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Avianca’s LifeMiles program has some hidden gems, such as reasonably priced international premium-cabin awards. It’s just added a discounted redemption option for short-haul awards in the US, potentially making it even more valuable.

With the new option, you’ll be able to fly domestically on short-haul routes for as few as 7,500 miles one-way. In economy, you can fly one-way between the US1 and US3 regions (i.e., New York to California) for 12,500 miles one-way. Here’s a full screenshot of what awards will cost you for these domestic routes:

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 12.38.37 PM

Avianca’s new chart breaks the US into three regions. Oddly enough, Washington State and West Virginia don’t appear to be included in any of the groups; the award chart lists a Washington in the US1 group along with other states on the East Coast, leading us to believe this means Washington, D.C.  Based on Washington’s location, it’ll likely be included in US3 along with Oregon and other West Coast states. We reached out to LifeMiles for clarification but have yet to hear back.

For reference, here’s how LifeMiles breaks down each of the US zones:

United States 1: Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington (D.C.)
United States 2: Alabama, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin
United States 3: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming

These awards are now bookable, and there appears to be some decent availability based on searches at the LifeMiles website. For example, you can fly from Newark (EWR) to Boston (BOS) for 7,500 LifeMiles with United:

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 1.51.54 PM

On the same flight, United is charging 10,000 miles:

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 1.53.13 PM

Avianca LifeMiles isn’t a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou or Amex Membership Rewards, though you can transfer points from Starwood Preferred Guest to LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio. However, the program frequently also sells its miles for cheap. If you’re able to purchase some LifeMiles, this new addition to the program could make for a valuable redemption.

H/T: One Mile at a Time

This story has been updated to refect that SPG points can be transferred to Avianca LifeMiles.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$595
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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