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Flash Bonus: Get 30% Bonus LifeMiles When Transferring Citi Points, 25% From Hotel Programs

June 28, 2019
5 min read
Flash Bonus: Get 30% Bonus LifeMiles When Transferring Citi Points, 25% From Hotel Programs
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Starting June 4, LifeMiles launched a new promotion offering 25% bonus miles when transferring Citi ThankYou, Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards or Marriott Bonvoy points to Avianca LifeMiles. While that promotion is still set to run through July 5, it just got a little sweeter for those hoping to transfer points from Citi ThankYou Rewards.

Through the end of the day on June 28, you'll get an extra 5% bonus for transferring Citi ThankYou Points to LifeMiles for a total of a 30% bonus. That means that you'll get 1,300 miles for each set of 1,000 Citi points that you transfer.

TPG currently values both Citi points and LifeMiles at 1.7 cents each, so the 30% bonus sweetens an already solid option. If you can take advantage of LifeMiles' sweet spots, it can be an obvious move to take advantage of this transfer bonus offer.

Note that the bonus isn't offered on Citi's side of the transfer, so you'll only see a 1,000:1,000 transfer ratio when you initiate the transfer. However, once LifeMiles receives the transfer, you'll get an additional 300 miles per 1,000 points transferred.

And don't forget that the 25% transfer bonus is still available for three hotel programs. While the 25% transfer bonus is the same for each, the transfer rate varies from program to program.

  • Hilton Honors points transfer at a 10:1 ratio with a minimum transfer of 10,000 points
  • IHG Rewards points transfer at a 10:2 ratio with a minimum transfer of 10,000 points
  • Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio with a minimum transfer of 9,000 points

Marriott Bonvoy members might also want to take advantage of this opportunity. But, the math gets a bit tougher on this offer as there's a 3:1 transfer ratio and a 25% bonus. Plus, Marriott Bonvoy tacks on a bonus 5,000 miles for transferring at least 60,000 points. Putting it all together, here's a few examples of what you can get:

  • Transfer 9,000 Marriott points (TPG valuation: $72) to get 3,750 LifeMiles (TPG valuation: $64) — minimum transfer
  • Transfer 18,000 Marriott points (TPG valuation: $144) to get 7,500 LifeMiles (TPG valuation: $128) — enough to book an intra-region domestic United flight
  • Transfer 30,000 Marriott points (TPG valuation: $240) to get 12,500 LifeMiles (TPG valuation: $213) — enough to book any domestic United flight, or possibly more if you can find discounted award rates
  • Transfer 60,000 Marriott points (TPG valuation: $480) to get 31,250 LifeMiles (TPG valuation: $531) — maximizing the Marriott transfer bonus

The IHG value proposition isn't as compelling. TPG values 10,000 IHG points at $50. By transferring these 10k points to LifeMiles at a 10:2 ratio plus the 25% bonus, you'll end up with 2,500 LifeMiles — which TPG values at $42.50. This is worth considering if you need to top off your LifeMiles account and don't have enough Citi points.

The Hilton option is the worst of the options. By transferring 10,000 Hilton points (TPG value: $60), you'll end up with just 1,250 LifeMiles (TPG value: $21). That's a hard pass.

The "catch" is that you're going to have to wait a while to get the bonus points. The terms and conditions state that "the transferred LifeMiles and the LifeMiles bonus will be accrued no later than 45 days after the LifeMiles Partner reports the request."

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That might be a problem for some members, as LifeMiles is making changes to its US award chart effective July 15 — which is less than 45 days away. While award chart changes are usually all negative, this one is a mixed bag with the award cost of some routes going up in price and others going down. LifeMiles' booking fees are going down on many routes and — at the worst — are staying the same.

But there are plenty of other LifeMiles sweet spots that aren't being touched:

  • Flights to South of South America in economy: 30,000 miles
  • Flights to New Zealand or Australia in economy: 40,000 miles
  • Flights to Europe in business class (with no fuel surcharges): 63,000 miles
  • Flights to North Asia in business class: 75,000 miles
  • Flights to Middle East in business class: 78,000 miles
  • Flights to Europe in Lufthansa first (with no fuel surcharges): 87,000 miles

There's plenty of other ways of topping off your LifeMiles account. Avianca’s “Club LifeMiles” monthly subscription plan still gives members a chance to buy miles as cheap as 1.35 cents per mile. In addition to Citi and Marriott, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards (1:1 ratio) and Capital One Miles (2:1.5 ratio) to LifeMiles — but the 25% bonus won't apply to these transfers.

Featured image by Lufthansa First Class (Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)

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