Avianca’s LifeMiles program has just announced that they’ll be offering a 100% bonus on purchased miles through September 30, 2014.
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.
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:
- This July there was a 100% bonus on shared LifeMiles
- This May there was a 100% bonus on purchased miles
- This March there was a 100% bonus on shared LifeMiles
- Last December there was a 100% bonus on purchased LifeMiles
- Last October there was a 100% bonus on shared LifeMiles
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.
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)