LifeMiles has just rolled out their latest promotion to generate miles — rather than offering an outright bonus on purchased miles, they’re currently offering a bonus when you transfer LifeMiles to another member.
Transfer LifeMiles & Get 115% Bonus
Through Wednesday, November 20, 2019, LifeMiles is offering a 115% bonus when you transfer LifeMiles to another member.
To be clear, this bonus is only valid when 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 115% bonus). In other words, transferring 75,000 miles would cost $1,125, and you’d receive a total of 161,250 miles in the account you transfer to.
So that’s like being able to generate miles for 1.3 cents each (since you’re generating 86,250 miles for $1,125), while being able to consolidate miles into a single account.
Generating miles for 1.3 cents is an excellent price, and even lower than the usual cost at which LifeMiles sells miles. For example, even when LifeMiles offers a 145% bonus on purchased miles, you’re looking at a cost of 1.35 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 also be useful as a method for generating miles.
Make Sure You Use 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 spending. Therefore you’ll want to consider using one of the following cards for your purchase, since they offer the following bonus miles for airfare spending:
|Card||Points earned on airfare spend|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi Prestige Card||5x ThankYou points per dollar spent|
|American Express® Gold Card||3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi Premier℠ Card||3x ThankYou points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||2x 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 ~1.19 cents each.
Should You Generate LifeMiles At This Cost?
Avianca 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
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. Avianca recently introduced a new website, which seems to have solved part of their problem with booking partner award tickets, but in the process may have created a whole new problem.
Some have reported issues using the LifeMiles site, and specifically with pulling up partner award availability that is available through other airlines. So if you are going to buy miles, I’d recommend first doing a few availability searches to make sure you can find the space you want.
LifeMiles doesn’t offer as many bonuses on transferred miles as they used to. Being able to generate miles for 1.3 cents each (potentially even less after factoring in credit card rewards) is an excellent deal.
Do you plan on transferring LifeMiles with a 115% bonus?