LifeMiles’ Latest Bonus On Purchased Miles

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LifeMiles has just launched their latest promotion on purchased miles. While most of their promotions are valid for weeks at a time, this one is only valid for a few days, through Friday, July 14, 2017.

This seems to be a targeted promotion, where different accounts are eligible for different bonus offers. For example, one account I manage is offering a 100% bonus on purchased miles, no matter how many you buy:

Meanwhile another account I manage is offering a 125% bonus on purchased miles, no matter how many you buy:

There may be other offers out there as well.

While we’ve seen LifeMiles offer slightly bigger bonuses in the past (at least than the version I was targeted for), what makes this unique for some is that the 125% bonus applies even when buying miles in small increments. Typically LifeMiles requires you to buy lots of miles to achieve the lowest cost per mile, so that’s one advantage of this promotion.

With 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?

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 (there are no fuel surcharges on any awards):

  • 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 a great value, especially for first class travel on ANA or Asiana.

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.

The one catch is that LifeMiles doesn’t always have access to all the same space that other Star Alliance programs do. So you’ll want to do an online search to make sure the type of redemption you’re looking at is eligible. For example, they often block awards in Lufthansa first class, Austrian business class, all Air China flights, etc.

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, though this one isn’t quite as good as some of the past bonuses in terms of the lower cost per purchased mile. However, the advantage here is that you can achieve the highest bonus when buying just a few thousand miles, which is great for people looking to just top off an account.

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

While the current promotion lasts only a few days, it’s an opportunity to buy miles in fairly small increments with big bonuses. You’ll want to check your account to see what kind of an offer you’re targeted for. If you’re looking to book a premium cabin Star Alliance ticket, this could be a good deal.

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.

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  1. I had the same question:

    Is there a reason why you left out American Express Platinum as a card to purchase Lifemiles with?

  2. I have mixed feelings this LifeMiles stuff. It’s an awesome value especially when flying to Asia up front and redeeming on various star carriers.

    But please warn the consumer more on how jank and crappy the program is especially if you have to interact with their call center. God forbid you have an issue on a ticket because it could take months to resolve. IE took me 5 months to redeposit a Lufthansa cxld biz award ticket because of a snow storm in NYC. One agent said it’s been redeposited, never was. The next said it will be a few weeks and cost $200. Nothing. The next said it couldn’t be done. The next said it could at $50….. you get the idea.

    Same goes with their newish U.S. credit it card.

    Having said all that, I’ll risk the torture of having to deal with them and buy more miles. 🙂

  3. @Justin, my understanding is that this is only targeted at folks who have purchased in the past year or two

  4. So there was no time to answer our question as to whether paying for this offer with Amex Plat would bring 5x points.

    But there WAS time for 4 more posts over the next nearly 6 hours…including some answers to comments in those postings. OK.

  5. How the Hell do I Google that?

    Peter B. and I both had the same question. There are 5 specific cards listed above at the end of this post. One if them is the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, which give 3x back. Is there some specific reason why the Platinum card wasn’t included? In a blog devoted to getting the most points for your buck I don’t think we asked anything too out of line or difficult.

    If you don’t have the answer then you aren’t adding anything of value to anyone.

  6. Maybe the author is in transit somewhere or on a flight with internet service … please chill and be patient until a response is given.

    From AMEX website: 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines – so I assume any spend with an airline would get 5X

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