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Avianca LifeMiles raised award costs to Asia with no notice: Here's what you need to know

Sept. 30, 2022
3 min read
Avianca Airbus A330 in Star Alliance livery
Avianca LifeMiles raised award costs to Asia with no notice: Here's what you need to know
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The Avianca LifeMiles loyalty program is arguably one of the most under-appreciated programs in the industry. The program has been known to have information technology issues and notoriously poor customer service, but makes up for it with some unique sweet spot redemptions.

The combination of these valuable sweet spots and the ability to earn LifeMiles via transfers from various transferable points programs, including American Express Membership Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio), Brex Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio), Capital One miles (1:1 transfer ratio), Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio) and Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 transfer ratio, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every increment of 60,000 points you transfer) make LifeMiles an appealing loyalty program.

One popular Avianca LifeMiles sweet spot has been flying between the U.S. and Asia in lie-flat business class for as little as 75,000 LifeMiles one-way on Star Alliance partners. But, as first noted by Thrifty Traveler, it seems like some LifeMiles sweet spots were recently devalued with no notice. Let's take a look at what happened.

Related: Can’t find award availability with Avianca LifeMiles? Don’t give up until you try this trick

Devaluation breakdown

In short: most, if not all, awards between the U.S. and Asia currently cost more LifeMiles than before. After years of inexpensive award rates in both economy and business class, LifeMiles has seemingly increased award rates by as much as 30% on redemptions between the U.S. and Asia.

Previously, you could fly one-way from New York to Taipei for 35,000 LifeMiles in economy class and 75,000 LifeMiles in business class. Now, you'll need to redeem 45,000 LifeMiles to fly in economy class and 90,000 LifeMiles in business class.

LIFEMILES.COM

Likewise, you could previously fly one-way from Los Angeles to Tokyo on ANA for 35,000 LifeMiles in economy class and 75,000 LifeMiles in business class. This is now bookable for 40,000 LifeMiles in economy class and 85,000 LifeMiles in business class.

LIFEMILES.COM

You'll see the same new pricing for a United-operated flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo.

LIFEMILES.COM

And, as expected, you'll see the same pricing on Singapore Airlines' fifth-freedom route from Los Angeles to Tokyo.

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LIFEMILES.COM

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

Bottom line

This is an unfortunate devaluation for those looking to redeem Avianca LifeMiles to fly between the U.S and Asia. With these changes, you may want to consider other programs. To give you an idea of where to start, check out our guides on the best ways to travel to Japan with points and miles and how to get to Singapore using points and miles.

It is worth noting that the award charts are still unchanged on Avianca's website, so we're hopeful this higher award pricing is a glitch. We've reached out to an Avianca spokesperson for comment and will update the story once we receive a statement.

Featured image by AARONP/BAUER-GRIFFIN/GC IMAGES
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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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • 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.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023