Avianca LifeMiles offering a 100% bonus on purchased miles through September 28, 2012

Avianca’s LifeMiles frequent flyer program is offering a 100% bonus on purchased miles through September 28, 2012.

This promotion is only available to those with a LifeMiles account prior to September 3, 2012.

Through this promotion you can purchase a maximum of 75,000 LifeMiles for three cents each, all of which would be doubled, bringing the total down to 1.5 cents per point.

That makes 150,000 LifeMiles $2,250.

LifeMiles has a really lucrative award chart which can be found here.

As you can see, out of North America you’re looking at 105,000 miles for business class to Europe, and 120,000 miles for business class to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

But what makes this even more lucrative than just the straight “buy miles” promotion is that you can use part cash and part points for a booking to get an even better deal. As long as you have at least 40% of the miles needed for an award ticket, you can buy the difference in miles for $12.75 per 1,000 miles (s0 1.275 cents per mile instead of 1.5 cents per mile).

It’s worth noting that LifeMiles lets you redeem for one-ways at half the cost of a roundtrip, and doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on award redemptions. They also have access to some award space that other Star Alliance airlines don’t have access to, including for travel on Swiss and Singapore.

I’ll be doing more investigating, though off the bat this appears to be a fantastic deal if you have a use for the miles. This isn’t a currency I’d hoard, though, since I wouldn’t be surprised to see an award chart devaluation or the introduction of fuel surcharges.

Comments

  1. I am not sure if this is such a special deal considering you can load up with US Airways for less than 1.3 cents.

  2. I’m still seeing Swiss F on their booking engine. I don’t have any miles so I can’t go through with it, but it is still showing.

  3. Lucky,

    This is a homerun. Almost on par with the TrackitBack Christmas program a few years ago – except it appears unlike US Air they have a working booking engine.

    Plus the more money – less miles option is crazy. Looks like I got a 70K one way ticket down to 28k miles plus an additional 1.2c per mile – on a ready to book itinerary.

    This could be a nice Star replacement should USAir hook up with AA and go OW.

  4. @ Jeff and Andras: Also there is the upcoming grand slam promotion which yields US miles at less than 1 cent a piece, so I’m passing.

    Another plus with US is the call center, although sometimes geographically challenged, they speak english (vs. the avianca call center which is spanish speaking). I see a bigger chance of US de valuing their chart since its been around for awhile.

  5. Just to note: the website says the 2 for 1 is for accounts PRIOR September 3rd, not “by” September 3rd.

    I would presume accounts made today would not count. Can anyone confirm?

  6. I called their call centre US/CANADA number: 800-284-2622 and spoke with a english speaking agent. I wanted to book YYZ>YUL>ZRH>TLV

    AC Business on YYZ >YUL
    LX First on YUL > ZRH
    LX Business on ZRH > TLV

    I was told I would have to book two separate tickets because each ticket can only be booked in one class. So you cannot book an award ticket with a segment in J and another in F. Even if you are paying the F mileage required for the entire ticket!

    Makes no sense!

    The agent was very friendly and helpful though….

  7. Can someone please point out where in their website it talks about re-deposit fees and other rules? Thanks

  8. Where did you see the LX and SQ special avail? I can’t find any mention of it on flyertalk or anywhere else.

  9. @David, do some searches and you’ll see plenty of LX availability in F and C. I haven’t found any SQ availability though.

  10. @ Blaine — Technically I believe not, though in practice who knows…

    @ David — Singapore appears to be a thing of the past, though still see plenty of Swiss space in both first and business class that I otherwise haven’t seen.

  11. @ Greg — You’re absolutely right, updated the post to make the distinction. I think it’s clear the rule is intended to apply to accounts made before September 3. What actually happens in practice is anyone’s guess.

  12. Ben- Are you buying the full 75k miles? I think this is a much better deal than US Air since you can book 1 way flts.

  13. @ John — Still trying to decide what to do based on my upcoming travels and will post as soon as I decide what I’ll do.

    Definitely no forex free if you use a card with no forex fees. Otherwise there will likely be one.

  14. wow… i have never seen so much Swiss business class availability… ANA is not showing any of it compared to Avianca… do you know how long it will last?

  15. The LX space could be phantom. I’ve read some suggestions that the space showing on the Lifemiles website is not always accurate. Worth trying but don’t be surprised if it falls through.

  16. Lol, still no answer to re-deposit fees, etc. Can’t pull trigger until I know what I am getting into.

  17. I believe their customer support is in Spanish only. Is that right? Is there a way around for people like me who do not speak Spanish?

  18. I saw plenty Swiss F availability from US to Asia during Christmas! Booked 2 ORD-ZRH-PVG Swiss First with 28000*2 Miles ($840)+ $1100 Cash. Fantastic!

  19. Interesting, I have just booked a Dividend Miles award trip in F to PTY and BOG and will be flying them (from GRU). SLightly off topic, booked COPA as well and it shows up in the “I” fare bucket, I confirmed whether this is business and got an affrimatie, however, on the LH website where i can see most of my itinerary it shows eco for “I” fare. Any thoughts? Will I be flying in business with Copa?

  20. @ Ken — It sounds like the Lufthansa website is being glitchy. If you’re booked in “I” you’re in business class.

  21. @Lantean: Use a no forex fees card. For foreign transactions, many cards that charge forex fees charge them in two parts: foreign transaction and foreign currency. Even if the transaction posts in USD, it will almost surely originate outside the USA and therefore you’ll be hit with a foreign transaction fee. I had this happen with a work vis application for the UK, as the US consulate’s site was quoting prices in USD, but the charge originate in the UK.

  22. FYI Lifemiles no imposes a $25 redemption fee on partner airline bookings–even if done online. Hopefully fuel surcharges aren’t on the way next.

  23. Richard said,
    I saw plenty Swiss F availability from US to Asia during Christmas! Booked 2 ORD-ZRH-PVG Swiss First with 28000*2 Miles ($840)+ $1100 Cash. Fantastic!

    I agree that there are apparently LX flights available, but these are not showing up on ANA. Is this phantom availability? Have you actually received confirmation of your flights? Anyone else able to confirm what Richard is implying?

  24. @YYZ
    right, it seems like i have the same problem… i can’t book JFK-ZRH-VIE in first because there is no first on the ZRH-VIE segment… what a bummer! but since i have never tried Swiss i guess I’ll fly in biz…

    @Mitch
    thanks, I’ll use Amex Platinum.
    šŸ˜‰

  25. There have been reports of phantom availability so be sure to follow up with each airline to make sure there is a ticket issued against the reservation.

  26. “Stephan said,
    I agree that there are apparently LX flights available, but these are not showing up on ANA. Is this phantom availability? Have you actually received confirmation of your flights? Anyone else able to confirm what Richard is implying?”

    No. They could be booked and immediately pulled out from swiss.com without any problem.

  27. IS there no way for people to partake in this promotion if they signed up today ? I would’t even have considered getting a account with this airline if not for this post šŸ™

  28. Can someone explain why when I try the cash and points it seems to charge me $30 for 1000 miles increment?

    Thanks

  29. Is redemption for another person allowed? Offline?

    And it seems TACA call centre can’t book one way awards but Avianca can…

  30. I know you need the site hits and I don’t criticize you for that… but there used to be a gentleman’s agreement, you come in, things are hard at first, but you learn the ropes, learn the tools and then share the knowledge with others that also did hard work. Not just publishing the inner secrets all at once, it’s just like AirFareWatchDog killing the first FD…

    Thanks for killing the golden goose just to eat for a day! This was alive and working for weeks only to die the day it was published here… pure coincidence I suppose…

  31. I can’t see any of the LX JFK/EWR-ZRH available any more… 2 days ago they were there, now they’re gone.
    šŸ™

  32. Well, up until yesterday all LX F seats were available (O Class = 2), from any city that LX served. Even months out… right after this post, and the other one showing step by step (although not on LX) how to book the hard tickets… all access to LX flights has been blocked… coincidence, right?

  33. A possibly useful data point:
    For my Lifemiles points sharing exercise last month, I received 3x Membership Rewards and there was no foreign transaction fee.
    I just bought the max here and expect the result will be the same.

  34. Now the LifeMiles search engine is not showing LH F anymore. Not even LH C or Y… The UA search engine and ANA are showing LH F redeemable still. Perhaps it’s a complete block from LH.

  35. So what’s the story now on LH and LX F class availability? I’d like to use this as an alternative to US Airways, but if those airlines are blocked as well, doesn’t seem as attractive. Thanks!

  36. @ Christian — Well Lufthansa has always been blocked through them more than two weeks out, and best I can tell Swiss first class no longer shows up either.

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