Get a 15% Transfer Bonus When Transferring Amex Membership Rewards to LifeMiles

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Avianca just announced a new transfer bonus for American Express cardholders. For a limited time, Membership Rewards collectors can convert points to Avianca LifeMiles and receive a 15% bonus. Considering LifeMiles already offers some of the best redemption rates for Star Alliance award bookings, this presents an incredible opportunity.

15% Transfer Bonus Key Terms

  • Transfer Amex Membership Rewards to Avianca LifeMiles and receive 15% bonus miles.
  • This bonus is available for point conversions initiated from May 1, 2021 to May 31, 2021. 
  • Points conversions are non-reversible/non-refundable. 
  • There is no limit to the number of points you can convert to Avianca LifeMiles through this promotion.

Avianca processes this transfer bonus. So, the bonus won't be reflected when you transfer Amex points. Instead, LifeMiles will add the bonus to the points received. You should see one transaction reflecting the Amex points you transferred plus the 15% bonus.

Avianca LifeMiles: The Good and the Bad

While a transfer bonus for Avianca LifeMiles isn’t necessarily uncommon, it's still exciting since it opens the door to some outstanding redemption value. That is, of course, provided you’re willing to deal with LifeMiles in the first place.

Put bluntly, LifeMiles is one of those loyalty programs that many have a love/hate relationship with. On the one hand, as a part of Star Alliance, it enables award bookings with a diverse set of partners — including ANA, United, and Lufthansa. Even better, LifeMiles offers some of the best redemption rates available. 

On the other hand, the program is notorious for less-than-stellar customer service—a reputation that's only grown worse since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, its award search engine tends to show inconsistent award availability. As a result, many award travelers are reluctant to book with LifeMiles unless they’ve found a particularly optimum redemption. 

Bottom line, if you need to make a Star Alliance award booking, you should absolutely check availability with LifeMiles. With few exceptions, if there’s availability, LifeMiles will present the best redemption rate.

Lucrative Redemption Opportunities

U.S. to Europe in United Business Class

One of our favorite LifeMiles sweet spots is for Star Alliance business class between the U.S. and Europe. With Avianca, this typically costs just 63,000 LifeMiles plus taxes and fees (which are often $5.60).

With a 15% bonus, Amex customers can book the same business class ticket using only 54,000 points. That’s less expensive than Aeroplan’s old rate — which was our previous favorite option for U.S. to Europe bookings.

U.S. to Asia in ANA First Class

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is one of the flagship carriers of Japan. It’s well known for its incredible onboard soft-product (customer service, dining, etc.), particularly in premium cabins. 

ANA First Class Suite

Flying from the United States to Japan usually costs 90,000 LifeMiles. But, with a 15% bonus, it’s possible to book this once-in-a-lifetime experience using only 77,000 Membership Rewards. That’s fewer miles than what United would require for business class on the same flight!

Fly Lufthansa First Class

lufthansa-first-class

Lufthansa first class is one of the most aspirational award bookings you can make. Unfortunately, Lufthansa’s can impose hefty surcharges and withhold award availability until the last minute. So, booking it is quite a task. 

With that said, if you’re dead-set on flying Lufthansa in F, LifeMiles is one of the best places to book it. Not only does LifeMiles typically charge a reasonable 83,000 miles for U.S. to Western Europe itineraries, but it also doesn’t pass on carrier surcharges.

Through this promotion, it’s possible to book yourself in Lufthansa first class from the U.S. to Europe (or vice-versa) for only 71,000 Membership Rewards points and $5.60 in taxes. That’s a screamin’ deal. 

With that said, Lufthansa has suspended first class service to the United States until at least the beginning of June. So, keep that in mind before taking the plunge on this transfer bonus.

Bottom Line

Through May 31, 2021, Avianca LifeMiles is offering a 15% bonus on all points converted from Amex Membership Rewards. This matches the best transfer bonus ever offered between these two currencies.

Times are still pretty tough for airlines. With international travel slowly ramping up in 2021, we're hopeful we will see more and more of these transfer bonuses designed to incentivize folks to travel. 

If you need to book a Star Alliance award ticket, this transfer bonus is a fantastic opportunity to save thousands of points. Otherwise, it's not worth transferring points speculatively. As we said, this won’t be the last lucrative transfer bonus of the season. 

Do you plan to transfer Membership Rewards to Avianca LifeMiles during this 15% transfer bonus?

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Comments

  • Avatar

    Not very exciting promo, I will wait for the next ones. However I’m satisfited with Lifemiles, so far so good!

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    jonathan says:

    Nice Article. Lifemiles its a good program. Both Avianca and Copa have their own programs, but still linked to StarAlliance!!

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    The problem is that you will not be able to redeem any premium intercontinental awards soon.

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    Great news. Too bad I transfered some the day before this offer. Drats.

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    angelo fonseca says:

    Lifemiles was not very generous in the bonus, but it is better than nothing.

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    Jennifer says:

    I will not be taking them up on this offer. I would rather use my amex points for some other redemption partners.

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    Bigger question is when chase will offer similar point transfers

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    The unfortunate thing is that LH has drastically scaled down its first class services.

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    Generous promo, however in spite of this I’m not sure I would transfer Amex to Lifetime in the current climate.

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    Marianela says:

    Muy buena iniciativa, siempre intentando el crecimiento.

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    Alexander Schmidt says:

    Nice to hear. Need to get some Lifemiles to extend my expiration date from a cancelled trip from the-year-of-the-covid.

    Article says no limit to #of miles….but is there a minimum? don’t want to transfer too many miles.

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    Nice news!! Lifemiles is a cute rewards program!!!!

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    I love these transfer bonuses, though unfortunately I now have 160K-ish Lifemiles due to a canceled trip to NSI.

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    I know some see value in first class redemptions, but for me business class is the best. It provides all the space and amenities I need at a lower expenditure. I would like to see more focus on those rates, but appreciate the information nonetheless.

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    Evan Fleisher says:

    Any idea how long it typically takes for these transferred miles (and the 15% bonus) to post to your Avianca LifeMiles account?

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    I had heard that Avianca was bankrupt . I understand that this has already been solved?

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      I’m not sure about the bankruptcy status. Historically, airline bankruptcies have rarely affected their loyalty programs. I did book a ticket using LifeMiles on a United-operated itinerary in the past few days and didn’t have any issues. I spoke with United and was able to assign seats and confirmed the reservation was ticketed.

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    Probably a better deal to just buy them outright with the sale, no?

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    Good review of the pros and cons of using LifeMiles.

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    Just wait for the more attractive offers when the pandemic is finally behind us.

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    Jill Pettigrew says:

    I saw the email come through from LIfeMiles, but I don’t see the bonus on the Amex side. Usually the bonus would show up in the process of transferring the points. Is it coming from LIfemiles after the transfer?