LifeMiles 100% Bonus On Purchased Miles Through December 19, 2014

Avianca’s LifeMiles program has just announced that they’ll be offering a 100% bonus on purchased miles through December 19, 2014.

LifeMiles-Promo

Through this promotion you can purchase a maximum of 75,000 LifeMiles (plus the 100% bonus), at a cost of 1.65 cents per mile all-in. Up until recently the cost to purchase LifeMiles with a 100% bonus was 1.5 cents per mile, though as of September 30, 2014, LifeMiles raised the cost per purchased mile by 10%. So this is the first promotion under the new pricing scheme.

The promotion is only valid for those that were members of the LifeMiles program prior to November 19, 2014. You can purchase a maximum of 150,000 LifeMiles per calendar year.

LifeMiles-Promo-2

To put this promotion into the context of past promotions, LifeMiles has alternated between 100% bonuses on purchased and shared miles every couple of months for a long time:

In other words, they’ve offered a 100% bonus on purchased miles three times per year, and a 100% bonus on shared miles three times per year. The terms have always been more or less identical, though this time around the cost has gone up by 10%.

Unfortunately not only have they raised the cost of purchased miles, but LifeMiles also devalued their award chart for bookings made as of October 15, 2014. The increases are substantial, though could have been worse, in my opinion.

For more information on the LifeMiles program, check out my recent post about Avianca LifeMiles Award Chart And Redemption Basics. That post isn’t updated to reflect the new award chart, though.

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

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

Still, given United’s award chart devaluation and US Airways no longer in 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, even with the higher cost to purchase miles and devalued award chart.

So while I certainly wouldn’t speculatively purchase LifeMiles, with a specific use in mind they can be a great value.

For example, LifeMiles charges 90,000 miles for first class between the US and much of Asia, so at 1.65 cents per mile, that’s like paying ~$1,500 for a one-way first class ticket between the US and Asia on ANA or Asiana.

LifeMiles-Promo-3

Asiana-A380-First-Class-001
Asiana A380 first class

ANA-first-class-1
ANA 777-300ER 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.

Are you still a buyer of LifeMiles given their increased cost of purchased miles and devalued award chart?

(Tip of the hat to @jooliang1982)

Comments

  1. Hi,Lucky.I want to know why I can just buy maximium 20,000 for my account.I register the lifemiles account in October 1st.Thx!

  2. @ Jamie Liu — You haven’t purchased any miles in the account yet? If so, it might be a glitch. I’d give it a day or so and then try again.

  3. Lucky
    I have a question to ask (though I have written e-mail to ask LM). I have a friend who wants to enjoy this promotion but when he was about to buy the miles (75,000)the system told him the following message, “the miles you want to purchase go over the limit of the promotion. You can continue with your purchase, but will not accrue the promotion’s bonus.” This message really confuses him because he never bought any miles from LM and this is his first time to do so. He does not know what went wrong, neither did I. Is is promotion targeted or what? How come a first time buyer cannot enjoy this promotion? Do you know why? thank you

  4. I have the same problem too! I believe it’s the IT issue. LM is known to have computer glitches so it will fixes itself out in a few days! We still got a month to go, so relax, plenty of time.

  5. @Tom – Fortunately, for us Aussies, the “devaluation” actually worked in our favor! For destinations between Australia and north Asia/south Asia/Europe the miles needed have all reduced!

  6. Lucky/others – Wondering what you think of my situation. In an effort to stay a step ahead of the revenue-based systems, I have abandoned UA and DL in favor of AA/US and have a huge mileage balance with them. This suffices for most of my travel. However, I also have small balances with some others: AS (25k), LH (55k), LifeMIles (45k). My initial though was to diversify with some of these other programs and build up the balances over time. If so, do you think it’s worth stocking up on LifeMiles through this promo? Or should I just sit tight? My concern is that I prefer international long haul redemptions and I don’t have enough for that with any of my “diversified” programs, so the small balances are not very helpful. I feel like I should either build them up to useful 100k+ balances, or just spend them down to zero.

    Any advice (and, specifically, should I buy some LifeMiles?)

    *for all of the above my wife has the same so our total miles are x2.

  7. @ LTL — I wouldn’t make speculative purchases, especially since you can purchase miles at time of booking for a similar rate.

  8. Lucky,

    I need 156k for a round trip award ticket, but the max allowed for me is 150k. Is there anyway I can obtain the extra 6k mile for my account? Like thru a friends account or register another account and buy 78k each?

    TIA!

  9. @ Fan — If you can book them as one ways then I’d say you’re best off buying miles for separate accounts and then booking them as one ways.

  10. Thanks Lucky, If I have purchased 150k miles, can get generate additional 6k miles at the time of ticketing?

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