Avianca puts on frequent promotions for buying LifeMiles directly from the loyalty program. In some cases, buying points during sales can represent a great deal, although it’s important to have an immediate plan for how to use them.
This time, Avianca is selling LifeMiles with up to a 135% bonus, which can be a great way to score premium cabin flights with Star Alliance airlines at a steep discount.
The sale runs until September 27, 2023, which leaves plenty of time to take advantage of the deal if it works in your favour.
Buy Avianca LifeMiles with a 135% Bonus
From now until September 27, 2023, Avianca is offering up to a 135% bonus on purchased LifeMiles.
This time, you’ll receive a higher bonus as you purchase more LifeMiles, which is structured as follows:
- Buy 1,000–20,000 LifeMiles and get a 130% bonus
- Buy 21,000–200,000 LifeMiles and get a 135% bonus
Normally, Avianca sells points at a base price of 3.3 cents per point (USD).
If you were to take advantage of the 135% bonus promotion, you’d lower the cost of acquisition down to 1.4 cents per point (USD).
LifeMiles must be purchased in increments of 1,000, and the minimum purchase amount is 1,000 miles.
LifeMiles stay active as long as there’s qualifying activity in your account every 12 months. Buying LifeMiles counts as an eligible activity; however, redemptions don’t count.
Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you have at least one qualifying transaction each year to protect your balance, and sales such as this can be an easy way to extend their lifespan.
It’s worth noting that a 135% bonus isn’t the highest that we’ve seen lately, as it’s gone as high as 170% in the past year. However, if you have a specific use in mind, this sale can still represent a great deal.
How many Avianca LifeMiles can you buy?
Avianca LifeMiles members can buy up to 200,000 LifeMiles per calendar year without taking into account any bonuses. Therefore, if you were to max out this promotion, you’d end up with 470,000 LifeMiles for $6,600 (USD) with a 135% bonus.
Which credit card should you use to buy Avianca LifeMiles?
Unlike many other loyalty programs, Avianca doesn’t sell LifeMiles through Points.com. In fact, the transaction is completed directly on the LifeMiles website, which codes as a purchase directly from the airline.
Therefore, when buying LifeMiles, you should use a credit card that offers a bonus for travel purchases.
The best options are with US-issued credit cards, which tend to offer better category multipliers for travel purchases than Canadian credit cards.
For example, you’ll earn 5 American Express US Membership Rewards points per US dollar spent directly with airlines on the American Express US Platinum Card, or 3 Amex US MR points per US dollar spent directly with airlines on the American Express US Gold Card or the American Express US Green Card.
If you have either the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you’ll earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per US dollar spent or 2 Ultimate Rewards points per US dollar spent on purchased LifeMiles, respectively.
Furthermore, the Citi Premier Card earns 3 ThankYou Rewards points per US dollar spent on airfares, which could also be a great option.
Keep in mind that LifeMiles are sold in US dollars. This means that if you use a Canadian-issued credit card, you’ll want to use one with no foreign transaction fees to avoid being charged a 2.5% fee.
Your best bet could be to use the HSBC World Elite Mastercard, which comes with no foreign transaction fees, as well as 6 HSBC Rewards points per dollar spent on travel purchases.
When Should You Buy LifeMiles?
Avianca is a Star Alliance airline, which means that you can redeem LifeMiles for flights with Avianca and other Star Alliance carriers.
Buying LifeMiles during a sale such as this can make sense in a handful of situations.
For example, if you’re short by a few miles for an upcoming redemption, you can simply top up your account by purchasing miles, which are then added to your account instantly.
With enough LifeMiles available for a redemption, you can then proceed with the booking as per usual.
In other cases, you may be able to score a flight in a premium cabin at a significant discount over paying cash for a flight. As long as you’re redeeming your points at a greater value than what you paid to acquire them, you’ll come out ahead.
LifeMiles has competitive award pricing for many transatlantic and transpacific routes with Star Alliance airlines, and is one of the best North American loyalty programs from within the alliance. The pricing is better than that of United MileagePlus, and is similar to what you might find with Air Canada Aeroplan, and sometimes better.
For example, a one-way flight in business class between North America and Europe costs 63,000 LifeMiles, plus a very modest amount of taxes and fees.
During this promotion, buying 63,000 LifeMiles costs around $891 (USD), which is a great deal for a business class flight across the Atlantic, and surely much less expensive than the cash price for the same flight.
Another great way to redeem LifeMiles is for Lufthansa First Class. A one-way flight between Europe and North America costs 87,000 LifeMiles, plus around $140 (USD) in taxes and fees.
Purchasing the miles required for this flight comes out to $1,221 (USD), which is a fantastic price to pay for Lufthansa’s best product. If you can find a flight that departs Frankfurt, you’ll also have access to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, one of the best ground experiences in the game.
The award availability on LifeMiles isn’t always the same as what you might see in other programs. For example, you might find an award seat available on Aeroplan that isn’t available on LifeMiles; however, you may also find something available on LifeMiles that isn’t available with other programs.
Just be sure to locate the flight you’d like to book before proceeding with a points purchase. This way, you’ll be almost certain to get what you want at a steep discount, and won’t wind up being disappointed.
Other Ways to Earn Avianca LifeMiles
Before jumping on this bonus, it’s important to note that there are other methods to acquire LifeMiles, especially if you have access to US credit cards.
LifeMiles is a 1:1 transfer partner for the following US-based points programs:
By taking advantage of a welcome bonus and then possibly transferring the points to LifeMiles, you’re effectively “buying” LifeMiles for whatever the annual fee is for the credit card. This tends to be the cheapest way to acquire points.
We’ve also seen transfer bonuses from the above programs to LifeMiles, usually within the range of 15–25%.
Marriott Bonvoy points can also be converted to Avianca LifeMiles at a ratio of 3 Bonvoy points = 1 LifeMile. Unfortunately, with LifeMiles, you won’t get a bonus 5,000 miles for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred, as you would with many other airlines.
This makes it less favourable, so you should only convert your Marriott Bonvoy points to LifeMiles when you need a top-up on a planned redemption without any other options at your disposal. Otherwise, you should save your Bonvoy points for aspirational hotel and resort stays.
Avianca is currently offering up to a 135% bonus on purchased LifeMiles. If you can find transatlantic or transpacific award availability on Star Alliance airlines, buying LifeMiles can be a great way to score the flight at a discount versus just paying cash.
It’s worth noting that LifeMiles is also a transfer partner of American Express US Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Citi ThankYou Rewards. However, if you don’t have access to those programs, you may want to consider this sale, as long as you have a specific redemption in mind.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the promotion, it’s live until September 27, 2023.