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Despite last year’s devaluation, Avianca LifeMiles is still one of the best frequent flyer programs for booking Star Alliance award flights, especially when the Colombia-based airline happens to be offering a bonus when you purchase miles. From now through May 29, 2015, you can buy between 1,000 and 75,000 miles, with a minimum bonus of 100%. For residents of certain countries, the mileage bonus jumps to 120%. Note that you can only receive the bonus on one transaction, and you’ll need to have opened a LifeMiles account prior to May 5, 2015.
Through the promotion, you can purchase blocks of 1,000 miles at a cost of $33 plus tax (calculated at checkout) each. If you’re based in the US and opt to purchase the maximum number of miles (75,000), it works out to a per-mile cost of 1.65 cents each.
How can you receive the 120% mileage bonus, you ask? You’ll need to have a LifeMiles account registered outside of Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the United States. If you meet these requirements, you’re bringing the per-mile cost down to 1.5 cents.
Should you go for it?
Avianca often runs mileage-bonus promotions on purchased LifeMiles, but as of October 2014 the airline devalued its award chart. On the plus side, Avianca doesn’t levy fuel surcharges on award tickets, and it allows you to redeem tickets with 40% miles and 60% percent cash.
As is often the case, if you have a specific redemption in mind this offer could be a good value. For example, using LifeMiles for a one-way ticket between North America and many destinations in North Asia costs 75,000 miles in business and 90,000 in first, so at 1.5 cents per mile you’d be paying $1,125 in business or $1,350 in first (plus taxes and fees) for a one-way ticket to China, Japan, South Korea or Taiwan. Since Avianca’s a Star Alliance member, you can use LifeMiles to book travel on airlines like Air China, ANA, EVA Air and Asiana at the aforementioned rates. See Avianca’s award chart for more info.
Additionally, as with yesterday’s AA bonus, purchasing miles through this promotion should count as airline spend, so if you have a card that earns a bonus on airfare purchases, such as the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card (3x on airfare) or the Citi ThankYou Premier card (3x on airfare), you may earn bonus miles on your purchase.
Do you plan on taking advantage of this offer? Tell us what redemption you have in mind in the comments below!
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