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Lufthansa launches UK frequent flyer charge card

Lufthansa’s frequent flyer and awards programme, Miles & More, has launched two charge cards in the UK that allows you to earn air miles when you make purchases. The two  cards are Diners Club and Mastercard and holders can earn 1.25 award miles for every £1 spent on the cards. They can be used worldwide. Charge cards are different to credit cards because you have to repay the entire balance in full each month.

It’s not free. The cards have an annual charge of £79 but the good news is there is no expiration date on miles and it comes with a 5000 miles signing-up bonus.

It also allows any time discounted entrance to Diners Club airport lounges around the world for £15 per visit. Miles & More is also the frequent flyer programme of Austrian, Swiss and Eurowings.

It’s especially good news because it now offers members of the 28 Star Alliance airlines the chance to earn miles through everyday spending. Currently there are few options beyond British Airways’ (part of the Oneworld frequent flyer alliance) American Express cards and the Virgin Atlantic Mastercards. Both of them offer two levels of card – no annual charge cards and premium cards (£195pa and £160pa respectively). Lufthansa appear to have split the difference with one option at £79pa.

Miles can be redeemed into airplane tickets, flight upgrades or other benefits offered by c.300 partners worldwide. You need a minimum of 7000 miles to book a ‘free’ award flight or upgrade. As an example, an upgrade to business on Thai Airways will ‘cost’ 10,000 miles.

It’s a shame there isn’t a ‘no annual charge’ option but this is good news for Star Alliance members in the UK. It’s worth noting the difference between Award Miles and Status Miles. Award Miles are the miles you receive for spending money on the credit card and can be used to redeem flights and upgrades. Status Miles are separate and build towards your overall membership status. Most airlines name the tiers ‘Gold, Silver, Bronze’ etc although it’s more complex with Lufthansa.

Also bear in mind that award flights involve flying indirect via Germany when flying with Lufthansa.

To apply for the card, visit their website