Transfer LifeMiles With A 115% Bonus (Buy Miles From 1.3 Cents)

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Avianca is offering a 115% bonus when you transfer your LifeMiles to another account now through August 20, 2021. Although there are fees to transfer miles, this promotion offers a cheap way to increase your LifeMiles balance—as long as you already have miles in your account or transfer miles in from a transfer partner.

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Key Terms

  • The promotion is valid for transfers through August 20, 2021
  • Receive a 115% bonus when you transfer LifeMiles from one account to another
  • Transferring miles incurs a charge of $15 per 1,000 miles transferred
  • You can transfer a maximum of 75,000 miles per year
  • Miles can be transferred to any other LifeMiles account

Taking full advantage of the promotion and transferring 75,000 miles, you will end up with 161,250 miles (75,000 miles transferred + 86,250 LifeMiles bonus). Transfers cost $15 per 1,000 miles transferred, so the total cost of the transfers would be $1,125.

This means that you are effectively purchasing 86,250 LifeMiles for $1,125. Crunching the numbers, this works out at 1.3 cents per mile, which is a great value. That's slightly less than we've recently seen LifeMiles sell miles recently.

Unless you're feeling incredibly generous, the idea here is to transfer miles to an account belonging to a close friend or family member. Since Avianca lets you redeem awards for anyone, moving miles from one account to another shouldn't limit your options for who can travel on an award ticket.

How Good is This Deal?

If you have a LifeMiles balance to transfer, this promotion can produce outstanding value. Remember LifeMiles has various sweet spots, especially on partner awards. At a price of 1.3 cents per mile, sweet spots with the promotion include:

  • $780 — 60,000 miles for business-class flights from the eastern U.S. to Europe Zone 1 (includes the UK)
  • $1,131 — 87,000 miles for first-class flights from the eastern U.S. to Europe
  • $975 — 75,000 miles for business-class flights from the eastern U.S. to North Asia (including China and Hong Kong)
  • $1,170 — 90,000 miles for first-class flights from the eastern U.S. to North Asia (including China and Hong Kong)

This is excellent value, especially if you can use your miles to book a Lufthansa first-class award from the U.S. to Europe. Effectively paying $1,131 for a first-class ticket on Lufthansa is simply unbeatable. The ticket would normally set you back at least 5 or 6 times the price.

Consider choosing an award originating in Frankfurt to sample the stunning Lufthansa First Class Terminal.

What If I Don't Have Any LifeMiles?

If you don't already have a significant Avianca LifeMiles balance, you'll need to acquire miles before you can share them. Although Avianca frequently sells miles at a big discount, there isn't a current LifeMiles buy miles promotion. To buy 75,000 miles, you'd spend around $2,475 which comes out to a terrible 3.3 cents per mile.

If you buy 75,000 miles and then sharing them through the current promo, your net cost of buying miles drops to 2.18 cents per mile. You'd pay $2,475 to buy 75,000 LifeMiles and then $1,125 to generate 90,000 LifeMiles for a total cost of $3,600 for 165,000 LifeMiles.

Thankfully, there's a better option than buying miles at full price. You can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards (1:1), Citi ThankYou Points (1:1), or Capital One (1:1) to LifeMiles. Marriott Bonvoy points also transfer to Avianca at a 3:1 transfer ratio, but those transfers may take 1 day or more to post to your LifeMiles account.

Even better, LifeMiles is currently running a 25% transfer bonus from Citi through August 20 — and another 25% transfer bonus for transfers from Marriott and IHG through September 30.

This option is certainly worth considering if you have a substantial balance with one of these rewards programs, but you should only do so with a specific award in mind. Since transfers are non-reversible, you'll give up lots of alternative options when you convert them into LifeMiles.

Our Take

If you have a LifeMiles balance, and you are looking for a specific redemption then this promotion can be a no-brainer; it's hard to beat buying LifeMiles at 1.3 cents apiece. However, think carefully before buying miles speculatively no matter how good the deal is.

Since this strategy requires transferring miles to another account, we should reiterate that (unless you're sharing miles as a gift) you want to transfer the miles to a trusted friend, family member, or another LifeMiles account you control.

AwardWallet Tip of The Day
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