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. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The month of February has been quite busy for Avianca and its LifeMiles program. The carrier first underwent a scheduled maintenance from Feb. 1-5 during which time its site went offline. When it came back up, there was an entirely new interface, including enhanced partner availability but a somewhat buggy user experience.

Well, it appears that the bugs extend to other aspects of the program, as transfers from American Express Membership Rewards to Avianca LifeMiles are currently unavailable. If you login to your Amex account, navigate to the Rewards section and go to transfer your points to Avianca, you’ll see an icon with a red exclamation point on the LifeMiles tile:

When you click on the program, you’ll receive the following pop-up message:

“Transfer to LifeMiles will be temporarily unavailable due to a system migration. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

While this is likely a temporary problem related to the maintenance done at the beginning of the month, it’s still a frustrating limitation for a transfer partnership that just launched in the fall. The LifeMiles program has a wealth of hidden gems, and one of the biggest benefits for members is the fact that you won’t pay fuel surcharges on any Star Alliance awards booked through Avianca. When you add in the fact that many short- and medium-haul United award tickets can be booked for just 7,500 LifeMiles each way, this is a definite concern for a valuable program.

I certainly hope that this is resolved quickly, as Avianca LifeMiles is one of the best ways to redeem Amex points for Star Alliance awards. If you find yourself in need of a LifeMiles award ticket before this functionality is restored, remember that the program does partner with Citi ThankYou Rewards, though unfortunately the program is not currently offering one of its regular bonuses on purchased miles.

We reached out to American Express and received the following statement:

“Yes, Membership Rewards points transfers to Avianca LifeMiles is temporarily unavailable due to a system migration. We expect this to be back up and running as usual in the coming days. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

We’ll be sure to update this article once the functionality is restored.

H/T: TPG reader Alex.

Featured photo by Andres Ramirez.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.