Don’t Try to Transfer Points to Lufthansa, They Just Go Into Limbo

Yesterday I wrote about Lufthansa’s “Mileage Bargains” — roundtrip business class awards between the US and Europe for just 55,000 miles.

Commenter Tim noted that “Lufthansa says that as of May 24th 2019 they no longer are accepting Marriott points for transfers to Lufthansa miles.” This was picked up on Flyertalk with several Marriott members saying they had transferred points from Bonvoy to Lufthansa, and their points had gone into limbo.

It turns out the problem is not limited to Marriott transfers. Hyatt tells me that the last week of May they removed Lufthansa as a transfer partner and offered, “At this time, Miles & More has decided to pause points to miles conversions from certain loyalty partners. World of Hyatt members are still able to earn Miles & More miles for their stays at Hyatt hotels.”

It’s unclear, given the issue that effects multiple partners,

  • Why Marriott continues to list Lufthansa as a transfer partner?
  • Why they continue to take new points transfers to Lufthansa?
  • What will happen to Marriott points that have been sent to Lufthansa (will members get their Marriott points back, and if so when)?

It seems irresponsible for Marriott to continue to list Lufthansa as a transfer partner and take new transfers without a warning to members.

Update: Marriott offers a statement,

We have had to suspend Lufthansa Miles & More as a Marriott Bonvoy points to miles transfer partner at the request of Lufthansa Miles & More in connection with German regulations. This suspension is not specific to the Marriott Bonvoy program and other Lufthansa Miles & More hotel partners have taken the same action.

Points to miles transfers from member accounts were made through May 20, 2019 and any transfers occurring after that date will be returned to the member’s account. We will share a timeline soon for when we expect the points to be returned.

We are working to ensure all pages on our digital and mobile sites reflect this change in the status of Lufthansa Miles & More. We apologize for the inconvenience to members and look forward to providing updates about Lufthansa Miles & More once we have them.

Hilton still lists Lufthansa Miles & More as a transfer partner, but the conversions are poor I’m not sure how often anyone does this. I’ve asked Hilton whether they’re affected by this or not, though they’ve shared, “We have been notified that there are upcoming changes that will impact Points to Miles & More transfers for Hilton Honors members. The update will affect conversions to the following airlines that are part of the Miles & More loyalty program – Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines. ”

I’ve also reached out to Lufthansa for an explanation. Miles & More is not a transfer partner of any of the U.S. bank currencies. Most U.S. members get their miles in the Lufthansa program either via the Miles & More co-brand Mastercard from Barclays or transfers from Marriott.

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. @ Gary — I guess paid F will continue to get cheaper on LH and LX since there will be no miles to redeem. I don’t completely follow M&M’s strategy here, although I love the cheap LX F fares. from Europe to Asia.

  2. Transferred Bonvoy points to Lufthansa 5/15, all points posted 5/20 (topped off my account to make up for the devaluation for first class travel).

  3. I transferred 500k points yesterday and they posted like butter

    just kidding


    Not sure if this 2019 case is the cause, but this could spread within the EU, or it could be specific to Germany. Essentially the argument is that if someone sells points for cash, that they should be convertible back to cash and sued to turn their points back to cash. This could result in Lufthansa having to essential become a bank or e-money licensee. As of April 2021, the case appeared stalled, maybe someone has happened recently.

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