In mid-December, LifeMiles rolled out its latest promotion to generate miles — rather than offering an outright bonus on purchased miles, LifeMiles is currently offering a bonus when you transfer LifeMiles to another member. This is a reminder of this offer, as it expires on Wednesday, so this is your last chance to take advantage of it.
Transfer LifeMiles and get a 125% bonus
Through Wednesday, December 30, 2020, LifeMiles is offering a 125% 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 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.
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.
Earning miles for 1.2 cents is an excellent price, and is competitive with the cost at which LifeMiles ordinarily sells miles. However, in the past few months we have seen LifeMiles sell miles with a 200% bonus a couple of times, which is a cost of 1.1 cents per mile. That’s not a cost we had ever seen prior to that, though.
This is a solid 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|
|American Express® Green 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 ~1.1 cents.
Is generating LifeMiles at this cost worth it?
Avianca is in the Star Alliance, which means you can redeem LifeMiles on all Star Alliance airlines (which is what makes the program 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
Sometimes there are even promotions on redemptions, which can offer even more value.
Personally I generally don’t speculatively buy points, but with a specific use in mind this could be a great value, whether you’re looking at traveling in first class on All Nippon Airways or Lufthansa, or are looking at traveling in business class on a countless number of airlines.
I recently redeemed LifeMiles for ANA first class
Do note that in some cases LifeMiles doesn’t have access to the same award availability as Star Alliance partners, for better or worse. In some cases the program hasn’t had access to partner awards that other airlines did have access to, and in other cases the inverse was true.
That’s why I always recommend doing some “dummy” award searches before acquiring miles in a program, so you can get a sense of how award availability lines up with your needs.
I recently redeemed LifeMiles for Lufthansa business class
LifeMiles doesn’t offer as many bonuses on transferred miles as in the past. Being able to generate miles for 1.2 cents each (potentially even less after factoring in credit card rewards) is a good deal.
In the past LifeMiles only offered a 100-115% bonus on mileage transfers, so this is the best offer we’ve seen. Personally I’d only take advantage of this if you have a fairly short term use of LifeMiles in mind, given all the uncertainty in the industry.
If you’ve been considering this promotion but haven’t yet made a purchase, this is your last chance.
Do you plan on transferring LifeMiles with a 125% bonus?