Great Deal: Buy LifeMiles With A 150% Bonus

Filed Under: AviancaTaca, Great Deals
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LifeMiles is probably the single most lucrative Star Alliance frequent flyer program when it comes to buying miles. They frequently offer bonuses on the purchase of miles, though historically the bonuses are usually no more than 100%. However, lately we’ve seen them offer some bigger bonuses.

For example, last month they offered a 135% bonus on purchased miles, which could even be turned into a 145% bonus.

However, there’s now a chance to buy LifeMiles with a 150% bonus, or 1.32 cents each. That’s the best publicly available bonus we’ve ever seen on the purchase of LifeMiles.

Before I explain the process, here are the basic things you need to know:

  • You must register by October 5, 2015, to be eligible
  • You must purchase miles by October 12, 2015, in order to take advantage of this deal
  • To get this price, you need to purchase between 100,000 and 150,000 LifeMiles (pre-bonus)

How to buy LifeMiles with a 150% bonus

This bonus is being tied into the relaunch of InsideFlyer, which is also the “new” MilePoint. Perhaps the most exciting part of the relaunch is that Avianca’s LifeMiles is offering up to a 150% bonus on purchased miles in order to celebrate.

Lifemiles-Bonus - 1

This isn’t the most straightforward process in the world, so I’ll explain how to take advantage of it.

First you need to log-in or register for InsideFlyer. If you were previously a MilePoint member, those credentials should work on the new InsideFlyer website.

Once logged in, visit the “Award Store” — you should see a link for it at the top left of the page. That’s where you’ll register for this offer (but not where you’ll make the actual purchase).

You should see the offer listed there.

Lifemiles-Bonus - 2

To register you’ll want to check the box at the top of the page, and also enter your LifeMiles number at the bottom of the page.

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Lifemiles-Bonus - 3

You should then receive a confirmation that you’re registered for the promotion.

Lifemiles-Bonus - 5

Then you should receive an email about 24 hours later with the opportunity to purchase miles with a 150% bonus.

As I explained, you’ll have to buy a minimum of 100,000 miles to receive the 150% bonus. The cost to purchase 100,000 LifeMiles is $3,300, and you’d receive a total of 250,000 LifeMiles. You may see reference to 100,000 miles costing $3,894, though that’s not correct if you’re based in the US (that price factors in taxes which have to be paid if buying miles in select countries).

Discount redemption promotion extended as well

In mid-September I wrote about how LifeMiles is offering discounts on select Star Alliance redemptions. The discounts aren’t huge in most cases, though they’re something. Anyway, the redemption promotion has been extended through October 15, 2015, so there’s time to take advantage of that in conjunction with this promotion on the purchase of miles.


For example, here’s LifeMiles’ promotional award chart for travel from the US:


So while the savings aren’t huge, there are some decent discounts.

Buying LifeMiles counts as an airfare purchase

It’s worth noting that 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
Citi Prestige Card5x ThankYou 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

Should you buy LifeMiles?

LifeMiles are simultaneously my favorite and least favorite mileage currency. The things I love about LifeMiles include:

And then there are things I hate with a passion about LifeMiles:

  • Their call center is horrible, so if your redemption requires servicing over the phone, you might as well forget about it
  • They don’t allow mixed cabin awards, meaning if you book a business class award all segments have to be in business class
  • They block quite a bit of Star Alliance award space, including Lufthansa first class space

Still, given United’s early 2014 award chart devaluation and US Airways no longer being in the Star Alliance, there aren’t many ways to economically book premium cabin Star Alliance awards anymore. LifeMiles is one of the best programs for those awards, even with the higher cost to purchase miles and devalued award chart.

With a specific use in mind, this promotion can be an incredible value. And this is the lowest cost I recall seeing on the purchase of LifeMiles.

For example, LifeMiles charges 90,000 miles for first class between the US and much of Asia, so at 1.32 cents per mile, that’s like paying ~$1,200 for a one-way first class ticket between the US and Asia on ANA or Asiana.


Asiana A380 first class

ANA 777-300ER first class

Rules of InsideFlyer LifeMiles bonus promotion

Here are the rules listed for the promotion, as published by InsideFlyer:

Rule #1
Only registered InsideFlyer members are eligible.

Rule #2
You must purchase between 100,000 & 150,000 LifeMiles.

Rule #3
You have between Friday Oct 2 and Tues Oct 6, 2015 to register for this launch promotion.

Rule #4
You must be a registered member of LifeMiles by Tues Oct 6 to be eligible.

Rule #5
You will be able to buy LifeMiles thru Mon Oct 12.

Rule #6
100,000 LifeMiles will cost $3,894.00 USD. *some country exceptions apply

Rule #7
Once registered, you have 24 hours to confirm your purchase of miles.

Rule #8
Only one transaction allowed per member, per LifeMiles account.

Rule #9
You have until Thurs Oct 15 to redeem LifeMiles for up to 50% discount on Star Alliance member awards (travel can be until Oct 2016)

Rule #10
Welcome to our Award Store, you’ll be back.

Bottom line

Ultimately acquiring LifeMiles for 1.32 cents each is quite a good deal. I suppose the catch is the quantity you have to buy. $3,300 isn’t an insignificant amount to spend, and is the minimum number of miles you have to buy to take advantage of this promotion.

I doubt we’ll see a publicly available offer better than this anytime soon, so I’d certainly consider taking advantage of this if you’d like to book any Star Alliance premium cabin redemptions in the near future.

Lastly, keep in mind that you only have until tomorrow (Tuesday) to register for this promotion, though you’ll have about a week to decide whether or not to actually buy miles.

Do you plan on buying LifeMiles with a 150% bonus?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
  1. I see you can book ANA on their website. What other members can you book via the website? I presume you can’t book LH F or SQ F, is that correct?

  2. Lucky, how easy (or hard) is it to book first class award seats on ANA and/or Asiana? Is it easier or harder than Cathay Pacific?

  3. With the 150% bonus on 100K purchased miles and the CPM 1.32 cents for each mile (for a grand total of 250K miles), the total cost should be $3,300 and not $3,894.00.

    This issue was discussed elsewhere without a resolution, is there an explanation here?

  4. How long until Lifemiles expire after you purchase them? Is it an absolute expiration or can their life be extended with account activity?

  5. @puckjeff

    The general term says miles expire after 24 months, but any account activity extends it for 24 months.

  6. I’ve registered and hope the email comes through, as others have said they haven’t received anything.

    This is absolutely obscene value, as currently RT fares JFK-ICN in F are about $9k, if paid cash.

    Does anyone have suggestions of other good routes available on Star Alliance using these points, including which cabins are the best? Ideally originating from East Coast of the US.

    I guess ANA/Asiana are likely to be the best options but looking for anything else that’s possible.

  7. Value is relative. Are you really going to pay $9000 for a flight. No. This is about realistic, around $3k which is getting to the points of discounted first class fare sales that pop up time to time.

  8. It seems like a great deal, but I’ve just spent the past 45 minutes looking on the Avianca website for international First or Business to several European and Asian destinations from November through March 2016, and haven’t found a single seat anywhere! Every single day to any destination comes up SOLD OUT in premium classes, only Economy shows available. Lucky am I missing something here? The cost may be appealing, but if there’s no premium availability…….

  9. @mark
    I’m looking to redeem two F seats JFK-ICN, so I’d have to buy 144,000 miles (=360,000 total miles after bonus). At $33 per thousand that’s $4,752, equating to $2,376 per person RT.

    Pretty outrageous value I’d say 😀

  10. Please, please, please can somebody list the top 3-5 LifeMile redemptions? I understand ANA/Asiana to Asia in F – what else? It would go a long way towards helping me decide if I am going to buy these!


  11. I signed up. We fly to Lima several times a year, and they partner with Copa for the LAS-PTY-LIM route which makes our life easier. Thanks Lucky!

  12. I keep getting this message after I click submit: “You have claimed all your awards, please check back later for more awards.” Not sure what this means, but it doesn’t sound good. I just signed up for both LifeMiles and Inside Flyer this evening to possibly take advantage of this promotion.

  13. I didn’t get the email either but when I put 100,000 miles in my “cart” shorty after registering the 150% bonus popped up and the right total displayed. But like others was finding few or no award space in Business or First well into 2016 from JFK to various Europe destinations. In checking some cash prices to compare value – it was around a buy one get one value or better with the LM bonus.

  14. There are pretty sweet deals to move around Asia for LifeMiles, however I can’t purchase with bonus as well. Maybe I do something wrong trying to purchase through LifeMiles website? No confirmation email as well. :/

  15. I never received any sort of confirmation either. But may go ahead and see if the bonus is set on my account anyway as Stephen notes above

  16. I should have just checked first…but yes, the bonus does automatically populate in my account if I go to “buy miles”

  17. And if you can plan far ahead there seems to be quite a bit of premium class availability. I am searching IAD to BKK or SIN in August or Septemeber and I see options in F and C on a variety of airlines including NH F, TG F, Air China C, Brussels Airlines C connecting to TG C in BRU, etc. For a flight to BKK via NRT in F I think that is the TG A380 on the connection. 99K in F, 78K in C. So quite a few more miles than AA requires (for now anyway) on CX for example. But this is all very tempting.

  18. @Jakub

    No confirmation email needed. Just sign into your LifeMiles account and go to “Buy Miles”. Enter how many miles you want to purchase (100K+) and the next page will show the 150% bonus at .0132 CPM.

  19. Update: I never got the email either, but the bonus does show up on my LifeMiles account:
    100,000 Purchase Miles
    150,000 MILES PURCHASE BONUS 2.5X1
    Svc Charge: USD 3,300.00
    VAT: 0.00
    Total: USD 3,300.00

    Still not sure if I will buy more, I already have a few LifeMiles.

  20. Interesting offer, but I’m taking a pass. I value United miles at 1.5-1.6 cents/mile, and under most circumstances, these are worth less:
    1. Terrible call center
    2. Lack of flexibility due to inability to mix classes
    3. $25 fee per ticket
    4. Generally higher cost for premium awards

    WIth a quick review, the only area where awards are cheaper than UA is Asia, if using non-UA metal (which would generally be the case for Asia, in my limited experience).

    So, at 1.32 cents, it doesn’t seem like such a great deal.

  21. Well, after reading everything there was to read (including analyses, comments, and even the LifeMiles Terms and Conditions) and equivocating a fair amount (because of the size of the purchase), I went ahead and bought the whole enchilada: 150,000 miles ==) 375,000 miles. The miles were instantly credited to my account.

    It is an enormous purchase by my spending patterns but I wanted to have flexibility to find award space on Star Alliance carriers and I was currently limited to LH. (I don’t have UA even though I live in NYC.)

    Since you only have to show activity once every two years that seemed like an easy hurdle to meet.

    I agree that the single time I called the North American call center it was an amazing exercise in frustration: the man I spoke with could not answer a single question without looking it up. It didn’t matter that I spoke slowly and tried using simple English to convey my question. However, giving credit where credit is due, I could ‘hear’ the smile in his voice which is an important attribute of an otherwise good customer service agent.

    My fear is of a currency devaluation but I decided that with the low cost of oil expected to stay the same for the next 18 months along with the fact that there was a devaluation recently that I would probably be ok for 3-4 years…and I would hope to have used them up by then. Even if there was a 15% deflation, the price per mile is still attractive.

    My Mom turns 80 in three years and it would be nice to give her a first class seat to Australia or New Zealand or Hong Kong…so we will see if I can make that happen in the medium-term. (2 first class tickets Down Under would be 444,000 miles RT, so 375,000 doesn’t even go that far).

    My other concern is that they haven’t updated their software to sell premium economy tickets on Turkish or Lufthansa.

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