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 they frequently sell miles at a discount, and have great award redemption rates. So they’re 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 they’re offering up to 49% off select redemptions.

This promotion is only valid for redemptions on June 24 and June 25, 2020, though you can plan travel for any dates in the future (all that matters is that you book by tomorrow).

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.

Just to give some examples, here are some long haul routes that are on sale:

  • Los Angeles to Shanghai in business class for 49,000 miles
  • San Francisco to Taipei in business class for 52,500 miles
  • New York to Beijing in first class for 63,000 miles

Redeem for EVA Air business class at a discount

Then there are also some potentially valuable redemptions within North America, like:

  • Detroit to Newark in economy class for 4,500 miles
  • San Francisco to Toronto in business class for 19,000 miles

Redeem for Air Canada business class at a discount

Those are just some of the city pairs that are available, though there are plenty of others.

Buy LifeMiles With 155% 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 155% bonus on purchased miles through OMAAT, which is a great deal. With this you could purchase miles for as little as 1.29 cents each (and potentially even less, factoring in credit card rewards).

To take advantage of it you need to register for the 155% bonus promotion, and then you should immediately see the increased bonus 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 them 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 1.29 cents to 1.18 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, both by transferring points from flexible rewards programs, or via the Avianca LifeMiles credit cards.

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 155% 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. Booking now for a date later in the future seems to risky for me with Avianca in Chapter 11. I do like the LifeMiles program and hope it sticks around.

  2. I don’t think Air China is releasing any award space for F, not even any coach or business class

  3. What happens if you book a trip for the future and the flight is cancelled due to travel restrictions? Can you change the date or do you just get your points refunded?

  4. Ben how long should the points take to hit your account, I purchased 6 hours ago still not in my account

  5. Lifemiles and flights to China. This is such a combination of toxic sludge that it almost belongs to Rocky Flats.

  6. Not sure if these are working. Attempted to book one of these for a ways down the road. and got a reservation code but also instructions to call or email their support. No miles deducted or reservation showing up.

  7. This seems like a questionable thing to recommend or even mention to readers. America sucks so bad at viral containment that you can’t travel anywhere. The aspiration of a first class seat is worth banking on a company in chapter 11, where the value of that company, their assets and the airline you are hoping to redeem on are all questionable.

    I mean, I want to travel too. I have 8 ANA FC segments booked starting in December. But I believe there’s a 10% chance of any of my December flights panning out, and even 2021 is looking less optimistic.

  8. Unfortunately most places that are on offer have restrictions on entry. Notably China, Taiwan and Japan.

    These promos will be back very soon and when the situation looks better we can buy miles and book offers like this

  9. Not the time to buy.
    Last yeat the brasilian version of Avianca called AMIGO when they were in a bad financial situation sold a lot of miles with huge bonus. A couples months later they broke and disappeared

  10. Try to earn money through a promotion that clearly will not be honoured in the future… is low… even for you

  11. One wonders whether LifeMiles’ dangling of tempting carrots as outlined here is a cynical ploy to boost revenue by charging the standard penalty of $US200 for cancelling flights due to new border closures, lockdowns and other measures both within the US and the wider world that will occur up to whatever travel date is selected.
    LifeMiles really hasn’t been very accommodating as far as cancelled flights due to circumstances beyond ones control.
    I don’t plan on doing any bookings at all during 2020 unless I have an upfront guarantee from the airline that I can cancel fee-free for any reason.

  12. @ Glenn t
    I kept buying Lifemiles but redeeming United miles because it was painless. Late 2019 I decided to make a greater effort redeeming Lifemiles. They are not half as bad as I expected. their reps manage English pretty well, act human on the phone and were more than fair regarding fees. i hope the program continues with #A possibilities.

  13. LIfemiles is a pain in the ass program with horrible customer service, where anything less than a 30 minute conversation is winning. I cannot wait till I burn thru my allotment of miles, that I have had for a couple years as every time I book a flight something happens, usually with a flight change or a class change. Miles take over a week to reinstate when you cancel as well.
    As stated, use with only a proven redemption in mind and preferably last minute to minimize the aggravation.

  14. If I buy today will this extend the expiry date on Lifemiles previously purchased ??
    Anyone??
    Thanks for help

  15. @Rowena it should. I purchased just 1000+1500 miles for $33 yesterday (just to bump up my expiration, and since they said with this promotion award charts would stay the same through Jan 2021).
    Expiration date before purchase: 1/31/2021
    After: 6/30/2021

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