Buy LifeMiles With a Best-Ever 200% Bonus, Just 1.1¢ Per Mile

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Avianca's LifeMiles program is famous for selling miles at a significant discount, and its latest promotion takes that to a whole new level. Now through December 3, 2020, LifeMiles is offering members a chance to purchase LifeMiles with a 200% bonus. With this bonus, you can buy LifeMiles for only 1.1¢ each—which matches the best price the program has ever offered!

LifeMiles 200% bonus Cyber banner

Note on Buying Miles

We recognize that it's not exactly the best time to be planning travel, and we typically don't recommend buying miles without a discount or a plan to use them. For most currencies, you're much better off building your stash for free through credit-card earnings and transfer partners.

There are a couple of exceptions, though. When you can buy miles at a deep discount, it can make sense to do so if you can book a lucrative award redemption instead of paying for an expensive cash ticket. Moreover, if you only need a few more miles to complete that next, great redemption you're eyeing, purchasing miles can be the quickest, simplest way. Just make sure you do the math ahead of time to ensure you're achieving a value you're comfortable with.

It's also worth noting that Avianca recently filed for re-organizational bankruptcy. While LifeMiles is a separate legal entity from Avianca, the value of LifeMiles could be significantly affected if Avianca ceases to operate and loses its Star Alliance partners.

Key Terms

  • Buy LifeMiles promotion valid through December 3, 2020
  • Buy between 1,000 – 200,000 LifeMiles and receive 200% bonus miles
  • Members can buy miles in increments of 1,000 LifeMiles
  • The maximum miles that a member can receive during this promotion, including applicable bonuses is 600,000 miles, minus the miles that the member has previously purchased in 2020 and their respective bonuses

The maximum miles you can purchase and qualify for the 200% bonus is 200,000 miles. This will set you back $6,600 for a total of 600,000 LifeMiles—1.1¢ per mile.

For this promotion, there is no tier system. Instead, LifeMiles allows targeted members to purchase any number of miles (between 1,000–200,000) and still receive the 200% bonus. That means that even if you buy the minimum of 1,000 miles, you'll still qualify for the best rate (1.1¢ per mile):

When Does Buying Avianca LifeMiles Make Sense?

Thanks to a reasonable award chart and minimal fuel surcharges, LifeMiles is among our favorite airline currencies for premium-class redemptions across the globe. As the currency of Avianca, Colombia's flag carrier, LifeMiles can be used for award bookings on any of the airline's Star Alliance partners. That includes partners with fabulous premium products like Lufthansa, All Nippon Airways, and EVA.

Let's take a look at some of our favorite sweet spots of the program to demonstrate the kind of value possible when buying LifeMiles for 1.1¢ apiece.

Los Angeles — Tokyo in ANA First Class

  • Mileage Rate: 90,000 LifeMiles each way ($5.60 taxes from LAX-HND, $49.80 taxes from HND-LAX)
  • Typical Cash Price: $17,369 round-trip
  • Redemption Rate: 9.6 cents per mile (based on a round-trip)
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.1¢ each): $990 each way

Chicago — Zurich in Swiss Business Class

  • Mileage Rate: 63,000 LifeMiles each way ($5.60 taxes from ORD-ZRH, $53.21 taxes from ZRH-ORD)
  • Typical Cash Price: $3,202 round-trip
  • Redemption Rate: 2.5 cents per mile (based on a round-trip)
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.1¢ each): $693 each way

Washington D.C. — Dubai in Turkish Business Class

  • Mileage Rate: 78,000 LifeMiles ($12.91 taxes from IAD-DXB, $55.04 taxes from DXB-IAD)
  • Typical Cash Price: $3,762 round-trip
  • Redemption Rate: 2.4 cents per mile (based on a round-trip)
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.1¢ each): $858 each way

Maximize Your Purchase

One of the great things about purchasing LifeMiles is that Avianca processes the transaction directly. This means that point purchases will code as airfare, meaning that the purchase will be eligible for the travel category bonus on many credit cards. Some of the best cards to use would be:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Our #1 recommended beginners rewards card featuring an 60,000 point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
  • 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Other Ways to Earn Avianca LifeMiles

Perhaps an even cheaper way to grow your collection of LifeMiles is by converting flexible bank currencies. Avianca partners with four of the five major transferrable currencies:

If you're a devoted Avianca frequent flyer or a hardcore LifeMiles fan, you could also consider applying for an Avianca co-branded credit card. Puerto Rico's Banco Popular offers two co-branded credit cards available to American citizens, and both are currently offering a standard sign-up bonus after completing only one transaction:

Avianca Vuela Visa® Card
Avianca Vuela Visa® Card
Annual Fee$149
Welcome Bonus 40,000 welcome bonus after first purchase
  • 40,000 Bonus LifeMiles after first card use
  • Earn 3 LifeMiles per $1 spent on Avianca purchases
  • Earn 2 LifeMiles per $1 spent at gas stations and grocery stores
  • Earn 1 LifeMile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 15% discount on purchases of miles with Multiply Your Miles
  • Free additional piece of baggage for travel between the United States and Central America
  • A 50% discount on an award ticket redeemed for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States after $12,000 spent each year
  • An additional 50% discount on an award ticket redeemed for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States after $24,000 spent each year
  • 0% Introductory offer for 12 months on Balance Transfers
  • You must be an Avianca LifeMiles member to apply
  • If you are not already a LifeMiles member, create your account here: www.lifemiles.com
  • Chip-enabled card provides added security
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Protection against unauthorized charges
  • Emergency Card Replacement
  • Online Account Management
  • Electronic Statements
  • Auto-pay option
  • 3X LifeMiles per $1 spent on Avianca purchases
  • 2X LifeMiles per $1 spent on gas stations & grocery stores
  • 1X LifeMile per $1 spent on all other purchases

Final Thoughts

Considering the massive wave of buy miles promotions that have been sweeping the award travel ecosystem lately (including Hyatt, Iberia, Alaska, Hilton, and United), it's not surprising that LifeMiles—a program famous for its buy miles promotions—launched one too. Avianca has built a devoted following thanks in part to these frequent promotions, and the airline certainly delivered with this best-ever price.

Additionally, the airline has shared with One Mile at a Time that they have no intent to change award rates until at least January 2021. This should quell any reservations one might have that LifeMiles plans to pull a bait-and-switch—selling miles at an unprecedented discount and then quickly devaluing the program.

While it's a difficult time to plan travel, it might be a while before you get a better opportunity to buy LifeMiles at such a discount. If you've got a plan, now's the time to go for it.

Are you going to buy Avianca LifeMiles with a 200% bonus?

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Comments

  • Avatar

    Patrick, thanks for this great post!

    The examples you gave are ridiculous lower compared to the typical cash price. I am a bit skeptical about mileage programs and buying miles with cash, but I think it is an interesting option to consider looking at these examples

  • Avatar

    Even after devaluations, Lifemiles could make sense if you have high degree of certainty of flying. I’d not buy speculatively, especially since it’s unclear to me whether Avianca folds entirely before I get to use them

  • Avatar

    Thanks for this write-up, Patrick. I’m thinking about buying some LifeMiles for a post-covid flight in ANA F to HND. Avianca’s site shows limited availability next fall. Does anyone have anecdotal data points regarding the ease/difficulty of rescheduling via Avianca? I’ve never used them for an award booking before.

  • Avatar

    Thanks for including the cost to purchase miles per segment. I’ve done the math in my head and decided against purchasing in the past, but seeing it in print crystallizes my assumptions. I have paid ~$1600 for a business class flight, but that was in part due to the huge mileage and status earnings. I can’t justify that cost without those benefits, especially in these times.

  • Avatar

    Boy, they are trying to raise money and then some. However they just seem to be creating a huge debt on their books. This would be a terrific deal for someone if they can actually use these points in the next few months. Otherwise it’s just a huge risk. I certainly see devaluation coming

  • Avatar
    IGNACIO MEDINA says:

    Loyalty programs being a money maker again. In most companies, they are separated entities so if the airline collapses, they remain alive.

  • Avatar

    This airline seems to be in the business of selling miles more than flying an airline. It seems like the airline business is a money loser but the loyalty programs are a money maker.

  • Avatar

    Lots of promotions but I am too afraid to get on a flight 🙁

  • Avatar

    LifeMiles used to be very good award option before the award charts were devalued few times. You can still can find LifeMiles useful to utilize for certain routings.

  • Avatar

    You can tell if you’re targeted by entering the number of miles you’d like to purchase and seeing if a 200% bonus is reflected on the checkout screen.

  • Avatar
    Pablo Quilis says:

    I will not buy any miles during this COVID season. Avianca is now in chapter 11 and I think they are trying to make some cash quick.

  • Avatar

    It is a very tempting offer! Even though the situation not isn’t the best for travelling one could use the point and book something next year when things are slowly getting back to normal.

  • Avatar

    This is certainly a very tempting offer, but i’m already sitting on around 300K Lifemiles and given the COVID situation and Avianca’s financial situation, i would prefer to use my current stash before collecting more LM

  • Avatar
    Juan Ignacio says:

    Excellent promo!!! Wish AA or AF do the same thing

  • Avatar

    Now if only AA would offer this kind of deal.

  • Avatar

    I would like to buy some LM miles but i am afraid it’s will be expiry as Covid-19 . Hope that bad virus gone asap. So want to go to travel now!!!

  • Avatar

    Avianca website is not showing Turkish Airlines option on LifeMiles website. Turkish cannot be booked using LM anymore? :/

    • Avatar

      I haven’t heard of any changes there. Maybe it’s just a temporary website issue. Booking by phone with Avianca isn’t much fun, but it should be a workaround for an urgent booking.

      • Avatar

        I’ve checked several dates, but TK is not showing anywhere. Not under Star, not even in Smart Search, all other airlines are there but not TK. Can you check?

        • Avatar

          Hi there. I’m sorry for the delay getting back to you. I’m seeing results for TK via lifemiles for May 11, 2021 (IST-FRA). I suppose maybe they are limiting some routes or schedules have been blocked due to COVID restrictions. Regardless, I don’t think there is a long term change happening with TK bookings using lifemiles.

    • Avatar

      I just check for some think and Turkish was available for my search

  • Avatar

    this is really tempting but I’m still sitting on a pile of Lifemiles that due to the current situation won’t be put to use so soon as I would hope……

  • Avatar

    I’m very tempted to buy at the 25K level (equates to 75K with the bonus) but I obviously still has qualms about it given Avianca’s current financial state (they may be separate from LifeMiles but it’s still something to consider)

  • Avatar

    Wow so they are backstabbing people who bought miles just a couple of months ago with a substantially lower bonus?
    They should at least provide refunds to those who bought the miles with a higher cost so they can re-purchase them with a better bonus this time.

  • Avatar
    Derek Judson says:

    I will be buy some points cause it’s very cheap and very useful to redeem Star Alliance Flight and very useful to redeem business class flight ticket. Great!

  • Avatar

    Another dangling carrot.
    I’d love to be a buyer but can’t see myself planning any travel for quite a while yet.

  • Avatar

    I am not planning on buying any Life Miles.
    Who knows when Americans will be able to book travel to Europe again?

  • Avatar
    Juan Ignacio says:

    It was a good deal sadly I saw late the article… but be aware Avianca’s situation is not ok at all in Brazil and Peru they declared bankruptcy… despite the LifeMiles program is a separate business from the Avianca’s holding it could be drastically impacted in the future.

  • Avatar

    Avianca applied for bankruptcy.

    • Avatar

      Do keep in mind that LifeMiles is a separate entity from Avianca the airline. It’s certainly true that the loyalty program could be negatively impacted in the future. It’s probably wise to pass unless you can use the miles in the near future.

  • Avatar

    This is an amazing deal. I can see why it might be a good idea to buy miles even if I’m not traveling. I’m curious on their strategy of the large bonus. Wondering if this will devalue their miles or not.

  • Avatar

    I’ve bought the minimum amount: 1000+1550 miles for 33 USD.
    This also in order to extend the validity of the miles I have with Aviance LifeMiles.

  • Avatar
    Mike Johnson says:

    it’s confirmed Expiration date Jun 30, 2021, 12 m after this purchase.

    not bad to extend miles.

  • Avatar
    Michaelj1 says:

    I have no present need for this so I will be passing on this deal.

  • Avatar

    Gracias por la información!

  • Avatar

    I usually don’t buy miles, but I’ll see if it makes sense here!

  • Avatar

    It’s interesting to purchase miles when you don’t have enough from credit card usage and it’s cheaper to complement instead of dealing with the full price ticket. I may be do it when things get better.

  • Avatar

    This has always been a program that can definitely be used to advantage but this is just not the right time for me.
    Since the best value comes from redemptions for business class flights, the difficulty of finding those seats makes it not such a great deal as it initially seems.

  • Avatar

    While a seemingly nice bonus at 155%, buying miles from an airline that has filed for bankruptcy seems like a risky move to me.

  • Avatar
    Mike Johnson says:

    After purchase, the Expiration date is not extended but still the same .

    This is very very strange .

  • Avatar

    It is too bad that you cannot redeem LH Group first class awards unless you are a top-tier M&M member nowadays.

  • Avatar

    LM have communicated in writing that they will keep the award chart. So not just a promise to OMAAT.

  • Avatar
    matt ward says:

    Why on earth are you showing the mileage rates for one-way but the cash price for round trip?

    • Avatar

      Don’t worry, we were comparing apples and apples! The mileage bookings can be booked as one-ways, so we wanted to show the one-way rates. For the cash fares, the round-trip prices are better than booking one-way. We based the redemption rate calculation off of the round-trip cash price and round-trip miles price. However, I clarified in the post to show how we got to these numbers.