LifeMiles Is Offering Up To A 125% Bonus On Purchased Miles

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LifeMiles has just launched their first major promotion on purchased miles for 2018. The LifeMiles program is offering up to a 125% bonus on purchased miles through Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

Through this promotion, LifeMiles is offering a tiered bonus on purchased miles, as follows:

  • Buy 1,000 to 50,000 miles, get a 100% bonus (1.65 cents per mile)
  • Buy 51,000 to 100,000 miles, get a 115% bonus (1.53 cents per mile)
  • Buy 101,000 to 200,000 miles, get a 125% bonus (1.47 cents per mile)

This offer is pretty average as far as bonuses on purchased LifeMiles go. We’ve certainly seen bigger bonuses in the past, like in November, when we saw bonuses of up to 150%. However, buying miles with a 125% bonus can be a good deal with an immediate use in mind. Also keep in mind that this is likely the last LifeMiles promotion where you can buy miles with their old expiration policy.

Should you buy LifeMiles?

When it comes to redeeming LifeMiles, Avianca is in the Star Alliance, so check out the Star Alliance award chart for redemption rates. 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 Asiana. ANA first class between the US and Japan for ~$1,320 one-way is a pretty darn good value, if you ask me.

Or business class between the US and Europe will just run you ~$925, which is an excellent value as well.

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

The one catch is that LifeMiles doesn’t always have access to all the same space that other Star Alliance programs do. So you’ll want to do an online search to make sure the type of redemption you’re looking at is available. For example, they often block awards in Lufthansa first class, Austrian business class, all Air China flights, etc.

Buying LifeMiles counts as an airfare purchase

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
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

Bottom line

With a specific use in mind, buying LifeMiles can represent an excellent value. Just make sure you’re aware that they don’t always have access to all Star Alliance award space, so I’d recommend doing some searches on the LifeMiles website before buying miles, to get a sense of availability. I’m a big fan of the LifeMiles program, and have gotten a lot of value from their miles over the years.

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  1. I took advantage of an earlier promotion that I remember was 135% and was happy with my experience overall. I think you downplay the actual cost of the ticket by only multiplying miles and cost/mile. There are booking fees ($25 per ticket/passenger) and some airports/destinations have additional fees that add to the total cost of the award ticket. I do agree that these costs will still be much less than buying out right, but you can pretty easily provide more information, especially if you’re checking the LifeMiles site yourself.

  2. Lifemiles site is worse than ever for blocking award inventory, but if you do see something you want to book you can get 140% at MileLion

  3. You have said previously and in this post that Lifemiles has blocked Austrian business class, but I have not found that to be the case, at least not in the last 3 months. After the last November special I was able to book round trip from ORD-BKK ANA first to Tokyo and Thai First to BKK(same trip as you had done a couple of years ago) And on our way back we were able to get Austrian Business from BKK back to ORD. When I was looking at the all the different routing and dates, the ORD-VIE-BKK Austrian business class route was always available on several different dates throughout the summer.

  4. too bad their website is inoperable when it comes to booking awards. Even if you find available flights all I ever get is error messages when I want to book. Apparently you have to screenshot everything and send them a million things for them to do it manually.

    I booked awards no problem on the old website. But the new website just doesn’t work.

  5. there is a special running on fyi- maxes out @ 140%. can’t link to it for some reason but a google search should turn it up

  6. @travelnfool – same here, just booked MXP-VIE-MIA on OS in business class without any issues on the exact day I need to travel. 63,000 miles plus I think $79 or so in taxes. I agree that it’s more tedious and sometimes frustrating using LM than in the past but when it works it’s still a great program.

  7. Lifemiles is a headache. It’s a good deal, but a true PITA to use. A lot of the award space is phantom but a lot also has to be booked via email.

  8. I have trouble accessing SAS space on lifemile website. Does anyone else have the same issue?
    It shows up on United or Singapore site.

  9. i bought some of these miles hoping to use them, but the award availability in business and first has been dismal. i got one good flight out of the miles i purchased for less miles than usual, but the availability really limits the utility of this program.





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