Cheapest LifeMiles Ever, Today Only! ($900 Business Class to Europe)

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Ending today (Monday November 30), Avianca LifeMiles is offering a bonus of 140% on purchased miles. You can buy up to 375,000 LifeMiles during the sale.Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 11.36.13 PM

LifeMiles cost 3.3 cents each, so with a 140% bonus, you get the miles for 1.375 cents each. For instance, 4,800 total miles would be $66 or 1.375 cents each.Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 11.36.46 PM

This is the cheapest I have ever seen LifeMiles, and slightly cheaper than the 1.4 cents each that they cost last week.

More importantly, most LifeMiles sales require a huge purchase (last time $3,333+) to get the lowest price. This sale has the lowest price for purchases of $66+. That allows you to buy just a few miles for a huge discount.

When to Buy (Math)

I value LifeMiles at 1.5 cents per mile at the moment. Buying them for 1.375 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.

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

There are a ton of deals on the LifeMiles award chart, which allows one way redemptions with no fuel surcharges on all 27 Star Alliance partners, so an immediate high value use is very possible.

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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.

Cuba

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.

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Buying miles during the award booking often costs 1.5 cents per mile as in this case.

If you bought all the miles for a one way award to Cuba during the current sale, you’d pay:

  • $247.5: 18,000 miles at 1.375 cents each
  • $31.65: taxes and fees
  • $279.15 total, unbeatable for a one way award to Cuba
Europe in Business Class

The United States to Europe is 63,000 miles each way in Business Class. The Star Alliance has great award space.

You could buy 63,000 miles (27,000 + bonus) for $891. That would get you a one way in Business Class for about $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 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 your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, then use your Arrival miles for an offsetting statement credit.

Bottom Line

You can buy 4,800 to 375,000 Avianca LifeMiles for 1.375 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 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 Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® to get Avianca miles for zero cash.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

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1 COMMENT

  1. […] Award space should show up whenever Lufthansa has released it, which is only within 15 days of departure. Award space costs 87,000 miles + $12.50 + taxes each way. Or you can use cash plus miles, “buying” the miles you are short at a rate of 1.5 cents per mile.But don’t “buy” miles during booking for 1.5 cents each since you can buy miles today only for 1.375 cents each. […]

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