Barclays bank has upped their signup bonus on the Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard to 50,000 points — 20,000 after first purchase and 30,000 more after meeting minimum spend within 90 days.
The card comes with a $79 annual fee, and the points are surprisingly useful (though I recommend that even if you do get the card and collect Miles & More points, that you’re 25% better off earning them via the Starwood American Express than through this card).
Miles & More is a great way to get domestic premium cabin awards on United (35,000 miles roundtrip compared to 50,000 miles in the United MIleage Plus program) and also to get first class awards on Lufthansa and Swiss, given the greater availability afforded to Miles & More members than to the members of their Star Alliance partners.
When I first wrote about the offer on Friday some folks commented that they had found a link to the card that required a lower minimum spend — just $2500 instead of $5000.
There was no landing page for this ostensibly better offer, but I woke up early Saturday morning, read through the terms and conditions page on the application, and verified that it said you’d get the same bonus. So I posted an update to the original post with that offer. It did look better for most.
Barclays sometimes approves you for a lesser card than the one you applied for. There was some speculation that this wouldn’t happen with the $5000 spend link, but that it could with the $2500 spend link, and so risk averse folks should take the higher spend requirement.
Well, that was clearly false, since I re-read the terms and conditions of the applications and both offers flagged that you could be given the lesser card. So I declared the lower spend requirement to be better. And I did so despite initial reservations that the $2500 minimum spend requirement link would even work, Barclays has a tendency to leave up applications that don’t actually work. They appear to submit, but they go into a black hole.
Well, my readers schooled me on this one.
First of all it seems folks aren’t actually having success with the $2500 minimum spend link, anyway. My initial reaction was to wait until there was confirmation that the link worked. I ignored that, and I look a bit foolish for it.
Second of all, several readers pointed out to me that while it’s possible to get a lesser card with either application, that with the $2500 minimum spend link you risk getting not just the lesser card, but also a lesser signup bonus — just 5000 miles instead of the possibility of 50,000.
For instance, Jamie pointed out that the terms of the standard $5000 minimum spend signup offer said,
Premier World and Platinum Miles & More MasterCard cardmembers will receive 20,000 bonus miles upon the first use of your new Account for a purchase or balance transfer within the first 60 days that the Account is opened. Cardmembers will receive an additional 30,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening.”
So even if they downgraded you to the lesser card, it was right there in black and white that you’re still supposed to get the same bonus.
Ok, so some of you were even a little less polite about this nuance that I missed, for instance:
As usual, you prove your inability to read and comprehend basic contract language.
I certainly hope this isn’t usually the case, but in this instance it was. My bad.
With the $2500 minimum spend link you risked getting only 5000 miles (if the link even worked) while with the $5000 standard link you could get the full miles either way, or at least that’s what the terms said. Pretty appealing.
While most folks with good credit and without too many outstanding cards/too much outstanding credit would probably still have gotten the regular offer from either link (if the lower spend requirement link worked reliably), it was actually reasonable to argue that the higher spend requirement was a better offer.
And though it was a very reasonable argument even with the data available at the time, I didn’t treat it as reasonable. I was wrong for that. And now there’s even more data which suggests the ‘riskier’ bet isn’t working reliably.
If it helps at all, my motives were good I think — lots of folks were arguing that the ‘affiliate link’ which also offered them referral credit (as it does for me) was better and based on my read at the time I didn’t think that it was, so I wanted to get that idea out there.
But indeed, I need to eat my words. The 50,000 point signup bonus offer after $5000 in spend does appear to be the best available offer for the Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®.
(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. I try to offer only the best available cards, and most lucrative deals available for those cards. So if you’re aware of better deals than I’ve featured please do let me know! The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)