LifeMiles Is Offering A 125-135% Bonus On Purchased Miles

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LifeMiles has just launched their latest promotion on purchased miles, valid through February 28, 2017.


Through this promotion, LifeMiles is offering up to a 125% bonus on purchased miles. This is a tiered offer, where you get a bigger bonus the more miles you buy, as follows:

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


However, on top of that, some accounts seem to be targeted for a 135% bonus. This seems to be for those who purchased LifeMiles recently, based on the wording of the email I received.

For example, when I go to the “buy miles” page for my account, I have the opportunity to purchase 470,000 miles for a total of $6,600, which is a cost of ~1.4 cents per acquired mile.


With “just” the 125% bonus, you’re looking at a cost of ~1.47 cents per mile.


For 2017, LifeMiles has increased the maximum number of miles you can purchase per calendar year from 150,000 to 200,000 miles. This is pre-bonus, so in practice you can acquire a lot more miles per year thanks to the big bonuses they offer.

Should you buy LifeMiles?

LifeMiles is a unique currency, and nowadays is a lot better than it used to be. You can redeem the miles for one-way awards, they don’t impose fuel surcharges on any award redemptions, they have competitive redemption rates, and as long as you have 40% of the miles needed for a redemption, you can purchase the remaining miles at the time you issue your ticket for as little as 1.5 cents per mile.

Lufthansa-First-Class-747 - 1
Lufthansa 747-8 first class

As far as redeeming LifeMiles go, 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:

  • 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 an incredible value, especially for first class travel on ANAAsiana, and Lufthansa.

Asiana A380 first class

ANA 777-300ER first class

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

How does this compare to past promotions?

For a bit of context on how this compares to past promotions on the purchase of LifeMiles:

As you can see, most of the bonus offers are roughly in the same range. Often the biggest difference is the number of miles you need to buy in order to activate the highest possible bonus. So in general I recommend buying LifeMiles based on when you’re ready to redeem them, rather than based on the minimal differences in the bonuses.

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

Here we’re seeing LifeMiles offer a 125-135% bonus on purchased miles, which can represent a great deal. If you’re looking to book a premium cabin Star Alliance ticket, I’d seriously consider taking advantage of this offer.

As I always say, everyone has to crunch the numbers for themselves as to whether or not this makes sense. There are great values to be had, though in general I also don’t like to hoard miles.

Do you plan on buying LifeMiles with a 125-135% bonus?

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  1. If you travel to Latin America they can offer deals as good as BA low mile awards. I bought a one way Col-Mia for 7500 miles inDec.
    The service in AV Metal is superior than any US airline. Friendly staff, professional crew, well established carrier plus newer fleet.

    I am in !

  2. Seems like if you want to buy speculatively you would be best to but up to 40% of what ever award you want as a goal long term at 1.47 cents per mile if you can buy up to the award at 1.5 cents per mile at any time.

  3. May I suggest, Lucky, that you simply name upfront the airline that the frequent flier program is part of, as part of good practice in writing your posts? Especially if they are programs that are outside of the US? (this being a US-centric blog?)

    Just say Avianca LifeMiles. Pretty much no one knows (aside from a few enthusiasts) who LifeMiles is, without the airline name. I challenge you to get 1/2 of any random reader to name Avianca without you telling them that.

  4. Am I the only one finding very VERY limited availability on most partner awards..

    I would be happy to use this system if I could even find one set of flights with availability

    mostly looking out of iad and jfk so far most searches showing horrible mixed awards

    good luck using any points you buy even searching a year out… seems ana flights to japan have the most availability… I do not have any plans to go to south america and maybe they are wide open there…

  5. I have checked LH availability on CA for the next 14 days and have located several days where F, C and Y availability, but when checking same days on Lifemiles am always getting the dialog
    “The flight itinerary your are searching for is not available. If you opted for a preferred carrier you can try with another one or with our Smart Search option.”
    Examples being HKG to MUc and HKG to FRA on 27 Feb and 28 Feb.
    Is Lifemiles genuinely a partner with LH , because it looks like buying Lifemiles is just a waste of money.

  6. “US to Southeast Asia in business class costs 78,000 miles”

    Their chart says 81,000 for this route.

  7. Purchasing Lifemiles using credit card.

    Will it be considered an airline transaction?

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