Is the Miles & More World Elite Mastercard worth it? | finder.com

Review: Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® – October 2018

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This is the card of choice if you fly regularly with Lufthansa and other Miles & More airlines.

  • Get this card if you fly often with Miles & More carriers or can take advantage of the annual companion ticket.
  • Pick something else if you want more general travel rewards.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
Product NameMiles & More® World Elite Mastercard®
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$89
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases17.99% or 26.99% variable
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first fifteen billing cycles (then 17.99% or 26.99% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate27.24% variable
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 23 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $37
Returned Payment FeeUp to $37
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome OfferEarn 20,000 bonus miles when you make an initial purchase and payment of the annual fee, then earn an additional 30,000 award miles after you make $5,000 in purchases in the first 90 days.
Reward Value per Dollar1 miles
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

The Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® may be for you if you’re a frequent customer of Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and other partnered carriers. When you purchase flights from these carriers, you’ll earn elevated rewards. If you rarely spend with them, you might get more out of a general travel card or another airline card.

A co-branded card with an airline you frequent may have more carrier-specific perks like priority boarding and free checked luggage. However, this card will provide you an annual companion ticket and annual Business Lounge vouchers, which help offset the card’s annual fee.

The perks

  • Signup bonus: Up to 50,000 award miles.

    After you make your first purchase and pay the annual fee, you’ll earn 20,000 award miles. But that’s not the only bonus — when you spend $5,000 within the first 90 days of card membership you’ll earn an additional 30,000 award miles.

    This is a comparatively high spending requirement, so consider whether you can reach it before the bonus window expires.

Is 50,000 miles a good haul?

For many flyers, 50,000 miles is a strong bonus. To give you a sense of how far your miles will go, consider these costs for round-trip flights on Lufthansa.
  • North America to North America: 30,000 miles
  • North America to South America: 60,000 miles
  • North America to Central Asia: 80,000 miles

Typically, Miles & More miles are worth around 1.4 cents apiece. One cent per mile is the industry average for travel rewards.

  • Rewards: Earn miles on all purchases, and more on tickets from Miles & More airline partners.

    When you buy tickets from Miles & More airline partners, you’ll earn 2x miles. On all other purchases, you’ll earn 1x miles.

    Redeem your miles for flights and upgrades on Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Star Alliance carriers and more.

Which Miles & More airline partners will you earn elevated rewards with?

You’ll earn 2x miles when you use your card to buy tickets from:

  • Adria Airways
  • AirDolomiti
  • Austrian Airlines Group
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Lufthansa Regional
  • Lufthansa Private Jet
  • Luxair
  • SWISS
  • Annual companion ticket.

    Every year, you’ll receive a companion ticket for an Economy Class flight. Use it for a fare from the US to the Middle East, Africa, Europe and East Asia. To make a reservation, call the Miles & More Companion Ticket Service line.

  • Intro balance transfer APR.

    You’ll receive 0% APR for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers that post within the first 45 days of card membership. After that, your APR will be 17.74% or 26.74% variable depending on your credit.

    This is a strong intro APR, as 0% intro APR periods tend to top off at around 21 months. However, this card doesn’t include an intro APR on purchases.

  • Annual Business Lounge vouchers.

    Every year, you’ll earn two vouchers for complimentary access to the Lufthansa Business Lounge. Typically, a pass costs $35.

Lufthansa Business Lounge-London Heathrow Airport

The Lufthansa Business Lounge at London Heathrow Airport.

You’ll also like …

  • Discounts Miles & More Hotel and Car Awards.

    After you make your first purchase, you’ll receive a 15% discount code in your Miles & More account. Apply it when you use miles to book a hotel or car rental through the Miles & More website. For example, you can expect an award hotel booking of 50,000 miles to cost 42,500 miles instead.

    Though a discount is always welcome, award rates on the Miles & More website might be more expensive than USD rates. For example, a $399 regular-rate room at the Courtyard by Marriott in Manhattan or Midtown East might cost 47,275 miles. At the industry average of 1 mile = 1 cent, those miles are worth about $472.

  • Use award miles for status miles.

    Once each calendar year, you can convert award miles you’ve earned into status miles. You’re allowed to convert between 5,000 and 25,000 award miles at a 5 to 1 ratio. At that rate, 25,000 award miles becomes 5,000 status miles.

    It’s likely a good idea to use this benefit as a slight boost if you need a few more status miles and not as your primary means of reaching higher status tiers. To reach the Frequent Traveller tier, you’ll need 35,000 status miles. And to reach the Senator tier, you’ll need 100,000 status miles.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

    Use your card internationally and on foreign websites without worrying about a transaction fee. It should be noted a $0 foreign transaction fee is standard among travel cards.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    The Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® comes with an $89 annual fee. That’s on par with mid-tier travel cards, but consider whether you’ll get sufficient value from the card to make the annual fee worth paying. You can find many solid no-annual-fee travel cards.

  • Potentially high APR.

    Depending on your credit, you could have a normal purchase and balance transfer variable APR as high as 17.99% or 26.99% variable. The better your credit score, the more likely it is you’ll qualify for the lower APR.

Consider other cards if …

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®, you must be at least 18 years old. You must also be a resident of the United States. If you live in Iowa, Puerto Rico or a US territory, you’re not eligible.

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Residential status
  • Annual income and employment information
  • Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name

What credit score do I need?

If you have a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher, you’ll have better odds of approval. For the lower APR, you’ll want to apply with a credit score on the higher end.

What do customers say about the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®?

Some customers say they’ve had difficulty using their companion tickets because of fare restrictions and high fees.

Barclays Bank has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2001. It currently has an A+ rating from the agency. As of this writing, its profile has over 1,100 customer complaints. Some customers reported on the BBB website that they’ve had trouble processing disputes with Barclays. Others say they’ve experienced unexpected account closures.

How to apply for the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®

  1. Go to Barclaycard’s Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® website and click Apply now.
  2. Complete the application with details like your name, contact information, employment information and Social Security number.
  3. Review your application. When you’ve verified your information is correct, click Apply to submit your application.

How long will it take to be approved?

Typically, you’ll receive an immediate decision on your application. In rare cases, you may need to wait a few business days to a few weeks until Barclaycard manually approves your application.

If you’re approved, expect your card in the mail within 7 to 10 days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Pay your bill online at the Barclaycard website, where you can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 23 days to pay your balance. Doing so will save you from paying interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $37. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
  • Customer service. If you have questions, contact Barclaycard customer service at 1-866-928-8598.

Bottom line

The Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® costs $89 a year, but it might be worth paying for if you’re a frequent customer or you can take advantage of its annual companion ticket. You’ll also earn miles you can redeem with multiple carriers.

If you don’t think you’ll get significant value from it, look for another airline card or check out a general travel card.

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