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Book lie-flat business class at premium economy prices with this promotion

Sept. 01, 2022
8 min read
AC Signature class
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At TPG, we’re big fans of LifeMiles, the points currency of the Colombian airline Avianca.

Avianca is a member of Star Alliance, so you can use LifeMiles to book Star Alliance itineraries even if you never step foot on an Avianca plane. As it turns out, LifeMiles will almost always require fewer miles to book Star Alliance award seats when compared with United MileagePlus.

The program is running a promotion where you can purchase points with up to a 140% bonus through Sept. 8. That effectively brings the purchase rate down to 1.38 cents per mile.

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If you’re interested in flying long-haul business class at a premium economy class price, here are some great Star Alliance itineraries that you can book with solid savings thanks to the current LifeMiles promotion.

This means you can use the sale to effectively purchase business-class airfare for the price of a premium economy ticket on some routes.

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Should I buy LifeMiles?

DANIEL MUNOZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Before we dive into some Star Alliance itineraries, I want to lay out a few disclaimers.

Beyond the limited Star Alliance award space, LifeMiles may increase the miles required to book a given flight at any point without notice. In other words, while 63,000 miles might get you across the Atlantic right now, there’s no guarantee that the award rates will stay the same for flights booked later. Because of this, I don’t recommend buying miles unless you have a specific redemption in mind that you plan to book immediately.

For each of these example flights below, I’m assuming that you’re buying at least 51,000 miles (before the 140% bonus), as LifeMiles only offers the purchase rate of 1.38 cents per mile when you buy at least 51,000 miles.

Oh, and one more thing — LifeMiles expire after 12 months of earning inactivity on your account. You can keep your miles from expiring by earning miles, even if it’s transferring just 1,000 points from a credit card. Remember that your miles will expire if you have more than 12 months without earning LifeMiles.

Now that we’ve covered the formalities, let’s look at a few examples using a mileage purchase rate of 1.38 cents.

Related: These are the promotions on buying points that are worth considering

Denver to Munich: $894.70 in United Polaris business class

United Boeing 787-9 Polaris business class KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
LIFEMILES.COM

About a year ago, Lufthansa started operating daily flights between Denver and Munich. United was quick to follow suit with a flight of its own. Now with two jets operating daily service on a lesser popular European route, award space is fairly open on this route.

Last summer, I managed to snag a business-class award seat traveling from Denver to Munich on Lufthansa. Overall, I was pleased with the service and catering on board, though you’ll likely find yourself in Lufthansa’s dated 2-2-2-configured business-class cabin. If you fly on United, you'll likely be on one of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners featuring the current 1-2-1 Polaris configuration.

At a purchase rate of 1.38 cents per mile, 63,000 LifeMiles and $25.30 in taxes and fees for a one-way award ticket on either United or Lufthansa will set you back just under $900. In other words, you’re almost certain to be landing a great redemption.

Related: A 16-hour red-eye: Reviewing United Polaris on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Newark to Lyon: $789.44 in Air Canada Signature class

Air Canada Signature business class on the Airbus A330 KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
LIFEMILES.COM

Another solid use of LifeMiles is booking a one-way flight from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS) via Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL).

The United Express flight from EWR to YUL is in economy class, but since you're connecting to a business class flight, you would have access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge in Montreal.

The best part? Air Canada's Airbus A330s have been reconfigured with the newest Signature class product, so you're in for a comfortable flight.

Related: It’s worth your time: A review of Air Canada business class on the Boeing 777-300ER

Chicago to Vienna: $894.70 in Austrian business class

Austrian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER business class. JT GENTER/THE POINTS GUY
LIFEMILES.COM

Although it operates a fleet of only nine long-haul aircraft, Austrian Airlines has a solid business-class product. When I flew with Austrian Airlines in 2017, a designated “chef” was on board who prepared a royal assortment of Viennese delicacies. Business-class passengers could select what they wanted from the meal cart as it passed down the aisle.

Dessert consisted of sachertorte, apple strudel and freshly brewed Viennese lattes. Yum!

Austrian Airlines flies to O’Hare International Airport (ORD), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Dulles International Airport (IAD) and seasonally to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Related: Flight review: Austrian Airlines (767-300) business class from Vienna to JFK

Los Angeles to Singapore: $1,101.70 in EVA Royal Laurel business class

Lobster dinner in EVA’s business class. ETHAN STEINBERG/THE POINTS GUY
LIFEMILES.COM

If poached lobster and butternut squash with pumpkin ravioli, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006 Champagne (which retails for about $160) and Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits pique your interest, EVA’s business class is for you.

As you might expect, award space is scarce. But if you find seats, the LifeMiles promotion is your ticket to a $1,100 flight to Singapore.

Related: Flight review: EVA Air Boeing 777 in business class from Houston to Taipei

Washington, D.C., to Geneva: $894.70 in United Polaris business class

United’s business class on the Boeing 767-300ER. ZACH HONIG/THE POINTS GUY
LIFEMILES.COM

United flies its “high-J 767” between Washington and Geneva. The 1-1-1 configuration is ideal for single travelers but isn’t the best option for families or those traveling with companions.

Still, with 46 seats in business class, it’s not too hard to find award space. And a real highlight of the Polaris experience is access to the Polaris lounge at IAD, which recently joined the lineup of Polaris lounges.

Related: 16 rows of biz: Reviewing Polaris on United’s ‘high-J’ 767-300ER

Need more LifeMiles?

When you buy your LifeMiles, I suggest paying for them with a card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. That way, you’ll earn 2 Capital One miles for each dollar you spend.

And as you might have guessed, those Capital One miles are transferable to LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio, along with American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

Related: How (and why) you should earn transferable points

Bottom line

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

In the early days of 2021, Avianca had a similar sale that allowed members to earn up to a 150% bonus when buying LifeMiles. While you'll have to act fast, this promotion offers up to a 140% bonus on LifeMiles purchases so that you can travel on long-haul premium Star Alliance tickets for prices close to economy class. You can buy LifeMiles at this landing page.

You can always refer to our guide on the current points and miles promotions, so you never miss a deal.

Featured image by (Photo by Kyle Olsen/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases