Last Day: LifeMiles Promo For OMAAT Readers – Buy Miles For 1.375 Cents Each!

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, including American Express, Capital One, Chase, and Citi, and thanks for your support!

For the past couple of weeks, the LifeMiles program has been offering a bonus on purchased miles. Their publicly available promotion offers up to a 125% bonus when you buy miles.

Then last week LifeMiles started offering a special increased bonus on purchased LifeMiles for readers of OMAAT. Note that this offer expires today, so if you’ve been considering this promotion, today is the last day to buy miles at the discounted price.

At each of the levels, OMAAT readers will receive an additional 15% bonus, meaning you can earn up to a 140% bonus on purchased miles. Here’s what the bonus chart looks like for OMAAT readers who register:

  • Buy 1,000-50,000 LifeMiles, get a 115% bonus
  • Buy 51,000-100,000 LifeMiles, get a 130% bonus
  • Buy 101,000-200,000 LifeMiles, get a 140% bonus

LifeMiles ordinarily sells miles for ~3.3 cents each, so if you max out the promotion and buy miles with a 140% bonus, you’re paying just 1.375 cents per purchased mile, which is a fantastic value.

Again, this special OMAAT promotion is only valid through today, March 14, 2019. To take advantage of it you need to register on this page, and then you should immediately see the increased bonus when you try to buy LifeMiles (in the past you needed to wait 24 hours to buy miles at the lower price, but that is no longer the case). Just make sure you actually see the correct bonus when you go to buy miles.

Buying LifeMiles counts as airfare purchase

LifeMiles processes mileage purchases directly, meaning that buying miles with them qualifies 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

So 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 1.375 cents to 1.26 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?

AviancaTaca 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 ANAAsiana, 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. However, they recently introduced a new website, and it seems they have access to more partner award space now.

Still, you’ll want to do an online search to make sure the type of redemption you’re looking at is available.

Some have reported issues using the LifeMiles site, so if you’re having those issues, please report back the specifics of the problems you’re having, and I’ll be sure to pass them on to the LifeMiles team so they can hopefully be resolved.

Bottom line

Today is the last day to take advantage of the special LifeMiles bonus for OMAAT readers. Thanks to LifeMiles for offering this, and I hope lots of you are able to take advantage of it.

This is an opportunity to book Star Alliance premium cabin tickets at a significant discount, assuming availability coincides with your travel plans.

I maxed out the number of LifeMiles you can buy last year, and plan on doing so again this year.

Regarding Comments: 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. Zero availability on ORD-ADD nonstop with ET essentially year long. Had to book through United, website and customer service remains frustrating. I’d only buy with a redemption in mind and available.

  2. a few days late.. I just bought 200K with 135% promotion. Need them to book 4 B class tickets round trip JFK – GVA on Swiss. spring break period and plenty spaces at the time, an opportunity I cannot wait on.

    Curious what is the maximum miles one can buy? Per transaction is 200K that I get it, can I buy for a second time? I will try it out.

  3. @lu: i think every account is only allowed 200k/year. But you can always open another account, the Lifemiles agent said so on the phone 😉

  4. @ Connor — Sure, the amount of money you spend would qualify towards any minimum spend requirement on a credit card.

  5. @ lu — Just 200K per account per calendar year, though you can always have friends or family members open accounts, and book from there.

  6. @Suzino , I can open new one for my wife too. but I think a new account only get 125% to begin with so 140% as a reader. I got 135% because I am old customer. I am not sue if that means I can get 150% as a reader if I had not purchase my quota.

  7. Lucky, (and anyone on here I guess!),

    My wife and I are looking to go to the Olympics in Tokyo next year.

    I’d like to return I’m ANA F, TYO-ORD/IAH. How do you think redemption levels will be mid-olympics??

    Buying these miles would have to be speculative.

  8. Is this a good number for speculative hoarding for later this year? Or still not worth it unless you have an immediate need. Math is hard.

  9. @Mark

    That’s gonna be a little risky in my opinion. Your best bet is to look as the dates are released 330 days in advance, but even then, Lifemiles doesn’t consistently have access to all of the Star Alliance partner redemptions. I imagine a lot of people are thinking about redeeming to Tokyo during that period. It would be too speculative for me at least.

    Hope that helps.

  10. For speculators, remember that last April (as reported here on OMAAT), LifeMiles account policy changed and now miles expire in 12 months if no activity. See that post for more details.

  11. I always buy…not thid time. Not anymore. From south america nothing of availability. Less than before, by far.

    And the new site is a disaster. I can’t beleive is still without changes.

    Hate it.

  12. I always buy…not thid time. Not anymore. From south america nothing of availability. Less than before, by far.

    And the new site is a disaster. I can’t beleive is still without changes.

    No way.

  13. About the 12 months validity: if I buy miles today, the 12-months-clock resets on my TOTAL amount of miles in my account as from today, correct? Not just on the miles I buy today? Thanks!

  14. I’ have bought many Live Miles over the years,,
    Not this time…..it has become to frustrating to use.

    OMAAT, can should arrange special inventory and a working Life Miles booking site for your readers??? Maybe then I would consider it.

  15. ” LifeMiles doesn’t always have access to all the same space that other Star Alliance programs do.” And Lucky doesn’t always fly in basic economy.

  16. The issue is premium cabin availability. It used to show but nowadays it’s impossible to find decent business class availability. Wish it was worth it but cannot justify purchasing miles towards economy class redemption.

  17. @Tom That does not appear limited to LM unfortunately. Star Alliance premium cabin availability appears to have dried up across the board over the last couple of months.

  18. Grateful to Lucky for the offer but will pass this time, LM has just had too many devaluations, too many downgrades of the booking-pages, too much increase in the cancellation-fee and too too many infuriating error-outs at the end of the booking process. Anyway for most of the routes I would have booked it now ends up cheaper to pay cash fares if you factor in the miles earned, rather than buy Lifemiles and enter the lottery of the LM award-booking-page.

    Now Lucky what about scoring a deal buying United miles?

  19. @Lucky
    Their new website is simply awful. When you do get passed the enter date page (the site is so slow), and can see availability, you receive the following message:

    Sorry, we could not process your request, please try again.
    If the problem persists contact our Call center Option 3 or send us an email to [email protected]
    LifeMiles Team.
    E3 13451130781 03/03/2019 02:46:26}

    Four days later and multiple tweets and their response remains:
    “We understand that you’ve been attempting the ticket redemptiuon since Saturday; however, we remind you that your information was escalated yesterday and thus, your request is being evaluated and we expect you’ll be contacted either via phone or email once it’s approved by our specialized area. Thank you for your support and understanding.”

    Just awful!

  20. The new LM site is all style over substance. It also reminds me of a brand new airport; more spacious and consequently more walking to get where you need to be. LM now has everything bigger but not better, with more walking (scrolling and page changes) to get where you want to be.
    Never thought I’d need to go to UA MP to quickly find what I want and then try to find it on LM to book….
    I hate, hate, hate it!!!

  21. When I try to made the purchase, website said “Miles purchase amount exceeds the maximum allowed for this promotion”. I can’t make 140% bonus. Any solutions?

  22. Purchasing miles.for economy is almost doble more expensive than buyind directly by the wesite.
    Business ( if you find) almost the same price in almost every route. And no availability!!
    The site is waful. To many steps to get till the end.
    Who made this site? A 60 years old guy??

    Hate it.

  23. Please lucky, talk with lifemiles. No point to continue with this. Ugly and annoting site!!!

    Hate it!

  24. If you got targeted even before signing up and try to register, don’t be alarmed if you get an error saying you already got an existing promotion… It seemed to me that I was automatically eligible for the rates posted here. But anyone else might want to register nonetheless just to be sure.

  25. I used the OMAAT promotion – thank you Lucky. However, Amex shows the charge as “lifemiles-web” and not as Avianca as it was the case before – I wonder if we still get the 5x points from Amex?

  26. Awesome promo! But the website will not allow a bonus to attach if I try to buy more than 50k miles? I have purchased miles in the past and redeemed them but is it because I have 0 miles in my account right now? Thanks for any advice.

  27. Ben, given your regular use and endorsement of Lifemiles, I would really be interested in your take on this situation. I flew my first Lifemiles award redemption earlier this week, and things went sideways. My original routing was BKK-CDG-FRA-IAD, with the first segment in Thai Royal First and the remaining in LH biz. Due to an technical issue at BKK and thanks to a longer flight time rerouting around Pakistan, my flight from BKK to CDG was 2 hours late upon arrival, and I missed my connection to FRA. After seeking assistance airside with no success, I eventually made may way to the check-in areas for both LH and TG. However, both airlines refused to provide any re-booking help, just shrugged their shoulders and said this isn’t our problem.

    Given how difficult it was to get the award booked in the first place, I had zero confidence in the Lifemiles CS being able to provide any timely resolution, especially since there was no longer award availability. I guess I (incorrectly) assumed that Thai would take responsibility for the recovery, given it was their flight that was late, and I was traveling in first class. I ended up being forced to book a separate ticket to get myself home from Paris, on United.

    Thoughts on what I should have done differently, or what one should do when experiencing a problem while traveling on a LM award?

  28. @Shawn

    What a horror story! Just out of curiosity: all flights were on the same ticket, issuead by Avianca I assume?

    If so, I wonder if LH would have been responsible to reroute you, as the handling agent for Avianca in Frankfurt. My experience is that the LH customer service in FRA very much depends on the agent you got in front of you. Anyway, just wondering as I find this an interesting case. Hope you got home safe!

  29. @Viktor

    Yes, all segments were on the same Avianca-issued ticket. I think part of the problem was the misconnect happened while transferring between Thai and LH, giving each the opportunity to point to finger of responsibility towards the other. Plus, this was in CDG, so neither airlines’ hub, and perhaps less empowerment or willingness to assist. It was so infuriating.

  30. @Shawn

    Of course, you wrote it happened in Paris, on the way to Frankfurt. Sorry about the mix up.

    As far as I know (been working for SN when it was still called Sabena, back in the ’90) first the issuing airline is responsible and if they for any reason are not ‘available’, the carrier that caused the delay is responsible, in this case TG.

    And the so-called form of payment (whether cash or miles) should not make any difference, naturally. Did you contact Avianca already? Curious as what they’ll say about this, especially as you had to buy a new ticket, on the spot: who is going to reimburse you?

  31. Registered for more than 3 days, offer and calculation did not change, it’s still buy 2 for 1. Any suggestion please?

  32. It is bad lifwmiles now… nothing compared to what it was before.
    And the bew site is horrible!! Very annoying to use!

  33. Anyone registered and had problem of the bonus miles not showing correctly? Was yours fixed?

  34. I have mixed feelings about LifeMiles. I still have 390,000 miles from a big (even slightly better) promotion in 2015. I think I spent around $5,000.

    I haven’t been able to use them.

    One thing that Lucky should (repeatedly) make clear is that their best use is for Star Alliance flights that you need to take within, say, 1-14 days before departure. That differs from other airlines because (for the other airlines) if you wait until just before departure you are likely to pay a premium (in either cash or miles) to travel. In this case, if the space is not available on LifeMiles, it is not available — you can’t pay more to make it available.

    I will likely have to buy some small amount of more miles from them in order to keep my account active (and not lose the 390,000 miles I have). When I did this transaction (through OMAAT), I did it because LifeMiles had recently devalued their chart (so another devaluation wasn’t like to occur anytime soon) and because there were no expiration dates for the miles.

    I’m also annoyed that LifeMiles has not updated their cooperation agreement with Lufthansa to allow someone to pay miles to upgrade from economy to Lufthansa’s excellent premium economy service. Lucky, can you please bring this matter to their attention? Thank you.

  35. I tried to buy 101,000 miles, it is showing a total of LM 227,250. If I try with 100,000, it shows a total of LM 230,000, which is higher! Anybody else is having this issue?

  36. I have been unable to buy the Life Miles. I get an error message after entering payment information on their website. It is not my credit card bank. I called the bank (Chase) and they said no approval was requested. Either they do not really want to sell the miles, or there is a problem with Visa and Mastercard. I tried both Visa and Mastercard. I do know that with businesses, primarily third world, where there has been a lot of credit card fraud, both Visa and Mastercard will sometimes put a 24 hour hold on the charge before even contacting your bank for authorization. Most businesses treat that as declined, and your credit card bank has never even been contacted.

  37. So bad the new site. Np availability at all from southamerica!!

    Still like 250.000 miles in my account. So bad…

  38. Pfff lucky!!!! Please talk to lifemiles to make the site better thN now. Lots of mistakes…loooots

  39. Thanks Lucky, for the promo. I was able to get LAX-TPE-BKK on Eva J, and BKK-HND on TG F and HND-LAX on NH J. For united domestic tickets, the ability to book without the ridiculous close-in booking fee is great. My second ticket errored out during booking, but a phone call was able to get it fixed (and it was my fault, an error with the billing address on the credit card). One tip is to write down the PNR when it’s in the booking process, because you won’t get an email if booking fails. I agree that the new website is not perfect. While it’s nice to have mixed cabin redemptions at decent pricing, LM simply doesn’t show the same availability as united.com and I had to book domestic segments on a separate ticket, wasting more miles.

  40. some folks here are confidently stating that buying miles re-ups expiration for one year under the new “earn” policy. I have yet to see anyone confirm this – Lucky, have you confirmed this? Has anyone else directly confirmed this? Award Wallet cannot determine an expiration date, the LifeMiles website doesn’t seem to show one – anyone with concrete information?

  41. Only a week or so ago, I sent an email to Lifemiles support, about the expiration policy. This is their reply:

    ”Viktor,

    Cordial greetings.

    Let us inform you that any transaction that increases the total amount of miles in your account extends the validity for 12 more months.

    Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay $33.00 USD plus local taxes per blocks of 1,000 miles and you can process such transaction through our Website under the Buy LifeMiles section (account number and password needed) or through our Contact Center.

    We remain at your disposal.

    Regards,”

  42. Does anyone have a working promo code for Avianca credit card for the extra 20000 miles? LM17WB doesn’t work any longer. Thanks.

  43. Lifemiles have blocked my account for several weeks now…
    I really need to purchase during this promotion period, now it is all over… Still need my account back before the next promo.
    @Lucky, can you help me on this one?

    Million thanks in advance!

  44. Hullo Ben,

    I got double billed from the OMAAT promo from back in Nov 2018. I’ve been talking to the Avianca / Lifemiles Customer Service department for the past 3.5 months. No refund yet, do you have any idea how I can expedite a refund request in their organization? Do you know of any other reps that could help me?

    Thanks!

  45. Hey Lucky, I’ve had worse luck redeeming via the website since its redesign. Additionally, LifeMiles customer service seems to be getting worse at responding; I have an open booking query that’s six days old, space still shows as available on LifeMiles (and ExpertFlyer), but as of my second query today, they say “Let us inform you that your case is still being evaluated by our specialized department; however, we’ve sent them a reminder. If your request is approved, they’ll contact you by phone or via email. We appreciate your understanding and remain at your disposal.” (My understanding is zero, for the record.)

    I cannot for the life of me understand how they have time to correspond with me by email, but no time to actually deal with my reservation.

    How can I get you details of these two recent cases?

    Thanks in advance!

  46. @Chris Jackson – did you contact them via email or via phone for your request?

    @Ben – I just read through the entire comments section and the responses are overwhelmingly negative. For example, Lifemiles barely shows availability (even when other *A engines show space), website errors out during checkout/billing, customer service going days without responding to people, well-documented incompetence at the call center. Why are you still promoting these sales when there are so many problems? Seems like a major disservice to your readers.

  47. Technically United First is sold via LifeMiles redemption. Good luck finding space available though…..Im not even sure UA economy redemptions are available….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *