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:
|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 1.35 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
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.
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.