We will cover the best way to redeem your miles into flights to get the maximum value out of your miles.
For what can you redeem your miles?
There are many possibilities to redeem your miles for. Economy, Business or First class flights can be booked with your miles, to destinations all over the world.
However, many of the possibilities will have a very poor value, therefore we will show you what you should be looking for.
Be advised that when booking a redemption, a surcharge applies, that’s why it is important to know your possibilities.
NEVER redeem your miles for the following flights
In general, the worst possibility to use your miles is for economy flights (some few exceptions exist, see below), or for Business class flights within Europe.
Often, the surcharges for an economy class redemption within Europe for a mileage ticket is as high, or even higher, than the price that you would pay for a normal ticket. And during some promotions (Meilenschnäppchen), you could get a business class flight to the Middle East for example, for the same amount of miles.
For intercontinental economy class fares, the same applies.
Flights which give you the best value
One of the best ways to redeem your miles for business class flights is with the Miles & More mileage bargains. Each month, Miles & More publishes a list of destinations where you will get a heavy discount on the miles needed for a redemption. You can visit the site here: Miles & More Mileage bargains.
Business class flights are the one you should look for, as these offer the best value.
Usually, the flights can be booked starting from 4 months in advance until the 5 and a half month following the actual month. For example, the June mileage bargains are usually available to book for flights from 1st October until 15th November.
The available destinations differ depending on your origin (you can book mileage bargains for a lot of departure countries), and the destinations also vary from month to month.
To give you an example, if available, the following discounts apply for a business class round trip redemption:
- Arabic Countries, Dubai:
- USA, New York:
- Middle Asia, Delhi:
- East Asia, Shanghai:
You still have to pay a significant amount of surcharges, but due to the mileage discount, it is well worth it.
Here’s one example:
- Business class to Baku for 310€ and 40000 miles.
Domestic flights in the US
A one-way business class (domestic first) redemption within the US will only cost you 19000 miles, and economy is already available for 15000 miles. So if you need a flight within the US, this is definitely worth considering, as the surcharges are negligible.
International first class flights
You will pay around 550€ surcharges, but you will fly first class. You can even book most of Lufthansa’s partner airlines offering a first class online.
The needed miles are of course higher than in business class.
Business class flights from regions where only minimal surcharges apply (Brazil/Hong Kong)
Another excellent value for your miles are one-way flights out of Brazil or Hong Kong. These countries prohibit surcharges for airline tickets, so you will only pay minimal taxes.
For example, taxes of not more than 100€ apply out of Hong Kong in any class you fly.
Domestic flights in China
Within China, you can redeem your miles for a domestic flight for 15000 in economy and 20000 in business class. The surcharges are usually below 20€. As China is a huge country you could get quite a good deal as flights as long as 4000km are available at these prices.
Economy or Business class redemptions with SAS and LOT
Out of Europe, the only intercontinental economy class redemptions you could consider are those with SAS or with LOT, as they do not impose ridiculously high surcharges. If you need an intercontinental flight but are short of the miles needed for business, check for those two options.
But also business class flights from each origin where SAS or LOT are available impose a negligible amount of surcharges. So those 2 airlines are always a very good option to redeem your miles.
Flights with Avianca, Asiana and ANA
Avianca mostly operates within South America, but a few routes to Europe are available as well. With surcharges of not more than 100€, your miles are good invested here.
Also, within Asia you can fly relatively cheap with Asiana and ANA,
Flights between Australia and New Zealand
For 17000 miles in economy or 35000 miles in business class, you can fly between Australia and New Zealand for around 150AUD in taxes and fees.
Other possible redemptions to get some value out of your miles
Intercontinental Business class flights
Redeeming your miles for normal intercontinental business class flights, you will often not achieve the best value due to the surcharges imposed by the airlines. But it will still be cheaper than booking normally and is an option if you need a flight to a specific expensive destination. Be aware that one-way flights from the US to Europe are usually very high in surcharges. Try to avoid one-way flights here from the US.
Economy class flights from regions where only minimal surcharges apply
The same applies for Economy class as for the business class redemptions. From Brazil and Hong Kong you will pay no surcharges on your flights.