The LifeMiles program has just announced that they’re offering a 100% bonus on transferred miles between July 17 and July 24, 2018. This is only useful if you have an existing LifeMiles mileage balance, since you can’t transfer miles you don’t have.
LifeMiles charges 1.5 cents per transferred mile, and you can transfer up to 75,000 miles per year (before the 100% bonus). In other words, transferring 75,000 miles would cost $1,125, and you’d receive a total of 150,000 miles in the account you transfer to. So that’s like being able to generate miles for 1.5 cents each while being able to consolidate miles into a single account.
This is as good of a deal as you’ll see from LifeMiles on transferring points. Taking advantage of this promotion can make sense if you’d benefit from getting miles into a single account so that you have enough for a redemption.
If you’re just looking to acquire miles as inexpensively as possible, you can typically do better by taking advantage of one of LifeMiles’ bonuses on purchased miles. That’s because LifeMiles sometimes offers up to a 140% bonus on purchased miles, which is an opportunity to acquire them for 1.375 cents each.
As far as redeeming LifeMiles go, 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 for 87,000 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
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 eligible. Sometimes these inconsistencies work in our favor, though, as they do sometimes see space that other programs don’t.
Also keep in mind that LifeMiles processes mileage purchases and transfers directly, meaning that the fee to transfer miles 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|
|American Express® Gold Card||3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®||2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®||2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®||2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
|American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card||2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
Put another way, if you pay with The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee) 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 (this isn’t cash in your pocket, but rather points in your “pocket” based on my valuation).
LifeMiles’ 100% bonus on transferred miles is a good opportunity if you’re looking to consolidate the balances of mileage accounts. If you’re just looking to outright acquire miles, you’ll sometimes see opportunities to buy miles for less (often with a large minimum purchase amount), so this isn’t necessarily the promotion I’d take advantage of.
However, there’s an annual limit on how many miles you can buy, and transferring miles doesn’t count towards that limit, which is another reason this could be useful.
Do you plan on transferring LifeMiles with a 100% bonus?