Via Milepoint (here and here, the Lufthansa Mastercard issued in the U.S. by Barclays is offering a 50,000-mile signup bonus: 20,000 miles after first purchase and 30,000 more miles after $2,500 in spend within the first 90 days of account opening.
(In case it’s useful, here’s a direct link to the card application, without specific mention of the bonus, per the Milepoint thread.)
So another co-branded airline card jumping into the megabonus game. This isn’t as big as Citibank offering 75,000 or 100,000 miles for its American Airlines cards, or Chase offering 100,000 for its British Airways card. But like recent offers for the United and Continental co-branded cards, 50,000 does seem to be the new entry-level in order to get attention or be taken seriously as a signup bonus.
I don’t really play with Miles & More, I’m not a huge fan of their award chart and in particular the pricing of premium cabin awards crossing multiple zones, but there are some advantages — in particular additional availability of Lufthansa and Swiss premium cabin award seats that aren’t offered to the rest of the Star Alliance. Certainly if you want advance confirmable Swiss first class award seats between the US and Zurich (or Geneva), then Miles & More is where you want to have some points. And of course you could add to the 50,000 from this card with trnasfers in from another program (such as Starwood).
The card comes with a $79 annual fee, which is certainly worthwhile for 50,000 miles, even if European programs like Miles & More hit you pretty hard on the taxes and fees when it comes time to redeem. And since it’s from Barclay’s bank, credit pull issues aside, it’s nice to have a lucrative bonus coming from someone other than Chase and Citibank, there are only so many cards that either of those issuers will give you at any one time..!