LifeMiles’ Star Alliance Award Sale (Including First Class Redemptions!)

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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, and you can even fly first class between the US and Asia for as little as 72,000 miles one-way, which is incredible.

LifeMiles award sale

At the moment LifeMiles is running a sale on award redemptions. This promotion is valid for redemptions through December 12, 2018, though it’s fine if you actually travel on subsequent dates (all that matters is that you book by then).

The discount is valid for travel between specific city pairs, and you can find all the eligible city pairs at this link. In many cases the discounts are valid for travel in first and business class, including for some routes to/from the US.

Just to give a few examples of US routes with discounts:

  • You can fly from Incheon to New York in first class for just 72,000 miles (rather than 90,000 miles)
  • You can fly from Los Angeles to Beijing in first class for just 72,000 miles (rather than 90,000 miles)
  • You can fly from New York to Taipei in business class for just 64,000 miles (rather than 75,000 miles)

Score a deal on an Air China first class redemption

Those are just a few examples, though there are many other city pairs available as well. Note that the sale is in some cases only valid for travel in one direction, so there’s a discount from Incheon to New York, but not one from New York to Incheon, for example.

Here are some screenshots of the wide open first class availability on Air China and Asiana, which can be booked for just 72,000 miles one-way.

LifeMiles is also selling miles at the best price of the year

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

As I just wrote about, at the moment LifeMiles is offering a special increased bonus on purchased LifeMiles for readers of OMAAT. Specifically, you can buy LifeMiles with a 145% bonus no matter how many you buy (you can buy between 1,000 and 200,000 pre-bonus). This means you can buy miles for under 1.35 cents each.

Here’s what the bonus chart looks like for OMAAT readers who register:

LifeMiles ordinarily sells miles for ~3.3 cents each, so if you max out the promotion and buy miles with a 145% bonus, you’re paying just under 1.35 cents per purchased mile, which is a fantastic value.

To take advantage of this offer you have to register on this page between November 20 and November 25, and then have to buy miles between November 21 and November 26, 2018.

You have to wait 24 hours from the time you register until you buy miles through the offer to get the better bonus. You should see the better bonus reflected on the purchase page once you’re eligible (only buy miles once you see the price you want).

LifeMiles processes mileage purchases directly, meaning that buying miles with them qualifies as airfare spend, 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 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

So 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 1.35 cents to 1.23 cents, which is an even better value (this isn’t cash in your pocket, but rather points in your “pocket” based on my valuation).

Bottom line

There has never been a better time to buy or redeem LifeMiles. Not only does LifeMiles have their best offer of the year on purchased LifeMiles, but they’re also offering an award sale that can score you a discount on a Star Alliance first or business class ticket.

For example, paying 72,000 miles for one-way first class when you acquired those points at a cost of ~1.23 cents each (factoring in the value of the 5x points you earn by paying with the right card) is a spectacular value.

Hopefully lots of you can take advantage of both the award sale and the sale on purchased points, since you can combine the two for some great values!

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  1. Their award rates are inviting, but at least from IAD, availability is poor, compared to other sites. Example: I just searched for IAD to BKK the second week of January in business: nothing. On Aeroplan, six flights were available.

  2. “Those are just a few examples, though there are many other city pairs available as well. Note that the sale is in some cases only valid for travel in one direction, so there’s a discount from Incheon to New York, but not one from New York to Incheon, for example.”

    The pdf chart you linked to shows that the sale is valid JFK-ICN and also ICN-JFK. However, I’m finding biz class availability for Asiana on the Lifemiles website, but the website isn’t showing the biz class discount quoted on the pdf, only first class is discounted.

  3. Oops, i see in the chart that JFK-ICN/ICN-JFK is not valid for biz class. Still, the first class discount is avail in either direction 🙂

  4. Thanks for the heads up, Lucky! Combined this with the 25% bonus on Citi TY transfers, and got SIN-TPE-LAX on EVA in J for 54k points each, leaving 1k LifeMiles left over. Not bad for almost 16 hours in a flat bed on one of my favorite transpacific carriers, especially when UA charges 90k for the same redemption!

  5. Is it worth it to really stock up on these miles? Or are lifemiles preventing availability on many routes? I will fly F over J.

  6. I’m really bummed bc I checked availability for a specific flight before I bought a ton of miles using your promo. Tried to book and the page error-ed out—the flights no longer showed when I went back in to book again. I called and they told me it was phantom availability. Really disappointing now I’m stuck with these miles with no route. Any ideas on if/when new award space might come available?

  7. @Lucky, I’m confused about what you say the December 12th thing. Do you have to book any award with these miles by December 12th. Or only those three routes that are discounted need to be booked by December 12th and you can use the purchase miles up until a year?

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