LifeMiles 100% Mileage Transfer Bonus Through February 16, 2015

Avianca’s LifeMiles program has just announced that they’ll be offering a 100% bonus on transferred miles between February 2 and February 16, 2015. 

LifeMiles-Transfer-Bonus

LifeMiles 100% transfer bonus cost & rules

The rules of the promotion are kind of confusing because LifeMiles doesn’t actually publish them, but:

  • The terms state you can transfer at most 75,000 miles during the promotion (not including the 100% bonus), but I can’t seem to actually get the system to accept that; I’ve had no issue getting to the purchase page with a 50,000 mile transfer, though
  • The cost to transfer miles is 1.5 cents per mile, which is cheaper than buying LifeMiles

LifeMiles-Transfer-Bonus-1

Putting the promotion into context

A few more general thoughts:

For a bit of context on LifeMiles promotions, every couple of months they seem to alternate between a 100% bonus on purchasing miles and a 100% bonus on transferring miles:

Pros & cons of LifeMiles

LifeMiles are simultaneously my favorite and least favorite points 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
  • They do block some partner award space, including Lufthansa first class

Keep in mind, however, that you can purchase LifeMiles at the time of ticketing for as little as 1.5 cents each. That’s a great way to sort of hedge your bets with buying LifeMiles, since you really only need to purchase 40% of the miles you really think you’ll need.

It’s also worth noting that Avianca processes the purchase of LifeMiles directly, so it does count as airline spend for the purposes of your credit card.

Is it worth it?

I’m almost always against speculatively purchasing miles, but in this case I’m sort of for it, assuming you have an existing mileage balance to work with (obviously you can’t transfer any LifeMiles if you don’t have any to begin with).

Why do I think it’s sort of worthwhile?

  • Because nowadays the cost of transferring LifeMiles (~1.5 cents each) is cheaper than the cost of purchasing LifeMiles (~1.65 cents each)
  • For the airlines they can book, LifeMiles really offers among the most compelling premium cabin Star Alliance redemption rates, despite their devaluation last year
  • I think LifeMiles learned from back in the day when they’d devalue their award chart without notice; they provided advance notice with the last round of changes, so I trust them more than in the past

Bottom line

If you’re into Star Alliance premium cabin award redemptions and have an existing LifeMiles balance, I do think this promotion is seriously worth considering.

Comments

  1. there are still a few bugs that can allow one to go to the best terminal in Europe for half the cost it would usually cost. Many of the holes have been plugged but there are still at least 20 last I counted(very lucrative too)

  2. Isn’t it 1.77 cents per mile transferred? From the email I got:

    This promotion is available in LifeMiles.com, Retail Outlets and Call Center Avianca Avianca. For residents of Venezuela and Argentina, is available only through LifeMiles.com. This promotion applies between 02 and 16 February 2015, as the last date of transfer. Minimum of miles to transfer: 1,000. Maximum transfer miles per member per calendar year: 75,000. The miles are to be transferred in multiples of 1,000. Maximum LifeMiles receive per member per calendar year: LM 150,000 (including bonuses promotional transfer miles). Transfer fee for each block of 1,000 LifeMiles: USD $ 17.70 * including all taxes of each country **. The amount paid for the transfer of miles is not refundable.

  3. Do you know if the transfers are instant? and if the receiving or sending account needs to be open for a certain amount of days like with AA?

  4. Not entirely accurate. You can still buy at 1.5cpm when doing a cash+miles ticket. I think somewhere between 40-50% is the sweet spot where it will offer a 1.5c valuation. Just bought 100k recently.

  5. Ben, it does not allow 75K, but it allows 74K – talk about coding the logic! Someone used a < instead of <= … O well!

  6. What are you guys redeeming with LifeMiles? I picked up a few Asia flights but had to cancel them, now stuck with points with barely any availabilities. Anyone see any good routes with good availabilities?

    I’m trying 11 months out and last minute, still no luck to PVG, HKG, SIN etc.

  7. Sorry for being a newb, but does this mean I have to buy the miles first…and then pay again to transfer the miles to get the 50%?

  8. there are still a few bugs that can allow one to go to the best terminal in Europe for half the cost it would usually cost.

    ???

  9. @ X — As you can see based on the above screenshot, that’s not actually what it’s pricing at for me.

  10. @ Bruno W — Should be instant. And don’t see restriction regarding account age, but can’t guarantee there’s not a rule there.

  11. @ Noob — You need miles in your account to begin with to do a transfer. But if you have 50,000 miles, for example, you’d pay $750 to transfer them to another account, and then get 50,000 bonus miles, for a total of 100,000 miles in that account.

  12. Ben, one the conditions is “Maximum LifeMiles to receive per member per calendar year: LM 150,000 (including bonuses transfer of promotional miles)”. So if I already received bonus miles from a previous purchase, will this promotion apply to my account?

  13. It seems like they have the same bug with transfer limit as the last time. If you enter 75K it doesn’t work. 74K works.
    If you enter 75K BEFORE you enter the other information it seems to work ok.

  14. Lucky, do you know if they’ll run another purchase miles promotion? Really want to get on LH F next month but I haven’t seen anything this year.

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