Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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When you think about air travel to and from Europe, there’s a good chance Lufthansa comes to mind. That’s no accident! Lufthansa has long been considered one of the best ways to fly there.
Even with increased competition from carriers in the Middle East and Asia, Lufthansa has continued to shine with its first class product. However, we need to be realistic about Lufthansa business class.
It’s a comfortable flight that provides Lufthansa business class lounge access and quality service, but it lags behind other business class ticket options.
Let’s dig into the pros and cons and discuss how you can book this product with points.
A Lufthansa business class seat might be just what you’re looking for on a flight, but you should get a clear picture of what to expect before you book.
It doesn’t have an inflight bar like Emirates business class or the privacy of Delta One Suites, but the seats are comfortable and you will enjoy your flight. Additionally, all seats are fully lie-flat to ensure you can sleep soundly on your international long-haul flights.
If you’re looking for the best business class seat on Lufthansa, choose a seat in the middle section. While these seats might not provide great privacy, each one does have direct aisle access. You won’t have to climb over someone when you need to stretch your legs, and the flight attendant won’t have to reach over someone to hand you drinks and meal service like they do with the window section passengers.
Whether you’re traveling for work or for fun, a business class lounge can play an important part in your travel experience. With buffet dining and beverage options ranging from coffee and tea to beer, wine, and spirits, you will surely enjoy yourself.
Now that you know what to expect from your experience, let’s dive into booking your flight. As a Star Alliance member, Lufthansa has plenty of frequent flyer programs you can use to book its business class product.
Hot Tip: Where can you fly Lufthansa nonstop from in the U.S. to Frankfurt (FRA)? View our definitive guide to Lufthansa’s direct routes from the U.S., including plane types and seat options.
One of our favorite options to book business class award tickets on Lufthansa is through Air Canada’s Aeroplan program.
For flights between the U.S. and Germany, Aeroplan will charge you based on your itinerary’s total flight distance. On a one-way business class ticket, the amount will range from 60,000 to 70,000 Aeroplan points.
|0 to 4,000||35,000||60,000|
|4,001 to 6,000||40,000||70,000|
|6,001 to 8,000||55,000||85,000|
It’s easy to search for and book award flights online. Here’s the simple booking process:
Hot Tip: Check out our Aeroplan region definition guide to make it easy to find out how many miles you need to book your award.
If you need Aeroplan points, the program is an American Express transfer partner, Capital One miles transfer partner, and Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner points at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
Lastly, Marriott Bonvoy has a 3:1 transfer ratio with a bonus of 5,000 miles if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Air Canada Aeroplan. Marriott Bonvoy transfers take 5 business days.
Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.
The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options. Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.
Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
Don’t forget too, there’s 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.
The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.
Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards.
Lufthansa and almost all of its portfolio airlines impose gigantic fuel surcharges in excess of $1,000 per round-trip ticket, which can really bring the cost of your award redemption up.
So even though ANA offers the best redemption rates of a 1:1 transferable currency (Amex), you’ll need to think about whether it’s worth it to save your points and pay higher taxes and fees or redeem more points and pay lower taxes and fees.
Here’s how much you’ll pay for a round-trip business class flight between the U.S. and Europe:
|Cabin Class||ANA Miles Cost (Round-Trip)||Taxes and Fees|
We recommend following these steps to first find availability on United’s website and then book the ticket on ANA’s website:
Here’s what a successful award search for Lufthansa business class would look like on ANA Mileage Club’s website:
You can earn ANA miles through transfer partnerships with Amex (1:1) or Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 with a 5,000-mile bonus after transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points).
Amex and Marriott Bonvoy transfers take 3 and 4 business days, respectively.
Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)
This card is undoubtedly the #1 card for luxury travel benefits. From the best lounge access (of any card) to statement credits, to complimentary elite status, you can’t go wrong.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
This is the go-to card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants and those who want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express® Gold Card is definitely a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are a number of other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Amex business cards that earn Membership Rewards.
Our next option isn’t as well known as the others, but don’t count it out! Asiana Airlines’ frequent flyer program, Asiana Club, offers some incredible mileage prices, assuming you are able to actually accrue these elusive miles.
These miles provide one of the best options for booking a Lufthansa business class ticket.
Here’s how much it’d cost to book a Lufthansa business class ticket between the U.S. and Europe using Asiana miles:
|Cabin Class||Asiana Miles Cost (One-Way)||Taxes and Fees|
Unlike the previous options, this one requires a phone call to Asiana Club.
You must reserve and have your ticket issued 3 days prior to departure, which prevents snagging last-minute awards.
Here’s what you need to know to book your Lufthansa business class flight using Asiana miles:
Asiana Airlines will pass on all carrier-imposed surcharges, so be aware of that going into the process.
Asiana Airlines’ only transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy, which comes at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred to Asiana. That means if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Asiana, you’ll wind up with 25,000 Asiana miles.
Marriott Bonvoy takes around 4 business days to transfer points to Asiana.
Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards
A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Casual travelers who like to frequent properties that are part of the Marriott Bonvoy collection of brands may want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.
The Marriott Bold card rewards cardholders for Marriott stays and gives them a boost towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual free night award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.
If you’re a frequent traveler and a Marriott loyalist, there’s a lot to love about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The card comes packed with several great benefits like a free hotel night once a year, automatic Silver Elite status (with a fast-track to Gold Elite status), and multiple options for redeeming points.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.
A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.
So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?
Avianca’s LifeMiles frequent flyer program offers excellent redemption rates on Lufthansa business class, especially when you consider that it doesn’t pass on any fuel surcharges.
On top of that, you’ll find that there are many ways to earn LifeMiles!
And while the LifeMiles search engine gets a lot of flak in the context of booking Lufthansa first class, there are fewer issues when booking Lufthansa business class.
Here’s the award chart for U.S.-Europe itineraries:
|Cabin Class||Avianca LifeMiles Cost (One-Way)||Taxes and Fees|
Importantly, you’ll see that your total taxes and fees charged will be in the ballpark of $40, making this a great deal.
Here’s how to book your Lufthansa business class flight with LifeMiles:
All of these except Marriott Bonvoy transfer at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly. With Marriott Bonvoy, you’ll transfer at a 3:1 ratio and transfers take around 1 business day.
If you combine these redemption prices with a transfer ratio (usually 15% to 30%) and/or an award discount sale (usually 10% to 20%), you could significantly reduce your points outlay.
Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!
This no annual fee card rewards cardholders for everyday purchases. Earn bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations, plus your points are rounded up on every purchase.
Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
The Citi® Double Cash Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!
This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.
Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.
Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!
The Citi Custom Cash® Card is inventive when it comes to cash-back credit cards. Instead of earning a set amount of cash-back on predetermined bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% cash-back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, without an annual fee.
Thanks to that unique perk, you’ll never need to worry about whether you’re using the right card for the right purchase, as your Citi Custom Cash card will always pay you 5% back on whichever category you end up spending the most on each month.
The Miles & More program is actually the loyalty program for several airlines owned by the Lufthansa Group. In addition to Lufthansa, this includes Austrian Airlines, SWISS Air, Brussels Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, and Croatia Airlines.
To search for award availability online, you must have at least 7,000 miles in your Miles & More account. Otherwise, you will need to contact the U.S. Lufthansa call center at 800-581-6400.
Hot Tip: Child tickets for flights on Adria Airways, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Luxair, and SWISS can be booked at a 25% mileage discount.
If you have the required miles to search online, follow these simple steps to book:
Miles & More requires you to pay all carrier-imposed surcharges on award tickets, and they can be pretty steep on Lufthansa. Note that the fees are lower when booking a flight from Europe to the U.S. rather than from the U.S. to Europe.
Hot Tip: If you are booking a round-trip journey, check to see if 2 one-way bookings will require lower fees than a round-trip booking.
Due to the lack of transfer partners, the best way to earn Miles & More miles (other than booking an eligible revenue flight) is with the co-branded Lufthansa Miles & More credit cards from Barclays.
Probably the most well-known option in the U.S., United MileagePlus has been the go-to method for many people when booking business class awards on Lufthansa. Fortunately, United award bookings do not incur the high carrier-imposed surcharges, saving you upwards of $700 in each direction.
The program does, however, charge more miles for flying on a partner airline than United metal, so you’ll pay a bit more when booking on Lufthansa.
United got rid of its award chart and now relies on a dynamic pricing schedule, but you can expect to pay the following prices for a Saver award:
|Cabin Class||United Miles Cost (One-Way)||Taxes and Fees|
As you can see, no fuel surcharges are passed on!
You can book Lufthansa business class with United by following these steps:
Transfers from Chase are instant, while Marriott Bonvoy takes approximately 3 business days to transfer points.
With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.
You travel United all the time, but you have heard that there could be ways to make your travel experiences even better, including priority boarding, free bags, and more miles.
You should consider the United℠ Explorer Card, because this card does all that and more!
Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.
The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium card designed for the most dedicated of United frequent flyers who are looking for a card that provides the opportunity to earn extra United MileagePlus miles and receive lounge access via a yearly United Club membership.
United frequent flyers will find that the United Club Infinite card provides an enhanced experience on their United flights thanks to the money saved on each flight and the conveniences it provides.
The United Quest card is a fantastic option for United flyers looking to earn more miles and enhance their flights.
The newest addition to United’s lineup of cards is the United Quest℠ Card. With it, you can bolster your United MileagePlus miles, thanks to the bonus categories, while enjoying the card’s many perks designed to help save you money on each United flight.
The United Gateway card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without paying an annual fee.
The United Gateway℠ Card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without wanting to pay a credit card annual fee. Plus, the card offers other solid benefits like a 25% back on United inflight purchases, purchase protection, and rental car insurance.
The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.
The United Club℠ Business Card is a premium card option for dedicated United loyalists seeking a card that offers complimentary United Club access, helps them earn and retain status, and doesn’t skip on the benefits.
From free checked bags to upgrades on award tickets and the ability to earn Premier qualifying points, there is plenty to the United Club Business card that United flyers are sure to love.
There are several other Star Alliance partners that can provide decent award redemptions. Some other programs you might want to check out are Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus and Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.
Miles & More sometimes runs award sales called Mileage Bargains. These deals are some of the best ways to use Miles & More to book a Lufthansa business class ticket on transatlantic flights.
Rather than the standard 112,000 miles required, you can potentially fly round-trip in business class for just 56,000 miles!
If you’re getting creative with your travel and are looking for fun ways to use your Miles & More miles, you can book business class from Germany to Africa or the Caribbean using Mileage Bargains for an utterly massive discount.
We’re talking about redeeming 18,000 to 32,000 miles instead of 70,000 to 127,000 miles, literally up to 80% off!
Just bear in mind that you will still be on the hook for carrier-imposed surcharges.
But let’s assume you’re booking a simple, nonstop round-trip flight between the U.S. and Germany in business class. Here’s the table comparing all of the mileage costs:
|Route (Round-Trip)||ANA Miles Cost||Lufthansa Miles and More Cost||Avianca LifeMiles Cost||Air Canada Aeroplan Points Cost||Asiana Club Miles Cost||United Miles Cost|
|U.S. to Germany||88,000 + $1,581||112,000 + $1,581||126,000 + $77||120,000 to 140,000 + $81||80,000 + $1,581||From 154,000 + $11|
A one-way award from the U.S. will include roughly $750 in taxes and fees while a one-way from Germany to the U.S. will be around $450. Depending on your origin in Europe, the taxes and fees will vary.
As you can tell, the best round-trip deal is Asiana Club (with Marriott Bonvoy points) or ANA miles (with Amex points), though both come with huge fuel surcharges.
If you have a pile of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, it’s a no-brainer to transfer them to Air Canada Aeroplan. Don’t forget you can add a stopover for 5,000 miles extra.
With Citi ThankYou Rewards, the best transfer partner is Avianca LifeMiles. The same is true if you have Capital One miles since LifeMiles has a much-improved 1:1 transfer ratio.
Here are each frequent flyer programs’ stopover and open-jaw regulations:
Here are some fantastic redemptions you can make from the U.S. to Germany:
If you want to book Lufthansa business class, there’s an almost overwhelming number of ways you can go about this.
And it’s also complicated by the fact that Lufthansa levies humongous fuel surcharges, forcing you to think about the trade-offs of redeeming more points versus spending more on taxes and fees.
If you’re looking for the absolute best deal with Amex points, you’ll redeem just 88,000 points for round-trip business class, though that comes with a total taxes and fees of $1,581.
If you want to avoid fuel surcharges, both Air Canada Aeroplan and Avianca LifeMiles will help you achieve this. Aeroplan is the best option to use for all itineraries under 4,000 miles in total flight distance, costing 60,000 points one-way; Avianca LifeMiles is the best option for all other itineraries, coming in at 63,000 LifeMiles one-way.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are best transferred to Aeroplan or United MileagePlus, though we recommend Aeroplan to redeem fewer points.
Capital One Miles or Citi ThankYou Rewards loyalists should use LifeMiles due to the 1:1 ratio.
Now, let’s spell out all of the possible transfer partners:
It’s also important to note that Amex, Brex, and Citi have all offered transfer bonuses of 15% to 30% to LifeMiles in the past.
Aeroplan transfer bonuses have been offered by Amex, though these are a bit rarer. You can almost never count on a transfer bonus to ANA Mileage Club or United MileagePlus.
Unfortunately, there is no way to transfer points to Lufthansa Miles & More, though there is a co-branded credit card issued by Barclays.
Once you have determined when you want to travel, start your award search. Availability with Miles & More (as well as Lufthansa’s partners) is generally pretty good, though it’s not usually possible to plan extremely far out in advance.
Unlike Lufthansa first class award space, which is only released to partners about 2 weeks prior to departure, business class is available long before that, typically around 2 months in advance.
While the business class cabin doesn’t have the same amazing reputation as Lufthansa first class, it does provide a comfortable long-haul option.
Star Alliance is the largest airline alliance in the world, which means you will have a wide selection of business class lounges to enjoy across the globe. These lounges are often quite spacious with plenty of room to work or just relax.
Even though you’re just in business class, Lufthansa still provides Champagne and a nice selection of wine to make your flight a little bit more enjoyable.
Lufthansa has also unveiled new German-inspired menus for short- and medium-haul routes.
If you are flying into Frankfurt, Germany, you will have access to the Lufthansa Business Class Lounge. Here you can enjoy a meal, some quiet time, or even do a little work before starting your day in Frankfurt.
Perhaps the best perk of the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge is the showers. After a long flight, a shower can be just what you need to freshen up before a meeting or a German adventure!
Let’s be clear: this business class cabin is not at the same level as Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, or Singapore Airlines. That being said, if you are looking for a comfortable seat on a long-haul flight (and maybe some Champagne!), Lufthansa business class will suit you just fine.
For more ideas on how you can maximize your Miles & More miles, check out our piece on the absolute best ways to redeem them.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the United Club℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
The best way to book Lufthansa business class depends on your current points and cash situation.
If you want the cheapest cost in miles, Asiana Club or ANA Mileage Club are great options. If you’d like to book Lufthansa business class without the carrier-imposed surcharges, Avianca LifeMiles or Air Canada Aeroplan is an excellent choice.
To get ANA miles and book Lufthansa business class with those miles, earn Amex Membership Rewards points.
To get Air Canada Aeroplan points, earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
To get Avianca LifeMiles, earn Citi ThankYou Rewards Points or Capital One miles.
To earn Asiana Club miles, earn Marriott Bonvoy points.
To earn Miles & More miles, use the Lufthansa credit card from Barclays.
To earn United miles, use cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points or Chase’s co-branded United cards.
Lufthansa business class provides a comfortable lie-flat seat. If you choose a seat in the middle section of the cabin, you’ll have direct aisle access.
Additionally, you will have access to the Lufthansa and Star Alliance business class lounges.
Currently, Lufthansa only gives pajamas to first class passengers, not business class travelers.
Yes, Lufthansa’s long-haul business class consists of flat-bed seats that recline completely.
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Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience.
Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class!
Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal). He runs Straight to the Points, an award-seat alert platform.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.