Transfers from Amex to Avianca LifeMiles Temporarily Unavailable

Feb 7, 2019

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.

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • 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.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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.