AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.
Avianca LifeMiles is regularly overlooked as a mileage program. But between reasonable redemptions and easy ways to accumulate LifeMiles, ignoring this undervalued program could mean paying a lot more than you should for flights. One of the best uses of LifeMiles is booking United flights within the U.S. On certain routes, you can book United award flights for just 6,500 LifeMiles each way.
Let's dive deep into this particular sweet spot to show you 112 routes where we've found this excellent award rate. Plus, we'll review the many LifeMiles transfer partners and other ways to get LifeMiles.
How to Find United Award Flights for 6,500 LifeMiles
LifeMiles no longer publishes an award chart — at least publicly. On the old LifeMiles award chart, the United States was broken into three regions. Flights within the same region price at just 7,500 LifeMiles. And yet, we at AwardWallet found over 110 United routes available for just 6,500 LifeMiles, including routes like San Francisco (SFO) to San Diego (SAN):
Eligible routes even include short-haul international flights, such as Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Montreal (YUL).
The similarity between all of the routes we found: The distance is 500 miles or less between the origin and destination. This distance cutoff is pretty clear when you review the United award routes from Chicago O'Hare (ORD) that we found for 6,500 LifeMiles:
You can even get this 6,500-LifeMiles award rate even if you have to connect — and even if you end up flying more than 500 miles total. The wildest example we could find was from San Francisco (SFO) to Las Vegas (LAS). If you fly nonstop, this route only covers 414 miles. However, you can connect through Denver, the flight distance is a whopping 1,595 miles. And yet, you can still book it for 6,500 LifeMiles.
The biggest “catch” to this incredible award rate is that United needs to release award availability. That means you probably won't be able to use this LifeMiles sweet spot during peak travel dates. Bad news for visits to your family at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
List of United Award Routes Available for 6,500 LifeMiles
Without further ado, here are all 112 United routes that we found for just 6,500 LifeMiles each way. Note that we only included connecting routes if we didn't find a nonstop option at the same price. The table can be filtered and/or sorted to find the routes most relevant for you.
|Origin||Destination||Total Flight Distance||Connecting Airport|
You'll notice that the table has 116 entries, but we said there are 112 United routes bookable for 6,500 miles. That's because there are four connecting routes where two connecting options are possible — creating an extra four items, though it's still the same origin/destination.
And keep in mind that this is by no means a comprehensive list. If you're flying a route that's served by United and is under 500 miles between origin and destination, check to see if award flights are available for 6,500 LifeMiles.
Just keep in mind that not all routes under 500 miles in distance are available for 6,500 LifeMiles. For example, the route from Atlanta (ATL) to Jacksonville (JAX) clocks in at 270 miles. However, this route costs 7,500 LifeMiles. Still not bad, but not as good of a deal.
How to Accumulate LifeMiles
LifeMiles are one of the easiest mileage currencies to collect — even if you don't fly Avianca or credit Star Alliance flights to LifeMiles. That's because you can transfer points to LifeMiles from most transferrable point programs. This includes:
- American Express Membership Rewards: 1:1 transfer rate; most transfers process immediately
- Brex Rewards: 3:2 transfer rate; most transfers process immediately
- Capital One Rewards: 1:1 transfer rate; most transfers process immediately
- Citi ThankYou Points: 1:1 transfer rate; most transfers process immediately
- Marriott Bonvoy: 3:1 transfer rate; most transfers take one day
Even better, you can transfer points to LifeMiles with a transfer bonus quite regularly. Taking advantage of these can reduce your cost even further. For example, if there's a 30% transfer bonus to LifeMiles, you'd only need to transfer 5,000 points to get 6,500 LifeMiles.
If you've exhausted your transfer options — or want to save your transferable points for higher-value redemptions — you can often buy LifeMiles with a bonus. The lowest price at which LifeMiles has ever sold miles is 1.2 cents per mile. However, promotions selling miles for around 1.3 cents each are much more common. At this purchase rate, you can buy 6,500 LifeMiles for just $84.50. Just keep in mind that you often need to buy much larger amounts to get the optimal purchase price.
Downsides of Using LifeMiles
One downside of this mileage deal is that LifeMiles isn't the easiest program to deal with. LifeMiles often doesn't show all flights with award availability in search results — particularly when you're looking for premium cabins. And LifeMiles customer service has a reputation for being rather difficult to deal with.
With that said, United award flights generally show up in the LifeMiles award search results. Plus, if you're able to book online and don't need to change or cancel your flight, you should have no trouble.
Travelers shouldn't overlook secondary award programs like LifeMiles when searching for award flights. Especially at the last minute, United can charge up to double the mileage cost for the same United award flight bookable through a partner like LifeMiles or Aeroplan. If keeping up with all of the options sounds too difficult, we recommend using a tool like Point.me to help you find the cheapest award flight booking option.
Did you know you could book United award flights for just 6,500 LifeMiles? Will this change your redemption strategy?
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.