Last Chance: Generate LifeMiles For 1.2 Cents Each (Or Less) Using Transfer Bonus

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This is just a reminder that today (April 3, 2019) is the last day to take advantage of this 125% bonus when you share miles with others, which I consider to be an excellent deal. This is a cheaper way to generate LifeMiles than any bonus we’ve seen on purchased LifeMiles in a very long time. This of course assumes you have an existing mileage balance.


The LifeMiles program often offers bonuses on purchased miles, though it has been quite a while since we’ve seen a bonus on transferred miles. Well, that has finally changed, and they’ve just launched a great offer.

Transfer LifeMiles and get a 125% bonus

You can earn a 125% mileage bonus when you transfer LifeMiles to another member between March 26 and April 3, 2019.

To be clear, this is only referring to transferring miles between LifeMiles accounts. This doesn’t apply to transferring flexible points to LifeMiles, for example. This is only useful if you have an existing LifeMiles mileage balance, since you can’t transfer miles you don’t have.

LifeMiles charges 1.5 cents per transferred mile, and you can transfer up to 75,000 miles per year (before the 125% bonus). In other words, transferring 75,000 miles would cost $1,125, and you’d receive a total of 168,750 miles in the account you transfer to. So that’s like being able to generate miles for 1.2 cents each (since you’re generating 93,750 miles for $1,125) while being able to consolidate miles into a single account.

Generating miles for 1.2 cents each is just about lower than any other cost you’ll see on generating LifeMiles. For example, even when LifeMiles is offering a 140% bonus on purchased miles, you’re looking at a cost of 1.375 cents per mile.

So this is an excellent deal, and is not only useful if you’re looking to consolidate miles into a single account, but can generally be worth it.

Get an even better deal by using the right credit card

The real cost potentially gets even lower. If you take advantage of this, keep in mind that LifeMiles processes mileage transactions directly, meaning that this would qualify 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
Citi Prestige Card5x ThankYou 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

For example, if you’re earning 5x points per dollar spent, and you value those points at 1.7 cents each (as I do), that’s like a further 8.5% return. That essentially makes the cost per purchased mile ~1.1 cents each.

Should you generate LifeMiles at this cost?

AviancaTaca is in the Star Alliance, which means you can redeem LifeMiles on all Star Alliance airlines (which is what makes them so great). 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 ANAAsiana, or Lufthansa.

Business class between the US and Europe can be a great option as well.

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

Historically LifeMiles doesn’t always have access to all the same space that other Star Alliance programs do. LifeMiles recently introduced a new website, and with that, they seem to be blocking fewer partner airlines.

However, there are also lots more reports of people not finding partner award space, so be sure you do some searches to get a sense of availability before buying miles this way.

Bottom line

LifeMiles doesn’t offer as many bonuses on transferred miles as they used to, but this represents an excellent deal. A 125% bonus on transferred miles translates to a cost of just 1.2 cents per generated mile, and potentially even lower when you factor in the credit card rewards you’re earning.

Personally this is a rate at which I’d speculatively generate LifeMiles, but to each their own.

Do you plan on transferring LifeMiles with a 125% bonus?

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Comments

  1. Lucky, if I transfer points to my dad, can he then redeem miles online for a plane ticket for me, or will his name automatically auto populate in the passenger field when booking a ticket?

  2. @M The former is the case. Lifemiles in one’s account can be used for travel for another.

    @Ben For those who got their original LifeMiles entirely by purchase, it’s interesting how this offer affects the net cost per mile. If one maxed the purchase offer (including the OMAAT spiff), then maxed this promo, it starts to look pretty good.

    It’s rare for Ben to say he is pro-speculation on a promo. Usually when a program has a promo he’s more cautious.

    Time, now, for the complaints about LifeMiles’ limitations, glitches. And veiled complaints about the accents of the call centre agents. My own experience has been positive, with call centre, website, value. I have not made/attempted complex bookings, but I’ve cancelled and received proper credit promptly.

  3. So can me and a friend transfer miles to each other’s account? Mine to his and his to mine and get the bonus for both?

  4. Avianca is cancelling their flights from BOG to ORD and BOS on May and from GUA to JFK, ORD and MCO on June, so I would be very careful to make any speculative transfer.

  5. How about transferring MR to my wife’s LM account (currently a 15% bonus) and then her transferring to me, any issues with that? Makes it even more worthwhile no?

  6. Pfff lifemiles made mi a big headache las ofer. I won’t recomend it!!
    Is so anying the new site!

  7. Good deal if you earned the miles flying or from CC. But if you bought the miles (even with OMAT 150% bonus) this will just add another 1.2 CPM for a total of 2.5 CPM or more.

  8. @Kalboz,
    You are adding the cost but not accounting for all the miles you are getting.
    Something is wrong with your math.

  9. lifemiles is a baaaaaaad choise now.

    was amazing some years ago, then excellent, then good, now is a mess!!!

    no more lifemiles!!!

  10. I just tried this between me and my parents’ accounts. Transferred 6,000 miles from my account to my dad’s -> 13,500 miles, then from him to my mom’s, 13,000 -> 29,250 miles, then back to me 29,000 -> 65,250 miles. For total cost $720 in 3 transactions (x5 back with Amex Plat). Lost 750 miles in transfer process (500 left in my dad’s and 250 left on my mom’s account), since the increments had to be in 1000 miles.

  11. @Lucky – do you know if Lifemiles limits the mixed cabin award again since the new site implemented?

  12. Will this count as a transaction to extend the expiration date? Since redemptions no longer count it has become more difficult to make sure the miles do not expire.

  13. @orust
    One year from last earning or purchase activity. You can buy increments of 1000 miles to extend if necessary.

  14. Does anyone know if transferring miles will extend their expiration? Their webpage does not show one’s expiration date – you either need to call them or sign up for email statements which will show it.

  15. I can’t find the expiration date… i know it is one year aftwr the last purchasr..but before there was a date..for examoke 4-4-2020 now is not evwn that…the site is a disaster…
    And now is so anoying to make the booking. Stressing!!!!

  16. Please lifemiles contact lifemiles and ask them to return to thw old site. Hate this siteeeee

  17. Agree with Franco. I LOVE lifemiles but this new site is horrible for finding availability. Unless both aeroplan and united are showing me phantom (entirely possible)

  18. Expert flyer won’t show Lufthansa 96hrs out. Aeroplan and united show f. Expert flyer won’t show near in either nor will ana. Where to turn?!

  19. why all the hate for LifeMiles? it is my favorite program ever! The new website is not that bad, you may need to use to it a bit but it is working fine most of the time. When it is not working, most likely a problem in the server side.

    As availability, I have found more than I expected. What I like the website the most is it shows the number of seat available. Unlike UA, you have to do trial and error when you need more than 1 ticket.

    Do you guys have solid reason to whine this program? like a specific example we can verify? I haven’t find any yet.

  20. @lu and @rick i used to love lifemiles, i have it since it is “distancia” arround more than 10 years ago.
    The program wad much better before in availability, options were much better before… for example you could choose using lufthansa at any route they had, later turkish avalilability was much better, aviamca repempitions was excellent and phone asistance was much much better.
    Any problem you have with lifemiles now is soo annoying to solve. Availability from many parts of the world is a disaaster!
    Finding the ticket you want is extrmely annoying. Was much easier long time ago… every change was for bad excepting the design with is annoying but looks nicer!

  21. But is that the website or just the policies of the airlines? I think that’s the cost of doing business these days- they don’t want it to be too easy on us!

  22. @lu i remember long time ago, from brazil redempions where amazing…availability almost every day of the year. cheap redemtions…good times….when it was separate avianca and taca.
    and at that time there were economic problem in venezuela and argentina, but redemtions were available. there was a black market of currency but everyone was able to buy lifemiles in the oficial market, so was soooo cheap.

    buying from venezuela lifemiles was arround 0.0011 usd instead of 0.01375 (140% ppromotion) each mile each mile. it is correct the amount 1.1 usd per 1000 miles, now is 13.75 1000 miles. more than 10 times cheaper!!! of course it was a mistake… but you could flight first class from any part of south america to asia or europe for nothing!! same from the US.
    and argentina had a similar problem, but lifemiles was arroung half price than before… 1 mile arround 0.006 usd, AMAZING!!!!
    EVEN BRAZIL had better redemptions fares… was much better before, and you could fly thai first, lufthansa first, turkish business, ana, united, tam was from staralliance, was the best time….

    long time ago haha before OMAT made it famous!! i used it a lot! many people having 600.000 miles, 800.000 miles.. just in case… it was cheap!

    those were economic mistakes, but still now lifemiles is not like it was before, redemptions are higher, prices of changes are higher, and the site is so anoying now!

  23. @rick… it is the website!
    Some people post what shold be done to make it better…
    Looks the site was done by programmers, not users!
    Before was even nice.to spend time in lifemiles searching flights… now is very anoying… you need to put the date again, yoy make any small change and everything from the begining, shows only 5 days instead of month calendar availability, less options than before…and the good options are gone!
    I am a long time used of lifemiles and i know what i mean!
    I aent a letter to lifemiles..they reply to me and they said they are working on it..even from the phone they told me that many people have problems with the new site..many claims.
    And phone operators seem to be very very young with no experience at all…and not trining!

  24. @luciano es verdad!!! que buenos momentos!! pero eso fue hace mucho tiempo…jaja
    igual coincido con todos, lifemiles es un desastre, la atencion es pesima, y desde sudamerica y oceania (las rutas que yo uso) las redenciones son desastrosas!! nada que ver con lo que era antes…hace 3/4 años.

    @luciano is true !!! What good moments !! but that was a long time ago … haha
    I agree with everyone, lifemiles are a disaster, the attention is bad, and from South America and Oceania the redemptions are disastrous! Nothing to do with what it was before … 3/4 years ago.

  25. As I said. I love lifemiles. All of 2018 I couldn’t stress enough how good the deals are. Flew to Europe Australia Asia for a fraction of the cost of normal biz and first. Sometimes website was quirky but hgenerally fine. New website not showing nearly as much availability. Eg tomorrow night from Ord to London united shoes lh first. Swiss biz. Lh biz. United biz. Lifemiles showing some ua biz only. Nothing else. United has twenty options. Lifemiles two. There’s my specific example.

    No hate. Just practical.

  26. luciano & Franco & selena , you might have a better experience before, mostly on availability and options. But you have to understand rules are getting tighter and tighter across all programs. Like UA, they had this stopover free feature which is greet but I could never make them work for business class on their website, also each leg is showed as available.

    Another important point is, what is the alternative? my alternative is UA and I like lifemile better than UA in every aspect. including website experience.

    On availability , I guess it also depends on your route. It was very less useful for me before since they never show availability for Air China from JFK to Beijing, which is the route I take the most. But now they show consistent 2 business class and 2 first class on almost every flight on this route.

    The availability on Lufthansa family are also plenty especially on Swiss and Austrian. They sometimes all the sudden dump a lot of seat to partners a few month before flight, including peek season.

    Is there some route getting worse? I don’t know, but for what I am interested , they are pretty good now.

    But again, if you have a better alternative, do share. I think Star alliance is the most valuable alliance and a reliable program is definitely a blessing.

  27. @Mick , Thanks! That is what I need, a legit case. I have tried a bit myself, I found it is NOT the availability the problem but the connections. I think they may have some bugs in their routing program.

    For example, I do see Lufthansa ‘s option but not Swiss’s which show up on United. However, if you search ORD to ZRH, then you got it ! So it is available it jsut they have problem to pair up connections.

  28. @lu I appreciate you looking! Thanks! Earlier today I searched the Ord zur leg (which has been on the ua website for a few days) on lifemiles and didn’t see it. I’ll lool again.

    Of course the problem is the screenshot method can work, but can also take 24hrs for a response. Which is too late for me! Whilst ua has it there and ready. And I can use chase points to click and book. I may still take advantage of this promo but def feel that it’s less valuable with the new website.

  29. @lu. Just searched. You’re right. Thanks for the heads up! The zrh biz and Frankfurt first flights are now showing!

  30. Now the bestone i think is smiles…brom brazilian GOL.

    Check thatone…and alaska milage plan!!

  31. Oh my god! Lifemiles is so so bad bow!! I have over 300.000 miles! Last time i udes it was one year ago..so i bought 1000 extra to avoid loosing them.

    The expirstion date doesn’t appear like before…so you need to remember when was the last timw you bought. Crazy!

    Fees are biffer than before now….at least from south america…

    Availability is a disaster now…

    What a mess…no more lifemiles.

    Anyone thinsk the same? Or i am crazy?

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