LifeMiles Promo For OMAAT Readers Extended

Filed Under: AviancaTaca, Great Deals
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A few weeks ago I wrote about how LifeMiles was offering a bigger bonus on purchased miles for our readers. This promotion was supposed to expire on June 5, 2019, though LifeMiles has just let me know that the special increased bonus for OMAAT readers has been extended through June 10, 2019.

If you haven’t pulled the trigger but are interested, you have a few days remaining to do so.

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 now valid through June 10, 2019. To take advantage of it you need to register for the 140% 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 1.375 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?

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 recently introduced a new website, 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.

There have also been questions about whether or not it makes sense to buy LifeMiles given the financial complexities at Avianca right now — in general I wouldn’t make speculative purchases, but if you’re buying miles to use right away or in the next few months, I wouldn’t be worried.

Bottom line

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the increased bonus on purchased miles for OMAAT readers, you have a few extra days to do so. Thanks to LifeMiles for offering this, and I hope some of you who had been on the fence about buying miles are able to take advantage of it.

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.
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. Does anyone know if using chase Hyatt Visa would count towards airline spend with this purchase of miles?

  2. I’m sorry about that, folks. The link should be correct now, please try again. My apologies!

  3. A day after they reported significant first quarter losses, we get a promo. LM offers great value at times, but I would be hesitant to buy LifeMiles without an immediate use for them.

  4. Avianca is in financial stress, if you buy these miles use them asap. Website is also awful, but good deals can be had if the availability is there

  5. Award availability for lifemiles is at an awful low right now. It’s shocking. I’ve found award availability across most platforms is at a low as well. The popularization of miles through different outlets has destroyed the “hobby.”

  6. I’ve been burned twice by LM and partners, so I’m going to pass on this one. But I will say that the customer service phone line is MUCH better than it was — I haven’t experienced much in hold times in the past month. (I’ve been on the phone with them at least 10 times this month, trying to figure out what to do about my cancelled ORD-ICN Asiana flight, with no real resolution, but that’s a different story…)

  7. Funny how over at LiveFromALounge he’s listing this as a promotion ‘exclusive’ to his blog, yet it’s available through Lucky and presumably other bloggers. 🙂

  8. Ben:

    Avianca’s financial difficulties should at least be disclosed to readers as well, so that they understand the risk. I just burnt the bulk of my LifeMiles on ANA first class, as their future is unknown, and the program is notoriously hard to work with.

  9. Lucky, like some of the readers above, I, too, am holding off purchasing LM on account of Avianca’s current financial straits. Could you please give us your take on how to weigh all of this? I realize you don’t have a crystal ball, but I imagine you have weighed such factors in the past with other airlines in similar situations. (How often, if an airline does go under, are the miles simply lost, and how often do they get merged into new owners?) What’s your best guess re: Avianca’s future?

  10. It is very bad avianca now. Check brazil and argentina. And award availability with lifemiles is really low.

    I still have 250.000 miles i need to burn asap.

    And the eb site is horrible.

    Phone calls the worst! Look like every new employee goes dirctly to customer service… haha

    Not again!!

  11. Wow… My experiencia is simple. Will never never never Never again buy this miles…

    I was trying to save money buying lifemiles.. Baaaaaaadddd mistakeeeeeee.

    Huge problems with avianca site.. And after reading more ablut it i noticed that avianca is close to banckrupcy…

    I will use the miles as soon as i can!

    Please ben aware People ablut buyinglifemiles and make a post about this company in particular!

    Or you get money from them?

  12. For redeeming an Avianca award on United Airlines Polaris. United Airlines doesn’t have a first class anymore like Delta.

    So say for Hong Kong to Chicago which United Airlines has a direct flight HKG – ORD with refreshed hard product Polaris. Would that be 75,000 or 90,000 Avianca miles.

  13. I disn’t know about avianca bankrupcy…check on google.

    No way to buy this lifemiles!

    I miss old lifemiles site!

  14. Found all LH J & F space blocked even close-in out of the US so had to book via UA (Aeroplan had exorbitant charges). Good luck historically on EVA and Swiss. Mixed bag but some good potential value and low surcharges.

  15. Yeah so what’s up with F ex-USA on LH? Is lifemiles still displaying it or what? I was able to find it once but now I can’t seem to see it ever and always puts me in business.

  16. I’m getting an error message saying that my account is already subscribed, but when I go to purchase I’m only getting the regular bonus, not the OMAAT one. Am I not eligible if I used the OMAAT bonus last time it was around?

  17. @ Lucky / Tiffany – I am getting an error that I already signed up…Is it a once-a-life thing?

  18. I have tryed to buy miles for 2 days. I’m getting an error message, when I go to purchase. Code 999.

  19. Hi Ben, if I use Avianca Vuela visa credit card to purchase miles ( say over 101,000), how much more discount I would get in additional to using your OMAAT promo code 15%? Thanks!

  20. I took advantage of a similar (perhaps the same) Lifemiles deal in 2015. I think I had 370,000 or 375,000 LifeMiles as a result for a fee of just under $5,000. At the time, the program had just been devalued and one of the attractions of doing this was that the miles never expired (until they changed that policy of course — and that should have been disclosed in the article since it is only 12 months without activity that causes them to expire — so pay attention!) So, I reasoned to myself, even if I couldn’t use them right away — I didn’t have to worry about them expiring or being further devalued.

    I can confirm that Customer Service (by telephone) is eons better today than it was in 2015. The website is somewhat better too — very shiny/glossy — but not where it should be.

    Other than one domestic roundtrip from Los Angeles to Ithaca, I had not been able to use my miles despite searching easily over 100 times.

    I finally got two business class seats JFK-FRA-MUC-ATH (on Lufthansa and Aegean) and ATH-ZRH-JFK (on Swiss) for the dates I wanted last month. But I had to buy piecemeal (a seat in one full direction on the above itinerary) and hope that I could get 2 roundtrip business class tickets on the same flights. It all came together — but only after the trip started — and I got the last desired flight 5 days before we had to go home.

    I suspect (but do not know) that the answer to the people fearing Avianca’s bankruptcy is that Lifemiles and Avianca are separate entities. This is true for most major frequent flier programs these days. Second, airline bankruptcies in the 1980s and early 1990s were death knells. Today, they are largely ho-hum affairs and the bankruptcies are pre-planned for the most part.

    Finally, in terms of Lufthansa First Class space, my understanding is that you have to be a status member in the LH program (as I am) — and book it through the Miles & More program — and that First Class space is rarely otherwise available from a Star Alliance partner. The same is true for Swiss.

    Greetings from Frankfurt Airport en route to Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan!

  21. @ Ben — I guess my comments were not actually heard. I truly cannot believe that you would continue to promote this when Avianca faces possible bankruptcy. I am glad to hear you aren’t getting a commission as I had thought, but this still a terrible thing to promote to your readers.

  22. @Greg. Bankruptcy in the US may be a ho-hum affair, but in other regions people get wiped out. Ask anyone with AirBerlin miles how that played out.

    I agree that the airline and FFP are seperate, but if the airline goes under I would not be betting on the FFP surviving unscathed

  23. Nothing but good experiences for me. Have an upcoming trip from JFK to CAI then onto BKK in J and return on F. Next trip a few months later from JFK to BKK on F, returning on J. However I wouldn’t buy miles for any potential use that will be over a year out.

  24. @Gene , I think Luck has wrote an blog specially on the bankruptcy issue. I think his opinion is Avianca is unlike to bankrupt outright given the United’s involvement. Agree with him or not, he at least explain the reason.

  25. I bought avianca lifemiles the last time. 150.000 and extra 140%. I had one flith in mind…it was available..when i tried to book it was giving me a mistake. I called avianca and there was a problem so was not possible to book.

    No way to use that miles now..everything booked in business class or first.

    I tried with different airports..nothing.

    Too bad for me.

    And the bew site suckkssss

  26. I booked a J award on EVA from US to TPE last month. It was close in, and did take a couple calls to get it ticketed but end of day worked out.

  27. Thanks to Ben, for 90,000 and about $70 in fees, was able to fly ANA first class from Tokyo NRT to LAX today, June 5. Total cost is was $1300 for the miles and the fees, minus the 5% AMEX points back, which Amex Platinum does show as 5X. I found the first class seat 10 days before departure. Bad part is ANA first class is a bit overrated, with a mediocre lounge in Tokyo and food that’s more visually appealing than tasty (Belgian caviar, really?).

  28. Live in Australia and can never log in to get started on buying miles!!
    Anyone else have this problem?

  29. Cant even register, this site is so bad, have tried each time there has been a promotion and it never works.

  30. Avianca argentina closed operations today 7-jun-2019…

    And it is part of avh holdings!!

    No way to buy lifemiles

  31. I’ve used Lifemiles for several award bookings and I agree they are a mess, however you can get some remarkable values especially on mixed class awards. Personally I really appreciate omaat posting these deals although a mention of Avianca’s financial situation would be appropriate.

    Generally it’s a bad idea to purchase miles speculatively but if there is a redemption on lifemiles available now this promo could represent an awesome deal. I’m looking at a mixed class ticket from SFO to BKK via TPE on EVA(biz) and Thai(econ) for 67k which to me is pretty awesome. If I can find a return award I’m going to take advantage of this promo.

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