While doing some research for an upcoming redemption, I happened upon what is the absolute best deal I have seen for redeeming miles for Lufthansa’s fantastic First Class between the United States and Europe! And 40k SPG Starpoints is all it takes!
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SPG Starpoints are probably the most versatile and coveted among the transferable currencies. That is because they offer some of the best value around. This is especially true for transfers to airline partners as SPG offers a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer. SPG offers (through American Express) only 2 cards that earn SPG Starpoints – the SPG Personal card and the SPG Business card. Both cards currently offer a sign-up bonus of 25k Starpoints for a $3,000 and $5,000 spend within the first 3 months, respectively.
Neither of those cards offer a category bonuses outside of spend at SPG properties, though these cards get the majority of my non-category bonus spend as you can never have enough Starpoints in my opinion. In addition to earning Starpoints via American Express credit cards, you can of course also earn Starpoints from your stays at Starwood properties around the world.
Starpoints offer the most flexibility of all the transferable currencies as they transfer to 35 (!) airline partners. That happens to include Asiana – a Star Alliance airline based out of South Korea – which transfers at a 1:1 ratio.
What is so awesome about the Starpoints transfers is that for every 20k Starpoints you transfer, SPG gives you a 5k point bonus! So that means transferring 20k Starpoints to your Asiana Club account at 1:1 actually nets you 25k Asiana Club miles with the 5k point bonus. That is quite the deal!
So now let’s take a look at the Asiana Club award chart. For Star Alliance partner redemptions between the United States and Europe, the first class cost is 100k miles roundtrip.
Since Asiana allows one-way award tickets on partner redemptions, that means you can redeem 40k Starpoints (+ the 10k point bonus for transferring in increments of 20k) for a one-way Lufthansa First Class flight! But in the immortal words of Billy Mays – but wait, there’s more!
Asiana offers up to 7 – yes, that’s right 7! – stopovers on your itinerary! That means you could hop around Europe to multiple destinations after flying Lufthansa’s superb First Class product across the Atlantic for a mere 40k Starpoints!
Update: It is unclear if the stopovers are allowed on one-way award tickets or not. I am trying to track down some data points and additional information on this and will update this post accordingly when I have more information.
Now, there are two small downsides to this redemption. First and foremost, Asiana does pass on surcharges on Lufthansa award tickets (along with many other Star Alliance carrier tickets). That means you are looking at $300-500 in taxes, fees and surcharges on a First Class redemption each way. Considering that is a ticket that would otherwise cost you $7,000-10,000+ though, it really is not too bad.
Second, Lufthansa does not release First Class award space to partners until ~15 days prior to departure. That means you would need to have a bit of flexibility in your travel plans and be agreeable to waiting until a few weeks before your trip to book this option. For me, that is not a huge deal. For you relentless planners out there like my “manager of the universe” mother (love ya mom!), that might be a deal breaker.
Lastly, keep in mind that Starpoint transfers are not instant like a lot of other transferable currencies. That means you should plan on transferring your Starpoints approximately a month before your desired departure date just in case there are any hiccups along the way.
This is just one of the many reasons why I absolutely love SPG Starpoints. 40k Starpoints for Lufthansa first class is arguably one of the absolute best values to be had with any points/miles redemption. In fact, the redemption is so good that I may start looking into crediting all of my paid Star Alliance flights to Asiana’s Asiana Club!
Will any of you be transferring your Starpoints to Asiana for this redemption?
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