Buy LifeMiles With 200% Bonus (Best-Ever Deal)!

Filed Under: AviancaTaca, Great Deals
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. Citi is an advertising partner of OMAAT. The information and associated card details on this page for the The Platinum Card from American Express card has been collected independently by OMAAT and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each product or service. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

LifeMiles is known for the excellent promotions it offers on purchased miles. In general we’ve seen fewer promotions from LifeMiles in recent months.

Recently LifeMiles published its latest promotion, and it offers the lowest cost on purchased miles that we’ve ever seen from the program. This promotion was supposed to expire yesterday, but has just been extended by four days, so there’s still some time to buy miles.

LifeMiles offering 200% bonus on purchased miles

Through Tuesday, September 29, 2020, LifeMiles is offering a 200% bonus on purchased miles through OMAAT (others are of course free to share this link as well). Previously the biggest bonus I ever recall seeing was for 155%, so this is significantly better.

While the 200% bonus is publicly available, the benefit of registering through the above link is that you get the 200% bonus no matter how many miles you buy, between the quantity of 1,000 and 200,000. That’s right, you can get the 200% bonus even if you buy just 1,000 miles, which is extremely rare with LifeMiles promotions.

For those members who don’t register, you’ll be subjected to the following tiered bonus on purchased miles with the standard promotion:

  • Buy 1,000-50,000 miles, get a 150% bonus
  • Buy 51,000-100,000 miles, get a 175% bonus
  • Buy 101,000-200,000 miles, get a 200% bonus

LifeMiles ordinarily sells miles for ~3.3 cents each, so if you buy miles with a 200% bonus you’ll be paying just 1.1 cents per purchased mile, which is a fantastic value.

To take advantage of this you need to register for the 200% bonus promotion, and then you should immediately see the improved terms when you try to buy LifeMiles. Make sure you see the correct bonus when you go to buy miles. Note that a 50% bonus posts immediately, and then a 150% bonus posts a few hours later.

Full disclosure — I’m not getting a kickback here, but rather I’m just happy to be able to share this exclusive, great deal with readers. Below I’ll address some of the concerns people may have about buying LifeMiles, as everyone has to decide for themselves whether it’s worth it or not. For what it’s worth, I’ve purchased miles through this promotion, which I’ll be redeeming shortly.

Buying LifeMiles counts as airfare purchase

LifeMiles processes mileage purchases directly, meaning that buying miles with the program qualifies 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 airline 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

If you pay with The Platinum Card® from American Express then you earn 5x points. I value those points at 1.7 cents each, so to me, that’s the equivalent of a further 8.5% return. That means that the real cost of each mile goes down from 1.1 cents to 1.0 cents, which is an even better value (this isn’t cash in your pocket, but rather points in your “pocket” based on my valuation).

Should you buy LifeMiles?

First let me address this topic more generally. 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 LifeMiles has promotions and redemption rates are even better than that.

With a specific use in mind, this promotion can be a great value, whether you’re looking at traveling 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

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

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 LifeMiles doesn’t have access to partner awards that other airlines do have access to, and in other cases the inverse was true.

That’s why I always recommend doing some “dummy” award searches before buying miles, so you can get a sense of how award availability lines up with your needs.


I recently redeemed LifeMiles for Lufthansa business class

But isn’t Avianca in Chapter 11?

In May, Avianca filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, so what does that mean for LifeMiles? It’s worth noting that the LifeMiles frequent flyer program is separately owned, and LifeMiles isn’t part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

I’ve written in the past about what happens to airline miles if an airline goes bankrupt, so as it applies here:

  • For now it should be business as usual for earning and redeeming LifeMiles
  • In the event that Avianca didn’t emerge from bankruptcy, it’s possible that the LifeMiles program would still live on in Latin America, given how popular it is, and given that it’s spun off
  • However, if that were to happen, don’t expect that LifeMiles would still have access to Star Alliance award space, since the program would no longer be associated with a Star Alliance airline

More specific to Avianca’s situation, a few weeks ago it was announced that Avianca would be getting loans of up to $370 million from the Colombian government to stay in business, though unfortunately those have been blocked by a court. This situation is ongoing, so we’ll see how it evolves.

Obviously there’s some risk here with buying miles, as there always is, especially with no immediate use in mind. Personally I’m buying miles with plans to redeem them very soon.

Bottom line

LifeMiles has a fantastic promotion on purchased miles, offering up to a 200% bonus. This is an opportunity to buy miles for as little as 1.1 cents each, and potentially even less when you factor in the value of the credit card rewards that you earn for buying miles.

In order to take advantage of this without the tiered caps, make sure you register for the bonus, and then you can buy miles.

Personally I redeemed over 500K LifeMiles last year. I redeemed virtually all of those miles, and I’ve purchased more miles with this promotion, which I plan to redeem in the near future.

In all cases where I redeemed LifeMiles, booking through that program represented a better deal than booking through any other program.

Ordinarily I’m opposed to speculatively buying miles, though at a real cost of around a cent per mile (after factoring in credit card rewards), I couldn’t say no. Again, I purchased them with plans to redeem in the near future, though.

Do you plan on buying LifeMiles with a 200% bonus?

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Comments
  1. I’m torn. It is truly a great deal — and the lowest cost per mile I have ever seen in many years (easily before 2015).

    However, in 2015, through this blog, I did spend close to $5,000 to max out on a truly great promotion that gave me miles at about 1.34 cents/mile which was also excellent at the time. I had great trouble in using them for international travel though for years despite numerous efforts. I came to understand that the best availability was within 7-14 days of departure and that these could seldom be used for planning in advance. And then the LifeMiles portal and LifeMiles customer service vastly improved — but they also started expiring LifeMiles after my purchase — and one of the attractions for the original purchase was that LifeMiles didn’t expire.

    I have since used most of my LifeMiles (410,000 or so worth when combined with a credit card bonus — which incidentally — NEVER get their credit card as long as it is tied with Banco de Puerto Rico which has atrocious archaic systems and customer service). I spent most of my miles on two domestic USA coach tickets and two trans-Atlantic business class tickets from New York to Greece (albeit with 3 segments when it should have been 2). And today, I have about 90,000 LifeMiles left.

    At 63,000 miles for a one-way business class to Europe at a penny per mile — that’s a one way ticket for $630. and no fuel surcharges — so that looks like a great deal. And, in normal times, I do travel to Europe at least twice a year (in 2019, I went 7 times). This is probably the best deal for a spontaneous traveler. On the other hand, I already have over 925,000 miles accrued across 8 programs (of which about 350,000 are on Star Alliance airlines, 50,000 is with SkyTeam, and the rest is with OneWorld).

    Maybe what I will do is to top off my LifeMiles account to have enough miles for a spontaneous trans-Atlantic business class ticket and one domestic USA ticket for emergencies (as opposed to maxing out on the promotion).

  2. hey, but if you purchased 250k already this year, aren’t you maxed out?

    also, Turkish Airlines had tons of space available everywhere a week or so ago and now zip.
    thoughts anybody….

  3. it’s easy to extend the expiration, just transfer 1000 miles to another account and both will be extended!

  4. @Ben,

    On flyer talk someone said the reason why all Turkish inventory is gone from Life Miles is because life miles stopped paying TK for the tickets. Apparently even trips already ticketed have been cancelled.

  5. And you are still pushing your readers to buy LifeMiles… I’m really curious to know how much they’re paying you to do this

  6. As I’ve said before, LM is great when all goes right, but not so great when things go wrong, even if they are to blame.
    Caveat emptor.

  7. @Joel,

    I just did an add to cart to see the total cost for 200,000 and this is what it said:

    LifeMiles to buy
    LM 200,000

    Bonus miles to be accrued instantly
    LM 100,000

    Bonus miles to be accrued in a few hours
    LM 300,000

    Within the same day for sure.

  8. The cost isn’t quite .01 cent and it takes some work to get down to that actual level. If you have a citi prestige card with a statement closing date ending before September 18th- you can get it down to almost a cent per mile.

    $6,600 gets you 600,000 life miles. Citi prestige will net you an additional 33,000 ($6,600 x5) and then if you can transfer them out of citi to lifemiles by the 18th- you’d get the additional 25% bonus for a total of 41,250.

    641,250 lifemiles for $6,600.

    Almost 1 cent…

  9. In the email i received from the there is note at the end: “we promise we are going to honour current award chards until january 2021”, so be aware that devaluation is coming but it could be good for this year redemptions.

  10. I am sitting on 659K Lifemiles and the availability is zilch! Expiration date is in 2-years, but I am not optimistic about the prospect of getting premium award seats anytime soon!

  11. Having lost all connectivity to Swiss awards (since at least 9/7/20), probably not the best time for LifeMiles to run a sale on buying miles…

  12. I want to address and expand on a comment by JohnG: “On flyer talk someone said the reason why all Turkish inventory is gone from Life Miles is because life miles stopped paying TK for the tickets. Apparently even trips already ticketed have been cancelled.”

    I posted on another LifeMiles thread but I booked a United business class award and I had it cancelled by United after it was confirmed (flight was still on sale by the way). Eventually LifeMiles refunded my miles, though I didn’t get any cash back for the taxes, so I may still need to dig into this.

    Now, my question is… anyone else experience something like this?
    With TK, united, or something else? My issue is.. I can book, but then it gets cancelled 1-2-3-4 weeks before my flight and I have to find something else. Even worse if I am not at my home base.

  13. I see good business class availability for ANA 2021 June/July from ORD-HND; Award space is closely matching the United monthly calendar results.
    My experience with LifeMiles has been pretty good with cancellations and tax refunds with COVID. I cancelled 3 multi-destination international trips with different one-way flights with very high cancel/redeposit fees, but they refunded all the points and taxes after one phone call.

    I wish they fix the issue with Turkish flight award bookings, as they are not showing up online (Ben may have better luck reaching out to them).

  14. @Roberto,

    I decided to pull the trigger on this and bought 600k LifeMiles. I was hesitant but I’m certain I could get a refund via chargeback if the program goes bust but also because I see the option of buying insurance with each ticket. Up to $2,000 for cancellations including:

    “ Trip Cancellation:When the contracted airline cancels your flight due to insolvency.”

    I would recommend looking into this option to cover your bookings.

    I have a bunch of trips I need to take in the next few weeks, I plan on booking all one ways (per usual) and paying for that insurance they offer. I’ll be sure to post if I have my ticket cancelled, I’m traveling next week.

  15. @ John G
    What credit card did you use for this transaction John ? And the insurance you use it when you book the flight thru Lifemiles website?
    Thanks

  16. I hadn’t thought about buying the insurance, that would certainly be a really interesting option, but I’m not sure how the coverage would work with miles (if it would even apply) .

    It would seem if the travel insurance actually covered you , as long as all of your lifemiles were used for reservations at the time / before the insolvency that you might be made whole by the insurance company.

    Unless the insurance company says something like you used miles and you are only covered for any monies actually paid. I doubt they are going to payout the cash value of a first class ticket somewhere.

  17. @Tommy @Ryan Judy

    I used my citi prestige card to cover the purchase for both the $6,600 worth of life miles and for the insurance, I purchased the annual plan for $249.00. This plan would appear to cover each ticket for up to $2,000 in the event of airline insolvency, which would have to be Avianca since all lifemiles tickets are issued on their ticket stock.

    Also for each ticket that I purchased, I paid the taxes and fees with my Amex Platinum card which has “Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance”.

    Since lifemiles is a transfer partner with Amex (and I’ve transferred to lifemiles this year), I believe I would have additional protection from Amex Platinum as well based on this language:

    “You must charge the full amount of a Covered Trip to your Eligible Card or in combination with your Eligible Card and accumulated points on your Eligible Card or redeemable certificates, vouchers,coupons, or discounts awarded from a frequent flyer program or similar program.”

    Nevertheless, proceed with caution. It worked for me because I was easily able to blow through almost 300,000 lifemiles this summer on United Polaris trips and Lufthansa First, and this promotion if combined with a 5x airfare reward card- gets you an incredible value. Just have a plan to use or at least have all your ticketing done by the end of the year.

  18. Anyone else having issues buying these? I tried to buy up 21k to use some Barclaycard points so I can cancel that card, but I got an error (I think error 440 but could be wrong) on checkout. It does say I need to wait a few hours and that all should be good, but that seems unlikely given other issues I’ve had with and heard about Lifemiles. They have not authorized my card either.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Does it eventually go through?

  19. I’m following up on my own note above regarding the error when I tried to make a purchase. It took about 15 minutes after I attempted the purchase, but I then got a phone call from Miami, I assume to verify the transaction. I didn’t answer since I didn’t know the number and my phone didn’t recognize the number as from Avianca, but 30 seconds after the call I received an email with the purchase info. I then checked my Lifemiles account and half of the total (as expected since the purchase page says you get 50% “instantly” and 50% in a few hours). So if anyone gets the purchase error, it does seem like the purchase will sort itself out rather quickly.

  20. Commenting on the Turkish issues…

    I purchased two tickets about 2 months ago. 1 ATL-IST-BJV. The other from IST-ATL

    Both reservations were immediately ticketed. A few days later, I noticed that my IST-ATL flight was “cancelled” even though it still showed availability on Lifemiles, UA or TK’s website. I called Lifemiles to have them fix this. Long story short after 20 phone calls… turns out TK seems to have turned AV’s ability to hold any space whatsoever on their planes (of course lifemiles isn’t very forthcoming about the issue).

    The second ticket, the flight was fine until it wasn’t. TK this time truly cancelled the flight and there was nothing that AV was willing to do to help me find a new flight.

    I have 400k lifemiles on hand and desperate to burn them…

    I wish @Ben can call them out and have them ‘fix’ these issues instead of letting continue play dumb like there are no issues.

    In the meantime I’ll see lifemiles in court for all the out of pocket expenses I had to do related to these issues.

  21. Trying to buy (for the first time!) before the promotion ends. Does anyone know what’s wrong with the payment button – doesn’t seem to like Scottish post codes and doesn’t tell you what’s wrong – just a red box around it. Anyone’s got any pointers? Thanks in advance

  22. Tried using your link, and adding my lifemiles number, and then it takes me to the package for 1×3 and not 1×4.

    Can you help?

    Thanks

  23. @Felipe thanks, I tried without zip code and it returns error code 0-999! . I have tried edge, chrome, firefox on both PC and Android. Time to give up….

  24. @ Ben — I hope everyone here goes all in on this promotion. The best insurance for our miles is for new buyers to buy into to this scheme. They just need to sell $370 million worth of miles and all will be well for a while…

  25. Sure lifemiles can be glitchy but I think it’s worth it. I’ve flown to Australia Europe and Asia in biz and first using these miles. Never had big problems. I may buy for my whole family just to have a stash. Compared to buying tickets it’s worth the risk imo. I’m also happy to book a week out. At worst I’ll buy an exonomy ticket if availability doesn’t open up.

    With biz travel being low I think there will be plenty of availability. Here’s hoping

    And to solve the expiry problem just transfer 1k miles

  26. Anyone else having issues using the miles from the promotion? My balance shows as 0, and it will not allow me to book a flight.

    But the activity page shows all of my recent earnings from the direct purchase + the bonus accrual.

    Happy to give it a day, but got the impression from Ben’s post that once the accrual miles come in a few hours later they’d be ready to spend.

  27. @Mark, Got the same issue called 28 times to their CS Department. They claim they reported the issue and it could be 24 Hours. If this doesn’t get resolved soon! Back-charge here I come!

  28. Real tempted right now but I will sleep on this. I have already scoped out availability DEN-FRA/MUC and its pretty wide open. FRA/MUC to CPT is less available but I can always connect in DOH with Qatar/AA miles.
    RT right now in biz DEN-FRA/MUC is $3,3k. I can buy 84k LM right now and receive 252k LM total, so enough for 2 passengers for $2,7k. Seems like a pretty good deal right now on paper. One way fares you really see the benefit of flat 63k LM redemption.

  29. LifeMiles is great (sort of) until it isn’t.
    Things can go wrong, especially in the current climate, and in trying to set things right you enter some type of Bizzaroland where their rules apply in direct contradiction to those of first world countries.
    Forget any consumer protection you might take for granted; these plainly don’t exist in Colombia. You are at their mercy, usually to your detriment.

  30. Agree with CoolHandLuke,
    Everything goes to garbage when UA cancels your flight booked via LM and all you want is a refund. I am in the fun world of credit card chargebacks and DOT complaints

  31. Hi guys,

    @ Ben, let me tell you, I’m quite disappointed with you; while encouraging people to buy Lifemiles, I sent you an Ask Lucky message and you did not even reply to it. And my message was about the upsetting management of Lifemiles and Avianca to refund me taxes from 5 or 6 months ago. It’s clear that you have some special agreement with them and so you will not even endorse what I have to say.

    First, I’m sitting on over 500K Lifemiles (while also being oneWorld Emerald and Sky Team Elite Plus).
    I had booked 7 tickets using Lifemiles before the pandemic exploded. 3 tickets on Biz Class on Singapore Airlines (to fly in April’20) and 4 tickets on Biz Class on EVA Air (to fly in June’20).
    Obviously needed to cancel all those flights for obvious reasons.

    The miles returned to my account almost immediately but the refund of all taxes has been a long and painful hassle. And I have taxes from 7 tickets to be refunded to me!! And up to today, I have got ZERO refund!!

    They initially said that it would take 3 months to get the refund to my credit card; then at the time of the 3 months, they said “Oh, we extended to 5 months”. And on the 5 months mark, they started playing with me, back and forth, millions of calls and emails and keep bouncing me with no clear answers and no solutions.
    I have asked a million times for them to give me just an email address of the Refunds Department at Avianca and I have not even got that.

    At Lifemiles, they are absolutely useless, they just say now that all the taxes refund is at Refunds Department at Avianca and that’s it.
    Already 6 months have passed for the 3 SQ tickets to get taxes refunded, and 5 months for the 4 BR tickets to get the same.
    And still no single dollar has been refunded.

    And what’s more frustrating and irritating is the feeling that they are simply playing with me.
    The worst was yesterday, when on my 2000th attempt to reach them and get answers, it was thru the chat at Avianca’s website. After waiting for hours, when finally got somebody, then he replied the same bullshit already replied from Lifemiles and when I told him that it was not nice to be waiting for hours to be in contact with somebody to finally get nothing, the agent simply said “F..k you” with other elegant words and disconnected the chat from his side!!

    So, Ben, stop encouraging people buying on this bullshit program. And fellas, be prepared to liaise with terrible Customer Service of Lifemiles and Avianca in case anything goes wrong.

    As a proof: Six months and I’m still waiting for all the taxes paid to get refunded!

  32. I have written about the situation of AVIANCA several months ago.
    The brothers German and Jose Efromovich, Avianca`s controllers are in jail in Brazil

  33. I am still very tempted, but I think I am going to pass (maybe i’ll regret it later on), but without knowing if they’ll honor past Jan 2021 is hard to sell me on. I was looking at redemptions in March 2021.

  34. I have alerted several months ago about the risks of buying these miles.
    The brothers German and Jose Efromovich, controllers of Avianca, are in jail in Brazil.

  35. Purchased a small amount but reading responses about Turkish issues is concerning. Hopefully it gets resolved by the time we are ready to travel.

    To add to a list of grievances — our main issue with Lifemiles is they are not showing any availability for direct IAH-HND/HND-IAH flights only ANA. Everything worked fine when it was IAH-NRT/NRT-IAH but ANA changed flight numbers and moved it to Haneda and Lifemiles refuses to acknowledge the flight exists.

  36. Folks ask yourself this why is this being made today ? Reason they need cash. Now there are good business decisions and there are not so good ones. For me I am extremely hesitant when I see offers like these given the current and what is certainly to be a nasty downturn after the first of the year with all these subsidy programs winding down and a huge debt to be paid back. Bankruptcy will rein throughout the travel industry. Sadly. I am not chicken little here just looking at it with clear lenses

  37. Does anyone know workaround this error “Sorry, the page you tried cannot be found, For assistance contact our call centre option 3 – error code 0-999”. This is displayed after hitting the Purchase button. Very frustrating – doesn’t matter PC/MAC/Android/iOs.

  38. Cheaper way to get these miles is using the “Multiply your miles” feature on their website. Mine showing for US$ 295.56, I can get 36,094 LMiles, which equals .82 CPM.

    Check it out!

  39. Can’t even top up my account, despite having bought miles loads of times before and used them to great effect, the system now won’t take my UK postcode, even though it matches my profile! The trouble is it just goes red and doesn’t tell me why.
    Utter pants

  40. lifemiles is a lot trouble. Thanks God, TK Flights are back on lifemiles, however, they show very little availability. I will never buy their miles. I might consider their credit card (40,000 points) for $149. I don’t know how good their credit card department is.

  41. Lucky- thanks for everything you do. Avianca is being IMPOSSIBLE with flight changes related to COVID for tickets previously booked. Any chance you can reach out to them and ask them to offer a bit more flexibility? If they were to do so I bet we’d buy a bunch more miles…

    Thanks,
    David

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *