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One of the problems with the extensive Lufthansa Miles&More loyalty scheme, is its eye-wateringly punitive redemption rates. It is extremely frustrating to spend months racking up miles, only to find that the taxes and fees on your flight “bought” with points are comparable to just buying the flight outright.
This is why I love – and I mean really, genuinely love – the monthly Lufthansa Mileage Bargains. Or, as the Germans rather marvellously call them, “meilenschnaeppchen”.
So what are these “Mileage Bargains”?
In short, every month, Lufthansa will release a set of Mileage Bargains, where it discounts the number of Miles&More miles you need for redemption flights by around 50%. The great thing is it applies to both Economy and Business Class flights from a huge number of starting points to a huge number of destinations:
So, every month there will be a large array of Lufthansa flights starting from the UK, going to a number of Lufthansa destinations for around half the miles ordinarily needed.
What’s the catch?
Well there is no catch as such, other than the fact that i) you are limited to the destinations prescribed by Lufthansa from your particular starting point, ii) you need to book it in the current month and iii) the travel window will generally be another month, 4 months away (e.g you need to book in November 2015, for travel in March 2016).
So how do I book these bargains?
To assist here, I have begrudgingly booked myself a few days in Chicago via a Business Class Mileage Bargain offer, and meticulously recorded the booking process. I am departing from Malta, and flying in February 2016..
You then confirm your starting point, destination and dates (the dates must be within the promotional period advertised on the homepage, or there will be no discounted availability):
Entering these details will then take you to the available discounted dates:
This page really shows you just what good value the flight is, mileage-wise: I am paying 55,000 miles Business Class return, when an Economy flight would ordinarily be 60,000 miles return.
Clicking on your preferred dates will then take you to the “money page”. Here you can see exactly how much it will cost in taxes/fees for the flight:
It’s worth pausing at this point to remind ourselves of why we’re doing this. Taxes and fees are around €397.74 here, for a Business Class flight between the US and Europe. When you add 55,000 miles to this, you are unquestionably getting good value for your money and miles. However, at the ordinary price of 110,000 miles plus €400, I would say the value is dubious – that’s a lot of miles to spend on a redemption when you’re also being hit with a €400 charge. Not terrible value by any means, but certainly not a steal.
And we are all about getting the steal at Insideflyer…
So there we have it, a Business Class return flight from Malta to Chicago (via Germany, unsurprisingly) at €400 plus 55,000 miles. A great way to spend 55,000 miles.
You are almost always going to be clobbered with taxes and fees on a Lufthansa reward booking, so the key is to keep your mileage spend as low as possible, and try and bag a Business Class flight to maximise the value. The Lufthansa Mileage Bargain route is an excellent way to do this and, given that it refreshes monthly, you are never short of options. It’s well worth keeping a monthly eye on.