Buy Avianca LifeMiles With up to 140% Bonus + Discounted Premium Star Alliance Awards

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Here at AwardWallet, we're big fans of Avianca's LifeMiles program. Avianca offers great redemption rates for Star Alliance awards, doesn't pass on carrier-imposed surcharges, runs frequent transfer bonuses from flexible rewards programs, and you can regularly buy LifeMiles at a considerable discount.

This month, Avianca has two lucrative, limited-time promotions going at the same time:

  1. Discounted Star-Alliance Award Redemptions for Select Markets
  2. Buy LifeMiles with up to a 140% Mileage Bonus

Discounted Star Alliance Award Redemptions

It's not unusual for airlines to offer discounted award pricing on their metal (Flying Blue has a monthly promo for awards on Air France and KLM aircraft.) Still, it is slightly more unique for an airline to offer discounted pricing on flights operated by partners. In this case, all of the discounted itineraries to/from a U.S. city are to Asia.

Discounted Star Alliance bookings with LifeMiles

These are only the city pairs involving a U.S. city. For the complete list, visit this link.

LifeMiles already has some of the most lucrative pricing on award tickets to Asia, even without the promotion. But during this promotion, you can book yourself in Star Alliance first-class from LAX to Seoul for only 76,500 miles!

Business class on EVA airways using LifeMiles
Royal Laurel (Business) Class on EVA Airways is one of the best ways to cross the Pacific. With this promotion, you can fly it from San Francisco to Taipei for only 64,000 LifeMiles each way.

Up to 140% Bonus Miles When Buying LifeMiles

  • Tiered bonuses dependent on the number of miles purchased.
  • Valid between February 11th- 27th, 2020
  • You must register using your LifeMiles # first 
  • When buying LifeMiles, be sure to confirm that the purchase reflects the promotional bonus.

Buy Avianca LifeMiles with up to 140% bonus

Avianca regularly holds sales for buying LifeMiles. We've seen promotions in the past offer up to a 145% bonus on LifeMile purchases. Still, if you max-out this current promotion of 140% bonus miles, you're bagging Avianca miles at just 1.375¢ per mile.

Don't forget that Avianca LifeMiles is also a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, Marriott Bonvoy Points, and Capital One points.

Another essential thing to consider is that Avianca doesn't process LifeMile purchases through a third-party, meaning the charge will code as an airline purchase, and you should use the best card for airfare purchases. For instance, if you were to purchase these miles using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you'd earn 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar. If you were to buy these miles with a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you'd earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar. Make sure to use the right card!

Unique Opportunities for High-Value Redemptions

We don't usually recommend buying miles unless you already have a specific redemption in mind for them. However, with the ability to stack these two promotions together, we thought we'd take this opportunity to outline the possibility of buying enough miles for a few of these specific redemptions.

  • LAX to ICN in First Class — This itinerary only costs 76,500 LifeMiles to book with the discounted Star Alliance award promotion. Using the “Buy Miles” sale, you could buy enough miles to book this for only $1,188. Considering first-class tickets to Asia from L.A. regularly costs between $5-10k, this is a great deal.
  • SEA to TPE in Business Class — Since this itinerary only costs 60,000 Lifemiles, you could buy all the necessary miles for $924. One way Business-class tickets usually cost between $2-4k, so this would be at least a 50% discount.
  • IAD to PEK in First Class — At 72,000 Lifemiles per way, you could use the promotion to buy all the miles you need for $1,122. These tickets usually cost $10k!

Thinking Outside the Box

What's even more remarkable about the Discounted Star Alliance Award Promotion is that some of LifeMile's unique booking quirks affect the promotional pricing as well. In case you didn't already know, one of the peculiarities of the Lifemiles program is that award pricing is based on the ratio of the trip flown in a specific class of service. This leads to the possibility of booking even cheaper business or first class awards to Asia by adding on a short economy or business class flight at the beginning or end of the route. One of my first dummy searches' found one such itinerary:

Since this itinerary is technically between L.A. and Seoul, it qualifies for the promotional pricing. However, since the second leg would be in business class, the actual price would only be 76,340 LifeMiles.

Final Thoughts

We love airline programs that mix things up now and then. With these two promotions combined, there's a lot of opportunities to save on these already significant redemptions, especially if you were planning to travel to Asia.

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Comments

  • I don’t have much experience with Avianca to be honest. Any thoughts out there?

    • Anytime you want an introduction to a program, such as Avianca, just search the AW blog, with the search box right at the top. Instantly, you’ll see a history of Avianca promotions and, if you want to dive deeper, lots of commentary in the comments. It’s all invaluable.

  • This program seems to have such worthwhile perks that it might be worth the pain of learning to use it! My worry is always the problems of dealing with the airline during irregular operations. Until the flight starts, you would have to deal with Avianca for any changes, and I have heard that might not be easy.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    Avianca for external flights is a very good airline. I think the quality drops off a bit for internal flights within Colombia. This is a good deal

  • What’s the best Star Alliance program to book the cheapest intra Europe award flights?

  • Great tip on Avianca processing the mileage purchase directly, so it codes as travel with the possibility of earning 5x Amex MR!!! Any comments on buying Avianca miles in big chunks vs. subscribing to one of their monthly purchase options?

  • Lifemiles always has the same city pairs for Star Alliance discount promotions.
    I wish they would expand the list of cities included in these periodic promotions.

  • Thanks for the such helpful information!
    The Awardwallet App is also very good!:-)

  • Matthew B Ward says:

    Can you please provide further explanation on the “outside the box” section? In the article you give an example fair from LAX ICN in First for 76,500 miles. You then give an outside the box example of LAX -> HND and NPN -> ICN for 76,340 miles where half of that flight is in economy. I know I am missing something but cant see what…

  • Nice bonus, how easy is it to redeem them miles?

  • I like Avianca. As long as you don’t have to use the incompetent call center.

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