LifeMiles Cyber Week Sale: Buy Miles For 1.375 Cents Each

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LifeMiles just launched their latest promotion on purchased miles, valid through November 28, 2016. They’re marketing this as a Cyber Week bonus, and it is indeed one of the better offers they’ve had in a while.

lifemiles-cyber-week-sale

Through this bonus you can receive a 140% bonus on purchased miles when you buy at least 5,000 miles. While we’ve seen some 140% bonuses in the past, what makes this one special is that you only need to buy 5,000 miles to take advantage of it. In the past there have been 100,000+ mile minimums to get miles at that rate, which translates to several thousand dollars out of pocket. This is the best LifeMiles promotion we’ve seen for those looking to purchase miles in smaller increments.

LifeMiles ordinarily cost 3.3 cents each to purchase, so if you take part in this promotion it’s an opportunity to buy LifeMiles ~1.375 cents each, when factoring in the 140% bonus. For example, you can buy a total of 240,000 miles for $3,300:

lifemiles-bonus-1

Should you buy LifeMiles?

LifeMiles is a unique currency, and nowadays is a lot better than it used to be. You can redeem the miles for one-way awards, they don’t impose fuel surcharges on any award redemptions, they have competitive redemption rates, and 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 1.5 cents per mile.

There are some things to be aware of as well, though. For example, their call center is horrible, so if something isn’t bookable on their website, don’t expect it to be bookable by phone either.

Fortunately they recently improved my two other biggest gripes with the program recently. For a long time LifeMiles was blocking Lufthansa first class award availability, which is no longer the case. However, they don’t always have access to the same space as other Star Alliance programs. Furthermore, LifeMiles didn’t used to allow you to mix cabins on an award ticket, which isn’t the case anymore either.

Lufthansa-First-Class-747 - 1
Lufthansa 747-8 first class

As far as redeeming LifeMiles go, Avianca is in the Star Alliance, so check out the Star Alliance award chart for redemption rates. To give a few examples of one way premium cabin redemption rates (along with how much it would cost you at a rate of 1.375 cents per mile):

  • US to Europe in business class costs 63,000 miles (~$866)
  • US to Europe in first class costs 87,000 miles (~$1,196)
  • US to Southeast Asia in business class costs 78,000 miles (~$1,073)
  • US to North Asia in first class costs 90,000 miles (~$1,238)

With a specific use in mind, this promotion can be an incredible value, especially for first class travel on ANAAsiana, and Lufthansa.

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

ana-first-class-777-2
ANA 777-300ER first class

Of course everyone has to crunch the numbers for themselves and decide whether this makes sense or not.

How does this compare to past promotions?

For a bit of context on how this compares to past promotions on the purchase of LifeMiles:

As you can see, this is among the best offers we’ve seen on the purchase of LifeMiles, and on top of that it’s the lowest minimum I’ve ever seen needed to maximize the promotion. Often you need to buy 100,000+ miles to get the highest possible bonus, while in this case you just need to buy 5,000 miles pre-bonus to get the best rate.

So if you have a short term use in mind I’d certainly consider taking advantage of this offer.

Buying LifeMiles counts as an airfare purchase

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:

Bottom line

Acquiring LifeMiles for ~1.375 cents each can represent a great deal, and is among the best prices we’ve seen on the purchase of LifeMiles. On top of that, this promotion has among the lowest out of pockets.

However, I might consider holding off briefly, as in the past we’ve seen them sometimes raise the offer during the promotion period, at least on a targeted basis. If that happens I’ll certainly post about it, as it’s something to be on the lookout for.

As I always say, everyone has to crunch the numbers for themselves as to whether or not this makes sense. There are great values to be had, though I also wouldn’t be hoarding miles.

Do you plan on buying LifeMiles with up to a 140% bonus?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

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Comments

  1. I reckon I’ll still hold out for the 150% deal. I know it’s not come in a year, but fingers crossed. If it comes, I’ll happily plonk down for 240k points.

  2. Spend $3,300 on miles purchase? LOL!
    As if someone who can afford to spend almost 3,5k on miles purchase would bother going thru the process of finding availability and them redeeming miles for a business class they could afford anytime by simply paying for it. LOL

  3. All LH F to and from C1 (North America) is blocked. As ‘Credit’ says, very hard to burn these miles – waiting for 200% bonus, then might bite.

  4. Hi Ben,

    Will I be able to redeem lifemiles for someone else that I am not traveling together with?

    Thanks

  5. This promo comes with a caveat that you can only buy 150000 less any other miles you may have already bought for this calendar year, so NO, you CANNOT buy 240000 miles.

    You really should read the fine print.

  6. the mixed cabin is not as good as it sounds. I find on international long haul spanning multiple segments, you can be in business for 2-hr short segment while in economy for the 12 hr trans-pacific segment, and charge the whole trip as business, which is ridiculous.

  7. @ loco dice
    You’re highly mistaken. There’s nothing ridiculous. Instead there’s value to be had. Even for people who can afford spending that much money. Because they count money and crunch the numbers to themselves. Maybe they can’t spend 10/20k $ for a first class roundtrip, but they are willing to pay $3500. By the way. 240 000 miles probably would be enough for almost two first class roundtrips. So you pay $3,5k and get up to $40k. Makes sense now?
    The miles

  8. @loco dice – are you really this dense? Buying miles represents a value proposition over paying full-fare, regardless of income or wealth.

    This really isn’t a novel concept (except for you, evidently).

  9. Hey guys,
    I was checking their award table and an F ticket from Europe to the US, costs the same as one to Hawaii. Do you know if LifeMiles awards allow you to have long layovers 24hr+? I assume the routing from EU to Hawaii would be through the US or?

  10. @ Ben Holz — Nope, no stopovers allowed, and it’s difficult/impossible to get any routing that isn’t automatically generated by the website.

  11. Bought last year with InsideFlyer 150% bonus and booked 4 Biz tix award seats OW LAX-ICN-BKK OZ. 325K miles for $4290 bringing down the RT tik to ~$2,150 which at least 50% savings over pay rates. Easy to buy and easy to book, but UA site had more availability than Avianca. In addition to the OZ flights, UA site also showed LAX-IST-BKK on TK.

    No WOW factor with OZ but it did the job with comfort.

  12. A couple of data points — LM site pulled up some TK J award space not found on UA site Europe-IST-USA).

    Also, sometimes their filtering to only look for a certain airline works (like in the TK example above) but sometimes it doesn’t. Was looking for a nonstop NH F flight I saw on UA site but wouldn’t pull up when filtering by “ANA”, had to switch to “Star Alliance”.

    Finally — no award changes 48 hours before and, supposedly, after a flight. Fortunately you can cancel & redeposit tickets even after a flight for the same $50 price. However, if you need flexibility, this isn’t very good.

  13. @Kerry,

    Per the program’s T&C, yes in 24 months

    Any activity in the member’s LifeMiles account extends the expiration date of the mileage credit of that account for a term of twenty four (24) months from the date of the latest qualifying activity. Qualifying activity is defined as any mileage accrual or redemption transaction, affecting the member’s mileage credit. Twenty four (24) months after the latest activity all miles will expire and the mileage credit of the account will be zero (0) miles. LifeMiles BV and/or the Airlines may, but shall not be responsible for establishing special conditions to reactivate expired Miles and may also establish a charge for their reactivation.

    Buy the minimum now to extend their life for another 24 months.

  14. I’m looking to buy an award ticket from Hong Kong to USA next year’s summer but i can’t seem to come up with any award availability with United Airlines, also when i try to book Asiana, it only shows First class but no business class, is there any reason why Aviana is blocking these seats?

  15. Also, I was checking the life miles website and it displays Turkish business class as Turkish first class from Hkg-LHR even though it dosen’t exist?

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