LifeMiles is known for their frequent promotions on purchased miles, and they’ve just launched their latest such deal.
LifeMiles’ Latest Bonus On Purchased Miles
LifeMiles has just launched their latest targeted promotion on purchased miles, meaning that different members will see different offers on their accounts. You have to log into your LifeMiles account to see what offer is available to you. The promotion is only valid for several days, for purchases through November 12, 2019.
In the case of my account, I’m eligible for a bonus of up to 145%, as follows:
- Buy 1,000-10,000 miles, get a 105% bonus
- Buy 11,000-50,000 miles, get a 115% bonus
- Buy 51,000-100,000 miles, get a 135% bonus
- Buy 101,000-200,000 miles, get a 145% bonus
Of course other people may be targeted for different promotions.
How Much Is LifeMiles Charging Per Mile?
LifeMiles ordinarily charges 3.3 cents per mile, which doesn’t factor in any sort of discounts.
For the version of the promotion I received, 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 490,000 miles, which is a cost of 1.35 cents per mile.
Again, this is all based on my offer, and other people may see different offers on their account.
How To Achieve An Even Lower Cost Per Purchased Mile
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:
|Card||Points earned on airfare spend|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi Prestige Card||5x ThankYou points per dollar spent|
|American Express® Gold Card||3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|American Express® Green Card||3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi Premier® Card||3x ThankYou points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
So if you used The Platinum Card® from American Express you’d earn 5x Membership Rewards points. I value Membership Rewards at 1.7 cents each, so to me, that’s the equivalent of an additional 8.5% return.
Should You Buy LifeMiles?
Avianca is a member of 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
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. Earlier this year Avianca introduced a new website, which seems to have solved part of their problem with booking partner award tickets, but in the process may have created a whole new problem.
Some have reported issues using the LifeMiles site, and specifically with pulling up partner award availability that is available through other airlines. So if you are going to buy miles, I’d recommend first doing a few availability searches to make sure you can find the space you want.
The last thing to note is that Avianca is having some financial trouble at the moment. While they have the necessary financing to continue operations, it’s at least worth being aware of their financial struggles.
Buying LifeMiles Summary
It’s nice to see LifeMiles offer another bonus on purchased miles. While the offer is targeted, I’m eligible for a 145% bonus, though other members may see different offers on their accounts.
I buy LifeMiles every year and consistently get excellent value with them, so I think there are plenty of circumstances under which buying them with a short term use could make sense.
I just redeemed over 120,000 LifeMiles yesterday, and got a great deal. This was an itinerary that was bookable with LifeMiles but not with Air Canada (due to married segment availability), so not only did they have the same availability as other partners, but they actually had better availability.