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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
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- 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 amextravel.com.
- 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