Get up to 20% off Star Alliance awards to Asia through LifeMiles — including business and first class
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available.
Today, Avianca LifeMiles announced an award sale for a handful of flights between North America and Asia. These flights depart from New York-JFK, Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and Vancouver (YVR) and offer discounts of up to 20%. Discounted destinations include Tokyo-Haneda (HND), Tokyo-Narita (NRT), Seoul (ICN), and Taipei (TPE) and include economy class, business class and first class.
However, is this sale worth jumping on right now? Let’s dive in and look at some actual redemption rates as well as things to consider before booking.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
A closer look at the sale
You can view the full list of discounted destinations alongside their sale price here. The largest discount is offered on flights between San Francisco and either Tokyo-area airport — during the sale, you can book the ticket for 29,000 LifeMiles one-way in economy class, 60,000 in business and 72,000 in first class. This is 17% off the standard price of 35,000 LifeMiles in coach and 20% off the standard prices of 75,000 and 90,000 LifeMiles in business and first class. The discounted rates are available for all Star Alliance partners, including ANA, EVA Air and Air Canada.
Here’s a sampling of other deals you can book:
- HND to/from JFK/LAX from 30,000 miles in economy (14% off), 60,000 in business (20% off) and 76,500 in first class (15% off)
- ICN to/from LAX from 64,000 miles in business (15% off) and 76,500 in first (15% off)
- TPE to/from YVR from 64,000 miles in business (15% off)
- NRT to/from JFK/LAX from 64,000 miles in business (15% off) and 76,500 in first (15% off)
You can book discounted flights between now and Sept. 25. 2020. The sale applies to flights through the end of calendar, so you can use it to book travel for summer 2021. All flights are bookable on the LifeMiles website and have only minimal taxes and fees added.
Read this before you book
Before you utilize your hard-earned transferable points to take advantage of this promotion, make sure to keep Avianca’s financial state in mind. The airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. earlier this year. This means that the airline can continue to operate during its bankruptcy, but the future of the company is still uncertain.
While it’s likely that Avianca will survive the coronavirus travel downturn, there’s no way to be sure. LifeMiles operates as a separate entity from Avianca, so there’s a good chance your miles would be safe regardless if the airline becomes insolvent. That said, LifeMiles members could lose the ability to redeem miles on Star Alliance flights, so your tickets and miles could be rendered worthless.
Earning Avianca LifeMiles
There are a handful of ways to earn Avianca LifeMiles, but our favorite is transferring points from American Express Membership Rewards points. These points transfer instantly to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio. Here’s a look at the best cards for earning Membership Rewards points:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – 75,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening.
- American Express® Gold Card – 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening.
- American Express® Business Gold Card – Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening.
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express – Earn 125,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within your first three months of card membership. Terms apply.
If you’re considering either the Amex Platinum or Amex Gold card, be sure to check the CardMatch Tool as well, since many TPG readers have recently been targeted for enhanced welcome bonuses of up to 100,000 points (offer subject to change at any time).
This sale presents a great way to book tickets to Asia for late 2020 and beyond. Just be aware that there’s no guarantee that the coronavirus outbreak will be fully contained by the time you’re set to travel. So make sure you read through the airline’s cancellation policy before you book. Other than that, these tickets are worth considering if you’re looking for a post-coronavirus trip abroad.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.
Feature photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.