on my Bru M&M card!

    • Thanks for your input Fabio. TAM will leave Star Alliance soon, so will US Airways. The list was not complete in my illustration, that’s why I included link to M&M site with all miles earning airlines.

  2. Please be aware that I had problems with the 3000+3000 extra welcome bonus for the Premium Brussels American Express card. They only gave me 3000 welcome points even though I used the link provided by Bart. They would not accept e-mail as proof for the link. I had to call and threatened to stop the card till I got to speak with a higher employee.Said they will grant me the extra 3000 if I spend 500 euro’s over the next 3 months. Will see if they will keep this promise.

  3. Can you use the miles and more card on any flight that is a partner or only leaving and arriving Brussels? For example I want to book from Amsterdam to Jakarta with turkish airlines?

  4. Thx. If I book for 2 persons, do I need a miles and more card per person or can I collect miles for both the tickets?
    Also if i want to use the miles can i use them for 2 persons?

  5. Hi Bart,
    Fist of all, very useful blog. Now I know the difference between status and award miles.
    I flight 4 times/year BIO-PEK and my objetive is to get frequent traveler status by flying in economy. Which plan do you recommend me?
    I “wasted” this year trying the 4 options I have from BIO: LH, TK, AF and BA.
    The one I like most is TK, but LH fares are more affordable. Problem is with the new regulation will be expensive to get the status miles needed. Also I have no idea how to book in M,U,G,H class, which are the ones without miles penalty.
    I have like 2 weeks to schedule my flights for this year. Any suggestion?
    Thanks in advance,
    Unkim

      • Wow, that is awesome!
        So, let me know if this is correct:
        As BIO-IST-PEK is 12,000 miles go and back, I can earn the 20,000 miles in 2 flights, and then I just need to do a flight during the next 36 months to keep my status??? That means I can flight with LH with the saver economy without earning miles and enjoy the gold status perks?

        • What booking class are your BIO-IST-PEK flights? LH saver still earns miles with Miles & More (but at 25% of the distance miles from Jan 1, 2014) Two longhaul RT should indeed result in Aegean Miles & Bonus Star Alliance Gold. You can then enjoy the *A Gold benefits on ALL Star Alliance flights, whatever the booking class is.

  6. Oh, is just V, so is 50% miles. But is just a 3rd flight with any Star Alliance airlines, and therefore I can just flight with LH with their sh***y 25% miles, keeping the gold status and perks, am I right?
    Even that, it’s awesome! thank you in advance for the information, you made me a very happy man today!

  7. Hi Bart,
    Where would you recommend saving miles when flying only in discount economy, such as Lufthansa class K? It gets 25% M&M miles. It’s not eligible for any MileagePlus or Aegean miles. Are there any better options?

    • Hi Leo, K and E fares are to be avoided if you want to collect miles in 2014. Booking classes T and L will still earn 100% at MileagePlus for long haul flights, however T and L flights within Europe will not earn miles at MileagePlus.

      • Thanks for the tip! You wouldn’t happen to know where class L can actually be booked online (despite the cheaper K being available on the same fight)? (I’ve done some price comparisons using ITA, and the miles aren’t worth to me the difference in price between K and T. They are worth the difference between K and L, but not if I also have to call the airline and pay a phone booking fee. At lufthansa.com, when all classes are available, “Economy Saver” is K and “Economy Basic” is T and there’s nothing in between.) If not, this is still useful to know for the rare cases when I’m booked into L/T anyway because K isn’t available.

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  9. Hey Bart,
    very interesting blog and post. Thanks.
    You say that one can reach frequent traveller status also with 30 flight segment. I was looking everywhere to find confirmation of this, but I couldn’t .
    Are you sure that this is valid also in 2014?
    Thanks again for your tips,
    Giulio

  10. Thanks for the intresting article Bart. When will you post a follow-up on the Aegean program? I am based in Belgium & frequently fly Brussels Airlines, so not sure it is a good idea to change program to Aegean? It’s just so difficult to achieve Gold status using M&M and I even find I fly a lot (within EU on B.Flex). If you change program I guess you can’t transfer +250K miles to them?

  11. Thanks Bart, I’ll check it out. I already spent a whole bunch on a return fare for 2 in business to Keyna 2 months ago. But indeed still lots left. Didn’t realise the miles itself devaluated, thought it where just the earnings

  12. Learned today that SN is going to go aggressively against Ryanair coming to Zaventem. I read in the newspaper that they were going to launch a new loyalty program. I thought the journalists got it all wrong, but they didn’t: ” In addition a new loyalty program will be launched specifically for their European network, which will co-exist next to the current Miles & More program. ” on SN’s corporate website.http://corporate.brusselsairlines.com/en_be/corp/news/press-releases/Default.aspx

    M&M gone for the EU flyer ?
    Anyone any news?
    Anyone any idea how to lobby at SN to make it at least a valuable program?

    • Hi Andre, thanks for your remarks. In my opinion M&M does not provide sufficient value to the European short haul frequent flyer as only a very limited number of miles are provided for most flights. That also makes achieving elite status with European flights only, almost impossible. That was confirmed today by Brussels Airlines announcement they will launch a dedicated loyalty program for their European Frequent Flyers. It will be complimentary to the Miles & More program, so M&M will still be applicable to all SN flights. We’ll need to wait for more details, but in the mean time you can provide your feedback to Brussels Airlines via their social media channels Facebook, Twitter, etc…

  13. Bart,

    thanks for another useful article. I started gathering Miles and More miles in August through AMEX (see my reply to your article on cards) and a couple of other ways. Unfortunately, this too has proven to be quite labour intensive. More specifically, once miles for a flight are not automatically credited, it seems to be impossible to recuperate them – see the first part of my post at http://travelbugtips.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/miles-and-and-more-missing-miles-madness/
    Would you have any tips on how to convince the M&M service centre to credit me the miles I deserve – or at least explain why I’m not getting them?

      • Bart, thanks for your efforts. I did indeed get a call from someone at Brussels Airlines, although not really with the message I wanted to hear. Basically he just repeated what was in their last mail: only by sending the ticket (yes, printing an electronic ticket) and the boarding passes by snail mail to Germany I might get the missing miles. They don’t have email addresses over there. So I’ll have to do that…

        • The old fashioned way… I guess they want the physical boarding passes to avoid you would get credit at multiple airlines for the same flight. (as the electronic verification process fails in this case)

  14. Hi Bart – I have 39000 award miles on miles and more and fly about 3 times per year between LA or NY to Berlin. 5000 miles will expire in March another 6000 in June. I also did sign up with Aegean miles&bonus. Is there any intelligent way to use up the miles&more miles?
    Ad if I understand right from now on it would be good to book T or L flights to Europe and back and use the aegean miles card?
    I thank you in advance for your advice!

  15. Hey Bart,
    Thank you for your helpful blog. Unfortunately, the welcome miles are already significantly lowered. With respect to the M&M AMEX (or MC) : are there any costs for withdrawal of cash money in the EU? And what for non-EU countries?
    I assume you have to open a current account at BKCP in order to receive a credit card?
    Thank you very much for you answer!

    • Gilles, thank you for your interest in the Brussels Airlines Amex card. Note: The Welcome Miles offers mentioned above are still valid! There are some steep fees involved with money withdrawal using the M&M AMEX & MC. The total cost of the BKCP account + VISA card (€ 57,84 per year) is still a much better deal compared to the M&M cards to withdraw money from ATM’s both in Euro and non-EUR countries. Thank you.

  16. I only use AMEX for paying online and some restaurant bills… Got two flights out of it… only problem is that those award flights leverage a huge tax bills (which eats up another big bunch of points)

  17. Great article,

    One question: Do you earn status miles if you pay a flight with award miles on LH M&M?

    Thanks!

    • HI Selim, thanks for your feedback. Award tickets don’t earn any miles, except if your flight is cancelled and the airline rebooks you on a revenue ticket.

  18. My wife, 4 kids and I each have M&M cards. Is there a way to combine all the miles for redeeming 1 ticket? Thanks.

    • Hi Peter, unfortunately M&M does not have household accounts, so you can’t combine miles from different accounts.

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  20. Bart,
    Is the Aegean Airlines still the best program for earning a Star Alliance Gold status when flying economy? And when should I sign up for it? I won’t be flying that much, but we are planning to make a trip to NZL once every 2 years to visit my sister over there… If I sign up just before the first flight, I will earn gold status immediately, and I’ll be able to keept it if I fly once every 36 months with one of the star alliance airlines… Or is it possible to transfer 20 000 of my “miles and more” miles (which I still have to earn first 🙂 ) to the Aegean account, so I already have Gold status when flying to NZL the first time…

    • Aegean is indeed still the best program to get Star Alliance Gold status. However, you can’t transfer miles between programs. So you’ll end-up with 20K miles in the Aegean Miles & Bonus program which are less valuable. You might also wonder why you want to have Star Alliance Gold if you rarely fly. Status is only interesting if you fly on regular basis, otherwise you don’t have much opportunity to enjoy the benefits/elite perks. Thanks.

      • So better save them and transfer the miles to a star alliance airline I’m booking the flight to NZL with?
        Is it possible to use miles from one account to pay for multiple tickets (for wife & kids)?
        If I understand correctly, they can only earn miles with their tickets from their own M&M account?

        • Not sure what you mean by transferring the miles, as you can’t transfer miles between frequent flyer programs. It’s up to you to present you frequent flyer membership at the time of booking and/or check-in to get the miles credited to your frequent flyer account. I suggest to credit all your flights to Miles & More if you are going to use the Brussels Airlines Miles & More credit card. You read about the earning rates for each airline and booking class here http://www.miles-and-more.com/online/portal/mam/be/earn/flight?l=en&cid=1000188

          Every member of the family needs to have its own frequent flyer card. They can only earn miles on their own card, however miles can be used to book tickets for anyone. Unfortunately you cannot combine miles from different accounts. Miles & More has a special program for kids: JetFriends. They get 2000 miles for free at the time of registration. See http://travelsort.com/blog/2000-miles-more-miles-for-kids-joining-jetfriends

  21. I am on track to get my freqent traveler status with Luftansa this year 2013. I will make 39,000 status miles. What do I need to do in 2014 and susequent years to keep this status?

    Also do I need to call Luftansa and tell them to upgrade me?
    Great Blog
    Thanks.

    • You mean “this year 2014”? 🙂 At 35,000 status miles you will be upgraded to Frequent Traveller status automatically. It might take a few days before this happens. The status will be valid for two years. In your case until Feb 2017.

      • yes sorry 2014.
        so if i hit the 35,000 status miles again in 2015 then it bumps it forward for another year until Feb 2018.
        Thanks for the speedy responce.

  22. Dear Bart,

    Thank you for this article. No doubt there is no competition in this kind of credit card with miles in Belgium… and so we receive uninteresting offers comparing to USA.

    I still have on question, if I buy for example 5.000€ of tickets on Thai, I will receive 5.000 miles (or more depending on the type of card) for buying them and then the traveled miles from the travel?
    And if I buy 5.000€ of tickets on Qatar Airways for example, I will receive 5.000 miles for buying them and no miles for traveling on my M&M number but only on my Qatar Airways membership.
    Is that correct?

    Thanks,

    Quentin.

    • Thank you for your feedback Quentin. That’s correct, you get miles for whatever you spend money on. Only when you buy tickets on the BrusselsAirlines.com website, there’s an extra incentive of 2 miles per euro spend. However, I rarely buy my tickets at BrusselsAirlines.com as there are other OTA’s which allow you to book the same tickets without credit card fees!

  23. It’s all a con job. I got my frequent flyer and I am a member of oilandgas star alliance. I am sitting in Houston airport writing this and can only go into the lounge if I have Gold or Hons status.

    • Hi Diarmuid. Sorry to read about your disappointment. Lufthansa Miles & More Frequent Traveller status only gives access to the LH Group owned lounges (Lufthansa, Austrian, LOT Polish Airlines, Brussels Airlines, etc…)

  24. Hi Bart,

    Thanks for the recap above. I have about 30k miles but will be moving to the US soon and the airlines I will fly most often (BA, Air France, and various US airlines) are not in the M&M program. When is the best time to redeem? How many miles do you need to have to get a free flight segment?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Emilie, I would recommend to redeem 25K for a US domestic flight (United) or Air Canada in economy (round trip) or First (one-way). There are no fuel surcharges on domestic awards, so it will be just the 25K and a few extra euros in taxes & fees.

      • Thanks a lot Bart, very helpful! I’ll look into it 🙂

  25. Dear Bart,

    I discovered your blog a few days ago and I would first like to congratulate for it : it is very interesting and very well done !

    I have to travel quite a lot for my job (I’m a pianist) and have at the moment a Brussels Airlines Frequent Traveller card but would really to go to the next level.

    I fly about 100 times a year in the whole world (mainly with Brussels Airlines for Europe and Lufthansa for the rest of the world) but since the flights are usually paid by the concert organizers, I fly in economics which doesn’t bring so many miles (at the moment I have 30.000 award miles and 10.500 status miles).

    What would you recommend me to try to become senator ? After reading your blog, I applied for the Aegeon Miles and More card but I would be I would be very interested in some more advices 🙂

    Thank you in advance for your answer and once again congratulation for your great work !

    Philippe

    • Hi Philippe, thank you for your question. As you fly mainly to European destinations, it will not be possible to achieve Senator Status in the Miles & More program. As you suggested, it will make more sense to obtain Star Alliance Gold via the Aegean Miles & Bonus program.

  26. Hi,

    I recently received my AMEX premium card but I actually don’t know if I now have to create a miles & more account myself or if this will be done for me? Anyone an idea?

    Evert

    • Hi Evert,

      You will need to create your Miles & More account yourself. Make sure to also contact American Express to provide them your M&M account number so the Amex card and your M&M account are linked. (phone number on the back of your card)

      Cheers,
      Bart

  27. Hi Bart,

    I appreciate your taking the time to answer your queries, you provide a very valuable service. Firstly forgive the length of this email, I just felt I needed to explain the background. I am a member of the M&S TK FF program, and have been since 2012. While flying between Europe and Asia, their comfort class service is second to none, and as you mentioned before their Elite Gold status in the first two years of travelling with them was a great marketing ploy, and offered good value for money.

    My question is this, I currently have about a total of approx 130 K miles, but have 41 K miles + expiring at the end of December. After recently receiving this notification from M&S re the expiring miles, I clicked on the link at the end of the email which took me to the following link to their terms & conditions

    http://www.turkishairlines.com/en-int/miles-and-smiles/about-our-program/milesampsmiles-terms-amp-conditions#37

    These state at:-

    3.1 Calculation Unit of Miles:

    “Miles are the unit of calculation for the Miles&Smiles program and defined as Status Miles and Bonus Miles.”

    “Status Miles are considered for upgrading to Classic Plus, Elite and Elite Plus Card status, for requalifying your status and for increasing your total mileage. Status Miles are collected by flying to many domestic and international destinations, at all applicable fares on scheduled flights of Turkish Airlines and/or Star Alliance carriers (except the free and charter flights).”

    “Bonus Miles are used for increasing your total mileage and for qualifying you for the awards (award tickets, companion tickets and upgrades).”

    Comment- I currently have no bonus miles earned/collected.

    3.7 The Validity of Miles “….Miles may be collected throughout the year. …. You can pay 10 Dolar for every 1000 Miles that are about to expire and extend the validity of your Miles by three years.”

    Comment – This seems reasonable enough as it would therefore only cost approx USD 410+ if paid, to keep my near expiring miles for another 3 years.

    Q. Does Condition 3.7 only refer to status miles, as the para makes no distinction between purchase of status or bonus miles? There seems to be no further explanation on the website to clarify this issue that I can find.

    From your blog I note status miles can only be earned by actually flying. So as I attempt to access my profile, and click the link to buy miles I am presented with two options:-

    a) Buy Status Miles

    When I click on this option I am advised “…..You are in the first year of your card’s usage period. Statu mile sell operation can be requested only in second year of card usage period”.

    Comment – I am not sure why this is as I have enjoyed Gold status since mid to late 2013.

    I received the same message towards the tail of last year, so I ended up losing about 40,000 plus miles + as there seemed on the face of it to be no way of buying additional miles as I recall, other than the bonus mile option as set out below. Notwithstanding that I retained my Gold status until now, as is evident when I access my profile.

    b) Buy Bonus Miles

    When I click on this option I am advised ” The total amount of bonus miles you can buy until 31.12.2015 …. is up to 50.000 1000 miles cost 30 USD (include tax) *In each calendar year you can purchase up to 50.000 Bonus Miles for yourself or any member / members

    As you can see this puts me in a quandary. On the one hand condition 3.7 indicates I ” …can pay 10 Dolar for every 1000 Miles that are about to expire and extend the validity of your Miles by three years.

    i.e. USD 410 +

    Yet when I attempt to exercise my option to buy bonus miles on my profile page (given I don’t have the option to buy status miles) I am advised I can only buy up to 50.000 in one calender year,

    but in this case “1000 miles cost 30 USD (include tax)

    Comment – 30 x 41,000 miles = USD1,230+

    I would appreciate therefore if you are in a position to shed any light on this discrepancy, or is your feeling that I am stuck with having to shell out USD 1,230 + if I wish to keep extend the life of these miles, with a similar amount which will need to be paid towards the end of next year, when a further 37K + miles are due to expire, if I want to retain the Gold status.

    Much appreciated.

    Nathan

    • Hi Nathan, just to be clear, when you take a flight, you earn both status and award miles (aka bonus miles at M&S) Status miles are used to determine your elite status but cannot be redeemed for an award (e.g. free flight) and the counter if put on 0 every elite status cycle (e.g. calendar year) Award miles (aka bonus miles) tend to expire after a certain period but many programs offers way to extent their lifetime (e.g. own an airline branded credit card) In this case I would need to review the rules on ‘how to avoid M&S award miles to expire’ Googling this question might already reveal some tips. It makes not sense to pay the fees mentioned above to retain your expiring award miles. Note that the value of your miles is maximum ~2 cents each. The best option is to redeem your miles for a flight, ‘earn and burn’ is the golden rule. I suggest to see if you can find some ways to extend your miles at a low cost, if not, redeem them for a flight! (you can book flights up to ~1 year in advance) Feel free to share your final solution. Cheers, Bart

      • Thanks Bart,

        I did as you suggested, and nothing really helpful regarding my query came up other than a link to TK’s own website and an introduction to the concept of “freezing miles.”

        http://www.turkishairlines.com/en-int/corporate/news/news/freeze-your-miles-and-fly-whenever-you-want-with-mileage-reactivation-688

        Needless to say (as echoed by M&S users on other forums I came across in my research) the content in the message is unhelpful and contradictory, with no clarification on my specific question re options on which type of miles can be used to extend the life of the expiring miles.

        They should invest in getting some external professionals to review the content on what they put on their web site, as they just make it over complicated and inconsistent, as far as this issue is concerned.

        That said I thank you for your prompt reply and for your suggestions. Redeeming flights with M&S miles seems to be another adventure according to other posts I’ve read.

        Best

        Nathan

  28. Bart,

    Is the SPG amex creditcard not more interesting in saving miles than the Brussels airlines credit card?

  29. Hi Bart, what a nice blog! Thank you.
    Quick question, my current status miles is 28,896 and don’t plan to travel anymore until the end of the year 😦
    What would be the cheapest way to get the 6,104 remaining status miles and so that I can achieve the Frequent Traveller status?
    Many thanks

  30. Hi Bart,

    I have a question regarding the AMEX cards.
    Currently i have 91245 Status miles for this year and will be doing two more short flights.
    So to achieve Senator status i was thinking to order a Brussels Airlines Premium American Express card.

    The welcome bonus is 6000 miles and i want to check if these are calculated as status miles ?

    Is it correct to say that the cost is 150 Euro’s ? and what about the cancellation fee & policy.

    Thx for your feedback,

    Kind Regards
    Daan

    • Hi Daan, congratulations, you’re almost there! Unfortunately, status miles can only be earned by flying. So applying for the Brussels Airlines Premium American Express card will not help. btw You can cancel this card any time you want and will get the remaining months of the yearly fee reimbursed. Two options for your Senator re-qualification: 1) fly 2) hope the LH management is generous like last year and provides 10K status miles for all the strikes we had the endure the past year. Not sure if that second scenario will happen, but they should provide some sort of compensation for the strikes.

      • Hi Bart,

        Clear , thx a lot for the feedback.
        I’ll cross my fingers and hope they are as generous as last year 🙂

        Kind Regards
        Daan

        • If you’re that close I wouldn’t the take the chance & make a small (potentially personal) investment. It’s probably not always easy to get that close to 100K status miles (I find it quite difficult). Can’t recall when Lufthansa gave the 10K compensation status mailes last year, think it was well after 31 December.

          • Hi all, any idea what would be the cheapest flight to get 6000 status miles before the end of the year? Are there some preferred airlines companies to use?
            If I just buy the ticket but I don’t use it is that ok?

            Otherwise if I buy a ticket before the end of the year but the departure date is next year, will I get the status miles before the end of the year or will it be added up only at the departure date?
            Thank you.

              • I have found if you choose highly competitive routes, such as BRU-LHR, BRU-BAR and you choose Flex&Fast it can the the easiest and most ‘affordable’ way to get those extra 6K miles in. You’d have 5K miles after taking those 2 example flights. Be very flexible, avoid the xmas holidays, and see what’s cheapest. It are very short flights, you could even fly to BAR, land, stay at the airport (I believe they only allow *GOLD in the BAR lounge) and fly back with the BAR-BRU flight. You would be back home at noon 🙂 and earned 2500 status miles. Once you are SEN it’s a tiny bit easier as you get bonus status miles helping to re-qualify (it still means flying a lot though). The SEN status is valid for 2 years, it’s then a matter of ‘forecasting’ in which of the 2 calendar year you’ll fly the most, to go for the requalify. That could mean choosing flying over taking the train etc

                  • Thank you Xavier.
                    Do you know if there is any issue if I buy the ticket but don’t fly? 🙂
                    Thanks

                • @Bart – if one requalifies for SEN will the extension be added at the backed of the current validity period. Say I requalified in the 1st year, and then again in the 2nd year – does that give me a theorital 3 or 4 years of SEN?

                    • thanks Bart – interesting… i just got an email that my status got extended up to Feb 2018. But since I have this year build up about 86000 status miles I should probably consider some trip prior to year end to get to 100k. any suggestions ….?

                    • yea – that’s what i thought, 13-14 k on an economy trip will be pretty steep. having a look if there is anything affordable out there to close the gap 🙂

          • Hi Bart,

            Just want to be a 100% sure. If i book a flight and pay with my miles i’m still entitled to earn the status miles correct ?

            Kind Regards
            Daan

  31. hy bart, I have 100 000 miles on my KLM account,my next flight is on economy AMS-DXB, you think it’s worth it to upgrade to Bussines or should I wait and save more? thx

    • Hi Bako, the first question is if your flight is upgradable at all. There are two requirements: 1) Your booking class needs to allow upgrades, cheaper economy class tickets cannot be upgraded 2) There need to be business class award seats available on your flights. In general, using your miles to book Business Class or First Class flights is better value. For Flying Blue I also recommend the discounted Promo Awards https://www.flyingblue.com/promo-awards.html Enjoy your trip!

  32. Well, I just received the communication today that Lufthansa will again compensate the strikes by providing 10K status miles & 10k select miles. I got this offer being a SEN. Not sure if they do the same for FT’s. For people needing to re-qualify in December as SEN it could be good news.

  33. Great article – really appreciate the detail and insight. I’m curious about what you’d regard as traveling economy ” on a regular basis” counts as? For the next 2-3 years I’ll likely be flying full fare Lufthansa economy between US & Europe between 2-3 times per year. If this isn’t enough, how much more would I need to fly to get enough status points for Frequent Traveler status?

    • Hi Marko, if your main goals is to achieve status with Star Alliance, I would recommend the Miles & Bonus program from Aegean. http://en.aegeanair.com/milesandbonus/ They offer a much faster way to earn Star Alliance Gold. 12000 status miles + 2 segments on Aegean for Star Alliance Silver. Add another 24000 status miles + 4 segments on Aegean and you are Star Alliance Gold. All depends on what you want to achieve, status or collect miles to spend on Business / First Class flights of the LH group.

  34. Hi Bart,
    if I am missing a few miles for a free* ticket – can I “complete” the amount needed with cash?

    • Hi Ohad, you can’t buy miles any longer at Miles and More directly, so you’ll need to stay at a hotel or convert some of your existing points in other programs to Miles & More. Another ‘good’ option is to take a magazine subscription which comes with bonus miles (e.g. The Economist) or by signing-up for a Miles & More credit card.

  35. Hi all,

    I have two questions:
    Is that possible to transfer some miles miles&more to another star alliance flight partners?
    Is that possible to spend some miles with another star alliance flight partners?

    Thank you
    Sebastien

    • Hi Sebastian,

      You can’t transfer miles to other airline loyalty programs, however you can use your miles to book with any Star Alliance airline. To check availability of Star Alliance airlines, you can use the website of United Airlines. At United.com select ‘Search for award travel’ Note: 1) only ‘Economy lowest’ and ‘Saver Awards (Business/First) can be booked via Miles & More. 2) for the correct number of miles required for your reward, check the M&M award chart http://www.miles-and-more.com/mediapool/pdf/20/media_785183620.pdf 3) To make your booking, call your local M&M office. Let me know if you have any questions.

  36. Hello Bart – Happy new year! Quick question; 2015 was my first SEN year, status valid until February 2017. I earned a little over 100K status miles again this year. I just logged into the M&M portal, but my status is still ending at February 2017. Also no additional eVouchers received. Does the status validity get updated later in January? Or will it only be reviewed and extended in February 2017? I am right that the status should build up right; so now theoretically I could hold SEN status until February 2019? As long as I earn 100K in one year before 31.12.2018 (so either 2016, 2017 or 2018) I could keep the SEN status?

    • Xavier, your status will be extended end of Feb 16 with two additional years till Feb 2019. At the same time you will receive your upgrade eVouchers. Enjoy your Senator status!

  37. Hi Bart,

    I have a regular Miles&More card with no more than 20.000 miles. I started to fly business class (last 2 flights) but I dont fly that often in a year to earn 100.000 miles. Although Iam paying much more for a ticket than many people accesinf the Senator lounge I cannot have access to Senator Lounge but to Business class which is so poor and doesn’t worth the effort to even go there.
    Is their any tip recently of how to get a Gold or Senator card sooner?

    Thanks a lot,
    M

      • Thank you for your fast reply. I looked on Aegean website but it is not clear how to credit the miles as you suggest. I even made an Aegean membership.
        Also, if I buy a ticket but finally I am not flying because of any reason, do I receive the tier miles? For example now I bought a ticket with Aegean but the tier miles are not credited in my membership. What this means, that they will credit it in the day of the flight, or if I don’ t fly they don’t credit it?

        Thank you very much for your kindness and time.
        Maia

        • Maia, you need to make sure to add your Aegean frequent traveler number to all your Star Alliance flights. This can be done at the time of booking, online check-in or at the airport check-in. Miles are only credited after you have taken the flight. If you are a ‘no-show’ you will not receive any miles.

  38. Hi Bart

    I applied for an Amex premium with your signup bonus a little over a year ago. I’ve almost reached 200k miles so it does pay off to have this card.
    However for international travel outside Europe I mostly fly One World carriers like Qatar. This means that, even when I fly around 10 to 12 times a year with Brussels airlines I never get to Silver or any other status. The Amex cards let’s you save miles but it doesn’t add to any status.
    Would you recommend staying with Brussels airlines and their miles and more card, or another airline in Europe that has better benefits for becoming a silver or gold member faster.
    I would then add this frequent flyer program to every flight I make with Brussels and keep my miles and more just for Amex to save further miles and more miles.

    Thanks for your feedback

    • Hi Philip, 200k miles is great, 10k more and you can fly to Asia in First Class roundtrip! 🙂 As you probably noticed, European flights almost earn no miles, so whatever program you credit them to, it will not result in status. In Star Alliance the Aegean Miles + Bonus and Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles offer the easiest way to Star Alliance Gold.

      • Hey Bart

        I more question for status miles. Do they count in flights or in segments. Meaning if you have flights with layovers and switching to another plane during the flight, does this then count as another segment (to reach 30 segments/year) or do they count this as 1 no matter how many layovers you have.

  39. Hi Bart – another forum confused me on re-qualify rules for M&M SEN: I heard if you get 2x 100K status miles during your 2 year of SEN status it only counts for one extension?

    Let me try to explain:

    Gained 100K status miles in 2014
    Became SEN since Feb 2015, valid until Feb 2017
    Flew another 100K, last year in 2015 (my first year as SEN)
    I understand this will already give me a guarantee on SEN extension Feb 2017-Feb 2019 (at least I hope, its not visible in the M&M portal)

    The confusing part follows now;
    This year, 2016; I am close to making another 100K status miles, but will require extra effort:
    I assumed that making another 100K status miles in this 2nd SEN year, this would automatically piggyback and as such assure me of another extension for the future,Feb 2019 – Feb 2021. Some thought it does not work like that: Do you know?

    So in other words during your 2 SEN year you should only try to make 100K in one year; if you reach it twice it does not help? If there’s no incentive I’ll take it easy and not try pursuing those extra status miles to get 100K again in this second year…

  40. Hi Bart – I found out just now that if you’re a SEN and you re-qualify 2 times during the 2 years being SEN, only one year counts. So if you make another 100K Status miles during the 2nd SEN year it does not get piggybacked and giving you 4 years of SEN :(. What a bummer (and a little unfair)!

    • Must have changed, I re-qualified two years in a row and each time 2 years were added to the expiration date of my SEN status! (Mine experience in Feb 2016)

  41. Hi Bart, I read somewhere here above about Aegan miles programme…did you have these seperate post on Aegan Miles programme & how to get the fastest to their Gold status? I’m flying reguraly intercontinental, unfortunately I just have the lowest of the classes all the time… 25% of the miles with FlyingBlue & M&M, many cards but nothing silver even… also M&M initially I got 10 yrs ago from Lufthansa & it’s now connected to Brussels Airlines I noticed on the site, so if I start with Aegan to collect miles on the Aegan card no. what happens to the M&M Brussels airline miles… they are not connected to Aegan even though they are also a member of M&M… it’s a bit complicated, if you could explain would be nice…

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