AviancaTaca offering a 100% bonus on the purchase of LifeMiles through August 31, 2013

AviancaTaca is offering a 100% bonus on the purchase of Lifemiles through August 31, 2013. Through this promotion you can purchase a maximum of 75,000 Lifemiles (plus the 100% bonus), for a total cost of 1.5 cents per mile. The promotion is also only valid for those that were members of the Lifemiles program prior to August 1, 2013.

Avianca_Lifemiles_Promotion

There are some major pros and cons to the Lifemiles program. Some of the major pros are that they allow one way awards, don’t impose fuel surcharges, and have an attractive Star Alliance award chart. Also, as long as you have 40% of the miles needed for an award ticket, you can purchase the remaining miles at the time you purchase your ticket. The remaining miles used to be offered at 1.275 cents each if you purchased 60% at the time of ticketing, though now the cost is a ~1.56 cents per mile, so it’s not as good of a value anymore.

The single biggest con, which is simply ridiculous, is that they don’t let you mix cabins on an award ticket. That means if you book a first class award all segments have to be in first class, which sucks, since lots of flights don’t offer a first class cabin. This greatly limits the potential of these miles, in my opinion, since I can’t remember the last time I redeemed miles with all travel in a single cabin.

Lastly, if you purchase Lifemiles I’d highly recommend having a short term use for them, as they have a history of devaluing their program without notice, as I posted about here and here.

So this isn’t something I’d speculatively take advantage of, but if you have a specific use in mind — in particular Lufthansa first class — this can be a great value.

Comments

  1. They’re pretty good value for economy class one-way fares though. Kind of like Avios for flights to and back from Asia. I’ve saved 2 friends about 500 dollars each by using Lifemiles. It also seems that SQ C award space shows up quite a lot on Lifemiles.

  2. Ben, something to note is that the maximum allowed to buy is 75k per transaction, allowing 2 transactions as the maximum is 150k per year. So you could get 300k through this promotion.

  3. @ Alonso A — But per the T&Cs you can only do one transaction per promotion. They run the promotion more than once a year so I suppose you could take advantage of it twice in that way, but if I’m reading the T&Cs correctly you can only take advantage of the promotion once per promotion period.

  4. Lucky I agree 100% about how you mention the TWO BIG drawbacks to the program.

    1. You can only redeem for same cabin. For example if you are looking at going to Europe on LH First, you can only fly to Frankfurt or Munich from a north american airport that serves FRA or MUC. You cannot connect onwards to anywhere else in Europe like Italy, Spain, France etc. as LH only has business class intro Europe. Also in my case, I need to fly to an airport that has LH, and again I cannot as there is no Star “F” to get to North American gateway.

    2. Lifemiles devalued WITHOUT any notice. TWICE already. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did it again!

  5. @lucky – I had just purchased 26,000 miles on 2 different days… it looks like the 1x per promo is not valid on this one… all of the miles has been used up to this point

  6. Hi Lucky – I previously bought 75k miles in Feb, with the bonus I had 150k. Even after redeeming some miles for an upcoming fare, I am unable to purchase additional miles for this latest 2×1 offer. I get the prompt that I already reached my 150K limit even though I only bought 75K. Offer clearly states that members can “buy” up to 150K per calendar year. Would appreciate any insight on this.

    Thanks,
    Rowena

  7. @ Rowena — Wish I had some insight, though your thinking is right as far as I can tell and you should be eligible. I would recommend calling customer service, but they’re pretty useless. Do you maybe otherwise have another account you could buy the miles out of?

  8. Thanks Lucky – I rang customer service and was told that the 75K miles with the 2×1 bonus meant that I reached the limit. I just have to wait til Feb for their next 2×1 offer.

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