One Day Only: LifeMiles 120% Mileage Transfer Bonus

Filed Under: AviancaTaca, Great Deals
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A bit over a week ago I wrote about how LifeMiles was offering a 115% bonus when you transfer LifeMiles between accounts.

Today is the last day of that promotion, and LifeMiles has even upped the bonus for OMAAT readers.

Transfer LifeMiles and get a 120% bonus

Today only (July 12, 2019), LifeMiles is offering a 120% bonus when you transfer LifeMiles to another member. That’s 5% better than the normal bonus.

This promotion is available to OMAAT readers who register at this link before transferring miles. Note that the 115% bonus will post immediately, and then the extra 5% bonus will post within five business days, as LifeMiles is posting those miles manually (so the price you see on the purchase page will be with a 115% bonus).

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 120% bonus). In other words, transferring 75,000 miles would cost $1,125, and you’d receive a total of 165,000 miles in the account you transfer to. So that’s like being able to generate miles for 1.25 cents each (since you’re generating 90,000 miles for $1,125) while being able to consolidate miles into a single account.

Generating miles for 1.25 cents is an excellent price, and even lower than the usual cost at which LifeMiles sells miles. For example, even when LifeMiles offers 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 ~1.14 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

With a specific use in mind, this promotion can be a great value, especially for first class travel on ANA 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. 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.

There have also been questions about whether or not it makes sense to buy LifeMiles given the financial complexities at Avianca right now — in general I wouldn’t make speculative purchases, but if you’re buying miles to use right away or in the next few months, I wouldn’t be worried.

Bottom line

LifeMiles doesn’t offer as many bonuses on transferred miles as they used to. Being able to generate miles for 1.25 cents each (potentially even less after factoring in credit card rewards) is an excellent deal.

But hurry, you’ll have to act today — register first, and then transfer miles.

Do you plan on transferring LifeMiles with a 120% bonus?

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Comments
  1. I assume you need to have a family member to transfer to, as you cannot have two accounts under the same name.

  2. I input my info, successfully subscribed to the promo, but when i go to do the transfer it’s still only showing me 115% instead of 120%

  3. Sadly, LifeMiles website is among the worst in the game. “Register and then Transfer”, as suggested, doesn’t produce a seamless result. Register and it says “already subscribed to the promo”. But on the final payment page, it’s 115%, not 120%.

  4. They’re not honouring the spiff for OMAAT readers. Registration confirmed, transaction after that, no spiff. Anyone get a different result?

  5. Sorry for the confusion, folks. When you buy points through this promo you’ll initially see the 115% bonus, and then LifeMiles will manually post the other 5% within five business days.

  6. I tried to transfer miles yesterday and today with different browsers. However, I always get an error message with an error code 999 after I input my credit card information and submit the transaction. Does anyone else experience such issue?

  7. Same problem for me..not working error code 999.

    Lucky i read after all the problems that lifemiles has..no way!

  8. The simple act of allowing the transfer of miles from one account to another, for a hefty fee, would seem a sound business practice. However the carrot they offer to do so might not be. Offering a 120% miles bonus really means the creation of many more miles on the debit side of their ledger. If a sovereign nation did a similar thing (printing new currency) it would rightly be viewed as ultimately inflationary; an effective devaluation of the currency in circulation leading to price increases.
    Of course LifeMiles has a trick up their sleeve unavailable to any Treasury to minimise this pesky problem. The magic of miles expiry has been tightened up in recent times, whereby new restrictions can see your miles balance disappear much quicker if you haven’t been paying attention to the fine print of the revised T & C’s.
    Caveat emptor……

  9. Did anyone else register at the link and successfully get the 120% bonus? I have been back and forth with LM customer service on this, and they still have not resolved this, nor have they posted the extra 5%.

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