Buy LifeMiles With Up To A 125% Bonus

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LifeMiles has just launched their first major promotion on purchased miles of the year.

With this new offer, LifeMiles members can receive up to a 125% bonus on purchased miles between February 27 and March 14, 2019.

Specifically, they’re offering a tiered bonus, as follows:

  • Buy 1,000-50,000 miles, get a 100% bonus
  • Buy 51,000-100,000 miles, get a 115% bonus
  • Buy 101,000-200,000 miles, get a 125% bonus

How much is LifeMiles charging per mile?

LifeMiles ordinarily charges 3.3 cents per mile, which doesn’t factor in any sort of discounts.

In order to unlock the best cost per mile, you need to buy at least 101,000 miles pre-bonus in one transaction. The maximum number of miles you can buy is 200,000 pre-bonus, so if you do that you’d pay a total of $6,600 for 450,000 miles, which is a cost of 1.47 cents per mile.

I should note that a 125% bonus is pretty average as far as LifeMiles promotions on purchased miles go. In the past they’ve sometimes offered extra discounts to OMAAT readers towards the end of the promotion, so we’ll have to wait and see if they do that this time around.

How to achieve an even lower cost on purchased miles

LifeMiles processes mileage purchases directly, meaning that buying miles with them qualifies as airfare spend. Therefore you’ll want to consider using one of the following cards for your purchase, since they offer the following bonus miles for airfare spend:

CardPoints earned on airfare spend
The Platinum Card® from American Express5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi Prestige Card5x ThankYou points per dollar spent
American Express® Gold Card3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi Premier℠ Card3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

So while the cost to purchase LifeMiles is as low as ~1.47 cents each, if you used The Platinum Card® from American Express you’d earn 5x Membership Rewards points. I value those points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of an additional 8.5% return, bringing down the “real” cost to ~1.34 cents per mile.

Should you buy LifeMiles?

AviancaTaca is in the Star Alliance, which means you can redeem LifeMiles on all Star Alliance airlines (which is what makes them so great). To give a few examples of one way premium cabin redemption rates (there are no fuel surcharges on any awards):

  • US to Europe in business class costs 63,000 miles
  • US to Europe in first class costs 87,000 miles
  • US to Southeast Asia in business class costs 78,000 miles
  • US to North Asia in first class costs 90,000 miles

With a specific use in mind, this promotion can be a great value, especially for first class travel on ANAAsiana, or Lufthansa.

Business class between the US and Europe can be a great option as well.

Everyone has to crunch the numbers for themselves and decide whether this makes sense or not.

Historically LifeMiles doesn’t always have access to all the same space that other Star Alliance programs do. However, they recently introduced a new website, and it seems they have access to more partner award space now.

Still, you’ll want to do an online search to make sure the type of redemption you’re looking at is available.

Bottom line

It’s nice to see LifeMiles offer their first bonus on purchased miles of the year, and their first bonus since their new website went live. A bonus of up to 125% is typically what they offer when they have a bonus. In the past they’ve sometimes had further promotions for OMAAT members, and we’ll see if they offer one of those this time around.

I buy LifeMiles every year and consistently get excellent value with them, so I think there are plenty of circumstances under which buying them could make a lot of sense.

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Comments

  1. Hi.. lifemiles new site is not working at all. It is a disaster!

    Do not buy lifemiles, check the site first. No good availability at all, only a few routes. Less than before.

    I bought last time a lot of miles and now i aware you kot to buy.

    What do you think about the new site?

  2. From my own personal experience: if you need to CANCEL a reservation (booked with miles) and redeposit the miles/points, prepare for a long and sometimes exhausting adventure. Why? Because you can only cancel (and redeposit) over the phone!

    Though I have read experiences from others that were less troublesome: it took me a lot of calls and mails and patience, before I finally could pay the penalty and get my points redeposit.

  3. I have to agree with Franco here. I cannot find any good availability. Economy space is here and there but business class is not showing up on multiple searches from US to Europe.

  4. Yeah Lucky, I have to agree with everyone here. You are just copying and pasting the same entry you post every time lifemiles has a promotion and missing completely the fact that their new website is much harder to use since it won’t show all availability for all clases on all flights at once like it used to, plus there seems to be almost no availability in premium cabin flights anymore.

    I really think you should taylor this kind of posts to the current situation and not just copy and paste like if nothing had changed.

  5. Yesterday, I used the new web site for the first time. I hated it *** BUT*** I was able to do multiple searches without starting over each time. Takes time to get used to and it is not straight forward but it works or it worked yesterday. I did not find a flight I was interested in and did not finalize anything. Life Miles is nice to have the points available, we use it a few times a year, there is work to getting your ticket but it can be done. What I did not see in this post is the usual OMAT registration to save the extra 5%.

  6. “So while the cost to purchase LifeMiles is as low as ~1.47 cents each, if you used The Platinum Card® from American Express you’d earn 5x Membership Rewards points. I value those points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of an additional 8.5% return, bringing down the “real” cost to ~1.34 cents per mile.”
    That’s somewhat misleading. If you buy your air ticket with the same AmEx card (instead of LifeMiles), you’ll earn the SAME 5x Membership Rewards points. So that shouldn’t be included in the calculation.

  7. I got an email promising an extra 10% on top (I am a regular buyer).

    I’ll probably do some mock searches before I decide to buy. Last time on the new site, I was able to find stuff.

  8. The new site of lifemiles is very bad. I agree with everyone here. The old site was bad but this is even worst.

    Good luck if you have to talk by phone for any problem.

    Hate it!

  9. Don’t buy lifemiles until they fix the new website. I transferred miles to Lifemiles with the intent of purchasing a mixed first/biz ticket. I received an error message. I reached out to customer service multiple times only to have them tell me to email specific department in customer support. Finally heard back from that department one week later only for them to tell me my original award redemption was no longer available. Customer service at lifemiles is non existent…. extremely frustrating. I’d recommend staying away from lifemiles until new website is fixed.

  10. I don`t find lifemiles atractive anymore. If fact i hate it now. So bad this New plataforma.

    Get the oldone and once you make it good change to the newone.

    But this is tooooo baaaaaad. #hatenewlifemiles

  11. Solo happy ti read that i am not the onlyone with problems with lifemiles. @megan you Are right….#hatenewlifemiles

    I hate it so much

  12. So many opinions. @Tony the point being is you can earn more miles if you use the platinum card because it is considered an airline purchase unlike other carriers where a third part does the transaction. Yes if you buy a $5,000 round trip International seat you will earn the miles. But you can spend less than $2,000 use pints and still eaen the miles. And yeah before anyone else responds I know in some cases you can buy a BC seat for less than 2k all part of the evaluation process.

  13. While LifeMiles site is often screwy I did manage to book a Swiss Business class last week without problems. It takes some getting used to but it does work (I guess sometimes, lol)

  14. I found the new Lifemiles website works best with explorer browsing particularly for the terminal entries such as payments.

  15. I agree the new site is horrible and the award availability is horrid even for economy on UA. Lucky you need to stop sucking upto Avianca LM just cos you get a good cut out of the promotions. Since you are in contact with the folks @ LM you should provide suggestions to improve and not screw over the loyal readers.

  16. Has anyone figured out how to use the little cash+miles slider on the site without having a miles balance? It doesn’t work for me like it used to on the old site.

  17. @AH i totally agree with you.

    LUCKY should talk with them.

    I can’t use this site. It is horrible . Lifemiles what were you thinking??

    Grrrr

  18. Lots of shade for LifeMiles and for Lucky. Some of it is pretty over the top IMO. I’ve bought lots of Lifemiles, on multiple occasions. The credit card transactions were a bit glitchy but no big deal, the purchases were completed. I found the same availability as on Aeroplan, for the redemptions I wanted on EVA YYZ-TPE, YYZ-TPE-BKK, YYZ-TPE-SGN, and the reverse. I never book roundtrips so I did plenty of bookings for me and for others, travelling to Asia and back to Toronto in EVA Business class. Europe too, Business class on Lufthansa (which sucked). There are glitches: learning the PNR of the operating carrier requires a phone call. But I always found the phonecalls went well and the people were courteous and capable. All the drama above seems unfortunate and if all of it is tru and none exaggerated, then I’m really sorry you guys had such bad luck. My own experience was different and I was glad to get EVA roundtrip Toronto to Bangkok for CAD$2,100 all in.

  19. @Lucky: I have the email that offers me 135% bonus if i purchase 100,001-200,000 miles. But i believe this is targeted.

  20. I’m in the same boat with the early posters, bought a bunch of miles recently. I don’t mind the UX on the new web site, they are what they are on all airlines, but I cannot wait to finally be able to find a redemption for those miles — the availability is just horrible and even mentioning those First class “bargains” is just false advertising.

  21. I like it, too. LH F few times, now TAP new A339 in August MIA to LIS, etc. Just remember miles expire in 1 year now but should be no issue if you transfer 1000 miles to someone else for $30 to extend them.

  22. Clearly a targeted offer; my offer is 135% bonus. No need to buy now, will wait till end of this year to buy a few to keep my current hoard from expiring. Hopefully by then I’ll be able to log into their crappy new platform. (What were they thinking!!!)

  23. Definitely targeted, got the 135% as some others. Still not buying this time because I’m sitting on close to 200k lifemiles, otherwise I would. Next bonus round I’ll be on board again. Not liking the new site at all but can’t say I have noticed a difference in availability, at least not for transatlantic business class.

  24. @FE, really? could you share a case that you do find availability? I have checked a few time slots and cannot find any b class spaces while united do show some.

    In another way though, I do see availability for transpacific , especially Air china

  25. @Lu
    I usually do eastcoast either MIA or JFK to FRA, ZRH etc. just checked for the next week or so and see a lot out of JFK in business class which granted is probably the easiest to find, there was even one or two in first. MIA is a different story, as always, some availability but of course less than JFK. Crossreferenced quickly what United shows and it looks about the same. Not very scientific but pretty much what I have come to expect. Haven’t made an actual booking on the new site but on the old I never had reservations error out before finalizing except for I think a few on OS so what I see I can usually book. Hope that’s not changing…
    Transpacific other readers will know a lot more about….

  26. Too bad the New site. As almost everyone say here, annoying New plataform.

    Really hate it… Change to the oldone until you fix it please!!

  27. @Lucky – I have 8 round trips from SFO to FRA in first class in the next two months on LH which my company is paying for. Would Lifemiles be a good place to deposit these miles? I rarely fly within the US so have no real interest in depositing the points into my MileagePlus. Thanks for the advice!

  28. @Luck — are you reading these comments. There are a number of questions concerning the website and award availability. I don’t think people should make purchases based on the comments here.

  29. Datapoints for all:
    – I received no email from LifeMiles but when I go to the site and click thru a purchase of 101,000LM I get 236,000LM for USD$3,333. Was I “targeted”? I don’t know.

    – In a past LM promotion, a reader gave a code in the Comments which added the OMAAT bonus ahead of its announcement and others reported success using the code BUT OMAAT now prevents review of previous posts on this same topic. If you go back thru AviancaTaca posts and find the one from August, when you click on it, you get the post and the comments herein from February 29. Maybe this is an error by OMAAT or blogginarea but anyway I can’t find the code that kind reader provided last summer. Anyone?

    – In the past, LM has ALWAYS provided a spiff to us OMAAT readers to slighly increase our bonus during the promotion. They usually announce it near the end of the promotion period.

  30. Hey Lucky,

    I asked Lifemiles wheather I can get 140% Bonus.
    And they answered:
    In regard to 140% bonus, applies only for members enrolled to the One Mile At A Time blog and who are subscribed to the link provided provided by such block.

    Hast du den Link schon?
    Sonst wird er zum Ende der Promotion kommen.

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