A lot of readers have been barraged (by Internet advertisements!) and have asked me recently about the Lufthansa Miles & More Axis Bank credit card which was introduced in 2013. The truth is, I’ve been inquisitive for a long while myself, but I’d sought some clarification from the bank, who did not come back to me after repeated attempts over the past 30 days or so.
Miles & More has had a rough patch in India all these years, shifting credit card issuance partners every now and then, first from Deutsche Bank which is a global partner, who sold off the portfolio to IndusInd Bank, and now the switch to Axis Bank.
The Axis Bank Miles & More co-branded credit card is a MasterCard product, and comes in two variants: World & World Select.
M&M Axis Bank MasterCard World: This is the lower version of the credit cards, and comes with 5000 miles after first transaction, and 4 miles for every INR 200 of eligible spend. The joining fee is INR 3,500 and the annual fee from the second year is the same.
M&M Axis Bank MasterCard World Select: This is the higher version of the two, and comes with 15,000 miles after the first transaction, and 6 miles for every INR 200 of eligible spend. The joining fees for the first year is INR 10,000 and the annual fee from the second year is INR 4,500.
Now, Axis Bank is offering a higher sign-up bonus for credit cards applied all the way till 15th March 2014. To start you up, there is an additional 5,000 bonus miles added to the first transaction bonus miles (10,000 miles for World and 20,000 miles for World Select). If you are a Miles & More HON Circle Member, you get 15,000 bonus miles for the World Select Card first transaction (30,000 miles).
Additionally, once you’ve spent INR 3,00,000 during the first 3 months of having the card, you get an additional 10,000 miles in your account for using the World Card. If you’re signing up for the higher version, you have to spend INR 5,00,000 during the first 3 months, and you get an additional 20,000 miles. Here is the summary of the offer.
The good part is, that for Lufthansa frequent flyers (i.e., Miles & More members), there is a rebate on the joining fee as well. HON Circle & Senator members get the card for free, while Frequent Traveller members get 50% off on the card fee during the offer period. Here are the complete T&C of this promotion.
I do find the spend requirements pretty high, specially because if I were to spend the same INR 5,00,000 on the Air India SBI Credit Card, I’d get 40,000 bonus miles for the spend milestone, and another 20,000 to sign-up for the card. Additionally, while I can spend Air India or JPMiles within India as well, I’d have to shell out way more M&M miles to be able to do the same trip when booking via them. For instance, a BOM-DEL redemption costs 8400 miles with Jet and 9500 miles with Air India. But when you book an AI ticket with your M&M miles, it costs 12000 miles.
Additionally, I am troubled that Axis Bank hasn’t visited me yet in spite of requesting an appointment with me twice, so that already reflects on the customer service levels to expect out of them. I’ll pass this one, maybe, unless a better offer comes along.