(EXPIRED) Buy LifeMiles for 1.1c each! (Targeted?)

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Avianca LifeMiles is offering a 200% bonus on the purchase of miles, which means you’ll get 3,000 miles for $33 — a price of just 1.1c per mile. LifeMiles is a somewhat quirky program and I wouldn’t generally recommend buying miles speculatively (especially in the current environment), but I think this is the cheapest I’ve ever seen LifeMiles and given that the minimum purchase is 1,000 miles, it certainly might appeal to some readers at this rate.

The Deal

  • Avianca LifeMiles is offering a 200% bonus on mileage purchases from 11/10 to 11/15/20
  • Direct link to log in and buy miles (Note that it is possible this is targeted. You should see the bonus miles reflected before entering your payment information).

Key Terms

  • This promotion is exclusive for LifeMiles members that have received this email directly from LifeMiles.
  • This promotion applies for miles purchases made between November 10th and November 15th, 2020 (between 00.00-23.59 GMT -6, El Salvador).
  • The bonus applies as follows: for purchases from 1,000 – 200,000 LifeMiles receive 3×1, for example, for the purchase of LM 1,000 you receive LM 3,000.
  • The bonus is calculated based on the miles purchased per individual transaction without taking into account the bonus.
  • The miles must be purchased in multiples of 1,000.
  • The minimum miles to purchase per transaction is 1,000 LifeMiles.
  • The maximum miles to purchase per transaction during this promotion is 200,000 LifeMiles.
  • Additionally, the maximum miles that a member can receive during the promotion, including applicable bonuses is 600,000 miles, minus the miles that the member has previously purchased in 2020 and their respective bonuses.
  • The purchase transaction cannot be made if the amount of miles to purchase and the corresponding bonus, including all miles purchased in 2020, including the bonuses, exceed the 600,000 miles limit, unless the amount of miles to receive without applying the promotional bonus is less or equal to 600,000 miles, in which case, the transaction will be processed but no bonus will be granted, giving such warning to the member.
  • The maximum amount of miles to receive by a member through the purchase of miles per calendar year outside of this promotion is 200,000 LifeMiles including any bonus miles received.
  • If the member surpasses the limit, through purchases made during this promotion and other purchases in 2020, taking into account the bonuses received for those purchases, he or she will not be able to purchase any more miles outside of promotional periods until the next calendar year.
  • Each package of 1,000 LifeMiles is US$33.00
  • Once the payment is made, the miles will be accrued immediately on the members account. As of that moment, the miles can be used according to the terms and conditions of the LifeMiles Program. M
  • The receipt of the transaction will reflect the total number of miles accrued to the member´s account, including the bonus miles and the total charge for the transaction.
  • Miles purchased may be accrued in separate transactions.
  • The total miles purchased will appear in the member’s account no later than 24 hours after completing the purchase.
  • Does not apply to the Flexible Redemption (LifeMiles + Money) during the payment process of air ticket redemption.
  • See the email for full promotion terms

Quick Thoughts

Note that the email terms indicated that this may be targeted, so you’ll want to log in and check to be sure that you see the bonus reflected before entering your payment information as it is possible that you may not have the same offer.

Generally speaking, Avianca LifeMiles can be a great program for booking Star Alliance awards given that they do not charge fuel surcharges (though the new Air Canada gives it a run for its money in some instances now).

Further, LifeMiles can be terrific for domestic US awards. While not quite as amazing as the Turkish Miles & Smiles sweet spot, it is in many cases a lot easier to book LifeMiles awards comparatively and in some cases the values are close. For example, LifeMiles splits the United States into 3 zones (Zone 1 is roughly the East Coast states down to South Carolina, Zone 2 covers a huge stretch of the United States from North Dakota to Florida, and Zone 3 covers the western states) and flights within a single zone are generally 7,500 miles each way on United in economy class or 10K in business class (note that some specific routes inexplicably price even lower). Flying between Zone 1 and Zone 2 costs 10K in economy class or 15K in business class. Buying miles at a price of 1.1c each could make for some fantastic values at those rates.

And that ignores many other LifeMiles sweet spots, most importantly the great value you can get from mixed-cabin awards and the “secret” LifeMiles award chart. I’ve tried to crack the code on the “secret” chart to no avail. On the other hand, LifeMiles does not always have access to the same Star Alliance availability you see on other sites, so it may not suit your needs (though in at least some cases you can make a manual booking).

Of course, some people have ongoing concern about the solvency of Avianca. I am not particularly concerned about either Avianca or the LifeMiles program collapsing in the near-term, but neither would I probably buy 600,000 miles in this promotion given that I just don’t know when I’ll be traveling in a way such as to use that many miles. YMMV quite literally.

Keep in mind that the terms note that you can buy up to a max of 200K pre-bonus and 600K post-bonus including any miles that you may have already purchased in promotions this year — so you may need to figure out how many you’ve previously purchased.

Also kind of odd is that when I brought up the site to verify the discount, it shows that some of the bonus miles will be credited immediately and others “in a few hours”. LOL.

Still, enough miles for a round trip within a zone or for  one-way business class award covering 2/3 of the map of the US for $165 could be a stellar deal under normal circumstances, particularly for those of us who fly to or from small-market airports where prices are often higher (though given today’s prices this is less likely to be a stellar deal).

I probably won’t be buying any miles in this sale, but that’s not to say that I don’t think it is an excellent value. Indeed, in my case, I typically use LifeMiles a few times per year. I am at least somewhat tempted to buy here as a means of pre-paying to hold onto my Membership Rewards or ThankYou points (since I presumably wouldn’t need to transfer them). If the Pfizer vaccine in yesterday’s news pans out, we may see things begin to rebound next year and I could imagine this having been a nice opportunity. Furthermore, given cheap cash prices like this, cards like the Bank of America Premium Rewards card with Platinum Honors look very strong: a return of 2.625% on that card (with Platinum Honors) is like earning 2.39 Avianca LifeMiles per dollar spent if one puts the cash back earned there toward a sale like this. This is also why I say not to ignore the bank account bonuses as those can easily be turned into a nice pile of miles when deals like this come around.

While Avianca does put LifeMiles on sale pretty regularly, I think this is the best price I’ve ever seen. Furthermore, you often need to buy a large sum of miles to get the best price. That isn’t the case here, so this could be a terrific way to top off your miles. Since Avianca processes the purchase of miles directly, use a credit card that earns a bonus on airline purchases to maximize your return.

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