Avianca LifeMiles is offering a bonus of up to 145% on purchased miles through November 27, 2017 (this Monday). You’ll need to sign into your Avianca account to view the sale. You can buy up to 200,000 LifeMiles during the sale and get up to 290,000 bonus miles (for a max total of 490,000 miles). This is nearly as cheap as it gets. The cheapest I’ve ever seen LifeMiles was 1.32 cents each. But what sets this sale apart and makes it better than past sales is that bonus is not tiered. No matter what amount you buy (minimum 1k, max 200k) you’ll get the bonus.
LifeMiles cost 3.3 cents each, so with a 145% bonus, you get the miles for 1.35 cents each. For instance, 245,000 total miles would be $3,330 or 1.4735 cents each.
When to Buy (Math)
I value LifeMiles at 1.6 cents per mile. Buying them for 1.35 cents per mile is not enough of an inducement for me because I don’t have an immediate use for them, and miles get devalued all the time. I don’t want to shell out a bunch of money on such an uncertain investment.
Many people should have a similar view of this sale and buy zero miles. As with most mile sales, the main way it make sense to buy miles at these prices is if you have an immediate high value use for them.
Possible Immediate High Value Uses
Do not just use the award chart, though. Make sure you can book what you want to book on lifemiles.com. You can do an award search with zero miles in your account. The reason for this extra step is that if you can’t book your award online, LifeMiles call centers are nearly useless.
My stock example of a possible good deal during this buy miles sale is to buy miles to book a Business Class award to Europe.
Europe in Business Class
The United States to Europe is 63,000 LifeMiles each way in Business Class. The Star Alliance has great award space.
You could buy 26,000 miles (+37,700 bonus) for $858. That would get you a one way in Business Class for under $900 total after taxes.
See How to Consistently Buy Business Class Tickets to Europe for about $1,000 and Anatomy of an Award: Using LifeMiles to Buy Business Class Ticket Between Europe and USA for $1,040 for full details on these awards.
There are similar deals all over the world and in all cabins through this sale, too many to list here. Investigate where you want to go on the award chart and then make sure you can book the award you want. If the math works out, buy LifeMiles.
Buy LifeMiles with These Credit Cards
LifeMiles purchases are processed directly by Avianca. That’s great news!
It means you buy them with Chase Sapphire Reserve, its $300 Travel Credit will refund the first $300 of the purchase price. Plus the spending will count toward the minimum spending requirement that unlocks the 50,000 point bonus.
It means you can buy them with your Citi Prestige Card, and its $250 Air Travel Credit will refund you the first $250 of the purchase price of the miles.
It also means you can purchase LifeMiles with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard, then use your Arrival miles for an offsetting statement credit.
Already met your travel credit limit or don’t have one of those cards? Check out the best credit card to buy airfare.
Through Monday, you can buy up to 490,000 Avianca LifeMiles for $6,600 at 1,35 cents each. That’s too high to buy speculatively, but there are a lot of immediate awards you can book where that price offers great value.
The LifeMiles sales are now processed by Avianca itself, so you can get category bonuses on cards that bonus airline or travel purchases like the American Express Platinum Card which offers 5x on purchases from airlines, the Chase Sapphire Reserve which offers 3x on travel purchases and a $300 travel credit or the Citi Prestige Card which offers 3x on purchases from airlines and a $250 Air Travel Credit.
Hat tip View from the Wing