Travel-loving Brits can now earn air miles for free flights, hotel stays and other perks with the Lufthansa Miles & More Global Traveller charge card, which just launched in the UK. But how does it compare with other offers on the market?
With 5,000 bonus miles on your first purchase and no interest, the new reward card sounds tempting. However, the account comes with an annual fee of £79, and you'll have to spend more each month to unlock free flights compared with other frequent flyer schemes.
We've taken a closer look at how the new charge card works and how it stacks up against other deals, including air mile credit cards.
With the Lufthansa Miles & More Global Traveller Card, you'll be issued with a Diners Club and Mastercard charge card. As you spend, you'll rack up points for the Miles & More frequent flyer scheme.
You can earn 1.25 miles for every £1 spent on either card. You'll also earn 5,000 bonus miles with your first purchase to help you on your way to unlocking rewards such as free flights.
The miles can be used with 40 airline partners, including Lufthansa and members of the Star Alliance, as well as for hotel, car rental and other perks.
The deal also entitles you to free Lufthansa airport lounge access once a year and discounted £15 entry to Diners Club lounges throughout the year. While Diners Club isn't very widely accepted in the UK, Mastercard is.
But be cautious using the cards to spend abroad, as both come with a 2.99% fee on overseas purchases.
The account also attracts an annual fee of £79, so you'll need to make sure the rewards outweigh this cost.
Both the Diners Club and Mastercard issued with this account are charge cards, not credit cards.
Charge cards don't attract interest, as you'll need to pay the full balance within a month. This means you won't be able to delay paying for purchases or pay back what you owe incrementally.
The penalties are severe if you fail to make a payment on time and in full. With the Lufthansa Miles & More cards you'll be hit with a £12 fee, and it could damage your credit history and cause your account to be suspended.
Charge cards don't have a spending limit, so you risk getting yourself into serious debt if you don't use them correctly.
Typically, lenders will set a minimum income to qualify for a charge card. We asked the Lufthansa Miles & More providers what this would be. It stated there was no hard and fast rule, but that few customers have an income below £20,000 per year.
Charge cards still require a credit check (as you borrow for a month). They also don't come with section 75 protection. Section 75 allows you to claim a refund on purchases between £100 and £30,000 if something goes wrong. Instead, you may be eligible for chargeback, which is a voluntary scheme run by card issuers such as Mastercard.
The Lufthansa Miles & More Traveller Card offers strong point-earning power, at a rate of 1.25 miles for every £1 spent, but that still might not be enough to earn you a free flight.
For example, you will need to amass 35,000 miles (plus taxes and fees) to get a free return flight to Europe with the Miles & More scheme, compared with 8,000 (plus taxes and fees) with the British Airways Avios scheme.
So, to unlock a short-haul flight with the Lufthansa Miles & More card, you would need to spend a whopping £24,000 after the 5,000 bonus is taken into account.
The Lufthansa Miles & More card is more competitive on long-haul journeys, offering destinations in the Middle East from 40,000 points and North America from 60,000 points. However, earning enough points could still take a while, especially considering other credit cards with points bonuses could earn you a free long-haul flight within three months.
Below we've picked out the top air mile credit card and charge cards on the market. The table is ordered by the annual fee.
Please note that the information in the table is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice. Please refer to the particular terms and conditions of the card provider before committing to any financial products.
|Card||Type of card||Points you can earn per £1 spent||Bonus points offer||Annual fee||Representative APR|
|Credit card||1||5,000 when you spend £1,000 within the first three months||£0||22.9%|
|Credit card||0.75||5,000 with the first purchase within 90 days||£0||22.9%|
|The American Express Card||Charge card||1||No introductory bonus||£60||n/a|
|Lufthansa Miles & More Global Traveller Card||Charge card||1.25||5,000 with the first purchase||£79||n/a|
|American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card||Credit card||1||10,000 points when you spend £3,000 within the first three months||£140||57.6%|
|Credit card||1.5||15,000 with the first purchase within 90 days||£160||63.9%|
|Credit card||1.5||25,000 when you spend £3,000 within the first three months||£195||76%|
The new Lufthansa Miles & More Global Traveller Card won't be for everybody, as you'll need to spend a lot to rack up enough points to benefit from the deal. The requirements of a charge card might also not fit your spending habits.
If you can afford to spend and pay back at least £2,000 a month, and are a frequent flyer with Lufthansa and the other Miles & More partner airlines, this offer could work for you.
However, if you're looking for an easy way to rack up points on your everyday spending, there are a range of air mile credit cards available that are fee-free, and come with bonus points that could get you a free flight sooner.
Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.