LifeMiles Is Offering A 100%+ Bonus On Purchased Miles

LifeMiles has just launched their latest promotion on purchased miles, valid through May 30, 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)

With the 125% bonus (which kicks in if you buy at least 101,000 miles pre-bonus), you’re looking at a cost of ~1.47 cents per mile.


However, on top of that, some accounts seem to be targeted for a bigger bonus, apparently based on having the Avianca LifeMiles Credit Card, or based on having recently purchased miles.

When I log into my account I see the opportunity to purchase miles with up to a 135% bonus, presumably because I purchased miles during the last promotion. However, go figure I can’t actually maximize the bonus since I’d exceed the annual limit on purchased miles.


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

LifeMiles is publicly offering up to a 125% bonus on purchased miles, and some members who purchased miles in the past or have their co-branded credit card, are getting targeted with even bigger bonuses. 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.


  1. Beautiful, just in time… Running low on LM and was hoping for a May promotion! LM is still my go-to currency for LH / LX / OS to Europe. I do see an extra 10% when logging into my account, just as a data point.

  2. Why did you leave out the 150% (?) bonus offered in late 2015? I think people should know that 140% is not the best bonus ever offered.

  3. Lucky, you should mention that LH F is blocked on most routes and LH/LX/OS can’t even be booked on their website due to severe website issues. United/TAP Y still ok…..

  4. @ ildc: I have booked LH/LX/OS in business class dozens of times, as recently as earlier this year. Never had an issue booking such an award. On one single occasion I had to settle for TP business class but only because I needed to travel on a specific date with very short notice.

  5. FYI – In the last month, many partner awards “error” out and require you to book via email, which is a multi-day process that might result in losing the seats. Still available and bookable but not online. Haven’t been able to find a pattern, but is an increasing trend

  6. I wonder Lifemiles also not open up availability on SQ. Not sure SIN via FRA to JFK consider two separate rewards .

  7. LH F availability shows up on their site for me. If I click thru to book does it not allow me to actually book?

  8. Will there be another special increased bonus on purchased LifeMiles for readers of OMAAT?

  9. Hi Lucky,
    Please change this info on AmEx 5X bonus, for Life Miles.
    I bought Life Miles before and my Platinum AmEx would’t give me any bonus because “Miles purchase is not considered airfare spending”.
    I called them and asked them, and they were very clear on that.
    Thank you,

  10. hmmm … I tried some Dates from/to Europe from/to LAX and ATL. I dont get any availabilities in Business. I redeemed miles for those flights some months ago.
    Maybe LH group really changed their availabilities for Lifemiles?

  11. Are the promotion months “regular”? I prefer to wait for the September 2017 round – assuming it happens – than to do it in May 2017. I don’t have any more time to fly between now and Aug 2018. 😉

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