LifeMiles 125% Mileage Transfer Bonus (Last Chance)

Filed Under: AviancaTaca, Great Deals

Earlier this month, 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 that, as the promotion is only available through tomorrow. This is an excellent rate at which to earn LifeMiles, and I will be taking advantage of this promotion myself shortly.

Transfer LifeMiles and get a 125% bonus

Through Monday, August 31, 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 even lower than the usual cost at which LifeMiles sells miles. For example, the best price we’ve seen on purchased LifeMiles has been 1.29 cents each, and that was when a 155% bonus was being offered.

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:

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
American Express® Green 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.

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

Bottom Line

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 an excellent deal.

In the past LifeMiles only offered a 100-115% bonus on mileage transfers, so this is the best offer we’ve seen. If you’ve been considering this promotion but haven’t yet transferred miles, this is your last chance to do so.

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

  1. @ Ben — No one in their right mind would buy LifeMiles right now. It seems that Avianca faces a not insignificant chance of liquidating in the next 12 months. Without Avianca, LifeMiles would almost certainly become worth very little.

  2. You said “This is only useful if you have an existing LifeMiles mileage balance, since you can’t transfer miles you don’t have.” But couldn’t you transfer points from a CC company and then transfer those new LifeMiles to another account under this bonus? So someone could transfer 62,500 Citi miles to LifeMiles, get 75,000 deposited in their account, and then transfer to another account and get over 160,000 miles total?

  3. Lucky,
    any chance Lifemiles would offer a slightly better bonus for readers of your blog, like the Lifemiles purchase promotion a couple of months ago?

  4. @jonathan You don’t even have to start with that many. You can transfer just a few thousand from CC and then because the bonus is not tiered, keep transferring back and forth between accounts, adding the bonus each time until you cross the 75K limit on both accounts. You can use a spreadsheet to optimize the process.

  5. @Kevin: can you give us math-challenged folks some specifics, e.g., start with 1K miles, transfer from A to B to C to A and end up with ??? miles?

  6. I would like to expose a recent experience with LifeMiles

    I had a partner award ticket booked 4 months in advance.
    The operating airline did not cancel the flight.
    However, it cancelled the flight just for me.
    The flight was still bookable in the cabin I ordered.

    So basically, the partner booted LifeMiles.
    Now for me, I am now stuck waiting for a refund which I was told would take up to 5 months.
    I was offered to rebook only for same route, which does’t exist as the partner does’t want to honor the booking.

    Please beware. I think that buying aeroplan, even flying blue, or alaska would be much better. Costs a little more but you can actually use it.

  7. @Roberto – I have same experience as you, Turkish airlines did not honor my flight with Lifemiles ATL-IST-SOF, received my miles back but have to wait many months for the cash portion of tickets…

  8. @ Ben — I retract my comment above since Avianca has just received a $370 million line of credit from the Colombian government. I still don’t want to add to OUR large stash of LifeMiles, but this could be a great offer for some folks.

  9. Flying to Europe next week, transferred 44k Amex MR points to LifeMiles and paid a little over $600 to transfer those 44k miles into another account, bringing me up to the 96k necessary to book Lufthansa First class and two connecting flights in business.

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