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For the past couple of weeks, the LifeMiles program has been offering a bonus on purchased miles. Their publicly available promotion offers up to a 125% bonus when you buy miles.
I’m happy to share that LifeMiles is once again offering a special increased bonus on purchased LifeMiles for readers of OMAAT. At each of the levels, OMAAT readers will receive an additional 15% bonus, meaning you can earn up to a 140% bonus on purchased miles.
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 140% bonus, you’re essentially paying just 1.375 cents per purchased mile, which is a fantastic value.
To take advantage of this offer you have to register on this page between May 15 and May 29, 2018, and then have to buy miles between May 16 and May 30, 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).
I’d highly recommend registering now, and then you can always still decide if you want to take advantage of the promotion later.
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 for 87,000 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
Lately LifeMiles have been even more useful than in the past. That’s because Lufthansa has opened up some first class award availability more than 15 days in advance, and LifeMiles members have had access to this space, while Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus members haven’t. This presents an awesome opportunity. Being able to confirm Lufthansa’s A380 first class between San Francisco and Munich in advance for two people for 87,000 LifeMiles each with no carrier imposed surcharges? Now that’s awesome!
With a specific use in mind, this promotion can be a great value, especially for first class travel on ANA, Asiana, or Lufthansa. ANA first class between the US and Japan for ~$1,250 one-way is a pretty darn good value, if you ask me.
Or business class between the US and Europe will run you ~$870, which is great as well.
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. Sometimes these inconsistencies work in our favor, though, like right now, where LifeMiles has access to more Lufthansa first class award space than other programs do.
Also keep in mind that LifeMiles processes mileage purchases directly, meaning that the purchase of miles 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:
|Card||Points earned on airfare spend|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express||3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi ThankYou® Premier Card||3x ThankYou points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®||2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®||2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®||2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
|American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card|
(no annual fee)
|2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
Put another way, 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 1.375 cents each to 1.26 cents each, which is an even better value (this isn’t cash in your pocket, but rather points in your “pocket” based on my valuation).
Thanks to LifeMiles for offering this special bonus for OMAAT readers, and I hope lots of you are able to take advantage of it! This is an opportunity to book Star Alliance premium cabin tickets at a significant discount, assuming availability coincides with your travel plans. I’d argue there has never been a better time for this promotion, given the current Lufthansa first class award availability.