LifeMiles Offering Up To 125% Bonus On Purchased Miles

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LifeMiles has just launched their latest major promotion on purchased miles. The LifeMiles program is offering up to a 125% bonus on purchased miles through Tuesday, September 18, 2018.

Through this promotion, LifeMiles is offering a tiered bonus on purchased miles, as follows:

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

This seems to be the standard offer that LifeMiles has when offering a bonus on purchased miles, and it matches the one we saw earlier this year. Historically LifeMiles has sometimes offered extra bonuses for OMAAT readers towards the end of these promos, so while I can’t definitively say anything yet, that is something to keep in mind if you’re in no rush.

Should you buy LifeMiles?

When it comes to redeeming LifeMiles, 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. ANA first class between the US and Japan for ~$1,320 one-way is a pretty darn good value, if you ask me.

Or business class between the US and Europe will just run you ~$925, which is an excellent value as well.

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 available. However, they have access to more space than in the past, so I don’t find this to be as big of an issue as it used to be.

Buying LifeMiles counts as 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
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Bottom line

With a specific use in mind, buying LifeMiles can represent an excellent value. I’m a big fan of the LifeMiles program, and have gotten a lot of value from their miles over the years. Actually, I’m short on LifeMiles at the moment, and plan to pick some up soon.

In the past LifeMiles has sometimes offered OMAAT readers a bigger bonus on purchased miles. I’m not yet sure whether or not that’s happening this time around, but I’d note that in general we do sometimes see opportunities to purchase miles with up to a 140% bonus, if you have time to wait.

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  1. If you click on the link for the last time Lifemiles offered a bonus for OMAAT readers, the site says the increased bonus is from Sept 7 – 18th. I figured you’d know since its your site, but I guess they have already decided to offer the increased bonus, just haven’t told you yet, haha

  2. Lucky why haven’t you mention the new A6 tax that lifemiles charges on air redemptions? this was put in place in April and in some premium cabins is above a $100 USD extra.

  3. @ ricardo barco — I haven’t written about it because I wasn’t aware of it. Can’t find anything about this online. Do you have a link to a discussion regarding this? That would of course be a negative development.

  4. @lucky – due to a website bug on lifemiles, people living in the UK with billing address postcodes > HR… (including the prestigious W… London postcodes, for example) cannot buy any miles (need to select from a dropdown list that cannot scroll down further). I tried several browsers last time, same behaviour everywhere.

    Can you please ask your contacts at lifemiles to fix this? Thank you

  5. I bought into this the last time when I was having difficulty getting any good award travel to the Middle East. Be aware of the booking issues, which are detailed on the Lifemiles section of Flyer Talk.

    I went first to the booking section and found my desired flights, and then at the end bought the number needed for the flights. But that doesn’t actually book anything. You need to take screen shots of the booking pages and email them to LM along with scans of your passport. Then hopefully you’ll get emails showing the bookings along with a phone call from Bogota to collect the taxes and fees by CC. There’s a wiki on FT that gives all the details.

    Total cost for my Atl-Amm-Cai-Atl in J on Lufthansa and Turkish was $2541 for miles and $128 taxes and fees. MR haven’t posted, but Amex Plat payment is due on the 1st; billing statement doesn’t show earned points, so waiting to confirm the 5x.

  6. While the Lifemiles search engine has slightly improved there remains some gaping problems with it and I only find it useful for direct flights in most situations… for example, I’m trying to piece together a simple first class award booking from the west coast to HKG for which there is availability with both Asiana and Air China via ICN and PEK respectively. However, the lifemiles search engine is unable to find any awards to HKG so I assume it must be some sort of glitch to that region since the individual flights are available when looking separately. I don’t feel like going through the process of doing screenshots and sending copies of passport info into lifemiles for such a basic itinerary that all other star alliance websites can easily see.
    In my experience, lifemiles really does do quite a bit of award blocking as I’ve confirmed over the years. It’s especially annoying that they don’t allow access to close-in Lufthansa first class bookings since that’s really when the award seats are released.

  7. “The one catch is that LifeMiles doesn’t always have access to all the same space that other Star Alliance programs do.” And Cleveland doesn’t always win the Super Bowl and Lucky doesn’t always fly basic economy.

  8. I flew DSS-BRU-MUC-PEK-ISB a few weeks ago using the last promotion. Total was about 850$ in Business. Economy cash cost was 1300$. You can imagine how pleased I was. SN, LH, CA flight.

  9. Lifemiles can offer some good value but boy does their system suck. I recently booked a mixed cabin ticket BKK/nrt on TG in coach and HND/SFO in biz on UA for~60k lifemiles.

    Spent hours trying to do it online with several calls to support. All gave me the same useless advice. When it became obvious the flight could not be booked online I told the agent I was willing to pay the phone booking fee of $80. He was also unable to book the ticket and had to escalate the request. Next day I got a call from someone letting me know my ticket was finally booked. Overall it cost five hours of time and $80 which is basically a $580 surcharge. Good value but hell to deal with.

  10. @George and @lucky
    Thank you George. I think I tried as well with another postcode, but unsuccessful in my case.

    It depends on the card issuer whether they require the billing address to match.

    Lucky, please inform your contacts at lifemiles about this bug which is costing them sales.

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