LifeMiles improves Canadian award prices, makes awards more valuable

Nov 12, 2021

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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

Air Canada 737 MAX at ORD
(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) Economy Business
0 – 500 6,000 15,000
501 – 1,500 10,000 20,000
1,501+ 12,500 25,000

 

Flights between the U.S. and Canada

Distance (in miles) Economy Business
0 – 500 6,500 15,000
501 – 800 7,500 16,000
801 – 1,200 10,000 18,000
1,201 – 2,000 12,500 20,000
2,001+ 13,500 25,000

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.

ORD to YYZ LifeMiles award ticket
(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.

YVR to LAX LifeMiles award ticket
(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

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