LifeMiles Offering 145% Bonus On Purchased Miles (Special OMAAT Promo)

Filed Under: AviancaTaca, Great Deals
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A couple of weeks ago LifeMiles introduced their latest promotion on purchased miles, including a special promotion for OMAAT readers.

With their normal promotion, LifeMiles is offering up to a 125% bonus on purchased miles, though LifeMiles is offering a special 145% bonus to OMAAT readers, which is the best promotion of the year on purchased miles, as far as I know (the best bonus I otherwise recall seeing is for 140%).

If you’ve been considering this promotion but haven’t yet taken part in it, note that it ends tomorrow, July 31, 2019, so you have one day left to take advantage of the promo.

LifeMiles is offering a tiered bonus on purchased miles, so OMAAT readers who register can expect to receive the following bonuses:

  • Buy 1,000-10,000 LifeMiles, get a 105% bonus
  • Buy 11,000-50,000 LifeMiles, get a 110% bonus
  • Buy 51,000-100,000 LifeMiles, get a 135% bonus
  • Buy 101,000-200,000 miles, get a 145% bonus

LifeMiles ordinarily sells miles for ~3.3 cents each, so if you max out the promotion and buy miles with a 145% bonus, you’re paying just 1.35 cents per purchased mile, which is a fantastic value.

To take advantage of it you need to register for the 145% bonus promotion, and then you should immediately see the increase when you try to buy LifeMiles. Make sure you 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 1.35 cents to 1.24 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?

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 introduced a new website earlier this year, 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.

LifeMiles’ credit cards are also offering increased bonuses

If you’re looking for another way to earn LifeMiles, note that LifeMiles’ co-branded US credit cards are offering increased bonuses at the moment as well. You can earn up to 60,000 bonus miles with one of these offers.

How to earn 20,000 EXTRA LifeMiles

Through September 30th you can get an extra 20,000 miles when you are approved for either the Vuela or Vida card, and meet the minimum spending requirement:

  1. Go to the application for your choice of Avianca LifeMiles credit cards — either the Avianca Vida Visa® Card or the Avianca Vuela Visa® Card
  2. Complete the personal information section of the card application
  3. At the bottom of the application, look under the “Additional Information” section to enter your Promo Code
  4. Enter “SB4060” in the box
  5. Submit your application

The bonus LifeMiles will post once you’ve spent $1,000 within the first 90 days!

Bottom line

LifeMiles is now offering their best promotion of the year on purchased miles. Just make sure you register for the promotion first, and then buy miles. If you’ve been considering taking advantage of this promotion, tomorrow is the last day to do so.

While I know some people have trouble finding Star Alliance award space, I figured I’d mention that in the past 24 hours I’ve redeemed two transatlantic business class awards — one on United and one on Swiss — without any issue. The exact flights that I wanted (and that showed elsewhere) were also bookable with LifeMiles.

Thanks to LifeMiles for offering this special promo. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t get anything from LifeMiles if you buy miles through this link — I’m just grateful that they offer a better than normal bonus to our readers.

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.
  1. Help! I’m a 1st-timer and trying to register to get the deal but an error page is keeps popping up:(

  2. @Lucky

    I keep seeing these posts to buy Avianca for travel on ANA / Lufthansa. I actually find ANA to be much better deal with Virgin Atlantic. Though I would consider buying for use on Lufthansa.

    Would you happen to know how strict routing rules are with Avianca? Like can I route to Asia via FRA from NYC on LH in F? What would be best redemption to maximize LH coming from NYC?


  3. In the past months Avianca Lifemiles has been offering a disproportionate amount of sales and special transfers of their miles from a variety of credit cards and hotel transfer programs. Since this airlines is in bad financial shape, I wander if all these sales are a desperate attempt to quickly get cash.

    Over the last 2 years I purchased miles, using your special offer, and redeemed them for great travel. Thank you for the past special codes, by the way!

    Do you think this airline is viable on the long run? Is Lifemiles program going to last? Are these miles safe??

  4. @Lucky
    I have gotten great value tickets from Lifemiles (East Asia to Buenos Aires for 85,000 miles in Business) after learning about it from your post.

    But as @Pacquale says – there are lots of offers at the moment – I get the feeling they are desperate.

    What would happen with a booked award ticket if the program/airline would fold Advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks for great site!

  5. Two weeks ago my mom and I flew LH’s F for the very first time. We couldn’t be any more happier.

  6. Error when trying to sign up:

    Subscription Error

    Unable to subscribe to the promotion. Please enter a valid LifeMiles number

    I tried to enter my VALID Lifemiles number to no avail……I’ve even been able to log into my account on the LifeMiles website, but still says not a valid account

  7. I keep searching for availability and get NO business or first class availability, only Economy… doesn’t matter how far forward I search.

  8. I snagged one of Ben’s promo codes at the end of May and bought 90,000 lifemiles for about $1230 and got an ANA first class ticket from Tokyo to LAX direct about 12 days before travel. Fees were $50 on top, but remember that lifemiles purchases are coded as airfare, so I got 5$ back on my Amex platinum. Thanks Ben.

  9. Hello Lucky,

    I am also having issue when I am trying to register for the promotion. It keeps showing errors (written in Spanish). Could you help?

  10. I had one these credit cards and closed it a couple of months ago, if I reopen do I still get the bonus miles? I didn’t see in any of the terms that this isn’t available to cardholders that have previously had this card. Any idea?

  11. I subscribed but don’t see an immediate increase. It’s at 135%. Don’t you have to wait at least a day for this to kick in? I remember it was how it worked last time.

  12. I was trying to buy miles but kept getting the error of “999” at the last step (payment), any idea why? Tried with different browsers and cards, same error.

  13. @Johnny would happen the same happened with Avianca Brasil and its fidelity program AMIGO.
    The other companies are not willing to honor the award tickets booked with miles of Amigo.
    So it’s a risk

  14. Hey Ben! Love these promotions. I travel to Ecuador alot, and buying miles is cheaper then a paid ticket, even in economy!

  15. Thanks Lucky. I bought 130,000 miles with your link, with intentions of two first class trips to Europe in LH. Just booked my first one one-way to Hamburg for Wednesday. Can’t wait. Any tips for Hamburg?

  16. @Lucky can you clarify how this promo works? I used your link and registered. When I select miles to purchase it does not show me any promo miles on the payment screen. When do those show up?

  17. @ CF Frost — Once you register it should show on the purchase page. You’re saying you don’t see any bonus on the purchase page (not even a 125%) bonus, or just not the full 145% bonus?

  18. @Lucky after registering this is what I see – does that look correct? Apologies as math is not my strong suit.

    Purchasing LM 50,000
    LifeMiles Summary
    LifeMiles to buy
    LM 50,000
    Bonus miles
    LM 57,500
    LM 107,500
    Payment SummaryChange currency
    Total (USD)
    US$ 1,650.00

  19. Avianca LifeMiles has apparently been having sales every single week. Yes, i read about how one can book LH F with lifemiles but for some reason i’m hesistant to buy these miles. These sales reek of desperation and i guess it’s only a matter of time till sth goes belly up here.

    I hope you all get to use your miles as planned.

  20. @CF Frost, the 145% only applies when you buy more than 101K. You will get a 135% bonus when you purchase 51K and just 110% when you buy 50K.

  21. @Ryan thank you. @Sam I’m not worried about an Avianca bankruptcy. If tickets are not honored then my US-based credit card comes with significant consumer protections and travel insurance.

  22. I’m trying to keep my LifeMiles from expiring. Will purchasing miles keep my LifeMiles active?

  23. @Pasquale there is no “long run” in this game. Earn and Burn! I bought some, then immediately booked travel. No problems. And ironically, two weeks ago when I did,, everyone’s favourite, failed to show any BR J availability 2019 winter. LifeMiles did and it was bookable.

  24. Very disappointed in Avianca right now. Used them quite a lot last year, for about 5k worth of travel. Tried buying 101,000 pre-bonus this time around. Using my CSR, website errored out every time. Tried calling them multiple times. Used 3 different cards from different banks. Used my mother’s account. Nothing. Over an hour and a half on the phone trying to get it to work yesterday, they said that the bank is blocking the charge. Bank said they never received any charge. Then this morning, I receive an email saying my miles posted. I try to login, receive a ‘1099 error’, my account has been blocked for potential fraudulent activity. One week to unblock it they say. Fantastic for me, since I wanted to buy an award for this Friday. The whole IT system stinks, award availability goes from 4 seats to 0 in 10 minutes, then back up to 4 in another hour. I just hope they don’t go bust.

  25. Lucky, When i enter the last step of the payment, why the error message keep comin up.
    Sorry, the page you tried cannot be found!
    We could not find what you were looking for and the operation could not be completed
    Please need help from you guys. thanks in advance

  26. @Ernie
    Yes, I transferred 1000 miles to my wife’s account for $30 I think and we both got extension of the expiration as expected

  27. A lengthy post and not a single mention that this airline can go bust any time now. Their 2020 bonds pay 20%+ which is alarming. Their sister Brazilian airline went bankrupt a few months ago. You should only buy these if you’re using them in less than 3 months tops. Can’t understand how one can advertise these to newbies (with referrals) without any mention to the excessive risks.

  28. @Peteco

    If tickets are not honored, US-based credit card purchases come with significant consumer protections to get a full refund. Plus many who read this blog also have credit cards that include good travel insurance in the event of bankruptcy.

  29. Error Message 1099 received after entering credit card number. Tried several times with two accounts. Looks like there is a glitch in the system.

  30. @Ali M and @Steven Linardi,

    I had the same exact issue. Tried on two accounts, three different bank cards etc. Page could not be found. It worked the 3rd time I had them manually buy it over the phone. Lifemiles callcenter folks are keen to help usually.

  31. @CF Frost
    The problem with the refund is that the cost of booking a similar flight could be much higher ( or unavailable) so it won’t help much. Also, if you book with miles I don’t think your CC will refund anything. You’ll have to use your travel insurance which may or may not cover you. All of this is very important, but completely absent from the article. It’s like I’m selling an unsophisticated buyer a bond at 40% discount without disclosing why it’s so much cheaper than other bonds out there.

  32. Be careful with Avianca. Although they are separated legally, Avianca bankrupted in Brazil.
    Too many offer/promotions to collect money.

  33. Lucky, It seems to be a common trend that you will post a deal with Avianca and a slew of people will post questions asking for clarity about error messages, and then you disappear! I’m sure you’re getting kickbacks from the company but you should be more accountable to your audience!!!

  34. With Citi eliminating majority of its perks like trip delays etc. do you still recommend getting the Citi Prestige and use the card for purchasing plane tickets? Thanks.

  35. If you buy lifemiles now, what is their expiration date? I just bought the 101K miles to get the 145% bonus and my miles posted immediately, but with an expiration date of 30 April 2020. Not even 10 months validity?

  36. It should be x 1 year, then you can extend it by purchase or transfer (I did to my wife with extension of both accounts…)

  37. For those who are getting errors, are you using AMEX card to pay? I have had this issue in the past with AMEX cards.

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