You Can Now Acquire Miles At A Lower Cost Through “Club LifeMiles”

In February I wrote about how Avianca’s LifeMiles program introduced “Club LifeMiles.” Through this offering you can sign up for a subscription that gets you a certain number of miles every month, and then a further bonus if you stay subscribed for an entire year. When this was first introduced there were six different subscription plans, and the cost per acquired mile was anywhere between 1.39 and 1.65 cents.

While I appreciated the creativity of this concept, personally this isn’t something I’d take advantage of. That’s because I generally like to buy miles with a short term use in mind, as there’s a cost to holding onto miles long term. Personally I’d want for there to be a significant discount over the usual sale price in order to lock myself into a subscription service like this over the course of a year. However, I’m sure others feel differently, especially since this is basically a way to acquire miles while spreading out the purchase price over time.

For those who were generally interested in this but thought the pricing was a bit steep, the cost of a Club LifeMiles subscription has been marginally lowered as of April 5, 2018.

Here are the details of the new Club LifeMiles pricing:

  • For $9.99 per month you can receive a total of 8,000 miles after a year (1.5 cents per mile)
  • For $19.49 per month you can receive a total of 16,000 miles after a year (1.46 cents per mile)
  • For $38.49 per month you can receive a total of 32,000 miles after a year (1.44 cents per mile)
  • For $56.99 per month you can receive a total of 48,000 miles after a year (1.42 cents per mile)
  • For $91.99 per month you can receive a total of 80,000 miles after a year (1.38 cents per mile)
  • For $125.99 per month you can receive a total of 112,000 miles after a year (1.35 cents per mile)

To compare, the cost of packages under the previous plan was 1.39-1.65 cents per mile, while under the new plan the cost is 1.35-1.5 cents per mile. As you can see, in four of the above six packages, the cost per acquired mile is being lowered, and for those who max out the promo, the cost is decreasing from 1.39 cents per mile to 1.35 cents per mile.

While the lower cost per acquired mile is good, my overall view of the value proposition remains the same. Historically when LifeMiles offers a discount on purchased miles, prices get as low ~1.32-1.47 cents per mile. I’d rather acquire all the miles at once so I can redeem them right away, rather than holding onto them long term.

However, others will surely feel differently.

Comments

  1. Hi Lucky! Do these miles count as qualifying activity for extending miles expiration? Do they account against the annual puchase limits?

  2. The LifeMiles program and platform is too unpredictable for me to be locked in to buying miles speculatively over an extended period even if they are slightly cheaper than a (regular) sale price. I only buy to immediately redeem.

  3. if you use their credit card they get even cheaper. But I agree that buying in chunks when they offer their huge sales is probably more sensible.

  4. I’ve said it before and will say it again: you guys should pay attention to Brazilian FFPs: LATAM Multiplus, Gol Smiles, Azul TudoAzul and Avianca Amigo. With the exception of Amigo, all offer some sort of subscription plan and all offer dynamic pricing for their own flights. I believe Smiles was the first to launch a subscription plan, three and a half years ago.
    Also, Livelo, which is the points program of two of the biggest banks in Brazil (Banco do Brasil and Bradesco) started their subscription plan about a year ago.

    I’m not saying any of these programs are any good (even though Smiles still has some sweet spots for travel between Europe and Asia), but there are many “enhancements” that are implemented here before. Delta seems to test some concepts on Smiles (they own a large stake in Gol).

  5. This looks like a good idea if you have to aquire enough points for a whole family (like my situation). There are limits to how many you can buy when they are on sale, so if you need say a half million and you can only get 100k or 200k at the 1.32cent price point, it’ll be useful to have some others you’ve already gotten at 1.35cents each.

    It’s worth noting that (I don’t know if there’s a limit to this) you can get more points durring your LifeMiles redemption at 1.6 cents each, which is better than the non-sale non-subscription price, but worse than the sale or subscription prices.

  6. @raksiam

    When you say using their credit card buying miles gets even cheaper – my understanding was that buying miles at normal price was cheaper using the credit card but it would not result in a discount below the $1.32c minimum we generally see at certain times of the year.
    Am I missing something – what is the cheapest you can purchase miles for using the Avianca card?

  7. A good way to get Lifemiles that is often overlooked is to book activities through their travel partners under the tab “Things to do”

  8. If the subscription is charged the Lifemiles credit card, you get 3 miles per dollar, which lowers the lowest price below 1.3 cents per mile.

  9. Has anyone confirmed that the subscription is categorized as travel ? So, if the subscription is purchased with a Citi Prestige or Amex Plat, it should hopefully get 3x and 5x points respectively. If that’s the case, it would bring the cost per mile even further.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *