You’ve gotta appreciate how creative LifeMiles is with their offerings. In addition to constantly having sales on purchased miles, they have some other creative ways to get members to engage with the program, including the monthly mileage subscription they recently introduced.
LifeMiles seems to have recently introduced yet another interesting new feature that I don’t think we’ve seen from another program before. This is of limited use to many since it only applies to award flights on Avianca, but I think it’s an interesting concept nonetheless, and one that I’d love to see other loyalty programs add.
LifeMiles has introduced QualiMiles, which allows you to buy elite qualifying miles for award flights that you take on Avianca. Like I said, this will be of limited use to most since this only applies to travel on Avianca, and you can only earn elite status in the LifeMiles program. So this doesn’t work if you’re redeeming miles for travel on United and want elite qualifying miles with MileagePlus, for example.
So, how does this work? When you go to book your award flight on Avianca, at the bottom right of the page you should be able to check a box indicating that you want to purchase QualiMiles.
Then within a few days you should receive an email with the cost to buy the elite qualifying miles. In the example they give, from Bogota to Miami, the cost to purchase 1,513 elite qualifying miles is $31.73, so that’s about two cents per elite qualifying mile, which is pretty good. I imagine the cost will vary based on a variety of factors, but that’s an attractive price. Of course that assumes you’d get value out of the elite qualifying miles, and that you’re otherwise going for status with the LifeMiles program. If not, this will be of limited value.
Kudos to LifeMiles on the innovation here. This isn’t something I’d personally take advantage of since I’m not going for status with them, though this is a concept that I’d love to see expanded. Unless something in their Star Alliance contract prohibits them from doing so, I think it would be interesting to see them also sell elite qualifying miles in the LifeMiles program for travel on Star Alliance partner airlines.
I’d also like to see more programs introduce this. However, given the highway robbery rates at which other programs sell elite qualifying miles at the end of the year, I doubt most other programs could make this lucrative enough to be worthwhile.
At what cost would you buy elite qualifying miles for your award flights?
(Tip of the hat to Jeremy)