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LifeMiles is probably the single most lucrative Star Alliance frequent flyer program when it comes to buying miles. They frequently offer bonuses on the purchase of miles, though historically the bonuses are usually no more than 100%. However, lately we’ve seen them offer some bigger bonuses.
However, there’s now a chance to buy LifeMiles with a 150% bonus, or 1.32 cents each. That’s the best publicly available bonus we’ve ever seen on the purchase of LifeMiles.
Before I explain the process, here are the basic things you need to know:
- You must register by October 5, 2015, to be eligible
- You must purchase miles by October 12, 2015, in order to take advantage of this deal
- To get this price, you need to purchase between 100,000 and 150,000 LifeMiles (pre-bonus)
How to buy LifeMiles with a 150% bonus
This bonus is being tied into the relaunch of InsideFlyer, which is also the “new” MilePoint. Perhaps the most exciting part of the relaunch is that Avianca’s LifeMiles is offering up to a 150% bonus on purchased miles in order to celebrate.
This isn’t the most straightforward process in the world, so I’ll explain how to take advantage of it.
First you need to log-in or register for InsideFlyer. If you were previously a MilePoint member, those credentials should work on the new InsideFlyer website.
Once logged in, visit the “Award Store” — you should see a link for it at the top left of the page. That’s where you’ll register for this offer (but not where you’ll make the actual purchase).
You should see the offer listed there.
To register you’ll want to check the box at the top of the page, and also enter your LifeMiles number at the bottom of the page.
You should then receive a confirmation that you’re registered for the promotion.
Then you should receive an email about 24 hours later with the opportunity to purchase miles with a 150% bonus.
As I explained, you’ll have to buy a minimum of 100,000 miles to receive the 150% bonus. The cost to purchase 100,000 LifeMiles is $3,300, and you’d receive a total of 250,000 LifeMiles. You may see reference to 100,000 miles costing $3,894, though that’s not correct if you’re based in the US (that price factors in taxes which have to be paid if buying miles in select countries).
Discount redemption promotion extended as well
In mid-September I wrote about how LifeMiles is offering discounts on select Star Alliance redemptions. The discounts aren’t huge in most cases, though they’re something. Anyway, the redemption promotion has been extended through October 15, 2015, so there’s time to take advantage of that in conjunction with this promotion on the purchase of miles.
For example, here’s LifeMiles’ promotional award chart for travel from the US:
So while the savings aren’t huge, there are some decent discounts.
Buying LifeMiles counts as an airfare purchase
It’s worth noting that LifeMiles processes mileage purchases directly, meaning that buying miles with them qualifies as airfare spend. Therefore you’ll want to consider using one of the following cards for your purchase, since they offer the following bonus miles for airfare spend:
- Citi ThankYou® Premier Card – 3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
- Citi Prestige® Card — 3x ThankYou points per dollar spent ($250 airline credit can also be used towards this purchase)
- American Express Premier Rewards Gold — 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
- Chase Sapphire Preferred — 2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Should you buy LifeMiles?
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), even after having devalued their award chart
- 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 block quite a bit of Star Alliance award space, including Lufthansa first class space
Still, given United’s early 2014 award chart devaluation and US Airways no longer being 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.
With a specific use in mind, this promotion can be an incredible value. And this is the lowest cost I recall seeing on the purchase of LifeMiles.
For example, LifeMiles charges 90,000 miles for first class between the US and much of Asia, so at 1.32 cents per mile, that’s like paying ~$1,200 for a one-way first class ticket between the US and Asia on ANA or Asiana.
Asiana A380 first class
ANA 777-300ER first class
Rules of InsideFlyer LifeMiles bonus promotion
Here are the rules listed for the promotion, as published by InsideFlyer:
Only registered InsideFlyer members are eligible.
You must purchase between 100,000 & 150,000 LifeMiles.
You have between Friday Oct 2 and Tues Oct 6, 2015 to register for this launch promotion.
You must be a registered member of LifeMiles by Tues Oct 6 to be eligible.
You will be able to buy LifeMiles thru Mon Oct 12.
100,000 LifeMiles will cost $3,894.00 USD. *some country exceptions apply
Once registered, you have 24 hours to confirm your purchase of miles.
Only one transaction allowed per member, per LifeMiles account.
You have until Thurs Oct 15 to redeem LifeMiles for up to 50% discount on Star Alliance member awards (travel can be until Oct 2016)
Welcome to our Award Store, you’ll be back.
Ultimately acquiring LifeMiles for 1.32 cents each is quite a good deal. I suppose the catch is the quantity you have to buy. $3,300 isn’t an insignificant amount to spend, and is the minimum number of miles you have to buy to take advantage of this promotion.
I doubt we’ll see a publicly available offer better than this anytime soon, so I’d certainly consider taking advantage of this if you’d like to book any Star Alliance premium cabin redemptions in the near future.
Lastly, keep in mind that you only have until tomorrow (Tuesday) to register for this promotion, though you’ll have about a week to decide whether or not to actually buy miles.
Do you plan on buying LifeMiles with a 150% bonus?
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)