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A brand new transfer partner has been added to Citi’s ThankYou points program: Avianca LifeMiles. Avianca is a Colombia-based Star Alliance airline — the third-biggest airline in South America by passengers carried. But what’s more important is that the airline’s LifeMiles program provides some exceptional award value, especially on partner bookings.
The Points Guy‘s Richard Kerr recently did a comprehensive write-up about the LifeMiles program. In short, LifeMiles are a great way to book Lufthansa first class — and other high-fee redemptions — for minimal out of pocket costs, as the program doesn’t pass along fuel surcharges, and redemption rates are quite reasonable. And another more practical redemption option was just added a month ago: 7,500-mile one-way domestic flights.
The option to transfer to Avianca has already been added to the ThankYou Points page, so you can use this new partner immediately:
Matt Vincett, the CEO of LifeMiles, is quoted in the announcement as saying:
LifeMiles is a great currency to hold, even for those who live outside of Latin America. Bloggers such as The Points Guy, who compare programs based on the value of their miles, regularly rank LifeMiles well above most other programs. In addition, LifeMiles is a perennial winner of industry awards, and has been named the program with Best Redemption Ability in the world by Global Traveler magazine for four successive years running!
Undoubtedly Vincett is referring to TPG’s monthly points and miles valuations, where LifeMiles are indeed ranked higher than many airlines. In his most recent valuations, TPG pegs Avianca LifeMiles at 1.7 cents each. This beats out United (1.5), American (1.4) and Delta (1.2) but falls short of Alaska (1.9).
Meanwhile, Citi ThankYou Points are currently valued at 1.5 cents apiece. However, now that there’s a more valuable transfer partner, it looks like an increase in our valuation may be due.
That means that the points earned through these ThankYou Point cards just got more valuable:
- Citi Prestige
- Citi ThankYou Premier Card
- Citi ThankYou Preferred Card
- Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students
This isn’t the first transfer partner for Avianca — in 2016, LifeMiles became a transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest. However, considering the other highly valuable transfer partners and redemption options with SPG, this hasn’t been a top option for points enthusiasts. Sure, you can get 25,000 LifeMiles for transferring 20,000 Starpoints, but you could instead get 25,000 Alaska miles or redeem toward SPG Nights & Flights Packages or SPG Moments.
Adding LifeMiles as a new transfer partner is great news for those folks with ThankYou points. From cheap domestic flights on United to some of the top first class products in the world, our redemption options just got more diverse. We’ll be following up soon with more ways you can maximize this new transfer partner.
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations
- Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
- Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
- 50,000 Points are redeemable for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $500 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
- No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
- Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*