Do Avianca LifeMiles Expire?

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If you have no accrual activity on your account in 12 months, your LifeMiles balance will expire. Per the LifeMiles Help Center page:

“Just make one accrual transaction every 12 months, and the validity of all the LifeMiles in your account will extend for a minimum of 12 months.”

Barcelona, Spain - January 8, 2017: Avianca Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner approaching to the El Prat Airport in Barcelona, Spain.

Exceptions To The Expiration Policy

While the normal expiration deadline is 12 months, there are two distinct exceptions to that rule:

Ways to Keep Your Miles Valid

Earning LifeMiles in any of the following ways will extend the validity of your mileage balance:

  • Fly with Avianca, Star Alliance partners, Aeromexico, or Iberia.
  • Stay with hotel partners, including Marriot Bonvoy, IHG, and Best Western Rewards.
  • Earn miles for your next car rental with partners including Hertz, Avis, National, and Budget.
  • Spend on the Avianca Vuela Visa or Avianca Vida Visa.
  • Shop or dine at a host of partners in Latin and South America.

One thing worth noting is that, according to the rules, transferring credit card points to LifeMiles does not count towards extending the validity of your miles. You can transfer Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Points, Brex Rewards, and American Express Membership Rewards to Avianca LifeMiles at 1:1 ratios. You can also transfer Marriot Bonvoy points to LifeMiles at a ratio of 3:1.

We have found this rule not to be enforced. Transferring points to LifeMiles might extend your mileage validity, but it's not a guarantee. However, it is worth keeping this as an option if you can't easily generate other activity.

Image showing LifeMiles will expire later now after transferring miles from American Expire.
When AwardWallet's Toni transferred Membership Rewards to LifeMiles, it reset her expiration date.

Reinstating LifeMiles After They Expire

With only 12 months to stop your miles from expiring, the risk of it happening is greater than with other programs. If that happens, you can buy back your LifeMiles after they expire — for a price. Avianca LifeMiles can be reinstated for $10 per 1,000 miles. Miles are reinstated in blocks of 1,000, and there are no limits on how many can be reinstated.

Our Take

Avianca LifeMiles is one of the strongest Star Alliance programs and does offer some excellent sweet spots on redemptions. They also have some excellent miles purchase sales.

However, a notable downside is the short mileage expiration policy. It's much shorter than most of its competitors. That being said, if you are regularly traveling and accruing miles and are confident that you will not be caught out with the 12-month expiration deadline, then LifeMiles are a great option to include as part of your travel rewards strategy.

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Comments

  • Alexander Schmidt says:

    Does transferring Marriott points to Avianca extend your expiration?

    • Alexander – we don’t have any data on it, but considering it worked with other points I would be willing to risk it if I had points expiring and wanted to save them. That’s just me.