Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
Lufthansa Miles & More is one of the most popular airline loyalty programmes in Europe. I suspect that many readers will share my view that this popularity is due more to the size of the Lufthansa Group – it’s hard to avoid for anybody based in Central Europe – than the actual value of the miles being earned for flying on Star Alliance airlines.
Miles & More has substantial flaws, but perhaps the worst of these flaws is the fact that miles expire within three years of being earned. There are ways of avoiding this hard expiry, such as holding and using the co-branded credit card, but many Miles & More members are frequently faced with needing to do something with some soon-to-expire miles.
Rather than just wasting those miles, I always recommend that readers attempt to “top up” their accounts. For example, instead of spending 30,000 miles (+ surcharges) on a one-way flight in Economy between Europe and North America, you could “top-up” with 25,000 miles and instead take advantage of the monthly discounted offers to spend 55,000 miles on a return ticket in Business Class.
How to Top Up a Miles & More Account?
Miles & More does NOT sell miles to its members. Instead, most members will aim to top up accounts with points conversion from hotel chains. “Travel hacks” have come and gone that allow you to do this cost-effectively, but one option that has endured is Starwood Preferred Guest, now Marriott Bonvoy.
60,000 Marriott points would get you 25,000 miles from Miles & More.
Short-term Suspension, or the End?
At the end of May, Flyertalk members started reporting that their mile conversions were ending up in limbo. Eventually Marriott Bonvoy – not known for its customer service – released the following statement. (HT to VFTW)
We have had to suspend Lufthansa Miles & More as a Marriott Bonvoy points to miles transfer partner at the request of Lufthansa Miles & More in connection with German regulations. This suspension is not specific to the Marriott Bonvoy program and other Lufthansa Miles & More hotel partners have taken the same action.
Points to miles transfers from member accounts were made through May 20, 2019 and any transfers occurring after that date will be returned to the member’s account. We will share a timeline soon for when we expect the points to be returned.
We are working to ensure all pages on our digital and mobile sites reflect this change in the status of Lufthansa Miles & More. We apologize for the inconvenience to members and look forward to providing updates about Lufthansa Miles & More once we have them.
Oddly enough, this suspension only applies to conversions of hotel points to M&M miles. If you have set up your hotel loyalty programmes to directly earn miles instead of hotel points – not something I generally recommend, but many people do so – you can continue to earn miles.
What to Do?
I’m not a big fan of pushing credit cards, but it certainly makes even more sense to get your hands on a co-branded card, if only to protect any substantial balance of Lufthansa miles. But otherwise we’ll just have to wait and see whether Lufthansa can solve whatever situation has caused them to suspend hotel point conversions…
Have you been affected by this suspension? Let us know in the comments section…