Avianca’s LifeMiles program has just announced that they’ll be offering a 100% bonus on transferred miles through July 17, 2014.
Miles must be transferred in blocks of 1,000 and you can supposedly transfer up to 75,000 miles a year, for a cost of $17.70 per thousand, or 1.77 cents each.
Both of these amounts are higher than previous promotions, which capped the transfer amount at 50,000 miles a year, but at a transfer cost of 1.55 cents each.
However, like many things related to LifeMiles, it doesn’t seem like their IT department has been made aware of the recent updates.
In the past you could transfer up to 50,000 miles per year, at a cost of 1.5 cents each, and it seems like the website is still coded at that rate.
It also doesn’t seem that LifeMiles is tracking whether or not you’ve transferred miles to or from an account in the past.
Several attempts to transfer 75,000 miles resulted in an error message:
While trying to transfer 50,000 resulted in the old pricing, even to accounts that have shared miles earlier this year:
Just another reason to be grateful for the quality controls at lifemiles.com 😉
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
- They don’t block any partner award space
- 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
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, so I’d only recommend buying miles with a short term use in mind
Keep in mind, however, that you can purchase LifeMiles at the time of ticketing for as little as 1.5 cents each.
Given that, I would probably only take advantage of this promotion if you need to top off your account to be able to reach one of those thresholds, or otherwise have an immediate use for the miles.
Otherwise it makes just as much sense to purchase the miles when you need them, rather than speculatively stockpiling LifeMiles, given the program history.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that Avianca processes the purchase of LifeMiles directly, so it does count as airline spend for the purposes of your credit card.