Now extended: Get a 25% bonus when transferring Citi points to LifeMiles

Aug 21, 2021

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Avianca’s LifeMiles program is great for booking Star Alliance award flights operated by carriers such as United Airlines, Lufthansa and more at low rates. Even better, it frequently offers bonuses when transferring from flexible points programs, allowing you to stretch your rewards even further.

If you have rewards with the Citi ThankYou program, you now have slightly more time to take advantage of a transfer bonus. You can normally transfer Citi ThankYou points from cards such as the Citi Premier® Card to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio. TPG pegs the value of a single ThankYou point at 1.7 cents each, equaling the current valuation of one Avianca LifeMile.

But, as part of a promotion that now runs through Aug. 27, 2021, you’ll get a 25% transfer bonus when transferring points from Citi to LifeMiles. This transfer bonus effectively nets you 20% off the cost of your award ticket. Here are all the details you need to know about this promotion.

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In This Post

Avianca LifeMiles transfer bonus

Woman Working on Her Laptop Computer at Home
Get a bonus when you transfer Citi ThankYou points to LifeMiles. (Photo by FreshSplash/Getty Images)

Through Aug. 27, 2021 (originally Aug. 20, 2021), you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Avianca LifeMiles with a 25% bonus. In other words, 1,000 ThankYou points will net 1,250 LifeMiles in the transfer. The transfer minimum is 1,000 points.

This promotion is offered directly by LifeMiles, so the bonus won’t be reflected on Citi’s ThankYou site. You’ll see the bonus miles as a separate line item in your LifeMiles account. There is no limit to how many points you can transfer and there is no registration required.

According to LifeMiles, all miles should post within 24 hours of the transfer request. However, based on our experiences, they usually post faster than that.

Plus, LifeMiles is also offering two other transfer bonuses currently:

  • 25% transfer bonus when transferring Marriott Bonvoy points to LifeMiles for an effective 3:1.25 transfer ratio (see promotion details here, valid through Sept. 31, 2021)
  • 25% transfer bonus when transferring IHG Rewards points to LifeMiles for an effective 10,000:2500 transfer ratio (see promotion details here, valid through Sept. 31, 2021)

However, even with these transfer bonuses, most travelers can get better value from their IHG Rewards points and Marriott Bonvoy points through other redemption options.

Related: Here’s why you need a healthy stash of Avianca LifeMiles

Redeeming LifeMiles for maximum value

LifeMiles has several hidden gems on its award chart coupled with low taxes and fees. For instance, Lufthansa first class from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Frankfurt (FRA) will set you back just 87,000 LifeMiles each way. You’ll need to transfer just 70,000 Citi points for this award, saving you about 20%. Keep in mind, Lufthansa first class awards are now bookable 30 days out, up from the old normal of 14 days.

Swiss business class on the Airbus A330 from New York-JFK to Zurich (ZRH) is only 63,000 LifeMiles miles each way, meaning you’ll need to transfer just 51,000 points.

United 757-300 First Class
Fly in domestic first class on United (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Here are a few other sweet spots you can book with LifeMiles:

  • Short-haul domestic United flights in economy class: From 6,500 LifeMiles
  • United transcontinental business class flights: 25,000 LifeMiles
  • Flights to South of South America in economy: 30,000 LifeMiles
  • Flights to New Zealand or Australia in economy: 40,000 LifeMiles
  • Flights to Europe in business class (with no fuel surcharges): 63,000 LifeMiles
  • Flights to North Asia in business class: 75,000 LifeMiles
  • Flights to the Middle East in business class: 78,000 LifeMiles
  • Flights to Europe in Lufthansa first (with no fuel surcharges): 87,000 LifeMiles

Related: The 6 best airline award chart sweet spots

With the 25% bonus from this promotion, you won’t need to transfer the full amounts for your award ticket. Instead, divide the price of your award by 1.25 to calculate the “effective” number of Citi ThankYou points. Then, round up to the nearest 1,000-point increment.

For example, if you plan to book a domestic United business class award, you may need 25,000 LifeMiles or 20,000 points transferred from Citi.

Should you transfer points now?

We generally only recommend transferring points if you have a near-term plan to use them. Transfers are irreversible, so you don’t want to be stuck with thousands of miles in a program you have little use for.

Also, be aware that LifeMiles usually expire 12 months after the most recent mileage accrual. Other transactions, such as redemption transactions, don’t extend the validity of the miles.

If you have an immediate use for LifeMiles, transferring Citi ThankYou points during this promotion is a no-brainer.

How to earn Citi ThankYou points

If you’re short on Citi ThankYou points and want to take advantage of future transfer bonuses like this one, a sign-up bonus from a Citi ThankYou Rewards card can help boost your balance.

For instance, the Citi Premier is currently offering 80,000 ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. The card also earns 3x points on hotels, air travel, restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets and 1x points on all other purchases.

Featured photo of Lufthansa First Class by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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