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Avianca is back with yet another buy miles promotion. Now through December 2, 2022, you can buy LifeMiles with a 160% bonus — or 170% bonus when registering through a special link. When maximized, you can use this offer to buy LifeMiles for as little as 1.22¢ per mile.
While it comes close, believe it or not, this isn't quite the best-ever promotion that we've seen from LifeMiles. Still, it's a spectacular deal — if you know how to use LifeMiles. Here are some times when buying LifeMiles at 1.22¢ could make sense.
Note on Buying Miles
We don't recommend buying miles without a discount or a plan to use them. For most miles and points 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 completed a re-organizational bankruptcy. LifeMiles is a separate legal entity from Avianca. However, if Avianca were to get into financial trouble again, the value of LifeMiles could be significantly affected if Avianca were to cease to operate and lose its Star Alliance partners.
- Buy LifeMiles promotion valid through December 2, 2022
- The highest tier in the publicly available promotion offers a 160% bonus — but you can get up to a 170% bonus by registering through this link for One Mile At A Time readers.
- Buy at least 1,000 LifeMiles and receive 130% bonus miles — or 135% after registering through the OMAAT link.
- Members can buy miles in increments of 1,000 LifeMiles.
- The maximum number of miles you can buy in a year is 200,000 miles. If you buy the maximum during this promotion, you will receive a total of 540,000 LifeMiles (200,000 purchases miles + 170% bonus).
The maximum number of miles you can purchase in one transaction to qualify for the 170% bonus is 200,000 miles. This will set you back $6,600 for a total of 540,000 LifeMiles = 1.22¢ per mile.
This is a tiered promotion. If you register through the OMAAT link, bonuses apply as follows:
- 1,000-20,000 miles purchased = 150% bonus.
- 21,000-50,000 miles purchased = 160% bonus.
- 51,000-200,000 miles purchased = 170% bonus.
When Does Buying Avianca LifeMiles Make Sense?
Thanks to a reasonable award chart and minimal fees and 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 1.22¢ apiece.
Domestic Flights on United
Perhaps one of the best uses of LifeMiles for many travelers is simply getting a decent mileage price on a domestic United flight. LifeMiles charges as few as 6,500 miles one-way for an economy award on United. By maximizing this sale, you can pay just $79 to get enough miles to book one of these awards.
- Mileage Rate: from 6,500 LifeMiles each way ($5.60 taxes)
- One-way Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.22¢ each): from $79 each way
- Round-Trip Cost to Purchase Miles (at 1.22¢ each): from $159 round trip
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: $17,823 round-trip
- Redemption Rate: 9.87 cents per mile (based on a round-trip booking, after taxes)
- One-way Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.22¢ each): $1,100 each way
- Round-Trip Cost to Purchase Miles (at 1.22¢ each): $2,200 round trip
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 booking)
- One-Way Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.22¢ each): $770 each way
- Round-Trip Cost to Purchase Miles (at 1.22¢ each): $1,540 round trip
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 booking)
- One-Way Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.22¢ each): $953 each way
- Round-Trip Cost to Purchase Miles (at 1.22¢ each): $1,907 round trip
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 cards. Some of the best cards to use would be:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express — 5X Membership Rewards Points (on $500,000 of airfare purchases per calendar year 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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
- 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
- 5X points on travel purchased through Chase
- 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide
- 3X points on eligible streaming services
- 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
- 2X points on all other travel
- 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Other Ways to Earn Avianca LifeMiles
While cheap miles are great, an even cheaper way to grow your collection of LifeMiles is by converting flexible bank currencies. Avianca partners with multiple transferrable currencies:
- American Express Membership Rewards Points — 1:1 transfer ratio (transfers process immediately)
- Brex Cash — 1:1 transfer ratio (transfers process immediately)
- Capital One Miles — 1:1 transfer ratio (transfers process immediately)
- Citi ThankYou Points — 1:1 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 1 day to process).
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
The best-ever buy LifeMiles offer offered miles for just 1.2¢ each. So, the current deal falls just short of the best we've seen. However, you can easily get more than 1.22¢ of value through LifeMiles' award chart. The question is just if you're willing to put up with the frustrations of the LifeMiles program.
Are you going to buy Avianca LifeMiles with a 170% bonus?
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