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.
Avianca LifeMiles is one of the better mileage currencies and has been receiving more attention recently, after both Amex and Capital One added the program as a transfer partner.
Now, the loyalty program is making itself even more valuable by offering an incredible sale on award tickets, where you can save up to 48% on an award bookings. It’s also offering one of its best-ever promotions for buying miles.
The discounted awards are valid only on certain routes and city pairs, which you can see here. However the best part is you can book partner Star Alliance awards through the promotion, on carriers like Asiana or EVA. The sale runs from today through December 12, 2018, but you can book travel for any dates available.
These are the routes originating in the US that are discounted:
- New York (JFK) to Seoul (ICN), Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (PVG) and Taipei (TPE)
- Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG), Seoul (ICN), Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (PVG), Taipei (TPE) and Singapore (SIN)
- Chicago (ORD) to Singapore (SIN)
- Seattle (SEA) to Taipei (TPE)
- San Francisco (SFO) to Hong Kong (HKG) and Taipei (TPE)
Certain classes of service are discounted on each route. For example, you can save 20% on first-class flights from Los Angeles or New York to Seoul and Beijing. The new award price would be just 72,000 miles one-way, down from the normal 90,000 mile rate.
That means you could find yourself in Asiana First Class for much less than normal!
Seattle to Taipei in EVA Air’s business class is 20% off, or 60,000 miles one-way:
Or take a spin on Air China’s 747-8 in business for 60,000 miles one-way from the US to China:
The 48% discount only applies to economy awards from Tokyo to Shanghai, which will bring the cost to just 6,000 miles one-way.
Remember that LifeMiles is a transfer partner with American Express and Citi. You can transfer miles at a 1:1 ratio. It will also soon be with Capital One starting in December (although its unclear at what point next month), when you will be able to transfer Capital One miles to LifeMiles at a 2:1.5 ratio.
If you don’t have any points you can transfer to LifeMiles there’s still an option to get cheap awards. The program is offering one of its best-ever buy miles promotions, where you can earn a 140% bonus on miles purchased from today through November 26.
The bonus was targeted earlier this month but it now appears to be available to everyone. If the promotion is maximized (you’ll have to buy at least 101,000 miles), you’ll be purchasing miles for just 1.375 cents each — that’s significantly below TPG’s valuation of 1.7 cents.
TPG contributor Katie Genter put together this chart to show what the cost of a flight would be if you purchased it with miles:
|Award||LifeMiles||Cost to Purchase (in 1,000 increments)||Cost if Purchased at Maximized 1.375 Cent Rate|
|United domestic in economy||7,500 miles||$123||$110|
|United transcontinental in lie-flat business||25,000 miles||$384||$344|
|Flights to South of South America in economy||30,000 miles||$461||$413|
|Flights to New Zealand or Australia in economy||40,000 miles||$614||$550|
|Flights to Europe in business class (with no fuel surcharges)||63,000 miles||$904||$866|
|Flights to North Asia in business class||75,000 miles||$1,076||$1,031|
|Flights to Middle East in business class||78,000 miles||$1,119||$1,073|
|Flights to Europe in Lufthansa first (with no fuel surcharges)||87,000 miles||$1,248||$1,196|
And if you pair these purchased miles with the award sale, you could be booking that Asiana first-class seat for just 72,000 miles. It would cost just $990 if you purchased at the maximized rate of 1.375 cents — that’s a flight that normally costs $6,000+ one-way.
You can earn even more of a return if the right credit card is used to buy the miles, since LifeMiles purchases are directly processed by Avianca. The Platinum Card® from American Express will earn 5x Membership Rewards points while the Chase Sapphire Reserve will earn 3x Ultimate Reward points per dollar.
H/T: One Mile At A Time
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards