Miles & More World Elite Mastercard

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Solid choice for frequent across the pond sojourners.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our balance transfer category page.

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If you travel to Europe at least once a year or would like to start, the Miles & More World Elite Mastercard comes packed with perks and benefits to help you get there. Most notably, after making your first purchase with the card, you’ll qualify for a companion pass and receive one every year on your card anniversary.

Review

The Barclaycard-issued Miles & More World Elite Mastercard has the same rewards structure as many other co-branded airline cards. It pays 2 award miles per $1 on flights booked directly with Miles & More airline partners. This includes Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Swiss, and all 28 Star Alliance airlines. Although the card has an annual fee of $89, if you fly a lot within Europe this could work out well for you.

The card’s annual companion is good for a round-trip Economy class ticket departing from the U.S. to either Europe, the Middle East, Africa or the Far East on any Lufthansa-operated flight. It’s a guaranteed two-for-the-price-of-one ticket abroad every year (although you do still have to pay taxes and fees like with any other companion fare offer). Sounds wonderful right?

While the companion ticket could save you hundreds of dollars each year, you’ll have to allow for some flexibility. For one, you can only book a paid flight with a fare base code of H, M, Y, & B class to be eligible to use the companion pass. Not every economy class ticket will fall under one of those fare codes and you could possibly end up paying more for your ticket than someone who books a ticket under a different fare class. Further complicating matters, you can only book your paid ticket and the companion fare by calling Lufthansa’s Miles & More Companion Ticket Service number.

The sign-up bonus with this card is where it really shines. Earn up to 50,000 award miles – 20,000 bonus miles when you make an initial purchase and pay the annual fee, and an additional 30,000 award miles after you make $5,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. Round-trip economy award flights start at 50,000 miles and a one-way upgrade from economy class to business is also 50,000 miles, so this bonus could be worth several hundred dollars depending on how you use it. You can use the miles on any of the Miles & More airline partners.

It’s important to note that the companion fare ticket cannot be upgraded using miles.

At Bankrate we tend to favor cards that offer more flexible rewards. Cards like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, the Capital One Venture, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer similar annual fees but far greater flexibility in earning and redeeming miles. They don’t offer a companion fare every year so you’d have to crunch the numbers to see what best fits your travel patterns.

Who should get this card

Someone who flies frequently to and within Europe, and wants to earn miles for flight upgrades and get a free round-trip companion ticket every year.

 

Fees and APR

  • There’s an $89 annual fee.
  • The variable APR on purchases is 16.99% or 25.99%, based on creditworthiness.
  • This card has an introductory 0% APR offer on balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles. After that it’s a variable 16.99% or 25.99%.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees.
  • Balance transfers are subject to a charge of 5% of the amount being transferred.

Extras, perks and using points

Cardholders receive two complimentary Lufthansa Business Lounge vouchers every year, a perk typically reserved for either first class ticket holders or those with elite flyer status.

This card comes with World Elite Mastercard benefits, which include travel and auto insurances and protections. Other perks include concierge service, and discounts on select services including car rentals, hotels and cruises.

In addition to booking flights, you can also use your miles to upgrade your flight, pay for partner hotels and car rentals, and shop online. There is no fee to redeem your miles but you have to have enough miles to cover the total amount. You cannot pay with a combination of points and miles.

How this card compares

British Airways Visa Signature® Card
  • Get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases .
  • Get 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our balance transfer category page.

Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

16.99% to 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Annual Fee

$95

Balance Transfers Intro APR


Every year you spend $30,000 or more on the British Airways Visa, you get a free Travel Together ticket good in any class fare for two years. The catch here is the first ticket has to be an award booking in order to use the companion ticket.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card
  • Limited Time Offer - Buy 1 ticket, get 1 for just the taxes and fees with Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • Get another Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22) every year on your account anniversary valid on Alaska and Virgin America flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Save with a free checked bag on Alaska and Virgin America flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
  • Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. No foreign transaction fees.
  • There are two types of cards: the Visa Signature® card and the Platinum Plus® card. The card you receive will be determined by several factors including your income and credit history.
  • The benefits and bonus miles above apply to Visa Signature cards only. The Annual Fees, benefits and bonus miles for Platinum Plus® cards are different.
  • For more information on the differences, see the Features section accompanying the application.
Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

13.24% - 20.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Annual Fee

$75

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A


Every year the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card will give you a Companion Fare certificate for just $99 plus the cost of taxes and fees, which start at $22. Other perks include a free checked bag for you and up to six guests traveling on your reservation and an earnings rate of 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines or Virgin America flights and 1 mile per $1 on all other spending.

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠
  • Earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points on travel and at restaurants.
  • Earn 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points on all other purchases.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our balance transfer category page.

Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

16.99% to 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Annual Fee

$450; each additional card: $75 per year.

Balance Transfers Intro APR


The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a premium rewards structure to match its premium price, but its distinguishing feature is a 50 percent increase in the value of your points when you book any travel – air, hotel, and even cruises, through their Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Where it really shines is the 50,000-point sign-up bonus, which is worth as much as $750 if used for travel booked through Chase.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.
Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$89 - Waived first year

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard


The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard will likely appeal to those who want the most flexible redemption options for their miles. You can use your earnings to book travel, get a statement credit for travel purchases, or earn gift cards and select merchandise.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.