LifeMiles Offering Bonus On Purchased Miles

Filed Under: AviancaTaca, Great Deals
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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:

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 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

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

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Comments
  1. Lucky – do you know what would happen to my award ticket if Avianca Lifemiles went under? If I already have a PNR/confirmation on the partner airline am I safe and my award is still valid?

    Thanks!

  2. My LM account has not been targeted. No bonus offered at all. I’ve bought LM in the past, more than once, including in the last 6 months.

  3. 15% discount on purchases of miles with Multiply Your Miles (benefit of credit card)

    “Bonus miles LM 146,450” with 101,000 buy miles; but no indication of promotion otherwise…

    No one can predict the future. United Airlines has a vested interest in Avianca / LifeMiles and would be the likely buyer at a fire sale. The loyalty program is the least of the financial concern of the airlines and the miles would likely end up at United Airlines miles.

  4. Try to buy miles. Do you have a bonus or not? The bonus is based on the number of miles purchased. Try to buy 101,000 miles. Easy enough.

  5. There is no blinking neon sign indicating the bonus (or lack of). LifeMiles is one rabbit hole after another.

  6. @Richard after reading your several mesages, I still don’t know whether you’re reporting that a bonus appears when you buy 101,000, or you’re reporting that it doesn’t.

  7. Lucky, do you know Lifemiles now doesn’t allow mixed cabins redemption? Also, ANA flights operated by Air Japan would not show up on the website.

  8. Showing the 145% at max rate for me. Never bought before.
    Tough to buy $6600 worth hearing they are not doing well.

  9. Redemtions availability is very low again! And horrible options from south america and from australia!

    I am scared because i bought many in the past 145% bonus, but when i tried to used them the flighr i was looking was still available in the system but when i called lifemiles they told me that was a mistake from the site.

    And now i have 190.000 miles without sense because NOTHING APPEARS!!!!

    IT IS A DISASTER LIFEMILES, AND THE SITE IS SOOOO ANOTING TO USE!

  10. In my repeated experience (and of course, there can be exceptions), Lifemiles are best for using when you have to travel within 7-14 days of ticket purchase (i.e. last minute). That’s why they can offer the pricing (and no fees) that they do because it is last minute excess inventory from their partners (or at least — that’s my analysis). I have succeeded in buying two round trip between classes in business class together) between New York and Athens in May — and also I’ve upgraded tickets to international business class (when travelling on Y or B fares only). I haven’t tried lately — but I haven’t seen the opportunity to upgrade to Premium Economy which would be really great if they did that. I still have 100,000 miles left over from my original large purchase in 2015 — and except for a domestic USA roundtrip from LAX to Ithaca, NY — I could never use them on the old website — but the new website is a significant improvement — but keep in mind that the inventory changes somewhat dynamically — so a search a few hours later may yield hoped-for results.

  11. Neither my girl-friend’s nor my own account were targeted for any bonus. This is the first time that has happened. Very strange.

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