Stack LifeMiles Promotions to Save on Awards (Lufthansa Biz Class: 27k Points + $500) Stack LifeMiles Promotions to Save on Awards (Lufthansa Biz Class: 27k Points + $500)

Stack LifeMiles Promotions to Save on Awards (Lufthansa Biz Class: 27k Points + $500)

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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.

Banner image on the LifeMiles website showing 115% bonus miles for transferring LifeMiles between members

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

Amex 15% transfer bonus to LifeMiles, seen on Amex transfer page

LifeMiles Transfer Partners

LifeMiles is currently a transfer partner of five major transferrable points programs:

Transfer Ratio
Average Time

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

Lufthansa first class cabin

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.

Lufthansa award booking examples using LifeMiles


Here's one example of how you can make it work:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Lufthansa business class cabin
Credit: Lufthansa

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 ServiceStandard Pricing (LifeMiles)Amex points transfer required during 15% transfer bonusLifeMiles transfer required using 115% transfer bonusAmex points price stacking both transfer bonuses
U.S. Transcon in Business Class25k22k12k + $18011k + $180
U.S. to Japan in First Class90k79k42k + $63037k + $630
U.S. to Middle East in Business Class78k68k37k + $55533k + $555
U.S. to Australia / New Zealand in Economy Class40k35k19k + $28517k + $285
Flights within North Asia in Business Class22.5k20k11k + $16510k + $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.

Bottom Line

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?

4.4 / 5 - (10 votes)
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  • How is this different from the current 2 for 1 + 40% bonus? Seems to be the same cost, why would you do this over buying the miles?

    • All depends on your priorities. Some travelers may want to leverage their existing points balance rather than buying all of the miles outright. Also, using the member-to-member transfer bonus can also help a clear out an orphaned LifeMiles balance in a “player 2” account.

  • Jon Bumgarner says:

    There are indeed great deals with Avianca LifeMiles

    But I would only use Avianca if departure is within few weeks when odds of schedule change on airline I am flying is small .

    If booking months out when a schedule change happens the airline, you’re flying will notify Avianca and you have a short time to accept the change or change the flight.

    My experience has been that Avianca constantly fails to contact passengers in a timely manner.

    On two of my trips booked through Avianca business seat award tickets on the airline I was flying were no longer available anywhere near the desired date by the time Avianca contacted me more than a week after the schedule was changed.

    Avianca then charged me to redeposit miles and falsely stated “it is industry practice to take months to refund taxes and fees. ”

    Reaching an agent by phone is nearly impossible and can take hours with multiple disconnects.

    Test it yourself. Before transferring or buying points try to call them.

    If you can eventually reach one the phone agents are generally poorly trained and completely unhelpful.

    If you do go ahead and book with Avianca use Amex for taxes & fees as Amex gives you 6 months to dispute a charge.

    Twice my experience has been that Avianca is too disorganized to retaliate by closing my account and seizing miles

    If I book transcendental with LifeMiles again I will have a backup award booked later the same or the following day as if there is an issue at the airport with my ticket I will not be able to reach an Avianca agent.

    Avianca’s motto should be “WHERE THE INEPT REPORT TO THE UNETHICAL”

  • Thanks for the article Patrick. Do you know if you can use LH first class lounge or arrival if you have a connecting flight but not on the same itinerary? Especially if the arriving flight was on first but the second non-connecting flight is in business class? Thanks in advance.

  • Too bad Avianca went bankrupt in Brazil. I really miss the great offers they used to have.

  • Would this allow you to have a stop, say JFK – FRA – ATH?

    • Great question. Yes! In fact, you might even pay fewer miles for an itinerary with a connecting flight. That’s because LifeMiles prices awards based on the cabin you fly in. So, if you fly in economy or “just” business class from FRA-ATH, you will pay less than just a first-class award from JFK-FRA.

  • I guess we could now start planning for the summer of 2022.

  • Extremely difficult to cancel the award with Lifemiles just in case you need to change the award ticket.

  • Very good trick to leverage the transfer bonus. Thanks for sharing!

  • This looks interesting however I am not familiar with Life miles and I dont really have travel plans to Europe so I will pass on this.

  • Again, with lifemiles your risking a total loss (although unlikely) if bankruptcy doesn’t produce a favorable outcome so best to use ASAP!

  • Great promo, thanks for the heads up with this

  • How can the program make money when it does not pass on the massive fuel surcharges of the partner?

    • I wish I knew more about the economics of airline partnerships, but I understand that airlines agree to a set reimbursement rate for particular flights. So, LifeMiles is paying Lufthansa like $600 for a first-class award ticket between the US and Europe – regardless of the fuel surcharges, etc. that we would find on a cash ticket.

  • gracias por avisar de las promociones para la compra de millas…siempre tuve la ilusiones de poder viajar en primera de lufthansa, y de esta manera se me va a ser mas facil realizarlo. Muy buenas las promos!!

  • Didnt know to much about Lifemiles until this article, thank you.

  • If you can find decent availability and are willing to jump through all the hoops to stack these promotions, it may be worth all the trouble to get into LH F class and have something to brag about to your Points and Miles friends…..there are worse ways to get to Europe than LH F class….

  • So how are all these comments from 2020? Is this a repost of an old promotion or a new promotion that someone mixed up? Is it valid?

    • It is valid! LifeMiles ran very similar promotions last August. So, we just updated this post with the latest (115% transfer bonus instead of 125% bonus).

  • Redeem a Lufthansa First Class should be perfect but the Oil Fee also expensive. If you want to experience Lufthansa first you can buy one . orelse not suggest.

  • Not one to normally travel first class but the miles plus $616 doesn’t seem like the best deal to me- I’d rather spend $300 for the ticket in economy and save the miles and $300+ cash

  • Didn’t Avianca file for bankrupcy? Not sure I want to invest in them atm.

    • Avianca (the airline) did declare for reorganizational bankruptcy protection. LifeMiles is a separate legal entity and continues to operate as normal. If Avianca were to completely cease operations, that would be bad for LifeMiles. Members would lose access to partner awards (like Air Berlin’s TopBonus program or Jet Airways JetPrivilege), meaning the miles would certainly lose value. However, I’m personally optimistic that Avianca will pull through. My wife and I have LifeMiles that we aren’t scrambling to redeem (at least yet).

    • I think I will wait until it dies down with Covid to book any more award flights, already had to cancel two already!

  • AV prepare to close, why we need buy point to LifeMiles? Hope AV going well.

    • Avianca declared bankruptcy, but LifeMiles is a separate entity than the airline. Still, I would only take advantage of this promotion if you redeem the miles immediately for a high-value redemption.

  • What is the expiration policy of Lifemiles? Wondering if I can take advantage of this promo and store the miles until I am back traveling again.

  • This is a not bad promotion. However, travel here in Canada is problem with the 14 day quarantine upon return. I’m not sure I would take advantage of this right now. I suspect if things get worse, the promotions may be get better.

  • How to know which companies will survive the pandemic? I would buy thousands of miles if I had that guarantee.

  • My only use for Lifemiles was LH F, but this is now in a dark hole.
    Hopefully LH F will be around when the COVID19 days are behind us.

  • That is still a lot of money, especially since there are not much travelling being done right now.

  • The problem is when we will be able to travel again 🙁

  • Juan Ignacio says:

    Good deal, hope AV & Lifemiles can handle the crisis.

  • Nice promotion, not sure about traveling irrespective of the deal.

  • So I want to book a business class ATL to IST. United shows flights available on Turkish airlines for my desired dates, but LifeMiles shows no availability. Is there a trick here?

    • Ugh. LifeMiles can sometimes be strange about not showing availability. I’d try calling LifeMiles to see if they can find availability. It’s been a while since I’ve called, so I would be interested to hear if the agent can find the availability and book your award.

  • So on the LifeMiles website I can only find the link to get a bonus for the transfer of ThankYou points. Can you please post the link to the page for the bonus for Bonvoy transfers? Thanks.

  • I wish traveling was in my future to take advantage of this…

    • I completely share your forlorn sentiments.

    • So true. I just received notice today that my outbound flight for a trip I had planned in November has been canceled. I also saw the announcement that Bali will be closed to international travelers for the foreseeable future. I don’t see myself being able to travel internationally until there’s a vaccine.