Special LifeMiles Promo For OMAAT Readers — Buy Miles For 1.375 Cents Each!

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For the past couple of weeks, the LifeMiles program has been offering a bonus on purchased miles. Their publicly available promotion offers up to a 125% bonus when you buy miles.

I’m happy to share that LifeMiles is once again offering a special increased bonus on purchased LifeMiles for readers of OMAAT. At each of the levels, OMAAT readers will receive an additional 15% bonus, meaning you can earn up to a 140% bonus on purchased miles.

Here’s what the bonus chart looks like for OMAAT readers who register:

LifeMiles ordinarily sells miles for ~3.3 cents each, so if you max out the promotion and buy miles with a 140% bonus, you’re essentially paying just 1.375 cents per purchased mile, which is a fantastic value.

To take advantage of this offer you have to register on this page between May 15 and May 29, 2018, and then have to buy miles between May 16 and May 30, 2018.

You have to wait 24 hours from the time you register until you buy miles through the offer to get the better bonus. You should see the better bonus reflected on the purchase page once you’re eligible (only buy miles once you see the price you want).

I’d highly recommend registering now, and then you can always still decide if you want to take advantage of the promotion later.

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 (there are no fuel surcharges on any awards):

  • US to Europe in business class costs 63,000 miles
  • US to Europe in first class for 87,000 miles
  • US to Europe in first class costs 87,000 miles
  • US to Southeast Asia in business class costs 78,000 miles
  • US to North Asia in first class costs 90,000 miles

Lately LifeMiles have been even more useful than in the past. That’s because Lufthansa has opened up some first class award availability more than 15 days in advance, and LifeMiles members have had access to this space, while Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus members haven’t. This presents an awesome opportunity. Being able to confirm Lufthansa’s A380 first class between San Francisco and Munich in advance for two people for 87,000 LifeMiles each with no carrier imposed surcharges? Now that’s awesome!

With a specific use in mind, this promotion can be a great value, especially for first class travel on ANA, Asiana, or Lufthansa. ANA first class between the US and Japan for ~$1,250 one-way is a pretty darn good value, if you ask me.

Or business class between the US and Europe will run you ~$870, which is great as well.

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

The one catch is that LifeMiles doesn’t always have access to all the same space that other Star Alliance programs do. So you’ll want to do an online search to make sure the type of redemption you’re looking at is eligible. Sometimes these inconsistencies work in our favor, though, like right now, where LifeMiles has access to more Lufthansa first class award space than other programs do.

Also keep in mind that LifeMiles processes mileage purchases directly, meaning that the purchase of miles 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:

CardPoints earned on airfare spend
The Platinum Card® from American Express5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Put another way, if you pay with The Platinum Card® from American Express then you earn 5x points. I value those points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of a further 8.5% return. That means that the real cost of each mile goes down from 1.375 cents each to 1.26 cents each, which is an even better value (this isn’t cash in your pocket, but rather points in your “pocket” based on my valuation).

Thanks to LifeMiles for offering this special bonus for OMAAT readers, and I hope lots of you are able to take advantage of it! This is an opportunity to book Star Alliance premium cabin tickets at a significant discount, assuming availability coincides with your travel plans. I’d argue there has never been a better time for this promotion, given the current Lufthansa first class award availability.

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Comments

  1. Didn’t Lifemiles also recently change the expiration policy a month or two ago? I forget the details but I believe the only way to extend the expiration date of Lifemiles miles is to earn miles via crediting star alliance flights to Avianca, buying miles, or using their cobranded credit card, right? Redeeming flights won’t extend the expiration date anymore.

  2. Thanks Lucky.
    Any biz award from europe to the US east coast on July 7 or 8 using Star Alliance? Asking for a ‘friend’

  3. I couldn’t find any LH F availability anymore… double checked with Singapore airlines system and these award space seems to be gone. So ready to take advantage of Avianca Lifemiles but now there is no reason to buy.

  4. What do you mean by less star alliance avail? Looking for transatlantic business or econ in late June. Will they see United biz? If the availability isn’t on lifemiles.com but is on United.com, can I call to book?

  5. Awesome!! Shame I bought my miles for 1.5c last week as booked using miles + money. At least avoided the risk that the space was phantom.

    Will still be buying these.

    Btw if I wanted to change my booking from business to first on Lufthansa would it incur the $150 change fee?

  6. “The one catch is that LifeMiles doesn’t always have access to all the same space…” Wake me up when they do have access to any sort of decent space. I’ve got a stash of LifeMiles that I’m going to end up burning on a hotel reservation. I find them useless. No availability or it errors out.

  7. Also keep in mind you’ll probably have access to the 15% discount on purchased miles if you hold the Avianca Vuela Visa card.

  8. DaveS:
    Go to Asia or Latin America

    if you book out far enough: they have great award availability to Asia from LA, SF, and Vancouver.
    Especially on ANA and Asiana.

    they have multiple J seats from West Coast to Asia, almost every day.
    They even have F availability.

    They have tons of availability to Latin America as well.

    one issue though: you can usually only book awards from a US Star Alliance Hub.
    thus: I could find almost nothing from MSP… but tons of things from SF, Chicago, Miami, etc.

    FWIW:
    I bought 2 RT tix from North America to Sydney using Lifemiles. YVR-SYD direct in J for 80k miles… then SYD-ICN-LAX in F for around 93.5k miles… I will position to YVR and back from LAX.
    I had to buy the tix as soon as the schedule opened hp (it’s like 350 days out or something)
    That said: Sydney is VERY hard to get to direct from NA, but that is on all programs, not just LifeMiles

  9. should amend:

    I bought YVR-SYD direct in J on Air Canada for 80k miles
    then SYD-ICN-LAX in F on Asiana for abourn 93.5k miles.

    ALSO: VERY IMPORTANT:
    Don’t search for round trip tickets
    buy search for a one way there, and a one way back
    it opens up tons of availability if you DO NOT search for Round Trip!

    regards

  10. They pulled off LH F availability before this sale…
    I can confirm with expertflyer that the flight I want to redeem has 0 slot sold, but the award availability that was open a week ago is gone.

  11. @JRMW
    I don’t wanna crash your party, but IMHO you won’t be flying SYD-ICN in first class. At least not with Asiana. Even their A380 seasonally serving that route, First Class is not beeing sold on that route. Or did you mean SYD-ICN-LAX in C and F?

    @EricAstray
    LH First avail >15 days out has been pulled by Miles & More, not Lifemiles.

  12. I can confirm @EricAstray’s statement. I wanted to book LH F for my bf last night on the same flight, but the two available seats I saw last night are no longer showing up this morning. I went into my booking to check if people actually booked them overnight, turned out all seats are still open but award space is gone now. Sad 🙁

  13. When you make a purchase and a week later you find you could’ve saved $66 bucks had you waited.

    Blast!

  14. Concur with other posters that availability seems to have vanished overnight, even on LH J.

    Booked some friends/family on LH F and J, and glad we did it when we did, especially factoring in 24 hour transfer experience from UR to Krisflyer.

    Losing out on that $66 savings doesn’t seem so bad now!

  15. Oh wow, I was kind of pissed at myself when I read the title as I just spent $5k oh LH F tickets through LifeMiles, and could of saved about $400 if I had waited until the OMAAT promotion, but after reading the comments I’m extremely happy I booked when I did!

  16. Joe:

    You could very much be correct.
    When I bought the tickets it said I was in J Sydney to Seoul, then First Seoul to LAX.
    But then I got notification of equipment change and my seats appear to be in the first class section on both legs

    Doesn’t matter to me cause I really only care about having a lie flat seat and decent food!

    We’ll see what happens in February!

  17. So, I am still unhappy with LifeMiles. About two years ago (was it?), I purchased some 375,000 LifeMiles maxing out the special promotion with OMAAT. They did not expire at the time and because there were no fuel surcharges with tickets, it seemed a good investment. I have periodically checked for first class redemptions to South Africa without success. Even on a one-way basis. I really want to take my 80 year old mother there on an amazing trip (Capetown specifically since we have already done a safari back in 1986 in Kenya). LifeMiles has improved its interface a bit — but I really want month-at-a-glance availability and it is so frustrating to be only able to see a week at first glance and then to shift only by 2-3 days in each direction after a noticeable pause. I am considering a subscription to ExpertFlyer so that I know what dates to at least ask for (as we have flexible schedules and any set of dates would be fine if I could just find them).

  18. I am glad I waited to buy. Thank you Lucky!

    Lifemiles is great for buying miles and the search engine is not the best for showing all the routes, but it gets the job done and when it works the deal is great.

  19. Can anyone shed some light on how appropriate this offer is for Australians to take up?

  20. @Greg

    The only star alliance airlines flying to South Africa with First Class are CA, LH and LX.
    LX doesn’t open F space to partner programs, LH does only < 15 days out and it's very hard to find space, even with their own M&M program. CA doesn't release First space on that route either. At least I couldn't find any for 2018. So, your options are close to zero, with any FFP.

  21. @JRMW
    I can tell you what will happen in Feb on the SYD-ICN leg:
    You might be able to snap a seat up front, but neither caviar nor premium champagne will be served 😉 Still a very good experience though.
    LH does it as well on some routes (e.g. FRA-MLE), where a First cabin is on board without First service.

  22. The 15% discount with your Vuelva credit card will not apply for buying miles. It is only valid for “Multiply your miles.”

  23. Thanks Joe
    That’s what I figured

    Luckily I hate seafood (so caviar is worthless to me) and my favorite sparkling wine is $8 a bottle (really)!

    I am most interested by far in flat seat, shoulder space , and calm/quiet

    I travel in a couple and don’t care about doors or privacy

    But F is better than J in Asiana because it has “honeymoon seats” whereas J has reverse herringbone seats which are less optimal for couples

    I’m fine with J then F as it will let me experience the difference!

  24. How easy is it to find Singapore Airlines J awards to Europe with life miles? That would be my pick but not sure how easy to redeem…

  25. Just bought 130,000 Life Miles (+ 140% OMAAT bonus – thank you Lucky and team!) and successfully redeemed them for 2 return tickets in business class to fly from YYZ to SIN (with Air Canada and Asiana via ICN, and Air China and Air Canada via PEK, respectively) in February/March 2019. Both transactions went smoothly.

    I got a confirmation number but no e-ticket yet. Does anyone know how long it usually takes Life Miles to send an e-ticket?

  26. Is it really minimum 24 hours I have to wait? or up to 24 hours? I have awards spaces to book before they disappear… 🙁

  27. Awesome. Thanks, Lucky! Just bought 150,000 lifemiles for 4,950 giving me a total of 360,000 miles from the bonus. Redeemed for two 1st class round trip tickets on ANA from JFK to HND japan for my wife and I in early 2019. Would’ve cost around 45,000 if purchased from ANA directly!

  28. Thanks Lucky, just topped off my miles for this year using the promotion. I use LifeMiles mainly for travel to Asia from NYC and find they have decent availability via BR, NH, and OZ. I hesitate to book the Air China awards when they pop up on my routes but may give it a whirl for novelty sake.

  29. Thanks. Hope you are getting some commissions out of this 🙂
    I was trying to book 4 business seats on LH to FCO next spring break using United miles and discovered this. Figured at this rate this is better than burning more valuable UR points to book this on United. Got the first row 4 seats on 747-400 nose cone for my family. another check on the bucket list. Have been on a handful of A380s, I managed to do 4 suites in SQ for the family, Etihad apartment with shower, Emirates first with shower and all but never been on a 747 since I last flew it back in 80’s when I was a little child. too bad it’s not a -8i but a chance to fly a -400 before all retires is a good opportunity too I guess.

  30. i want to find economy availability on flights from Brazil to other countries in S. America and i am having a really hard time getting them to show up. before, these award flight were SUPER abundant. is this normal? is there a trick to getting them to show up?

  31. Lucky, I just tried purchasing 200,000 but it didn’t give me the added 15% it was giving 450,000.
    Help! I want to purchase. Also, did you read the fine print, see below as I believe it means that these purchased points can’t be used with the flex rewards plus dollars? Please respond.
    Thanks

    “Does not apply to the Flexible Redemption (LifeMiles + Money) during the payment process of air ticket redemption.”

  32. @ TERRY KAISER — Did you wait 24 hours from when you initially registered before trying to buy miles?

  33. I’ve been checking Lifemiles at least 3 times a day for the past 5 weeks, I know, I’m nuts.
    What I found was almost daily first class to Europe on LH if you booked just a few days out.
    In the past 72 hours, there is nothing! What happened?

  34. Nope! Thank you! I will buy tomorrow. What did you think about the small print?

    “Does not apply to the Flexible Redemption (LifeMiles + Money) during the payment process of air ticket redemption.”

  35. I received an email from Lifemiles this morning saying because of OMAT I get 140% bonus!
    Thanks

  36. I am trying to buy Lifemiles after registering last week with OMAAT but when I hit that continue button it doesnt work and wont let me buy the miles.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks Ulli

  37. I am having same issue with Ulli. the payment page did not go through, always asking me to enter a phone number, but there is on place to enter the phone number. any suggestions?

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