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Avianca LifeMiles is offering a 15% bonus on miles transferred from American Express Membership Rewards.
Get 15% bonus miles when transferring points from Amex Membership Rewards to Avianca LifeMiles.
- Valid May 1 to May 31, 2022.
- When transferring from American Express, you won’t see the bonus since this one is provided by LifeMiles after the fact.
- You can find the LifeMiles promo page here.
Avianca LifeMiles is a very good program for booking Star Alliance flights. Award prices are usually cheaper than with United miles and, like United, LifeMiles doesn’t impose fuel surcharges. On the other hand, their prices are usually higher than ANA, their online award search tool is limited, they have high change fees, and dealing with customer service can be challenging.
As always, I wouldn’t recommend moving miles to this program for this deal unless you have a specific award redemption in mind.
- Business class to Europe from 63K with no fuel surcharges. While 63,000 miles to Europe isn't Earth-shattering, what makes this particuarly exciting is the lack of fuel surcharges. Surcharges for Lufthansa are often $700-1000, so this can be a huge savings. There are many examples of routes inexplicably pricing far below the official award chart like Newark to Lisbon for 35K miles and mixed-cabin business class itineraries that price from as low as 49K (Check out The secret LifeMiles award chart and Avianca LifeMiles’ awesome mixed-cabin award pricing: First class for less).
- Business class South America from 35K. Avianca LifeMiles offers competitive Star Alliance pricing to both Northern and Southern South America with no fuel surcharges. Again, you can mix cabins on partner awards to save miles, which can be useful if you need a positioning flight. Flights on Avianca metal usually price out slightly higher than partners
- North America in Business for 10K. Avianca LifeMiles offers one-ways on United within a single "zone" at excellent prices (the US is split into 3 zones). Within a single zone, pricing is officially 10K one-way in business class. Pricing between Zone 1 (most of the East Coast) and Zone 2 (most of the states apart from the far west) is officially 15K. Many routes will price well below the chart for no obvious reason.
Things to know
- LifeMiles Purchases are processed directly by Avianca and DO qualify as airfare.
- LifeMiles expire after 12 months of inactivity. Redeeming Miles does NOT count as activity, but buying miles does.
- LifeMiles generally does not pass on the fuel surcharges we see in other Star Alliance programs, making redemptions even more valuable.
- Availability at LifeMiles.com often doesn't match what you’ll find at United.com or Aeroplan. Phone agents usually do not see better availability than what is shown at LifeMiles.com. While it can be possible to book via E-mail, it is very slow and frustrating. ALWAYS check the LifeMiles site before transferring points.
I took advantage of this bonus for a redemption to London on United. The correct number of points, including the 15% bonus, show up when I log in to my LifeMiles account and look under “Account Statement”. The issue is no points are showing as available for booking. It shows “You Have LM 0” when I try to book an award ticket. Is this typical? If so, about how long will I need to wait for these points to be available for booking? Thanks!
Very strange. No, that’s not typical. Have you tried logging out and back in?
Yes, I tried logging off and back in several times throughout the day with no luck. I learned a few things that might be useful for your readers. 1) The points posted the following morning, at which time I tried to book the itinerary I found the day before. 2) Near the end of the booking process I took a screen shot of the processing page, including the provided reservation code number. At the very end of the booking process I got an error message, so I emailed my reservation code along with my LifeMiles account number to email@example.com to request confirmation that the booking went through. An hour and a half later I got a confirmation email back from LifeMiles, along with a series of emails containing pdf e-tickets for me and my family. 3) When searching for award space, LifeMiles provides an estimate of taxes and fees along with the required number of miles. The initial estimate provided for total taxes and fees for four economy nonstop r/t DEN-LHR was $464.64, which I knew did not include the $25 per ticket booking fee. However, when it came time to finalize the booking, the taxes and fees jumped to over $1k. I’m not sure why there was such a big difference. 4) I don’t think the number of miles I was charged strictly follows the LifeMiles award chart. The per ticket DEN-LHR leg was 21k LifeMiles for economy, and the return LHR-DEN priced out at 30k each for economy.
Thanks for the follow-up. All of that makes sense except for the part about taxes and fees jumping to over $1K. That definitely shouldn’t happen. Did you ask Lifemiles support about that?
I did not, but I will now. Good suggestion. Thanks for the reply!
After some back and forth with LifeMiles support, I’m basically stuck with the fees. They recited chapter and verse of the terms and conditions back to me, which I could not ague with. However, what I experienced felt very much like a bait and switch, with the price shown during the flight selection process different than what was shown at the final payment screen. This was my first experience with LifeMiles. I can say if I attempt to redeem with them again I will document the process much more carefully with screen shots. Many thanks to the Frequent Miler team for all of the great content!
Thanks for posting your experience. I just transferred points from Citi and AMEX and in my Lifemiles account activity, it shows the points were transferred and added, but in the header it shows that I have a 0 balance. Will wait until the morning to check and see if it’s updated!
When booking ANA First Class using LifeMiles, do you instantly get the ANA PRN? Do I have to call to get the ANA PRN? How soon I can select my seats after booking?
I’m not 100% sure, but I think you can get the PRN right away. I don’t know ANA’s policy regarding selecting seats.
Thank u Greg! I appreciate your quick response and input.
If you do this transfer, will you satisfy their insane miles expiration requirement and have another year to use you miles?
What is their requirement to avoid miles expiring? I’ve never heard of this but am in a similar situation…