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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.
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 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.
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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