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LifeMiles improves Canadian award prices, makes awards more valuable

Nov. 12, 2021
4 min read
Air Canada 737 Max in Montreal
LifeMiles improves Canadian award prices, makes awards more valuable
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After a month of loyalty program devaluations, we finally have some good news for you: LifeMiles just improved its award chart.

Avianca LifeMiles just rolled out new distance-based pricing for flights within Canada and flights between the U.S. and Canada. Historically, these flights have cost a flat rate of 12,500 LifeMiles one-way in economy and 25,000 in business class, plus taxes and fees. In some cases, this is more than double what domestic U.S. award tickets cost on short-haul routes.

But that's all changed as LifeMiles has transitioned Canadian award tickets to a new distance-based award-pricing formula — let's take a closer look.

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New LifeMiles award chart for Canadian award tickets

(Photo by Andrew Kunesh / The Points Guy)

As reported by One Mile at A Time, LifeMiles has lowered pricing on domestic Canadian and U.S. to Canada award tickets by moving both redemptions to their own distance-based award charts. Here's the new pricing:

Canadian domestic tickets

Distance (in miles)EconomyBusiness
0 - 5006,00015,000
501 - 1,50010,00020,000
1,501+12,50025,000

Flights between the U.S. and Canada

Distance (in miles)EconomyBusiness
0 - 5006,50015,000
501 - 8007,50016,000
801 - 1,20010,00018,000
1,201 - 2,00012,50020,000
2,001+13,50025,000

These prices are substantially lower than the old LifeMiles pricing for Canadian award tickets, with only the longest cross-border flights getting more expensive in economy. In fact, travelers will save a huge 48% when compared to the old award price on the shortest flights from the U.S. to Canada.

These pricing changes have been confirmed by LifeMiles and are live on the LifeMiles booking engine. For example, you can book this United flight from Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) to Toronto (YYZ) for 6,500 LifeMiles plus taxes and fees. This flight is 436 miles long, putting it in the lowest price bracket for cross-border awards.

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(Screenshot courtesy of lifemiles.com)

Or, you can fly Vancouver (YVR) to Los Angeles (LAX) for 10,000 LifeMiles plus taxes and fees on Air Canada. This flight is 1,081 miles long, putting it in the 800 to 1,200 mile bracket.

(Screenshot courtesy of lifemiles.com)

At the time of writing, we're unable to pull up intra-Canada awards on the LifeMiles website. To book, first find award space on another Star Alliance search engine (like United.com) and call LifeMiles to book your ticket.

Related: Here’s why you need a healthy stash of Avianca LifeMiles

Bottom line

It's great to see a loyalty program make improvements to its award chart, and this particular improvement couldn't have come at a better time.

Canada recently reopened its borders to vaccinated American citizens, and Canadians can freely fly to the U.S. if they're vaccinated. Lower redemption rates on flights between the U.S. and Canada improve the value of these redemptions for travelers on both sides of the border.

LifeMiles may now be your best bet for some domestic Canadian and cross-border award tickets — but not all. For example, you may be able to use Air Canada Aeroplan to get a better deal on some domestic Canadian flights, with short flights like Toronto (YYZ) to Montreal (YUL) sometimes starting at around 3,000 points one-way.

Regardless, keep this in mind the next time you plan a trip to Canada. Remember, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One miles and Citi ThankYou points to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 transfer ratio.

Feature photo by Joel Serre / Shutterstock.com

Featured image by (Photo by Joel Serre / Shutterstock.com)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.