LifeMiles’ Star Alliance Award Sale (Including For First Class)

Filed Under: AviancaTaca, Award Sweet Spots
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This will likely be of limited use at the moment given all the restrictions on international travel, but it’s still worth being aware of…

LifeMiles is one of the most useful frequent flyer programs out there, in my opinion, given that the program frequently sells miles at a discount, and has great award redemption rates. That’s why LifeMiles is often my go-to program for booking premium cabin Star Alliance awards.

At the moment LifeMiles is offering a discount on award redemptions in select markets when traveling on Star Alliance partners. This is noteworthy because LifeMiles is one of the few programs to offer discounted award redemptions on partner airlines, as that’s otherwise quite rare.

LifeMiles Star Alliance award sale

At the moment LifeMiles is running a sale on award redemptions, where members can receive up to 20% off select redemptions.

This promotion is only valid for redemptions September 8 through September 25, 2020, though you can plan travel for any dates in the future (all that matters is that you book during the promotion period).

The discount is valid for travel between specific city pairs, and you can find all the eligible markets at this link. There are all kinds of city pairs, in economy, business class, and first class.

I think it’s important to note that many of these discounts are for travel to & from Asia. Obviously travel between countries isn’t particularly practical right now for many, but this could be a good opportunity if you have an optimistic outlook for the future.

Many of the discounts seem to be for travel to & from Japan. Japan isn’t open to tourists right now, but if you’re hopeful that the country will be anytime within the next year, there could be value in this.

For example, with this award sale you could fly ANA business class from New York to Tokyo for 64,000 miles, compared to the usual cost of 75,000 miles.

You could fly ANA first class from New York to Tokyo for 76,500 miles, compared to the usual cost of 90,000 miles.

Those are just a couple of examples, but there are plenty more options.

Buy LifeMiles with 200% Bonus

Not only can you get a discount when redeeming LifeMiles, but you can also get a great discount when buying LifeMiles.

At the moment LifeMiles is offering a 200% bonus on purchased miles, which is a great deal. With this you could purchase miles for as little as 1.1 cents each (and potentially even less, factoring in credit card rewards).

To take advantage of the best version of this offer you need to register, and then you should immediately see the improved version when you try to buy LifeMiles. Make sure you see the correct bonus when you go to buy miles.

LifeMiles processes mileage purchases directly, meaning that buying miles with the program qualifies as airfare spending, which I almost view as a further discount on purchased LifeMiles. Therefore you’ll want to consider using one of the following cards for your purchase, since they offer the following bonus miles for airfare spending:

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
American Express® Green 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

If you pay with The Platinum Card® from American Express then you earn 5x points. I value those points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of a further 8.5% return.

That means that the real cost of each mile goes down from 1.1 cents to 1.0 cents, which is an even better value (this isn’t cash in your pocket, but rather points in your “pocket” based on my valuation).

Keep in mind there are numerous ways to earn LifeMiles through credit cards as well, including converting points from major transferable points currencies. Through September 18, you can even receive a 25% bonus when you transfer Citi ThankYou points to LifeMiles.

While LifeMiles is a spun off frequent flyer program, see this post for a bit more on Avianca’s overall financial situation, so you can decide whether this deal makes sense for you.

Star Alliance award sale summary

Not only is LifeMiles offering a 200% bonus on purchased miles, but you can also receive discounts on select redemptions.

LifeMiles offers these discounted redemptions every couple of months, and there is a heavy focus on Asia flights. Given borders being closed this isn’t as useful as in the past, though for some people it could make sense to speculatively book a flight for the future with this deal.

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Comments
  1. So annoying how lifemiles award sales only seem to include N.American origins/destinations. There is occasionally a AMS-TPE BR but that is pretty much it for Europe =(

  2. And you are still pushing your readers to buy LifeMiles… I’m really curious to know how much they’re paying you to do this

  3. Wife and I have a river cruise booked starting in Germany on Sept. 29, so the Sept. 25 limit date is disappointing. For departures a year from now, there is biz class available on United ATL-FRA that would be good if this sale is extended.

  4. @Marcelo One observation, one question:
    1) Being here in the first place, you’re one of those readers
    2) How much are “they” paying you to troll the site and post wastes of digital ink (because you’d HAVE to have some motivation to be here, right? Why would somebody who expresses disdain for extremely neutral – I would even say abundantly cautious with numerous considerations highlighted – posts that do nothing but provide straight-up facts, choose to be here)?

  5. I have not seen for several days on the LifeMiles website or the Android app the ability to select “Turkish Airlines” in the Fly section in order search for award availability and purchase on Turkish Airlines. Is it an IT issue I wonder? Or a hint of a imminent severing of a partner connection?

  6. I’ll be honest here – I used the Lifemiles sale last year and purchased ~300k miles. BEST DECISION EVER. Flew between BKK and YVR round trip twice! Twice on ANA and twice on EVA. Absolutely insane value!!
    Just not sure I’d plunge right now owing to the uncertainty around travel. If this sale pops up again in a couple of months, I’m all in!

  7. Found a good deal, but travel restrictions are in place in Japan and Taiwan. What if I just pass through those countries transferring within the same terminal on the same day? ie. never (have to) go through customs, if possible at HND and TPA? Will they prevent transferring?

  8. @Jason

    TPE allows same day sterile transiting (they will have employees escorting you directly from the plane to the designated area where you stay for the duration of the connection). You are also allowed to transit through Japan.

    The bigger risks are LifeMiles losing access to Star Alliance inventory before your travel date (either through its own, or Avianca’s financial troubles) and/or travel restrictions at your destination.

  9. What is Lifemiles change/cancel policies these days if we try for Asia next year?
    Turkish has been removed as an option from lifemiles.

  10. As above, Turkish has been removed as a partner. There are reports that TK is canceling life miles booking due to Lifemiles defaulting on reimbursement payments.

    It’s a sign of things to come. It’s irresponsible to push people to book Lifemiles itineraries in the far future.

  11. Not to mention that for cancelled or redeposited itineraries, they have a 5-6 month timeline for refunds.

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