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11 Best Ways to Redeem Lufthansa Miles & More Miles for Max Value

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
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Lufthansa is not an award program most people think of when wanting to book an award flight. The inability to search for award flights without miles in your account and the fact that Lufthansa doesn’t partner with any transferable currencies is a huge disadvantage.

However, there are definitely some options for you to maximize those points!

Earning Miles & More Miles With the Lufthansa Credit Card

Lufthansa Miles & More miles can be earned by signing up for its co-branded Barclays credit card.

The Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® will let your spending earn Lufthansa miles to redeem for award flights. And since Miles & More doesn’t have any useful U.S. transfer partners, this card can become incredibly valuable.

The 11 Best Ways to Redeem Lufthansa Miles & More

Lufthansa is a member of the Star Alliance, and the airline also partners with airlines that are not affiliated with an alliance. What does this mean? If you are looking to use miles on flights to different countries and continents, the Lufthansa program can be used to your advantage.

In this article, we’ll cover the best ways to redeem your miles for maximum value. When calculating the miles required for your award flight, it’s important to note that Lufthansa uses both an award chart and a mileage calculator.

1. Access Lufthansa First Class Award Space in Advance

Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Seat 1A and 1K - Cherag Dubash
Lufthansa First Class in the nose of the 747-8 is like your own private jet, but with even better service. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

If you wanted to access first class flights award space to Europe, you’d very quickly find that your only shot is Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program. If you try to book Lufthansa first class using partner miles, you can only access availability a maximum of 15 days before departure.

If you’ve got significant credit card spending and are absolutely dead-set on trying Lufthansa first class without having to plan so close to departure, your only shot is to redeem Miles & More miles.

However, you can access award space up to 360 days before departure, which means you can plan almost a year in advance, provided you find availability. The cost for a one-way flight from the U.S. to Europe in first class is 91,000 miles, plus taxes and fees.

Miles & More passes on all fuel surcharges, so expect to also pay ~$850 in taxes and fees to go along with it. Here are some routes that don’t originate in the U.S. but avoid pesky fuel surcharges:

  • Bangkok (BKK) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Lufthansa first class for 111,000 miles + ~$300 in taxes and fees
  • Bogota (BOG) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Lufthansa first class for 111,000 miles + ~$397.55 in taxes and fees
  • Buenos Aires (EZE) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Lufthansa first class for 111,000 miles + ~$354.17 in taxes and fees
  • Cape Town (CPT) – Munich (MUC) one-way in Lufthansa first class for 91,000 miles + $260 in taxes and fees
  • Hong Kong (HKG) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Lufthansa first class for 111,000 miles + ~$45 in taxes and fees
  • Mexico City (MEX) – Munich (MUC) one-way in Lufthansa first class for 101,000 miles + ~$281.08 in taxes and fees
  • São Paulo (GRU) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Lufthansa first class for 111,000 miles + ~$47 in taxes and fees

2. Fly Star Alliance North America to South America: 56,000 Miles in Business Class One-Way

United Polaris 787-10 seat
Fly United business class to South America! Image Credit: Stephen Au

Several award programs divide South America into 2 separate regions. What makes Lufthansa’s program great is that it groups the entire continent into 1 region. This means that you’ll receive even more value for long-haul flights to southern South America.

Lufthansa considers Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela in its South America region.

For North America, Lufthansa puts Canada, Greenland, and the U.S. (excluding Hawaii) into the same North America region.

With 56,000 Lufthansa miles, you can book a one-way Star Alliance business class flight from North America to South America. You can also receive solid value for economy flights at 30,000 Lufthansa miles one-way.

Examples of nonstop Star Alliance flights to South America include:

  • Chicago (ORD) – São Paulo (GRU) on United
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Bogota (BOG) on Avianca
  • Toronto (YYZ) – Santiago (SCL) on Air Canada

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight will be around $28. If you are flying Air Canada, expect to pay significantly more in taxes and fees; we recommend calling Lufthansa to confirm the taxes and fees.

Need help booking an award ticket? See our step-by-step guide for booking United Airlines business class.

3. Fly Star Alliance North America to Australia/New Zealand: 71,000 Miles in Business Class One-Way

Air New Zealand Boeing 787 business class cabin rear
Try Air New Zealand in business class on your flight to Fiji. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

Nonstop flights to the South Pacific are long, which is why many people opt for business class. With Lufthansa, you can fly nonstop in business class for a reasonable number of miles.

Lufthansa groups Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tahiti (among others) into its Australia, New Zealand, Oceania region.

With 71,000 Lufthansa miles, you can book a one-way Star Alliance business class flight from the U.S. to Australia or New Zealand. Economy can also be a good way to use your miles at 40,000 Lufthansa miles one-way.

Hot Tip: The highest odds of snagging a coveted business class flight are within 30 days of departure from the U.S. to Australia or New Zealand

Examples of nonstop Star Alliance flights to Australia or New Zealand include:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD) on United
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Auckland (AKL) on Air New Zealand

Curious about which cities Air New Zealand flies to from the U.S.? Check out our definitive guide to Air New Zealand’s nonstop U.S. routes!

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight will be around $50. We recommend calling Lufthansa to confirm the taxes and fees.

4. Fly Star Alliance North America to Southeast Asia: 71,000 Miles in Business Class One-Way

EVA Air business class
A comfortable lie-flat seat, fantastic food and beverage offerings, and even pajamas are what you can expect in EVA Air business class. Image Credit: EVA Air

Southeast Asia, like Australia or New Zealand, takes time to get to from the U.S. You will likely be on a 12-hour flight at some point, so many people focus on finding a comfortable way to fly that leg.

Lufthansa groups Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam (among others) in its Southeast Asia region.

With 71,000 Lufthansa miles, you can book a one-way Star Alliance business class flight from North America to Southeast Asia. While economy is only 40,000 Lufthansa miles one-way, you will not receive a ton of value because the cash cost of these flights tends to be low.

Hot Tip: Nonstop business class flights to this region are hard to find, so you will want to search close-in for an award flight. 

Examples of nonstop Star Alliance flights to Southeast Asia include:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Singapore (SIN) on Singapore Airlines (partner availability in business class occasionally opens up on this route)
  • New York (JFK) – Taipei (TPE) on EVA Air
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Singapore (SIN) on United

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight should be around $28, though we recommend calling Lufthansa to confirm the taxes and fees.

Need help booking an award ticket? See our step-by-step guide for booking Singapore Airlines business class.

5. Fly Star Alliance Domestic North America: 20,000 Miles in Business Class One-Way

Air Canada Business Class
Air Canada Signature class on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Image Credit: Air Canada

While booking a domestic U.S. or Canada business class flight may not be as exciting as Southeast Asia or Australia, you can find value for these flights with Lufthansa miles.

With 20,000 Lufthansa miles, you can book a one-way Star Alliance business class flight within North America.

Examples of nonstop intra-North America Star Alliance flights include:

  • Newark (EWR) to San Francisco (SFO) on United
  • Toronto (YYZ) to Vancouver (YVR) on Air Canada

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight will be around $43, and you can expect to pay more taxes and fees when flying Air Canada. We recommend calling Lufthansa to confirm the taxes and fees.

If you want to fly to the Northwest Territories in Canada from the U.S., the cash cost will be astronomical. Luckily, you can see the Northern Lights with points with this itinerary:

This entire itinerary will run you only 30,000 miles + taxes and fees. Cash tickets on this itinerary will run you upwards of $2,000, which gives you a phenomenal 6-7 cents per point in value!

Have Air Canada Aeroplan Points? See our best ways to use Aeroplan points.

6. Fly Star Alliance North America to Asia: 71,000 Miles in Business Class One-Way

ANA Business Class Seat
Enjoy the comfort of ANA business class. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Another long-haul flight that you’ll probably want to fly in a premium cabin: U.S. to Asia.

Lufthansa groups China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, South Korea, and Taiwan in its Central Asia/Far East region, while other award programs typically do not include all of these countries in the same region.

With 71,000 Lufthansa miles, you can book a one-way business class Star Alliance flight from the U.S. to Asia. While economy is only 40,000 Lufthansa miles one-way, you will not receive a ton of value because the cash cost of these flights tends to be low.

Hot Tip: You will want to search close-in for award space in a premium cabin. Award space can be sparse if you’re looking to fly on a prime carrier such as ANA or EVA Air. 

Examples of nonstop intra-North America Star Alliance flights to Asia include:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on ANA
  • Houston (IAH) – Taipei (TPE) on EVA Air
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND) on United
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Beijing (PEK) on Air China

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight will be between $28-$242, depending on the airline. We recommend calling Lufthansa to confirm the taxes and fees.

Need help booking an award ticket? See our step-by-step guide for booking EVA Air business class.

7. Fly Star Alliance North America to Southern Africa: 96,000 Miles in Business Class One-Way

South African Airways
South African Airways A330-300 business class. Image Credit: South African Airways

Nonstop flights from the U.S. to Africa can be tough to find, but you’re in luck: South African Airways will cover you.

Lufthansa divides Africa into 2 regions, with the Southern Africa region including Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

With 96,000 Lufthansa miles, you can book a one-way business class flight from the U.S. to southern Africa. Economy can also be a decent way to use your miles at 50,000 Lufthansa miles one-way.

Hot Tip: Nonstop business class flights from the U.S. to Africa are hard to find, so you will want to search 10 to 11 months out in the award calendar for availability. 

South African Airways is the only airline offering nonstop flights on the following routes:

  • New York (JFK) – Johannesburg (JNB)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Accra (ACC)

Also, United Airlines offers a nonstop flight from Newark (EWR) to Cape Town (CPT), which is a whopping 14 hours 30 minutes long.

Remember that not all of these routes above fall into the Southern Africa region, but they’re excellent routing options for an onward, short-haul flight to your final destination.

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight will be around $285, but we still recommend calling Lufthansa to confirm the taxes and fees.

8. Fly Star Alliance North America to the Middle East: 71,000 Miles in Business Class One-Way

Ethiopian business class
It’s going to be easy to wake up from a good night’s sleep after flying Ethiopian’s business class to Africa! Image Credit: Ethiopian Airlines

With the way Lufthansa divides Africa and the Middle East regions, the Middle East region is served by a few Star Alliance Airlines.

Lufthansa groups Egypt, Ethiopia, and Morocco (among others) in its Middle East region. Collectively, the following countries make up the “Middle East, Caucasus, North, West & Central Africa” region: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Azores, Bahrain, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madeira, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Ruanda, São Tomé and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

With 71,000 Lufthansa miles, you can book a one-way Star Alliance business class flight from the U.S. to the Middle East. Economy is only 40,000 Lufthansa miles one-way, but you will not receive much value because the cash cost of these flights tends to be low.

Hot Tip: Award availability in business class is hard to find. Based on a recent search, you will want to look 10-11 months out into the award calendar. 

Examples of nonstop Star Alliance flights to the Middle East include:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Addis Ababa (ADD) on Ethiopian Airlines
  • Houston (IAH) – Lomé (LFW) on Ethiopian Airlines
  • New York (JFK) – Abidjan (ABJ) on Ethiopian Airlines
  • New York (JFK) – Cairo (CAI) on Egyptair
  • Newark (EWR) – Lomé (LFW) on Ethiopian Airlines
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Addis Ababa (ADD) on Ethiopian Airlines
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Cairo (CAI) on Egyptair

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight will be between $224 and $241. We recommend calling Lufthansa to confirm the taxes and fees.

Bottom Line: With 2 Star Alliance airlines covering this region, you will have a much better chance of finding award availability in a premium cabin. 

9. Fly Star Alliance North America to India: 96,000 Miles in Business Class One-Way

United Polaris 787-10 front cabin view
United Polaris 787-10. Image Credit: Stephen Au

The India region includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

With 96,000 Lufthansa miles, you can book a one-way Star Alliance business class flight from the U.S. to the India region.

Examples of nonstop Star Alliance flights to the India region include:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Delhi (DEL) on Air India
  • Newark (EWR) – Mumbai (BOM) on United

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight will be around $28 and will be significantly higher when flying Air India. We recommend calling Lufthansa to confirm the taxes and fees.

10. Fly Star Alliance North America to Europe: 56,000 Miles in Business Class One-Way

Lufthansa new business class suite
Middle seats provide direct aisle access in Lufthansa business class. Image Credit: Lufthansa

With so many of its member airlines based in Europe, the Star Alliance provides several nonstop flights from the U.S. to Europe.

With 56,000 Lufthansa miles, you can book a one-way Star Alliance business class flight from the U.S. to Europe.

Examples of nonstop Star Alliance flights to the Europe region include:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Amsterdam (AMS) on United
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Vienna (VIE) on Austrian Airlines
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Zurich (ZRH) on SWISS Air Lines
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Frankfurt (FRA) on Lufthansa

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight will be around $220 on United. The taxes and fees will vary by airline, with Lufthansa having higher taxes and fees (often over $600) — though it’s best to call and confirm the taxes and fees before you book.

Need help booking an award ticket? See our step-by-step guide for booking Lufthansa business class.

11. Leverage the Generous Definition of Central America & the Caribbean to Save Big on Economy Tickets

turtle swimming underwater caribbean
Image Credit: My Caribbean Life

Miles & More considers Mexico as part of the greater “Central America & the Caribbean” region, which means that you can get some great deals on economy tickets for flights within these places: Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Virgin Islands.

One-way flights in economy are only 17,500 miles, which means that you can offset the cost of some pretty expensive tickets if you’re traveling to obscure parts of this region. Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Mexico City (MEX) – Panama City (PTY) – Port of Spain (POS) on Copa Airlines
  • Monterrey (MTY) – Panama City (PTY) – Aruba (AUA) on Copa Airlines
  • San Jose del Cabo (SJD) – San Salvador (SAL) – San Jose (SJO) on Avianca

Booking Award Flights With Lufthansa

The Lufthansa Terms & Conditions outline most of the redemption rules including stopovers, open jaws, and “Round the World” award flights.

It’s important to read through the rules or contact the Miles & More team with questions related to your specific redemption.

Using Your Lufthansa Miles & More 

Miles & More is the frequent flyer program of Lufthansa and airlines like Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS Air Lines, and LOT Polish.

Lufthansa is a member of the Star Alliance (along with United Airlines), and it has individual partnerships with airlines outside of the Star Alliance.

Star Alliance Lufthansa Airline Partners

Lufthansa’s airline partners include the Star Alliance:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Star Alliance Partners
Aegean AirlinesEthiopian Airlines
Air CanadaEVA Air
Air ChinaLOT Polish Airlines
Air IndiaLufthansa
Air New ZealandScandinavian Airlines
ANAShenzhen Airlines
Asiana AirlinesSingapore Airlines
AustrianSouth African Airways
AviancaSWISS
Brussels AirlinesTAP Air Portugal
Copa AirlinesThai Airways
Croatia AirlinesTurkish Airlines
Egypt AirUnited Airlines

Non-Star Alliance Lufthansa Airline Partners

SCROLL FOR MORE
Non-Star Alliance Partners
Air AstanaEurowings
Air DolomitiLATAM
Air MaltaLuxair
Cathay PacificOlympic Air
Condor 

Lufthansa Miles & More Award Chart

The Miles & More program uses a region-based award chart that is driven by the destination/origin and the class of cabin you are flying in.

As noted in the award chart, you can combine Star Alliance flights with Lufthansa flights, as well as with other airline partners on a single award.

The award chart also has separate pricing for domestic flights (within and outside of Europe), flights using 3 regions, and “Round the World” itineraries.

Here’s the award chart:

Miles & More Award Chart
Miles & More Award Chart from May 9, 2019. Image Credit: Miles & More

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.

Awards Bookable Online vs. Phone

Lufthansa’s terms and conditions state that you can book award flights on the Lufthansa or Miles & More website for all flights operated by Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air Dolomiti, Air Malta, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Condor, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, Eurowings, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines (except Premium Economy Class), Lufthansa, Luxair, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS Air Lines, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, and United Airlines.

If you are looking to book an airline not listed, contact the local Miles & More team in California.

When searching for award space, the first choice would be United Airlines’ website. Other options to search for Star Alliance award flights include Aeroplan and ANA.

Award Redemption Rules

Lufthansa has several terms to review from its website. Here are a few of the most important rules:

  • One-way flights can be booked with Lufthansa miles.
  • Star Alliance flights can be combined with Lufthansa as well as other airline partners within 1 award.
  • Stopovers and connecting flights require you to contact the Lufthansa team to book.
  • “Round the World” flights must cross the Atlantic and the Pacific once, and there must be at least 10 days between the start of the first and completion of the last long-haul flight.
  • For a flight award for children aged between 2 and 12 years, 75% of the miles for an award flight with a return flight are required. Infants who do not occupy a seat only pay the taxes, fees, and surcharges.
  • Flights can be booked up to 360 days before the departure date required.
  • If you need to rebook or cancel an award ticket, you will need to pay $58 per person. You can only change the date and time of the flight when you rebook. It is not possible to change the route.
  • Fly Smart awards are discounted flights that can only be booked online.
  • Mileage bargains are similar to Fly Smart awards but are temporary discounted offers.

Final Thoughts

The Miles & More program is an under-the-radar program that provides value on select routes. As with many award programs, the best way to use your miles is on long-haul flights in a premium cabin.

Now it’s time to use your Lufthansa miles for an award flight!

The information regarding the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I earn miles on Lufthansa?

You can earn miles for flights on Lufthansa and its partner airlines by booking with its hotel and car rental partners, and spending on Lufthansa’s co-branded credit card.

Is it possible to earn Lufthansa Miles & More by using credit cards?

Lufthansa’s co-branded Barclays credit card earns miles directly with Miles & More.

What are Miles & More worth?

You should be able to find redemption values above 5 cents per mile, particularly for premium cabins.

When you are looking at economy redemptions, recent searches confirm you can still receive more than 2 cents per mile in value.

Are Miles & More refundable?

Yes, but you will need to pay $58 to rebook or cancel the award flight that you booked.

When do Miles & More expire?

Your Lufthansa miles will expire after 36 months.

Is Lufthansa part of United Airlines?

Lufthansa is not part of United Airlines, but both airlines are part of the Star Alliance.

The alliance means you can redeem your Lufthansa miles for flights on United and your United Airlines miles for flights on Lufthansa.

While you can use miles from one airline to fly another airline, it’s not possible to combine miles between the 2 programs.

How much does it cost to buy Miles & More miles?

Lufthansa does not currently offer the option to buy airline miles.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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