Air miles are just a rip off

Why Miles & More miles can be more valuable than other miles

We explain to you again and again on reisetopia that American Express Membership Rewards points are sometimes the best point currency in Germany. But in my opinion Miles & More miles can sometimes be even more valuable. In this article, I'll explain why I see it that way!

There are many good reasons to approve of a points currency like Membership Rewards. There is, for example, the flexibility of the transfer to several programs and thus simply a multitude of redemption options. In addition, you can transfer the points into miles, which can be redeemed at better conditions. This is generally also true for other mile currencies, because depending on how they are redeemed, you can get significantly more out of other mile currencies than with Miles & More miles. Nevertheless, I spend other currencies much faster than Miles & More miles. Why?

Some information - especially with regard to flight routes - still relates to the time before the coronavirus pandemic and may not correspond to the current status. However, if the situation improves, the situation may change again (for the better)!

Miles & More offers the best availabilities of all programs

Some time ago I dealt with redeeming miles on numerous frequent flyer programs that are easy to use in Germany. In almost all research, Miles & More spat out the best availability, whether to Asia, Australia or North America. This is due to the fact that the availability for flights with the Lufthansa Group airlines is not so good with any other program. It is undisputed that very good availability on flights with Austrian, Lufthansa, Swiss or LOT ensures that you can ideally fly from Germany to worldwide destinations.

There is another decisive advantage, especially within Europe: Miles & More is the only program besides the Boomerang Club where award flights with Eurowings can be booked without any problems. This not only applies to point-to-point connections, but also to transfer connections. The taxes and fees are usually very low here.

But there is one other trick that many do not even know (including some call center employees): At Miles & More, combined awards from Eurowings and Star Alliance airlines can be booked. For example, you can easily fly from Düsseldorf via London to Tokyo in a combination of Eurowings BizClass and ANA First Class. Such a booking is not possible with any other program, which is why Miles & More is extremely valuable, especially for those who do not live in Frankfurt or Munich.

But these are by no means the only advantages of Miles & More, which is shown very well by the example of Singapore Airlines flights. Even on the two largest US blogs on miles & points, every article on the topic still states that Singapore Airlines flights in Business and First Class can only be booked directly with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer - but that's not true. You can also book with two other programs: Miles & More and SAS EuroBonus, with availability that is just as good as KrisFlyer. Award flights with Singapore Airlines can also be booked directly online in both travel classes (in First Class only to and from Copenhagen).

Miles & More has what is sometimes the best online booking form

This is exactly where we come to the second important point that, in my opinion, makes Miles & More miles so attractive: The easy online booking of awards. Well, we're talking about a development that hasn't been around for too long. After all, almost two years ago you could only book flights with the Lufthansa Group online. But the wind has now turned and you can actually book flights with (almost) all Star Alliance airlines directly online without any problems. You usually also have the option of choosing different feeders, although unlike United Airlines, for example, very long stops and airport changes cannot be booked online in the vast majority of cases.

Certain things can still not be booked online, such as some more complex awards, but on the whole that is just a drop in the ocean. For my part, I think it's great that I can book an award ticket online with Miles & More in less than five minutes, even a few days before departure. When I think of SAS EuroBonus at the same time, where I usually spend at least an hour on the hotline and can only call at certain times and not on weekends, the enormous value of a good online booking mask is particularly evident.

Miles & More has loose rules for awards

Another very positive aspect at Miles & More are the relaxed rules that apply to awards. There are things that bother me, such as the inability to stop-overs at one-way awards or the ban on fork flights for bargains with miles, but all in all Miles & More is very fair with regard to the award rules. This begins with the stopover rule for outward and return flights (one in each direction), which applies regardless of the operating airline. The fact that “only” three segments are possible per direction is somewhat worse than with other programs.

On the other hand, Miles & More is very positive when it comes to the cancellation and rebooking of regular tickets. Although this is not possible with mileage bargains, other awards can be canceled or rebooked up to departure for a fee of 50 euros. If you change your mind within 24 hours of booking, you can even rebook or cancel completely free of charge. With other programs, rebooking is significantly more expensive, with Delta SkyMiles these cost about 150 US dollars, with Cathay Pacific Asia Miles similarly depending on the connection. Only SAS EuroBonus is even better in this regard, with a fee of 15 euros, whereby no cancellation is possible until departure - especially since the call center can only be reached five days a week.

Miles & More has a comparatively competent call center

This is exactly where we come to another important aspect of Miles & More. Not only does the frequent flyer program have a German hotline as just one of just under ten programs, you can also reach it best by far. The call center can be reached six days a week and then always until 10 p.m., so that everyone should have the opportunity to book a more complex award over the phone. The employees all speak German and are generally very capable. There are big differences in quality, but all in all I have been significantly more satisfied with the employees than with other programs that I deal with regularly.

Especially when it comes to more complex tickets, the employees are usually very capable and, if they don't know, can put them through to another employee who can book the corresponding award. In the case of a more complex problem, three employees recently dealt with a case and after an hour of work they managed to book my award as I had imagined. It is precisely such a service that ensures that I have come to appreciate Miles & More very much over the past few months.

Miles & More sometimes offers exceptional value

It is undisputed that the value of a redemption always depends on the respective award. Sometimes this program is better, sometimes a different one. That's why Membership Rewards is particularly popular with me. But if you compare one program with another on the whole, Miles & More is basically unbeatable. With which program you can book a business class return flight to North America or South Africa for 56,000 miles, with which program you get the same flight to Asia for 71,000 miles? The taxes and fees are not necessarily higher than those of the competition, so that there is sometimes an exceptional value, especially on long-haul routes from Germany.

Even the regular redemption outside of the mileage bargains can be very worthwhile, if only because of direct flights and the very good availability. You can also save on taxes and fees by booking award flights with airlines such as Singapore Airlines. In addition, there are of course some particularly lucrative redemptions that are a little more unusual. We have therefore summarized the best redemption for different mileage values ​​in several guides:

Of course, this does not mean that Miles & More miles are always the most valuable mileage currency, but especially when you almost always start from the DACH region, Miles & More is the currency with the highest individual value for me.

Miles & More miles can be earned quickly and easily

Actually, this argument is almost the opposite of my argument about the value of Miles & More miles, because what can be easily earned usually loses its value quickly in proportion. But with Miles & More Miles the world is a different one, because although the currency is very attractive in many ways, miles can be earned more easily than with any other program. Of course, this is a thesis that is strongly tailored to Germany and, with some restrictions, to Switzerland and Austria, but on reisetopia we show you every day how you can earn up to six-digit miles without excessive costs and effort can collect in the year.

Despite attractive rental car promotions from SAS or great new customer bonuses for cards such as the American Express Gold Card or the American Express Platinum Card, it is not as easy to get a large number of miles with any other currency as with Miles & More. The fact that the redemption is still comparatively attractive is also due to another factor. Unlike most other point currencies, Miles & More miles cannot be earned with US credit cards or transferable point currencies in the USA, which means that the competition is smaller than, for example, with SAS EuroBonus or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

All offers for earning miles

Thanks to newspaper subscriptions, the Miles & More credit card and numerous other promotions, Miles & More gives you the chance to earn miles just as quickly as in the USA. This is without a doubt a unique opportunity to replenish your points account.

Conclusion on the advantages of Miles & More miles

Anyone who deals with the world of frequent flying knows that Miles & More does not always have the best reputation. But even if I value Membership Rewards points because of their flexibility, Miles & More miles are simply the most valuable miles currency for me, because the combination of numerous redemption options, simple redemption on the Internet and via the hotline make Miles & More simply the most practical for me Program. That you can also easily generate the miles is the icing on the cake, so to speak.