Avianca LifeMiles and Passageiro de Primeira are offering a 150% bonus on purchased miles through December 15, 2015. The minimum purchase is only $66.
LifeMiles cost 3.3 cents each, so with a 150% bonus, you get the miles for 1.32 cents each. For instance, if you purchase 10,000 LifeMiles with a 15,000 mile bonus for 25,000 total miles, it would cost $330 or 1.32 cents each. That’s tied for the cheapest I’ve seen LifeMiles sold, but the previous sale at this price had a $3,300+ minimum purchase.
You can combine the cheapest LifeMiles ever with an award sale that discounts awards within the United States, to Europe, and to Brazil. The minimum 250,000 miles purchased during this sale would be enough for two roundtrips in Business Class to Europe with 40,000 miles left over. If you could just buy the 52,500 LifeMiles needed for a one way to Europe in Business Class at these prices, that one way would cost $699.
The Steps to Purchase LifeMiles for 1.32 Cents
This deal is a bit more complicated than previous sales because it requires pre-registration. Then you have to wait 24 hours to purchase miles. I think you’ll get an email telling you when you can purchase miles.
Once you are allowed to purchase, you have until December 15, 2015 to purchase with a 150% bonus, and the bonus miles should post instantly.
When to Buy (Math)
I value LifeMiles at 1.5 cents per mile at the moment. I think I will buy some LifeMiles during this sale because I just burned a big stash of LifeMiles for Thai Business Class from Japan to Thailand. (Anatomy of an Award coming soon)
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.
Also remember that you cannot mix cabins on LifeMiles awards. That means you can’t fly domestic economy to connect to international Business Class. And your international First Class awards are probably only going to be one segment, since they cannot connect to Business Class regional flights.
Americans can book awards to Cuba with LifeMiles. For instance, here is a search from Washington-Dulles to Havana, Cuba. It costs 17,500 LifeMiles + $31.65 or 7,500 miles + $181.65. It’s hard to see how you could use 250,000 miles this way unless you want to go with seven people (245,000 miles for seven roundtrips.)
Buying miles during the award booking often costs 1.5 cents per mile as in this case.
Europe in Business Class
The United States to Europe is 63,000 miles each way in Business Class normally. The Star Alliance has great award space.
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 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 (plus you’ll earn 4x ThankYou Points on the first $250 of the miles purchase.)
It means that the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers 3x ThankYou Points on the purchase of LifeMiles.
It means you can purchase LifeMiles with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, then use your Arrival miles for an offsetting statement credit.
You can buy 5,000 to 375,000 Avianca LifeMiles for 1.32 cents each.
The LifeMiles sales are now processed by Avianca itself, so you can get category bonuses on cards that bonus airline or travel purchases like my latest card, the Citi Prestige® Card which offers 3x on purchases from airlines and a $250 Air Travel Credit, or you can use your Arrival Plus to get American Airlines miles for zero cash.