Last month I wrote an overview on the Miles and More program. For those of us that live in countries that are served by carriers belonging to this program, we can focus on accumulating M&M miles quickly as there are many opportunities.
Most readers from the US will say that the quickest way to accumulate airline miles with minimum effort are through credit card applications and the same holds true in Europe for the most part. Although there are much less offers and the bonuses are smaller you can still accumulate a good stash of miles relatively quickly. I will focus on the country I live in which is Switzerland but will provide links at the end of this blog for other countries as well.
In Switzerland, there are 3 companies that provide credit cards that can transfer points to the M&M program: Credit Suisse, Cornercard and Swisscard. Since they all provide different cards, rules and redemption options, I’ve put together a small chart comparing them.
So what strategy should you use? As normal, it depends. The bonuses on the Cornercard and Swisscard credit cards come and go quite often so I would only apply for them during the bonus periods.
I would recommend the Swisscard Classic Card as the top card to apply for when the bonus is being offered. You get the most bang for your buck. Sixty francs (first year annual fee) for 12,000 M&M miles = .5 centimes/mile. Compare that to the current offering of 35 euros for purchasing 1000 miles which at the current exchange rate means 4.3 centimes/mile. So you are “saving” about 3.8 centimes per mile!
The question would then be, do you keep it past the first year as the annual fee goes up to Sfr. 120 and you’re only getting a 1000 mile retention bonus? You would need to see how much spending you put on your card and if the amount of miles you accumulate outweigh the cost of the annual fee.
Another option if you are fee adverse is by getting a Credit Suisse Bonviva credit card. You basically pay for a bank account (which is normal in Switzerland) and you get their cards. Each Swiss franc spent accumulates Bonviva points which you can redeem for M&M miles as shown in the chart above. Although the mileage is normally less compared to the Swisscard, Bonviva does offer multiplier days where you get double points for purchasing at certain stores which include retail and grocery stores. Taking that into account you can actually earn more miles per Swiss franc spent versus the Swisscard.
I’m not one to change my habits to get extra points so I look for ways to maximize my ROI and simplify my time. Let me give you an example. I’ve used my Bonviva card for a triple dip with a grocery store chain named Coop in Switzerland.
Coop has their own points program named Superpoints which gives you 1 point for each Swiss franc spent. This converts into .5 M&M miles. They also have a smartphone app with weekly multipliers and 1000 point bonuses for shopping at their stores. They also run many multipliers in their stores for buying normal items.
Knowing that Bonviva offers 2x points on every Saturday at Coop and that I can activate any of the promos off my smartphone while shopping, I headed to my local Coop for my weekly grocery shopping. The app mentioned I would get 1000 bonus points if I spent Sfr. 100 which is easy to do and while shopping I activated it. Twenty minutes later I was done shopping and used my Bonviva Silver Amex card to pay the Sfr. 110 bill.
My total haul was 1110 Coop Superpoints (1000 bonus + 110 for normal spending) and 220 Bonviva points (110 x 2 Saturday bonus). These points convert to 665 M&M miles which equals 6 miles per Swiss franc. This is very good even for US standards! If you did this once a week you would rack up an extra 32,000 miles per year. With M&M’s Mileage bargains, that would be enough miles for a roundtrip flight to the US.
The above is an example of how to carry on with your normal routine and just remembering which card to use. Activating the bonus on the smartphone is quite easy since you do it while you are shopping at the store. A couple extra steps helps accumulate mileage a lot quicker.
Other ways to earn miles include having an account with UBS key club but their system is quite complex and you still have to pay a fee to transfer points to miles. Additionally, you can head to Miles and Mores website to see all earning opportunities.
If you live in any one of the following 23 countries you can go here to find out which credit cards are available.
|Austria – Austrian Miles & More Credit Cards|
|Austrian Miles & More World Business MasterCard®Diners Club Gold Card|
|Belgium – Brussels Airlines Credit Cards|
|Credit Card by Brussels Airlines|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina – UniCreditCards|
|Croatia – Croatia Airlines Credit Card|
|Credit Card by Croatia Airlines|
|China – Miles & More Credit Card|
|Cyprus – Miles & More Visa|
|Czech Republic – Miles & More Credit Card|
|Germany – Lufthansa Miles & More Credit Card|
|Lufthansa Miles & More Credit Card|
|Greece – Miles & More World MasterCard|
|Hungary – Miles & More MKB Credit Cards|
|India – Miles & More Credit Card|
|Israel – Miles & More Credit Card|
|Italy – Miles & More MasterCard Oro|
|Japan – Miles & More MUFG Card|
|Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS|
|Luxembourg – MasterCard Miles & More Luxair|
|Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat|
|Poland – LOT Miles & More Credit Cards|
|Citibank, Diners Club, mBank|
|Portugal – Miles & More da Caixa Credit Card|
|Caixa Geral de Depósitos|
|Romania – Miles & More Gold Credit Card|
|UniCredit Tiriac Bank|
|Russia – Miles & More Credit Card|
|Switzerland – Miles & More Credit Card|
|SWISS Miles & More Credit Card|
|Turkey – Miles & More Visa Card|
|United Kingdom – Miles & More Credit Cards|
|USA – Miles & More MasterCards|
Have you used any of these tactics?