LifeMiles Offering 145% Bonus On Purchased Miles (Extended)

Filed Under: AviancaTaca, Great Deals
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For the past couple of weeks, LifeMiles has been offering an increased bonus on purchased miles for OMAAT readers. This promotion was supposed to end on October 2, though has been extended by a couple of days, through October 4. So you have until tomorrow to still buy miles, should you be interested.

LifeMiles Offering 145% Bonus To OMAAT Readers

Through Friday, October 4, 2019, LifeMiles is offering a special 145% bonus to OMAAT readers, which is in line with their best mileage pricing of the year.

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 115% 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 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 December 31, 2019, 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’ best promotion of the year on purchased miles was supposed to end yesterday, though has now been extended through tomorrow. Just make sure you register for the promotion first, and then buy miles.

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.

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Comments
  1. I checked before buying if there was availability..i bought the exactly amount of miles needed. When i try to redem it says it is not possible to book. It was a sistem mistake and now there is not availability. How can i return the miles? They said to me it is not possible. What can i do? I hate lifemiles.
    The web site is so annoying and staff from avianca lifemiles is usless by phone…impossible to comunicate properly.

  2. If you make the purchase with Amex, I can assure you if they go bust you can get a refund via chargeback. Almost every CC provider has a clause protecting consumers in the event of a travel provider going under. Especially in this case since these purchases are coded as airline tickets.

  3. I’ve been trying for weeks to book a LifeMiles reward on AC (LHR-YYZ). Their website fails at the point of booking. After many calls I thought I had it completed.

    Since then I’ve been through 10+ more calls, plenty of emails to what seems like a company with absolutely no idea how to do business. Right now it’s 8 days since my “ticket” was issued, and the taxes taken from my CC. Still, the booking reference doesn’t work; the booking isn’t completed.

    Everyone there is incompetent in the extreme and I would urge people to stay well away from the program.

  4. Ben

    As a long time reader and fan who has supported the site, you HAVE to weigh in here.

    You have pushed these offers and I, like many others, are holding a lot of miles that can’t be redeemed easily.

    Can you speak to the Avianca Powers That Be and get some clarity for us holding the onemileatatime lifemiles bag?

  5. @Michael,

    From my experience, Life Miles are only good for last-minute bookings. I typically only see availability the day of or the day before my desired travel date. For some people this works well for others, I guess not. Most of my travel is last minute so I’ve found incredible value in this program. Short-haul United flights to regional cities, US-Europe flights in Business, Europea to Asia.. all have worked out well for me but as I said, the bookings can only be made the day of and at most 3 days before.

    As I said the program works for some but not everyone’s situation.

  6. I had previously registered for the 35% bonus and that’s all I’m seeing. When I register through the OMAAT link it says I’m already registered. 🙁

  7. Alternatively, book your flights way in advance. I have successfully redeemed a return J class ticket for SIN-JFK, although the booking was made 10 months in advance. I have also redeemed 4 J class tickets for SIN-TPE by booking the tickets 8 months on advance.

  8. Many problems with the site…lots of miles in my account. And not possible to use them. It is incredible how many people on the same situation. I just bought 1000 miles to extend my expiring date. But it is hard to use… before..long time ago was amazing. RIP LIFEMILES.

  9. I followed you on many of my miles movements Ben. All good to be honest. LIFEMILES NO! I HAVE MY MONEY STUCKED THERE. I CAN’T USE THEM. TOO BAD. I HATE LIFEMILES.

  10. I guess I’m a rare case, having had a very successful redemption a week ago for a business-class flight in mid-October (i.e. not last minute, not months in advance). JFK-TLV on Brussels Airline in their new “Boutique Hotel” business class.

    The miles redeemed and the whole thing ticketed instantly (PNR with ticket numbers). I was able to select seats by calling Brussels.

    78K Lifemiles + $50 or so.

  11. Hey Ben,
    Or year ago I was exploring the website to book J class from Canada to Europe and found availability often. But lately I have seen zero availability on many different dates and cities. This makes me very nervous about getting into the life miles program. I am sure your website and work but this program seems to be risky… Your thoughts.

  12. I got the 145% bonus straight up. I am not adding to my stockpile of miles though, in view of their supposed uncertain financial position. I am redeeming only, and will buy extra when a specific opportunity is there.
    On a different note, I find their cancellation fees and change fees extortionate and certainly discourage making any far out bookings into the future.

  13. I should’ve waited for a few days before buying only with 130% bonus. With that said, I had GREAT usage for these miles especially with their DISCOUNTED routes in Asia! I love these promos!

  14. I have booked a number of times with the LifeMiles that I purchased with no problem. I am flying next week on an international business class flight that I booked a couple weeks ago. I have heard a lot of people complain but have not personally had any problems redeeming LifeMiles or working with the call center. I have bought through the promos and also subscribe the monthly program. One pair of tickets that I had to cancel kind of hurt at $200 each but I knew that going into it.

  15. Never had problems before but last redemption was a mess for me. Now i understand all the comments. No way to buy again lifemiles. The system doesn’t work properly. And many many many mistakes.
    Any porblem you have (because of lifemiles system) no way to solve it by email or phone..and if you do so…it takes weeeeeeeks. Incredible.

  16. I recently booked:
    Swiss biz Rome-LAX
    EVA biz London-Bangkok
    ANA first LAX-NRT

    Nothing was last minute bookings. All was 3-5 months out from travel date. Easy to book online. Had to call in once and waited for a week for the ticketing to be completed but all was good. However I agree just purchase what you immediately need and not to stockpile.

  17. Already registered through the email link they sent me, now I can’t get the 145% bonus because I earlier responded to their (worse) email promo. Sitting this one out unless they fix it.

  18. I bought the miles sales back in June 2019 and tried to book online but it ended up had to email them and after weeks email returned instructed me to email all docs needed and wait for them to contact me either email or by phone. weeks passed with multiple email follow up , Nothing happened and No email nor phone contacted me. The promotional miles fare that I wanted to use had expired so I ended up with miles that not sure what to do now…. Frustrated ;(

  19. Sounds like I may be in the minority here but was able to book business class ow from IAD to BKK on Swiss Air for June 2020. Transferred over 45000 points from Capital one and purchased the rest of the necessary points to reach the 78000 mark from this offer

  20. You’re not in the minority, KH. I’m usually able to book IAD to a couple of European cities on Lufthansa and even UA with no issues. I’ve used LM to travel business to MUC, FRA, and FCO this year alone and didn’t have to call them. I also purchase points when they have the bonuses and then wait to transfer points between family accounts when they have the transfer bonuses. I max out when I can on points purchase and I really hope they don’t go bankrupt because I’m sitting on a few miles I want to use up in a few months. I find LM best for last-minute economy and business class tickets. Maybe we’re lucky that IAD is a hub for some of their major partners.

  21. Hm LH last minute availability much worse than before and even EVA not so good anymore. Will pass this time but monitor availability (haven’t booked with new system, old system was no problem and even the one time I had to call to cancel was very smooth).

  22. LifeMiles very useful for California in-state flights.

    Booked SBA-SFO flights for 6500 LifeMiles each direction plus $15.60.

    The same flights with UA Mileage Plus was 10,000 miles and $80 each way.

    Very good use of LifeMiles. All booked on-line. Very easy.

  23. I had a problem with the tickets. Althought i could book it..tap downgrade me from biz to economy. They gave me a paper saying the i need to contact lifemiles. I can’t believe this!!! Lifemiles says it tap problem and tap says it is lifemilles… incredible. More than 15 emails and still no answer or compensation!

  24. I am sorry, Tim, hope you can make it. I used LifeMiles for business MIA>LIS a month ago w/o any problem but ticketed few months in advance.

  25. From south america is not good. Was excellent deal beforem not anymore!

    Long lifemiles user..i will use the ones i have and gone! Never again. Two bad experiences with this!

  26. Lucky – do you know what would happen to my award ticket if Avianca Lifemiles went under? If I already have a PNR/confirmation on the partner airline am I safe and my award is still valid?

    Thanks!

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