Another Oneworld Airline Sells Points At A Discount

Buying miles can be a great way to fly first & business class for pennies on the dollar. Nowadays the three airlines which most frequently and lucratively sell miles are Alaska Mileage Plan, American AAdvantage, and Avianca LifeMiles.

Well, it looks like LAN wants in on the action, as they just announced a pretty lucrative promotion on the purchase of points.

Buy LANPASS kms with up to a 125% bonus

LAN is offering up to a 125% bonus on purchased LANPASS kilometers through November 16, 2015.

LANPASS-Bonus

The bonus is tiered, so the more kilometers you buy, the bigger the bonus, as follows:

  • Buy 1,500-20,000, get a 25% bonus
  • Buy 20,001-50,000, get a 50% bonus
  • Buy 50,0001-100,000, get a 75% bonus
  • Buy 100,001-150,000, get a 100% bonus
  • Buy 150,001-200,000, get a 125% bonus

LANPASS kms ordinarily cost $0.02USD each, so with a 125% bonus they’re basically selling LANPASS kms for ~0.89 cents each. In other words, you could spend $4,000 to buy 200,000, and then would receive a bonus of 250,000, for a total of 450,000.

There are quite a few terms of the promotion to be aware of, including the following:

  • Promotion valid for purchase of kilometers from November 3, 2015 until November 16, 2015.
  • The number of kilometers bought may not be less than 1,500 LANPASS kms.
  • The maximum number of kilometers that can be purchased is 200,000 LANPASS kms.
  • The extra bonus kms. will be reflected in the member’s account within 72 hours after purchase.
  • The calculation of the extra bonus of kms. is performed for each purchase transaction. Payment must be made by credit card.
  • Buying kilometers is only available on LAN.com.
  • This promotion is only valid for those LANPASS members residing in the United States of America.
  • The purchase of kilometers does not guarantee the availability of any LANPASS prize.
  • Members must be enrolled in the program for at least three months, or have a km balance of at least 1,600 km.

Furthermore, they provide the following information about buying points with them:

  • Purchased kms. will be updated immediately in your account statement.
  • Purchased kms. are valid for three calendar years from the date of purchase. For example, if you purchased kms. on August 24, 2014, they will be valid until December 31, 2016.
  • Each LANPASS kilometer costs 2 US cents, converted using the LAN exchange rate valid when making the purchase.
  • Purchasing kms. does not change the expiry dates of previously earned kilometers.
  • The law for purchases made in person does not apply to the purchase of LANPASS KMS, therefore refunds are not available.
  • Make sure you have entered your email correctly before finalizing your purchase of kms.

This is the first time I’m writing about the opportunity to purchase LANPASS kms, which is why I’m including all of the above information. To sum up the above, I think there are three most important points:

  • This promotion is only valid for those with accounts registered in the US (that’s pretty funny, because clearly they realize where buying points is most popular)
  • LANPASS kms are valid for three years, regardless of the account activity
  • You need to be a LANPASS member for at least three months OR have 1,600kms to participate in the promotion (so even if you don’t want to take advantage of this promotion it could make sense to register for an account now, so you can take advantage of future promotions)

Is it worth buying LANPASS kms?

Here’s the award chart for travel on oneworld airlines (the prices are one-way, though roundtrip travel is required):

LANPASS-Bonus-1

I’m still trying to figure out the details of the program, though apparently most oneworld redemptions are possible through LAN’s website.

So, are there any good values to be had here? Just to give a few examples of how much awards would cost:

  • A roundtrip flight of under 808 miles one-way would cost you 20,000kms (~$180)
  • London to Doha roundtrip in business class would cost you 108,000kms (~$960)
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo roundtrip in business class would cost you 200,000kms (~$1,780)
  • New York to Hong Kong roundtrip in first class would cost you 350,000kms (~$3,110)

Qatar-Airways-A350-Business-Class-30
Redeem LANPASS kms for travel in Qatar Airways business class

Bottom line

I’m intrigued by this LANPASS promotion, especially as it seems like we may see more promotions from them in the future. I’ve now signed up for a LANPASS account and will spend a bit of time figuring out all the details of the program.

There aren’t any values which instantly stick out to me as incredible-beyond-belief, though I think there could be some value in this program.

Anyone have any experience with the LANPASS program, or know of any “sweet spot” redemptions? Are you tempted to buy points from LAN?

(Tip of the hat to Steve)

Comments

  1. It sounds like you could credit a 1000 mile flight to get to 1600km before the promotion ends and qualify even if you just created the account? Or does the account have to be pre-existing no matter what?

  2. When you say it’s one way is it like BA where every segment is distance based or does it capture the whole trip?

  3. LAN KM search pages not the easiest to use 🙁 I was just trying JFK-YYZ r/t in January. KVS shows CS9, but LAN KM page shows no availability.

  4. I think the real value may be for travel on LAN, particularly from the west coast where they have nonstop out of LAX and SFO. Unfortunately I’m still trying to figure out that award chart.

    Has anyone actually cashed in LANPass points for these routes and if so do you understand the mileage requirements given there are apparently two different levels of availability?

  5. They don’t do one way awards, you’d have to book RT. In my experience the site has been a pain to use and usually redirects me to calling to book an award. Anyone else have better lanpass redemption experiences?

  6. I would go with TAM, they are selling today and tomorrow via Multiplus (their fidelity spin off) miles at a 60% discount rate. 10.000 points costs 63 usd and you can buy a one way ticket with that amount. Buyin is limited to 50.000 a year and I think is only possible to Brazilians as the brasilian social security number is your multiplus number. As tam was selling one way business class tickets from sao paulo to frankfurt for 35.000 points one way today, it was a super good deal

  7. While it’s exposed by the example in the Ts&Cs, your summary (“LANPASS kms are valid for three years, regardless of the account activity”) lightly glosses over the three (calendar) year expiration. If you buy the miles today, they’ll expire on 31 December 2017 – less than 2 years and 2 months.

    Not a problem for those with an immediate use, but worth considering…

  8. JEM you make a good point however you can extend those miles indefinitely if you fly LAN or TAM. Here’s the rule…

    The validity of kilometers earned in other ways

    The kilometers earned by flying with oneworld airlines and LANPASS-affiliated airlines, as well as the kilometers earned by using the products and services of both LAN and its associate businesses, are valid for a period of three calendar years, and expire December 31 of the third year after they were earned.

    If you fly with LAN and TAM again during this period, ALL of your kilometers will be revalidated for another 36 months. In other words, the kilometers earned in ways other than flying with LAN and TAM will have the same validity as those earned by flying with LAN and TAM.

  9. @Lucky.

    Perhaps you could ad a warning that their charts are metric and not imperial aka kilometers and not miles? I see that you have converted it to miles in the your examples, but a clear warning might be good thing since this is targeted at the US?

  10. Lan periodically has “sales” where they offer Premium Business on Lan flights from the USA to Santiago for 150,000 Lanpass kilometers roundtrip. You can also sometimes find these 150,000 rewards outside of the “sale” periods. Signup for the Lanpass promotional emails to know when these sales happen.

  11. IME, LAN website only works for LAN flights. Calling is not a great experience, mildly better than with LifeMiles. Kilometers are worth less than miles, multiply a mile by 0.62 (or a km by 1.61) to give a comparison to your notional CPM values. So 0.89/km is like 1.43 cpm. The chart can be exceptional, but using so many miles at such great difficulty all within 3 years should dissuade all but the very frequent traveler between short distances like DCA-LGA.

    https://awardguru.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/comparison-of-bas-new-distance-based-award-chart-for-partners-and-lans-distance-based-award-charts-for-partners/

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