How Should I Burn My Last 25,000 bmi Miles?

I’m down to a little over 25,000 bmi Diamond club miles, what should I do with them?

The expectation was that Diamond Club would get folded into Miles & More by this summer, but that plan appears to be on hold. And I guess that also means if I want to be a Lufthansa Senator (not that I really do, I just love the name for the status) that I’ll have to qualify for bmi Gold status this year — assuming that the program gets folded into Miles & More next year. Which is still an assumption.

But I don’t want to wind up with a stash of Miles & More miles. They’re not great for a US-based flyer except single-continent travel, their award chart in premium cabins is pretty expensive for travel to, say, Africa via Europe. You do get better availability, especially in premium cabins and especially in first class, than they offer to their partners so that’s something. And pricing of US-Europe isn’t bad. Plus a Senator can redeem a companion award at 50% off for the second ticket and that really helps.

But on the whole bmi’s miles are more valuable than Lufthansa/Swiss/et al Miles & More miles. So my bmi miles will never be worth more than they are today. What to do with the last 25,000? Definitely open to ideas.

I could also boost that balance of course, credit some flights and get myself to a higher award plateau though the goal is to burn rather than to earn and hoard.

bmi’s cash and points award chart really stretches the miles, there are some nice values such as having taken my recent one-way Singapore – Bangkok – Phuket redemption in business class on Thai for just 7500 miles and about 100 pounds all-in in taxes and fees. Not that it would have been that expensive a ticket to buy in the first place, but of course I’m in burn mode with these.

But oh those fuel surcharges, if I want to avoid those I’ve got to focus on US Airwaays for transatlantic, though their new business class seat looks really good. Cash and points plus fuel surcharges and I’m looking at serious outlay of dollars for an ‘award’.

What’s my strategy with the remains of my balance?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I had 6000 miles and donated them to clean up the acount.

    24,000 miles provides a teacher for children who are not in school, to help them catch up and attend formal school through Save the Children.

    Just a thought…

  2. Ex-North America, I’ve not found and screaming deals on the BD chart (and I say that as someone who likes to spend points over cash).

    I usually spend my BD miles on itineraries nested inside long haul redemptions I’ve redeemed with UA, US or AC miles. BD’s geographic interpretations of Asia and Africa are VERY advantageous for me…

    If you are tied to NA, I like Carribean – Deep South America redemptions (Z4-Z4 by BD’s reckoning), since there are several points in the islands that are very cheap from YYZ due to LCC competition and can be routed via YYZ with little ICC hesitation.

  3. Last I heard, UA & CO had removed YQ on their South America fares. NA-SA redemptions are pretty cheap, so why not go for a long weekend and some food tourism?
    Your co-worker once claimed his 3rd favorite steak was found outside Curitiba…

    Alternatively, once you get to SA, maybe you can redeem some SPG for LANpass km’s to get you to the Galapagos or Easter Island.

  4. Gary,

    Buy up or credit 5k more miles and then use them for a Z3-Z4 (N. America to S. America) rt in C with open jaw and two stopovers possible. Will cost 30k + 210 GBP + YQ.

    This is the best redemption I can think of. Unfortunately, *As route network is not very good down there.

  5. That’s interesting. I did not know that but I just checked ITA and YQ is indeed gone for IAD-EZE, ORD-GRU and JFK-GRU.

    Do you have a link to a FT thread? This makes BMI miles way more valuable for me.

  6. Great timing….I’m in the same boat, I have 55K bmi and need to find a way to use them before they get rolled in to M&M.

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