[Extended] TPG exclusive link: Save on United, Star Alliance awards by buying LifeMiles with a 150% bonus
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One of the best mileage deals of the year has been extended! If you missed the deadline to buy LifeMiles at a best-ever 150% bonus, you can still register and purchase LifeMiles at just 1.32 cents each through today, Dec. 5, 2019.
LifeMiles is the mileage program of Colombia-based airline Avianca. But even if you aren’t interested in flying Avianca — or flying to Colombia — it’s worth getting to know LifeMiles. That’s because the program has made itself known as the wholesaler of cheap Star Alliance miles and award tickets, as well as offering regular sales of discounted miles.
And LifeMiles just launched the best buy miles promotion we’ve ever seen: TPG readers can score a 150% bonus on buying LifeMiles — even when buying as few as 1,000 miles. You’ll have to register on this page to be eligible for the improved buy miles offer rather than the publicly-available offer.
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Once you register for the promotion, browse to the LifeMiles mile purchase page to complete the purchase. Just make sure that you’re getting a 150% bonus and not the public 145% bonus.
As with most programs, the standard rate for buying LifeMiles is pricey. However, this offer drops the cost down to as little as 1.32 cents per mile once you register for the 150% bonus. That’s a solid deal compared to TPG’s valuation of 1.7 cents per mile.
While you’ll normally need to buy a significant number of miles to get the top bonus, that’s not the case with this promotion. That makes the bonus chart pretty easy to understand:
- Buy 1,000 – 200,000 miles, get a 150% bonus (1.32 cents each)
Why buy LifeMiles?
Although TPG originally didn’t recommend bothering with LifeMiles, the program has made some notable improvements to its online booking process and recently added mixed-cabin ticketing. Now, LifeMiles lands at number one 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 U.S. to Germany only cost $25 out of pocket. Other programs can charge more than $500 one-way in taxes and fees.
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. However, earning miles from a cobranded LifeMiles credit card or as an Avianca elite status holder will extend the validity of miles by 24 months. The Avianca Vuela Visa Card is currently offering a 40,000 mile bonus after your first purchase in the first 90 days of account opening and the Avianca Vida Visa Card is currently offering a 20,000 mile bonus after your first purchase in the first 90 days of account opening.
Points and miles are a poor long-term investment, and devaluations can be announced at any time. So, it’s never a good idea to buy miles without having a planned use for them. If possible, it’s best to search and confirm award availability before buying miles and then redeeming the purchased miles as soon as they hit your account.
With all of that said, here are some great sweet spots in the LifeMiles program and how cheap you can score these awards with the targeted 150% bonus:
One-way domestic United flights for just 4,500 miles through LifeMiles’ new award sale from $59 at the maximized 1.32 cent rate
One-way transcontinental lie-flat United business-class flights for 25,000 miles from $330 at the maximized 1.32 cent rate
One-way to Europe in Lufthansa business class for 63,000 miles from $832 at the maximized 1.32 cent rate — or just $634 when you buy as part of LifeMiles’ new award sale.
One-way to Europe in Lufthansa first class for 87,000 miles from $1,148 at the maximized 1.32 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 through last fall’s 100% transfer bonus promotion coded as 3x points on my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Other ways to pick up more LifeMiles include Avianca’s “Club LifeMiles” monthly subscription plan. And if you need to top off your account, remember that LifeMiles is also a transfer partner of four major transferable currencies:
- American Express Membership Rewards (1:1 ratio, instant transfer time)
- Capital One (2:1.5 ratio, instant transfer time)
- Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:1 ratio, instant transfer time)
- Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 with a 5,000-mile bonus for transferring 60,000 points, under 24-hour transfer time)
Featured photo 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.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
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.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No delivery fees for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DashPass subscription from DoorDash -over a $100 value. Activate with your Chase Sapphire card by December 31, 2021.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.