40,000 Mile Bonus On LifeMiles Visa Signature Card

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Through April 30, 2014, US Bank is offering an increased sign-up bonus on the Avianca LifeMiles Visa Signature Card. The sign-up bonus on the card is ordinarily 20,000 miles, though has been increased on a promotional basis.

At the moment the sign-up bonus is 20,000 LifeMiles after the first purchase, and then an additional 20,000 LifeMiles after spending $3,000 within 120 days of card opening. The annual fee on the card is $75, though is waived for the first year.

Lifemiles-Signature-Visa

The card isn’t actually especially compelling for everyday spend, as it just offers one mile per dollar spent. That being said, the card does offer a 6,000 mile renewal bonus on your account anniversary each year, which as of now I do value at more than the $75 annual fee.

LifeMiles frequently sells miles for 1.5 cents each, and I’ve taken advantage of that promotion several times. So I guess I do value LifeMiles at around 1.5 cents each, making this sign-up bonus worth roughly ~$600 to me.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, LifeMiles are simultaneously my favorite and least favorite points currency. The things I love about LifeMiles include:

  • They allow one-way awards at half the cost of a roundtrip
  • They don’t impose fuel surcharges on award redemptions
  • They have competitive redemption rates (you can find their Star Alliance award chart here)
  • They don’t block any partner award space, unlike US Airways
  • As long as you have 40% of the miles needed for a redemption, you can purchase the remaining miles at the time you issue your ticket for as little as 1.56 cents per mile

And then there are things I hate with a passion about LifeMiles:

  • Their call center is HORRIBLE, so if your redemption requires servicing over the phone, you might as well forget about it
  • They don’t allow mixed cabin awards, meaning if you book a business class award all segments have to be in business class
  • They have a history of devaluing their program without notice, as I posted about here and here, so I’d only recommend buying miles with a short term use in mind

Since the United MileagePlus devaluation I would say the relative value of LifeMiles has gone up quite a bit. Star Alliance premium cabin awards are almost out of reach with MileagePlus, US Airways blocks quite a bit of partner award space and is leaving the Star Alliance on March 30, and Aeroplan imposes fuel surcharges on many carriers.

So this is definitely an offer I’ll consider in my next round of applications. Ultimately I think the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card (affiliate link) is still the most compelling product from US Bank, but for those that have that card already, this is a nice secondary US Bank Card.

(Tip of the hat to Gary)

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Comments

  1. I got this offer via email a few days ago… also got a Korean Air 40K offer from US Bank in the mail. If you had to pick one, which would you add to your next round (already have the Club Carlson card)?

  2. very solid offer, i got that email as well.

    another annoying thing about their website is that you can’t just search for flights to/from nyc… you have to specify ewr/jfk/lga… super silly.

  3. As someone who does not live in New York, but could fly from EWR, I appreciate that – I really hate entering a specific airport code and getting a bunch of false results because I can’t filter out nearby airports. But both should be options, of course.

  4. just applied – got the dreaded pending decision. called the reconsideration line and unlike citi and chase, they dont have live analysts to review the app on the spot. have to wait 3 biz days to see what’s up.

  5. Hi Lucky, How would you compare this with the US Bank Flexperks offer?

    Also, for those applying for more than one card including a US Bank option..on my last round of apps – I was rejected by US Bank due to applying for 3 cards(the horror!) on one day.

  6. I got this email too. I like Avianca because it can provide some “interesting” redemptions but the problem is that they’ve been known to just devalue with no notice, so I don’t want to stockpile miles there with no definite redemption plan.

    @Cheryl – I’m in the same boat there and decided to get the Flexperks offer.

    You may need to freeze your IDA/ARS bureau accounts if you have a lot of credit cards open and want to get a US Bank card

  7. @ Food Wine and Miles — If I could choose just one I’d probably do the 40K Korean Air offer. After my Korean Air flight I can’t wait to try them again, and it’s so easy to top off a SkyPass account through an Ultimate Rewards transfer.

  8. @ Cheryl — Yeah, US Bank can be tricky with approvals sometimes.

    Potentially the FlexPerks sign-up bonus is almost worth up to a $600 ticket. So I’d probably value this a bit higher since it’s $600 in “value” to me, as opposed to a ticket of up to $600 in value (it can be tough to maximize those sometimes).

    But they’re both great offers.

  9. I applied for the 20k offer ~12 hours before this one was emailed out. Has anyone ever had any success getting US Bank to bump their offer up? (A phone agent suggested I could print out a copy of the email and mail it to them, but that seems a bit of a pain that I’d rather avoid.)

  10. This is a tough call! I just signed up for a couple of other credit cards, and this amazing offer pops up. Any idea on how long it will stick around?

    Thanks!

  11. hi,
    I’m a newbie in redeeming mileage for free ticket.
    My mom always travels between Hong Kong and Boston.
    I did a search in the LifeMiles’s engine, I found one way ticket for only $32,500 in Oct.
    So does it mean that I can get a free ticket just for applying this card?
    Do you know what is credit score for successful application?

  12. @ sheila — If the mileage cost is 32,500 miles then yes, you would have more than enough miles for that ticket if you sign-up for the card and complete the minimum spend.

    Not sure about what kind of a score is required for a card. Generally I always recommend having a score of at least 720 or so if you plan on applying for cards.

  13. Wow! Then it requires less mileage than United and AA rewards. Do they have high fee or fuel charge? Can I select stopover or open jaw ticket like other reward ticket?
    OMG! I can’t believe I actually had to pay for all those tickets in the past years!

  14. @ sheila — They don’t charge fuel surcharges, though they don’t allow stopovers or complex routings, which is the major downside.

  15. Got “pending decision”, but then an email 2 or 3 days later saying I was approved. Already have FlexPerks and Club Carlson.

    I just got Arrival and Venture about last 3 or 4 months ago, so I was less than confident.

  16. ON the 20k mile offer…I was told to fax or mail them the 40k offer and tell them you want that offer. I suppose you’ll get it because it requires 3000 spend versus $.01 for the 20k offer. Also, I don’t think I would have been told that if they didn’t intend to give me the “upgraded offer.” One interesting point in the first person I happened to talk to was in the approvals department and I asked whether an app for the second card would be rejected as was told , “not necessarily” but I can’t see it being approved.

  17. Has anyone else been told they won’t get the signup bonus until after being a cardholder for 120 days???

  18. @stvr

    i think that was the case with Korean points card from US Bank as well… but people eventually got the bonus. 😉

  19. I just applied and was approved for the Lifemiles card, but do not yet have a Lifemiles frequent flyer account. Do I need to open an account, or will they do it for me automatically?

  20. Wow, Thanks! I had no idea about this offer! I just cancelled my 20K LifeMiles card last week! (Annual fee was coming due.) And just got approved with $21K CL for this 40K miles today!

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