Save on Star Alliance award flights with 25% transfer bonus to LifeMiles
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Avianca’s LifeMiles program is great for booking Star Alliance award flights. Even better, it frequently offers bonuses when transferring from flexible points programs, letting you stretch your points even further.
If you have rewards with Citi ThankYou from cards such as the Citi Premier® Card, you can normally transfer them to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio. However, as part of a promotion that now runs through April 30, 2022, you’ll get a 25% transfer bonus when transferring points to LifeMiles.
Here’s everything you need to know about the promotion.
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Avianca LifeMiles transfer bonus
Through April 30, 2022, you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Avianca LifeMiles with a 25% bonus. In other words, 1,000 Citi 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 ThankYou's site. 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, the bonus miles appear almost instantly. That said, some members have recently reported not being able to redeem transferred miles until midnight the next day.
Related: Your next transfer to LifeMiles might not actually be instant
Redeeming LifeMiles for maximum value
LifeMiles can be a fantastic rewards program to consider for booking travel thanks to several hidden gems on its award chart, coupled with the low taxes and fees it charges on tickets.
For instance, Lufthansa first class from Chicago to Frankfurt 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 14 days, which generally used to be the case.
Swiss business class on the Airbus A330 from New York to Zurich is only 63,000 LifeMiles miles each way, meaning you’ll need to transfer just 51,000 points from one of these programs.
Related: Here’s why you need a healthy stash of Avianca LifeMiles
Here are a few other sweet spots you can book with LifeMiles from North America to various regions, along with how many transferred miles you’d need:
- Short-haul domestic United flights in economy class: From 6,500 LifeMiles (6,000 transferred points)
- United transcontinental business class flights: 25,000 LifeMiles (20,000 transferred points)
- Flights to South of South America in economy: 30,000 LifeMiles (24,000 transferred points)
- Flights to New Zealand or Australia in economy: 40,000 LifeMiles (32,000 transferred points)
- Flights to Europe in business class (with no fuel surcharges): 63,000 LifeMiles (51,000 transferred points)
- Flights to North Asia in business class: 75,000 LifeMiles (60,000 transferred points)
- Flights to the Middle East in business class: 78,000 LifeMiles (63,000 transferred points)
- Flights to Europe in Lufthansa first (with no fuel surcharges): 87,000 LifeMiles (70,000 transferred points)
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 Rewards points. Then, round up to the nearest 1,000-point increment.
Related: The best airline award chart sweet spots
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 points during this promotion is a no-brainer.
How to earn transferrable 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.