Who Is the Miles & More Premier World MasterCard Credit Card Good For?
Booking directly with Miles & More award miles is the easiest way to get in Lufthansa’s coveted first class cabin, for which seats only open for partner airlines’ frequent flyer bookings two weeks before departure, and SWISS first class, which is only open to Miles & More members.
Since you can no longer buy Miles & More award miles outright, and it is only possible to transfer points from Starwood Preferred Guest, these hard-to-come-by miles are best accrued with the Miles & More Premier World MasterCard which is issued by Barclays.
If you’re looking to use your miles for premium travel to or within Europe, this is an ideal card for you. But check your wallet to see how many other Barclays-issued cards you have before applying. Barclays is strict about multiple applications and will want to see that you are using your other cards before issuing you a new one.
If this card is out of your reach, but you’d like another way to earn Miles & More award miles, Barclays also offers a very similarly named product, the Premier Miles & More World Mastercard, which earns a 5,000 mile welcome bonus and one award mile per dollar spent, with no annual fee.
$79 annual fee (waived for upper-echelon status holders)
0 percent for the first 12 months, 15.99 percent or 24.99 percent after, depending on creditworthiness
Miles & More Premier World MasterCard typically carries a 35,000-award-mile sign-up bonus with an unusual breakdown.
After the first purchase or balance transfer, 20,000 award miles are credited to the cardholder’s account as a welcome bonus. The remaining 15,000 miles are awarded for balance transfers (one award mile per dollar transferred) within the first 30 days of opening the account.
As balance transfers come with a 3 percent fee, this is not a very attractive way to earn miles. However, once or twice a year, the sign-up bonus reaches as high as 50,000 miles, though the additional miles require a significant spend. After the initial 20,000-mile welcome bonus, the 50,000-mile offer requires a $5,000 spend in the first 90 days of holding the card to receive the remaining 30,000 award miles.
- 2 award miles per dollar spent on Miles & More airlines
- 1 award mile per dollar on everything else
What Do Your Miles Get You?
Though Miles & More awards carry high fuel surcharges, their redemption rates are relatively comparable to the main domestic airlines, though occasionally with a bit of a discount, such as 50,000 miles for round-trip flights between the U.S. and Europe in economy class. Miles & More members can also use up to 18,000 award miles to cover their taxes and fees.
Miles & More award miles will get you seats on all Miles & More airlines:
- Austrian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Condor Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- Adria Airways
- LOT Polish Airlines
As well as the remaining airlines of the Star Alliance:
- Aegean Airlines
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air New Zealand
- Asiana Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
- EVA Air
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Shenzhen Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- TAP Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
Some of the best perks of the Miles & More program are the mileage bargains, which cut the usual price of award flights in half. You can, for instance, fly from the U.S. to Geneva for just 55,000 miles roundtrip in business class, little more than you would usually pay for economy.
- No foreign transaction fees on international purchases
- Miles do not expire as long as the card is used monthly
- Round-trip U.S.-Europe economy awards on Lufthansa, SWISS or Austrian Airlines booked through Miles & More only require 50,000 award miles
- One-way award bookings permitted
- Award tickets carry very high fees
- It is not possible to buy Miles & More miles to top off your account if you are short miles for an award
- Award flights cannot be booked less than two days before departure
- Award miles cannot be transferred
- Award miles expire with 36 months of inactivity
How Far Do Your Miles Go?
Even though the taxes and fees on premium cabins are naturally higher, first class flights still pack a powerful punch in terms of cents-per-mile value:
If you bought this ticket outright, the lowest you could get it for is $11,042. Subtracting the fees on the award ticket, that’s still 5.9 cents per mile. Not too shabby.
The mileage bargain fares get you almost as high value:
If you paid cash, this flight would cost $3,895, so your award mile value clocks in at 5.3 cents per mile.
Additional Cardholder Benefits:
- FICO score access and tracking
- Annual companion pass