LifeMiles 100% Bonus On Purchased Miles Through September 30, 2014

Avianca’s LifeMiles program has just announced that they’ll be offering a 100% bonus on purchased miles through September 30, 2014.

Lifemiles-100-Bonus

Through this promotion you can purchase a maximum of 75,000 LifeMiles (plus the 100% bonus), at a cost of 1.5 cents per mile all-in. The promotion is only valid for those that were members of the LifeMiles program prior to September 2, 2014. You can purchase a maximum of 150,000 LifeMiles per calendar year.

Avianca-LifeMiles-Bonus-1

Up until now when Avianca has offered promotions intended to generate miles the cost has always been 1.5 cents per mile, whether it’s a 100% bonus on shared or purchased miles. To put this promotion into perspective compared to recent promotions:

One thing that makes this promotion unique is that LifeMiles has announced that they will raise the cost of purchased miles by 10% as of September 30, 2014, so this is really a “last chance” for purchasing miles at this rate. Furthermore, keep in mind that LifeMiles has announced an award chart devaluation which kicks in for bookings made starting October 15, 2014, so you’ll want to redeem miles before then if possible.

For more information on the LifeMiles program, check out my recent post about Avianca LifeMiles Award Chart And Redemption Basics.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, LifeMiles are simultaneously my favorite and least favorite mileage 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)
  • 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

Still, given United’s award chart devaluation and US Airways leaving the Star Alliance, there aren’t many ways to economically book premium cabin Star Alliance awards anymore. LifeMiles is one of the best programs for those awards, and at 1.5 cents per mile it’s tough to go wrong if you have a short term redemption in mind.

ANA-first-class-1
Redeem LifeMiles for travel in ANA first class

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.

Will you be taking advantage of LifeMiles’ last 100% bonus on purchased miles at this price?

(Tip of the hat to @jooliang1982)

Comments

  1. Well this time they gave 6 months notice, I call that pretty awesome! They could have done it without any word right after the 2×1 promo is over – that would be nasty!

  2. US Airways is running another buy miles 100% promotion…. Boy, 100% truly does seem to be the norm with them!

  3. Does the 150k purchased miles maximum per calendar year include the bonus miles as well? Does that mean if I bought 75K earlier this year (with the bonus total 150k) I wouldn’t be able to buy anymore miles for the rest of the year, right?

  4. Do you have any experience with using LifeMiles to upgrade Star Alliance flights?

    Their upgrade award charts seem very tempting, but I don’t want to jump the gun by buying miles when this might not work out.

  5. @ Carlo — You have to book a full fare ticket and there needs to be award space in order to be able to upgrade, so it’s generally not worth it.

  6. Yes, I’m happy to check for award space on my flight before booking. Was just wondering if you’ve ever tried it.

  7. Lucky: any others carriers/cabins, other than Lufthansa and Swiss first, that you see Lifemiles blocking? Thanks

  8. @robert… SQ seems to be blocked fairly routinely. there’s a few subcontinent routes that seem to have F available but other than that not much.

  9. Thanks a lot for the tip, Im a big fan of LifeMiles as well, this tip is extremely good considering Im about to buy an award ticket to Europe, thanks to you now I know i have to do it now. For people asking how well this program works I can assure you: it works

  10. @ Lucky – given the upcoming devaluation, any opinion on what award(s) we should try booking… or, perhaps a more appropriate term would be “attempt to book” given their restrictions? Oceania/Others and Central Asia are going up the most for First class redemptions but Aus. would be on United (not sure on Central Asia). North Asia on Asiana’s A380?

  11. Lucky: It looks like one can book award tickets on Avianca 355 days in advance using Lifemiles. Do you know, roughly, how far one can book in advance on *A partners using Lifemiles? Presumably UA will be limited to 330 days in advance, but what about LH, LX, SK, and AC?

  12. @ Robert — They do occasionally block other products as well. Austrian business class seems to be common, and then here and there they block other carriers as well. But not all that regularly.

  13. @ Ivan Y — In general I think ANA and Asiana first class between the US and Asia represent the best value on the redemption front. Just my two cents.

  14. @ Rick A — All depends when they open up space, and that varies by airline. But yes, not all airlines release space at the 355 day mark.

  15. @ Flying Fed — Unfortunately not, other than trying to find a friend with an account that’s already open.

  16. Lucky, how long does it take for the purchased miles and bonus miles credited to my account? Is it instant? I already searched for the award tickets, but just afraid that it would be gone after i purchase the miles.

  17. Hi, is it possible to use my LM account to book an award ticket for my brother? Or does he need to create and use his own account?

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