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Avianca's LifeMiles program is famous for selling miles at a significant discount, and this latest promotion takes that to a whole new level. Now through September 25, 2020, LifeMiles is offering the public a chance to purchase LifeMiles with a 200% bonus. With this bonus, you can buy LifeMiles for only 1.1¢ each—which is the best price the program has ever offered!
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.
- Buy LifeMiles promotion valid through this Friday, September 25, 2020
- Buy between 1,000 – 50,000 LifeMiles and receive 150% bonus miles
- Buy between 51,000 – 100,000 LifeMiles and receive 175% bonus miles
- Buy between 101,000 – 200,000 LifeMiles and receive 200% bonus miles
The maximum amount of 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.
However, this promotion is tiered. You'll start by getting a 150% bonus when purchasing as few as 1,000 miles. That's 1.32¢ per mile:
The 1.1¢ rate starts when you buy at least 101,000 miles:
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: $17,364 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:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express — 5X Membership Rewards Points (on flights booked directly with airlines)
- Citi Prestige® Card — 5X ThankYou Points
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® — 3X Ultimate Rewards Points
- Citi Premier℠ Card — 3X ThankYou Points
- American Express® Gold Card — 3X Membership Rewards Points (on flights booked directly with airlines)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — 2X Ultimate Rewards Points
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 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 airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 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 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
- 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:
- American Express Membership Rewards Points — 1:1 transfer ratio (transfers process immediately)
- Citi ThankYou Points — 1:1 transfer ratio (transfers process immediately)
- Capital One Miles — 4:3 transfer ratio (transfers process immediately)
- Marriott Bonvoy Points — 3:1 transfer ratio plus a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred (transfers typically take 21 hours to process). Plus, get a 25% bonus on transfers through September 18, 2020.
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 — 40,000-mile welcome bonus after first purchase. The card has a $149 annual fee.
- Avianca Vida Visa® Card — 20,000-mile welcome bonus after first purchase. The card comes with a $59 annual fee.
- 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
Considering the massive wave of buy miles promotions that have been sweeping the award travel ecosystem lately (including Hyatt, Iberia, Alaska, Hilton, and United), we knew it was only a matter of time before LifeMiles held 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 may not be the best 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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