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:
|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|
|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|
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
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.
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.