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LifeMiles has just launched a new flash sale on the purchase of miles. There are two ways you can take advantage of this:
- LifeMiles sent an email to some members directly offering the deal
- OMAAT readers can register to get the same deal (more details below)
With this offer, readers can buy LifeMiles with up to a 125% bonus.
The tiered bonus is as follows:
- Buy 1,000-50,000 miles, get a 100% bonus
- Buy 51,000-100,000 miles, get a 115% bonus
- Buy 101,000-200,000 miles, get a 125% bonus
LifeMiles ordinarily sells miles for ~3.3 cents each, so if you max out the promotion and buy miles with a 125% bonus, you’re essentially paying 1.47 cents per purchased mile, which is a solid value.
To take advantage of this offer you have to register on this page between July 10 and July 13, 2018, and then have to buy miles between July 11 and July 14, 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
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 ~$1,320 one-way is a pretty darn good value, if you ask me.
Or business class between the US and Europe will run you ~$925, 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, as they do sometimes see space that other programs don’t.
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:
|Card||Points earned on airfare spend|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express||3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi ThankYou® Premier Card||3x ThankYou points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®||2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®||2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
Put another way, if you pay with The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee) 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 1.47 cents each to 1.35 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).
If you have a short term use for miles then a 125% bonus is a solid deal. Be aware that this isn’t the best deal we’ve seen on purchased LifeMiles, though — in the past they’ve offered up to a 140% bonus. So my recommendation would be to buy miles with an immediate use in mind, though if you can hold off for several more weeks, we might see a better offer again.
However, many people people don’t like to hold onto miles given the risks associated with that, and rather just buy them when they need them. The difference between paying 1.375 cents and 1.47 cents per mile isn’t that huge.