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LifeMiles has become a cult classic among intermediate and advanced-level award travelers. As the loyalty program for Avianca, it offers some incredibly lucrative redemption rates on Star Alliance partners. But the program also has gained fame for industry-leading promotions.
If you haven't had a chance to take advantage of LifeMiles's exceptional award pricing yet, now could be a perfect time. That's because there are currently two great promotions happening at the same time. Through August 31, 2023, loyalty members get 115% bonus miles on LifeMiles transferred to friends or family. Also through August 31, LifeMiles members can get a 15% transfer bonus on transfers from Amex Membership Rewards points.
If you are in “two-player mode” and collect Amex Membership Rewards points, you can leverage both promotions for unbelievable redemptions — including Lufthansa business class starting at 27,000 27,000 Membership Rewards points and first class starting at 36k!
Transfer LifeMiles to Friends or Family for a 115% Bonus
- This transfer offer is available through August 31, 2023.
- Transfer in multiples of 1,000 LifeMiles at a rate of $15 per 1,000 transferred miles.
- The minimum transfer amount is 1,000 LifeMiles; the maximum transfer amount is 75,000 LifeMiles (excluding applicable bonuses) per calendar year.
By transferring LifeMiles to a friend of family member, this promotion allows members to effectively buy LifeMiles for 1.3¢ apiece.
Here's how this could be useful. Let's say you want to book a business-class award from the U.S. to Europe. Depending on the route, this award costs 60,000 or 63,000 LifeMiles plus taxes and fees (usually $26.70 when departing the U.S. + a $25 booking fee). Through this promotion, you can get it for a lot fewer miles.
Start by transferring 30,000 LifeMiles to your significant other, friend, or family member at the cost of $450. After the 115% bonus, that person will receive 64,500 LifeMiles. After adding in taxes/fees on the award, the total price of the business class award comes to 30,000 LifeMiles plus around $500. That's a steal for business class to Europe!
15% Amex Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus
- Transfer at least 1,000 Amex Membership Rewards to Avianca LifeMiles and receive a 15% transfer bonus.
- Offer valid through August 31, 2023.
- The bonus is hard-coded, so you should receive the bonus miles at the same time as the base miles.
- Point transfers are irreversible and non-refundable.
LifeMiles Transfer Partners
LifeMiles is currently a transfer partner of five major transferrable points programs:
Fairly regularly, either LifeMiles itself or these transferrable point programs will offer a transfer bonus to LifeMiles. In fact, a LifeMiles transfer bonus is available most months. However, just because it's predictable doesn't mean it's not a great opportunity.
For instance, a one-way itinerary between the U.S. and Argentina typically costs 60,000 LifeMiles in business class. But, with the transfer bonus, you could book that same award by transferring 53,000 Amex Membership Rewards points during a 15% transfer promotion.
Book Lufthansa First Class for 36,000 Amex Points + $666.70
The real fun starts when you combine both promotions for premium cabin redemptions.
One of the most aspirational bookings an award traveler can make is for Lufthansa's famous first-class product, and LifeMiles is a great way to do it. LifeMiles doesn't pass on Lufthansa's notoriously high surcharges you'll find with other programs.
LifeMiles charges a reasonable 87,000 LifeMiles for a first-class award between the U.S. and Europe. However, LifeMiles doesn't pass on the massive carrier-imposed surcharges. And, by combining the current promotions, you can make the same booking for far fewer points and a reasonable amount of cash.
Here's one example of how you can make it work:
- Transfer 36,000 Amex Membership Rewards points to your LifeMiles account. Amex will add a 15% bonus, and you'll end up with 41,400 LifeMiles.
- Transfer 41,000 LifeMiles to a friend or family member's account at the cost of $615. With the 115% bonus, they'll receive a total of 88,150 LifeMiles.
- Book the award, paying just $51.70 in taxes and fees.
The total cost comes to 36k Amex Membership Rewards points and $666.70. For a product that regularly sells for over $10,000, that's a stellar deal.
Keep in mind that you usually can't book Lufthansa first-class awards via LifeMiles (or other Star Alliance partners) more than two weeks before departure. We highly recommend using Seats.Aero's Lufthansa First Class finder to find availability.
Book Lufthansa Business Class for 27,000 Amex Points + $499.70
The same trick can be applied to Lufthansa business class redemptions, which cost just 63,000 LifeMiles. Here's the cost to book this award:
- Transfer 27,000 Amex Membership Rewards points to your LifeMiles account. Amex will add a 15% bonus, and you'll end up with 31,050 LifeMiles.
- Transfer 30,000 LifeMiles to a friend or family member's account at the cost of $450. With the 115% bonus, they'll receive a total of 64,500 LifeMiles.
- Book the award, paying 63k points + just $49.70 in taxes and fees.
That's a total cost of 27,000 Amex points plus $499.70 in taxes/fees and transfer costs. Again, that's an incredible deal for a solid business-class product.
Other Redemption Opportunities
LifeMiles is chock full of award sweet spots and lucrative deals, so there's no need to limit yourself to Lufthansa first class. To illustrate, here's a chart with several LifeMiles redemptions and their cost under one (or both) of these promotions:
|Route and Class of Service||Standard Pricing (LifeMiles)||Amex points transfer required during 15% transfer bonus||LifeMiles transfer required using 115% transfer bonus||Amex points price stacking both transfer bonuses|
|U.S. Transcon in Business Class||25k||22k||12k + $180||11k + $180|
|U.S. to Japan in First Class||90k||79k||42k + $630||37k + $630|
|U.S. to Middle East in Business Class||78k||68k||37k + $555||33k + $555|
|U.S. to Australia / New Zealand in Economy Class||40k||35k||19k + $285||17k + $285|
|Flights within North Asia in Business Class||22.5k||20k||11k + $165||10k + $165|
Note that LifeMiles charges a $25 booking fee on many awards. This fee and the minimal award taxes/fees aren't included in the out-of-pocket cost in this table.
Overall, you can save a lot of points if you're willing to shell out a little cash. That's particularly useful for aspirational premium-cabin bookings — like Lufthansa or ANA first class. However, for economy redemptions, you're probably better off using all miles and saving your money.
LifeMiles is offering two incredibly lucrative promotions at the same time. First, you can receive a 115% bonus when transferring LifeMiles to another account. Second, converting Amex Membership Rewards points to LifeMiles results in a 15% bonus. If used in combination, these promotions pave the way to booking amazing trips for a fraction of the standard award price.
In the end, paying $15 for 1,150 bonus miles is essentially buying LifeMiles for 1.3¢ each. That's slightly better than the most recent buy-miles promotion, where Avianca sold miles at 1.35¢ each. Even better, the sharing bonus comes at a time when you can stack this bonus with the Amex transfer bonus.
But, in the end, it's up to everyone to decide individually if buying miles (at any price) is worth it.
How are you going to utilize this stacking opportunity?
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