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Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® review

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Great card if you fly regularly with Lufthansa and other qualifying 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 670 or higher.

50,000

Miles as welcome offer

Up to 2x

Miles

$89

Annual fee

15.99% to 24.99%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Annual fee$89
Welcome Offer50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days plus 25,000 miles after spending $20,000 in the first first year
Rewards2x miles on Miles & More airline partners and 1x miles on all other purchases
Purchase APR15.99% to 24.99% variable
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first fifteen billing cycles (then 15.99% to 24.99% variable)
Recommended minimum credit score670
IssuerMastercard

Expert review

Kevin Joey Chen

Review by


Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.

Expert review

You’ll get the most from the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® if you fly frequently with Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and other partnered carriers, which can earn you elevated rewards. If you fly with other airline or are looking for travel perks, you might get more out of a general travel card or another airline card.

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 seven to 10 days.

The perks

  • Signup bonus: 50,000 award miles. After spending $3,000 in the first 90 days, you earn 50,000 award miles. But that’s not all — when you spend $20,000 within the first first year of card membership you earn an additional 25,000 award miles.

    This is a high spending requirement compared to other cards, 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.

  • Within 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. You’ll receive a companion ticket for an Economy Class flight annually. Use it for travel 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 fifteen billing cycles on balance transfers that post within the first 45 days of card membership. After that, your APR will be 15.99% or 24.99% 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 at 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 site. 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 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 Traveler 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. However, you can find this perk with most 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 it. 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 15.99% or 24.99% variable. The better your credit score, the more likely it is you’ll qualify for the lower APR.

Compare travel rewards cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points) and 3x points on directly-booked flights
$250
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $750 through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries.
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on up to $1,000 on groceries until April 30, 2021, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries with this popular travel card.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
75,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases. Starting January 1, 2021, your 5x points on flights will be capped on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points).
$550
One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $4,500, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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How does a balance transfer work with this card?

1. Apply for the card.

When you apply for the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®, you can make a balance transfer. You can also transfer balances later if you’d like.

To make a balance transfer, find the account number of your existing debt. Also have personal information ready, such as your Social Security number, income and employment details.

Each balance transfer comes with a fee of $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater.

2. Watch your balance transfer time limit.

You’ll receive the introductory APR on transfers you make within the first 45 days of card membership. Any transfer you make after that time will accrue interest at 15.99% or 24.99% variable APR.

If you have questions about whether you qualify for the intro APR, call Barclays support.

3. Keep your balance transfer details organized.

On a qualifying transfer, you’ll get 0% intro APR for fifteen billing cycles following the transfer’s completion.

To ensure you don’t pay interest on that debt, pay off your balance within 15 months. If you still have a balance after that time, it’ll accrue interest at the normal rate of 15.99% or 24.99% variable APR.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®, you must be at least 18 years old and a US resident. However, 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 670 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.

Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® reviews and complaints

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.

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 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.

Frequently asked questions

  • Do Lufthansa miles expire?
    Your Lufthansa miles may expire if you don’t make a miles-related purchase at least once a month and your account is less than three months old. Making at least one purchase per month during the first three months of your account being open will ensure that your points don’t expire. Should those qualifications not be met, your points will expire after 36 months.
  • If I qualify for the signup bonus, when will I receive my miles?
    You’ll receive your 50,000 miles at the close of the billing statement after paying your first annual fee and making your first purchase.
    If you qualify for the 25,000 miles, you’ll receive the bonus at the close of the first billing statement after you’ve reached $20,000 in purchases.
  • If I convert my award miles to status miles, can I reverse my decision?
    No. Mile conversions are final.
  • How long does the conversion take between award and status miles?
    Conversion takes up to two weeks.

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