While collecting miles is great, it's important to know how to use them wisely. In this tutorial, we'll discuss the best ways to redeem your miles for flights, so you can get the most value out of them.
- Miles-and-More Tutorial: Part 1 – Introduction
- Miles and More Tutorial: Part 2 – Earn Miles with Payback or HolidayCheck
- Miles and More Tutorial: Part 3 – Earn Miles with Hotel booking sites and more
- Miles and More Tutorial: Part 4 – Redeem your miles for maximum value
What are the options to redeem your miles?
You can redeem your miles for various options, including economy, business, and first-class flights to destinations worldwide. However, not all options offer good value for your miles. We will guide you on what to look for to maximize your redemption value and keep in mind that a surcharge applies when booking a redemption, so knowing your options is crucial.
DO NOT redeem your miles for the following flights
In general, it is not recommended to redeem your miles for economy flights or business class flights within Europe, as the surcharges can often be higher than the price of a normal ticket. Additionally, the required miles for an economy ticket can often be sufficient for a promotional business class ticket to the Middle East. As for intra-European business class flights, it is usually not worth using your miles since you will likely only get a standard recliner seat.
Flights that provide the best value for your miles
If you want to get the most value out of your miles when redeeming for business class flights, you have to check out Miles-and-More mileage bargains. Every month, Miles-and-More releases a list of discounted destinations where you can book a redemption for fewer miles. These bargains are typically only available for business class flights and can be booked up to 5.5 months after the current month. You can find more information on our Miles-and-More Mileage Bargains page. Keep in mind that the available destinations and booking periods vary based on your departure country and the month.
To give you an example (when available with mileage bargain), the following discounts apply for a business class round trip redemption (to and from destination):
- Arabic Countries, for example Dubai:
- USA, for example New York:
- Middle Asia, for example Delhi:
- East Asia, for example Shanghai:
You still have to pay a significant amount of surcharges, but due to the mileage discount, it is well worth it.
Domestic flights in the US
Consider redeeming only 19,000 miles for a one-way domestic first-class flight within the US or 15,000 miles for an economy class. This option is a great value as surcharges are low.
International first class flights
Booking first class flights through Miles-and-More is not cheap, with surcharges of around 550€. However, it is worth it for the luxury experience. Additionally, you can book first class flights on Lufthansa's partner airlines through the Miles & More website.
Business class flights from regions where only minimal surcharges apply (Brazil/Hong Kong)
If you're looking for a one-way flight out of Brazil or Hong Kong, it's worth considering redeeming your miles. In these countries, airlines are prohibited from adding surcharges to the ticket price, meaning you'll only pay minimal taxes. For instance, if you're flying out of Hong Kong, you won't have to pay more than 100€ in surcharges, regardless of the class you fly in.
Economy or Business class redemptions with SAS and LOT
If you are looking for an intercontinental economy class redemption out of Europe, SAS or LOT are the only options with reasonable surcharges. For those who want to fly business class but lack the miles, both airlines offer a great redemption option with minimal surcharges from any origin. Therefore, SAS and LOT are always a good choice to get the most value out of your miles.
Flights with Avianca, Asiana and ANA
Avianca mainly operates within South America, but it also has a few routes to Europe. You can redeem your miles here and pay surcharges of no more than 100€, which is a good investment.
For flights within Asia, consider using your miles with Asiana or ANA as they offer relatively cheap options with low surcharges.
Flights between Australia and New Zealand
For as low as 17,000 miles in economy or 35,000 miles in business class, you can travel between Australia and New Zealand with only approximately 150AUD charged for taxes and fees.
Intercontinental Business class flights
Rewards flights in normal intercontinental business class can often result in suboptimal value due to high surcharges imposed by airlines. Nevertheless, if you require a flight to a specific expensive destination, it may still be a cheaper option than booking normally. However, bear in mind that one-way flights from the US to Europe usually come with exorbitant surcharges. It's best to avoid one-way flights from the US in such cases.
Redeeming your miles for maximum value is ideal, but there may be times when your desired destination does not offer the best redemption value. In these cases, it is still important to avoid the worst possible redemptions so that you do not waste too much value.
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