Do Lufthansa Miles & More Miles Expire?

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Miles & More miles expire 36 months from the date they are earned. Per the Miles & More terms & conditions:

“If award miles are not redeemed for an award in the mileage account within 36 months of the event (start of the flight in question, start of the hotel stay, start of car rental etc.), they expire by the end of the next quarter, unless a longer deadline is announced through the Miles & More communication channels.”

This is a straightforward, albeit not generous, policy. You don’t have to worry about earning or redeeming miles to keep them alive. Miles simply expire at the end of the quarter 36 months after being earned. For example, Miles & More miles earned on 8 February 2019 will expire on 31 March 2022.

However, there is a couple of ways to extend your miles lifespan beyond the 36-month threshold.

Extending Your Miles Life Expectancy

There are three ways to extend the life of your miles. Through elite status, credit card spending, or through Miles & More partner Loylogic.

  1. Your miles will not expire as long as you hold elite status with Miles & More (Frequent Traveller, Senator, or HON Circle Member)
  2. If you carry an eligible co-branded credit card, your miles are exempt from the 36-month expiration policy. The card needs to be held for at least 3 months before miles are set to expire, and you make at least one transaction per month.
  3. If your miles are about to expire, you pay Miles and More partner Loylogic to have your miles extended. To qualify for the extension, at least 1 of your miles must have been earned with a Miles and More partner.

What are the Co-Branded Credit Card Options with Miles & More?

Luckily, Miles & More has a vast range of options for co-branded credit cards. There are options for residents of most European countries — as well as China, Japan, and  India. In the United States, you can prevent your miles from expiring by completing eligible spending on the Lufthansa Miles & More World Elite MasterCard.

Our Take

Miles & More is the mileage program for Lufthansa, Austrian, Brussels, Eurowings, Swiss, and LOT Polish. So, understandably, Miles & More is primarily a European-based reward program. That said, it still has a very strong U.S. exposure — including a U.S.-issued credit card.

It's disappointing that the expiration of Miles & More miles can't be extended through activity. If you're a Miles & More collector, make sure to use your miles before they expire — or utilize one of the few ways to keep your miles from expiring.

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Comments

  • Good to see a wide range of countries with credit cards available.

  • Miles & More credit cards are available is several countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA). Usually, the sign-up bonus offsets the annual fee at least for the first year.

  • Miles & More award miles do not expire, if the account holder is younger than 18 years. So at least your kids will not lose their miles.

  • I hope they consider their expiration policy due to COVID.

  • All airlines should extend their expiration dates to years and not months.

  • En este contexto de Pandemia no deberían de vencer las millas.
    Gracias por manternernos informados respecto los métodos para que las mismas se mantengan vigentes, y en un futuro (esperemos pronto) volver a viajar

  • After loosing many miles, I just applied with UNITED, a star alliance member and use their program also when flying on Lufthansa.

  • In these pandemic times where we have had to stay home and reduce trips to minimum expression, it makes sense to extend miles expiration for at least 18 months.

  • Hope they do the right thing and retire their expiration policy soon!

  • I had some miles expiring and so I had made request some months ago for a Miles and More credit card.
    Now I have it since several months and I don’t have to care about miles expiration.
    Of course this imply the cost of this credit card. I don’t know if it’s valuable to continue to have the card even after the pandemic situation.
    Moreover, Miles and More didn’t make any action to suspend expiration of miles during this time. Not a customer friendly operation in my opinion.

  • I’m still surprised any airline has expiring miles still.

    • It’s actually still much more of a surprise that a few programs now don’t expire their miles. The overwhelming majority of programs still have expiration policies in place.

  • Miles & More have the worst kind of expiry policy where activity doesn’t extend validity. When it came to near expiry I was able to cash most of mine out for an Amazon voucher. It was extremely poor value, but the miles would have expired otherwise anyway.

  • Namarsh S says:

    With Corona Virus making international travel impossible, it’s nearly impossible to keep the miles from expiring. I wish all airlines make the miles non-expiring.

  • Jennifer says:

    I wish they would just do away with expiration all together. That is the right thing to do for all loyalty programs.

  • I personally don’t participate in any frequent flyer scheme which carries an expiry for their miles from earning

  • The drastic reduction of the LH First Class very much diminishes the appeal of the Miles & More program.

  • Gilberto says:

    Actually, the bearer of a Lufthansa Miles and More World card by DKB and german resident has no further trouble regarding the expiration of the award miles, as long as he/she spends about €3.000 a year which means 1.500 accrued award miles per year calendar. This way, miles keep on being extended continuously. I never had an issue about the expiration of these miles by paying my expenses with this cobranded credit card.

  • bulstrode says:

    I like to fly Lufthansa but I don’t like their expiration rules. It’s virtually impossible to hold cards of every airline. Once I forced to spent 30K miles on hotel to prevent their disappearing

  • Wow, that is beyond lame that mileage activity does NOT extend your points expiration….what a harsh program….even BA isn’t that bad….oh well maybe one day they’ll see the light and go to a more liberal expiration policy.

  • The “events” in 2020 have drastically reduced the appeal of this program.

  • I love flying on Lufthansa from DFW to FRA or MUC. I just use my United miles for my wife me. Never had any issues with them. The one time they were late getting into FRA and we had to wait about five hours for their next flight; we got to our destination about six hours late. They compensate each of us just over $600 by check. So, we fly them when we go to Germany, Switzerland or Ireland.

  • ANTONIO RONCONI says:

    It is such a great post and really helped to clarify a lot of doubts that I had about Lufthansa’s miles program. Thank you AwardWallet.

  • Tex in India says:

    Luthansa is allied with Air India where I am. AI is a terrible airline and I quit flying it as I was tired of missing connections and such. I switched to One World and have never looked back.

  • Do you actually want to proactively earn M&M miles if you are not based in Europe?

  • What is the best way to use 60K X 2 miles (120,000)

    for a lie-flat business class flight to Europe (Frankfurt?).

    Lufthansa or are their any better deals with their partners?

  • I earn milesandmore miles every year or two but i cant ever accrue any meanigful amount as those keep expiring every three years. only way is to get a credit card and i dont want that. other programs allow you to shop online to reset your expiration counter. but not this one. too sad. will donate my expiring miles and avoid getting new ones in the future if i can by switching to another program.

  • So hard to book reward ticket with them. I don’t fly them anymore.

  • Very bad program and not jus because of its expiry policy but overall too, look at their fuel surcharge for instance. Unfortunately the brand Lufthansa still has some attraction for newbies in the points game.

  • few comments from Germany 🙂

    LH has a shopping portal – see milesandmore.com
    no need to use the LH credit card, (exept the LH white) as long as you pay the fee miles are save.

    if you talking about international first: amazing – but from my point of view EK give more “bang” for your bucks….

  • I have some miles expiring next June.
    It’s a pity but maybe it’s better to let some miles expire than use them in a bad way.
    There are almost no valid alternatives to reedeming miles for flights.
    Then I have much more miles expiring in September and then I think making a reservation for next summer.

  • Looking into getting a cobrand with them. Waiting for a good offer.

  • Interesting! I don’t think I have ever seen a program have this type of restriction. Does anyone know how the seats are? My husband hasn’t traveled on them in a long time. Has anyone transferred from UR to Lufthansa? Any problems with losing points, etc.? I’m wondering how the first class is with them? Any thoughts?

    • well crap my memory is faulty can’t transfer to Lufthansa but can to United. Please anyone remind me when you can book Lufthansa from a United account?

  • I wish they had a shopping portal too!

  • Adam Parsons says:

    If you keep an eye out there are occasional offers to buy Lufthansa points via special promos in your account. The last one was 2000 miles for buying and registering a PAYG sim card, these will keep your accounts alive.

  • Worldshop is another option to burn your miles if they are going to expire soon

  • Preventing mileage expiration seems a bit high maintenance if one doesn’t fly LH regularly.

  • There are not as many options to keep your points from expiring as most programs.

  • Is 36 month the longest expiration for any major airline points? Except for non expiration points systems

  • Transferring SPG points to acquire rewards is worth it. Just have to find the sweet spot in the system. Lufthansa has some great routes from US to Europe hot spots.

  • Pieter-Jan says:

    I’ve got a M&M Amex which I sometimes don’t use for a month, my miles never expired yet.
    I don’t think using it once a month is mandatory.

  • And, the USA credit card is with Barclay’s (i.e, not Chase!).

  • Too bad they do not have a shopping portal!

  • Prashant Gangwal says:

    Looks like the credit card is the only way to go – does it have a good sign-on bonus?

  • Binita Patel says:

    Sucks that transferring points from SPG doesn’t count as activity to extend the life!

  • Next card on my list.

    • Same here. My LH FTL (Silver) status expires early 2018 so I want a way to preserve my miles after that…

      The M&M VISA sign-up bonus over here is pathetic at the moment (1500 miles…) so I’m waiting to see if that improves before pulling the trigger…

  • Andy Bryant says:

    Still no replacement M&M credit card for France… makes me sad 🙁

  • Interesting…I didn’t even know there were M&M credit cards available in the U.S.
    Always good to know the options…thanks!

  • Helpful hints. First time for me seeing the AW blog–awesome!

  • Is it just me, or is the Award Space limited since a few Months?

  • Lufthansa first class is quite the experience and I love the little ducks that they give you in the first class lounge.

  • you can periodically skip using the card for a month and they will still not let your miles expire, as long as you continue to use the card.

    • That is my experience as well. Sometimes I forget to use the card at least once in a given month and I don’t seem to have any problems.

  • Another program w/o a shopping portal that makes it harder to keep active. But if you use them regularly, you shouldn’t have an issue.