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LifeMiles is the mileage program of Colombian-based airline Avianca. But even if you aren’t interested in flying Avianca, it’s worth getting to know LifeMiles since it’s made itself known as the wholesaler of cheap Star Alliance miles and award tickets, as well as regular sales on discounted miles.
And this weekend, LifeMiles is providing a major bonus to targeted members. Through 11:59pm CT on Dec. 30, targeted members can buy LifeMiles with up to a 145% bonus. As with most programs, the standard rate for buying LifeMiles is pricey, but this bonus drops the cost down to just 1.35 cents per mile. That’s a great deal compared to TPG’s valuation of 1.7 cents per LifeMile.
To see if you’re targeted, check if you received an email about the promotion from LifeMiles or simply go to the Buy Miles page, log-in and check if a bonus appears. Unlike previous promotions, this one doesn’t provide tiered bonuses based on the number of points you purchase. Instead, all purchases made by targeted members get a 145% bonus.
Why Buy LifeMiles?
LifeMiles lands at #1 on our list of most undervalued airline loyalty programs due to the number of hidden gems in the program and low taxes and fees. One of the best benefits of LifeMiles is that it doesn’t pass along carrier surcharges, making it an excellent way of booking Lufthansa first class for cheap. Taxes and fees on LifeMiles awards from the US to Germany only cost $25 out of pocket.
Be aware that LifeMiles usually expire 12 months after the most recent mileage accrual. Other transactions, including redemption transactions, don’t extend the validity of the miles though. Earning miles from a co-branded LifeMiles credit card or as an Avianca elite status holder will extend the validity of miles by 24 months.
Although TPG didn’t recommend bothering with LifeMiles for a while, the program has made some notable improvements in its online booking process and now also allows mixed-cabin ticketing. While there can still be hassles, these types of awards are worth it:
Cost: $132 for buying 9,800 miles (4,000 miles + 5,800 bonus miles, leaving 2,300 miles unused) or $101 at the maximized 1.35 cent rate.
One-way transcontinental lie-flat United business class flights for 25,000 miles
Cost: $364 for buying 26,950 miles (11,000 miles + 15,950 bonus miles, leaving 950 miles unused) or $338 at the maximized 1.35 cent rate.
One-way to Europe in Lufthansa business class for 63,000 miles
Cost: $860 for buying 63,700 miles (26,000 miles + 37,700 bonus miles, leaving 700 miles unused) or $851 at the maximized 1.35 cent rate.
One-way to Europe in Lufthansa first class for 87,000 miles
Cost: $1,191 for buying 88,200 miles (36,000 miles + 52,200 bonus miles, leaving 1,200 miles unused) or $1,175 at the maximized 1.35 cent rate.
While TPG hasn’t completed testing on which card to use for buying Avianca LifeMiles (see our United and IHG testing), my purchase of LifeMiles via the recent 100% transfer bonus promotion coded as 3x points on my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
If you’re not targeted for this promotion, Avianca’s “Club LifeMiles” monthly subscription plan still gives members a chance to buy miles as cheap as 1.35 cents per mile. And if you need to top off your account, remember that LifeMiles is also a transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Rewards.
H/T: Loyalty Lobby
Featured image of Lufthansa first class by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about Avianca’s “buy miles” promotions, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for the latest offer. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older deals below.
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations
- Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
- Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
- 50,000 Points are redeemable for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $500 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
- No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
- Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*