Avianca, the national airline of Colombia and StarAlliance member, is currently offering a 140% bonus on buying LifeMiles in their award program. These miles are very useful to book business class or first class award tickets on StarAlliance carriers like Lufthansa, United or ANA. See if buying miles from Avianca LifeMiles is the right move for you!
I’ve only flown with Avianca a few times and enjoyed it, but with little travel in South America, I’ve pretty much ignored their loyalty program LifeMiles. That might have been a mistake:
I recently noticed thanks to wheretocredit.com that LifeMiles sometimes offers more miles for your flights than other StarAlliance carriers. On upcoming flights with TAP Portugal and Turkish Airlines in business class, LifeMiles offers up to twice as many miles for the flights as my go-to loyalty programs United MileagePlus and Singapore KrisFlyer.
They are also a transfer partner of my Citibank ThankYou points where I collect valuable miles with my Citi Prestige credit card, making it easy to top up your account to get the flight award you want.
And Avianca LifeMiles offers another way to add miles to your account without traveling – through frequent mileage sales and even an ongoing subscription for miles! That makes it by far the easiest airline loyalty program to buy miles at a discount and interesting even to non-frequent travelers!
Until September 18th, you can purchase as few as 1,000 Avianca LifeMiles with a bonus of 100%. The more miles you buy, the higher the bonus: You receive a 115% bonus from 51,000 miles and 125% from 101,000 miles bought. You can find the details of the promotion here!
But wait, it gets even better: Lucky over at OneMileAtATime has cut a special deal with Avianca, offering his readers a bonus of up to 140%, resulting in a price of as little as 1.375 cents/mile! I generally value Avianca LifeMiles at 1.5 cents/mile which makes this a very good deal and worth considering, even if you are not planning to travel with Avianca. You could fly Lufthansa in Business Class from North America to Europe for as little as 63,000 miles one way (or only $866 under this promotion):
A note of caution: This is a very good deal and I’m considering to strike on it myself, but there are a few issues to consider: The Avianca LifeMiles website looks nice, but is a bit “temperamental”, so be patient in using it.
You are able to now book award flights online, but Avianca may not have access to the same flights as other StarAlliance carriers and other users have reported issues in booking award flights.
And while I don’t have any experience with their customer service center, people have reported problems in dealing with the service, especially if you are not fluent in Spanish.
And, because Avianca is selling miles like candy, there is a risk that they’ll eventually devalue the miles because there are so many out there!
Bottomline: If you are planning a trip in an international premium cabin right now, you should check out availability on StarAlliance carriers with Avianca LifeMiles now. If you can find flights with miles, it might be considerably cheaper to purchase the miles and book an award trip than buying the tickets at regular fares. Despite the good deal in this sale, I wouldn’t buy miles speculatively – the next sale is surely going to come around soon enough and if you are desperate, you can always sign up for their miles subscription at similar prices!