For the past week, 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.
I’m happy to share that LifeMiles is once again offering a special increased bonus on purchased LifeMiles for readers of OMAAT. 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:
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.
To take advantage of this offer you have to register on this page between September 6 and September 17, and then have to buy miles between September 7 and September 18, 2018.
You have to wait 24 hours from the time you register until you buy miles through the offer to get the better bonus. You should see the better bonus reflected on the purchase page once you’re eligible (only buy miles once you see the price you want).
I’d highly recommend registering now, and then you can always still decide if you want to take advantage of the promotion later.
Should you buy LifeMiles?
When it comes to redeeming LifeMiles, Avianca is in the Star Alliance, so check out the Star Alliance award chart for redemption rates. 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 Asiana. ANA first class between the US and Japan for ~$1,240 one-way is a pretty darn good value, if you ask me.
Or business class between the US and Europe will just run you ~$865, which is an excellent value as well.
Everyone has to crunch the numbers for themselves and decide whether this makes sense or not.
The one catch is that LifeMiles doesn’t always have access to all the same space that other Star Alliance programs do. So you’ll want to do an online search to make sure the type of redemption you’re looking at is available. However, they have access to more space than in the past, so I don’t find this to be as big of an issue as it used to be.
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).
Thanks to LifeMiles for offering this special bonus for OMAAT readers, 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. Furthermore, I’ve found that LifeMiles actually has access to more award availability than in the past.
While you can’t rely on LifeMiles for every Star Alliance redemption, I find the miles to be extremely useful, and they’re the Star Alliance miles I redeem more than any other. I’m down to about only 60,000 LifeMiles right now so I’ll be speculatively picking up some miles during this promotion, since I’m certain I’ll be able to get value out of this.