Avianca has a co-branded credit card issued by Banco Popular called the Avianca Vuela Visa and it comes with 40,000 Avianca LifeMiles after your first purchase on the card and a $149 annual fee. You can easily boost that bonus to 60,000 LifeMiles after first purchase by using the following promotion code when applying:
There’s also a lower annual fee Avianca card called the Avianca Vida Visa with a 20,000 LifeMiles bonus after your first purchase and payment of the $59 annual fee. The same code boosts the Vida Visa bonus from 20,000 to 40,000 LifeMiles.
That code was taken from an email, but Banco Popular periodically sends out these promo codes for their Avianca cards and they generally work for everyone. These elevated bonuses are valid through May 31, 2018. I’m going to go over the Aviana Vuela Visa below as I think that is the better deal between the two cards.
- Sign Up Bonus: 40,000 bonus LifeMiles after using your card once (60,000 bonus LifeMiles if you input promotion code LM17WB during the application process)
- Category Bonuses:
- 3 LifeMiles for every dollar spent on Avianca purchases
- 2 LifeMiles for every dollar spent at gas stations and grocery stores
- 15% discount when purchasing miles via Multiply Your Miles
- Two 50% discounts on award tickets redeemed after meeting further spending thresholds
- one applicable for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States after spending $12,000 on the card in a year
- another also applicable for travel Central America or Colombia from the United States after spending $24,000 on the card in a year
- Free additional piece of baggage for travel between the United States and Central America
- No foreign transaction fees
- Annual Fee: $149
- Eligibility: Probably anyone but not sure (issued by Banco Popular)
These are Banco Popular Cards
When I say that this is a Banco Popular card, I mean that we don’t have a clear idea as to its application rules or standards. It’s probably a good thing that this card isn’t issued by a bank you or I recognize…at least for those of cut off by things like the Chase 5/24 rule, Citi’s sign up bonus rule, or Amex’s one bonus per product per lifetime policy. But it also means we don’t have a ton of data points to make generalizations from.
The one thing we have learned from data points (1, 2) of previous applicants is that this card does not appear to be churnable, meaning if you’ve already opened it and earned it’s bonus it’s not possible to do so again.
As reader Jeff G commented on this previous version of this post, applications with this card seem hit or miss. From what I’ve read, some in the past have had issues with Banco Popular requesting physical documents to prove income (like tax documents), while others have no issue at all and no questions asked from the bank. I’ve also read of some way over the 5/24 limit getting instantly approved, and some with excellent credit scores getting instantly denied. It’s still pretty hard to draw any solid conclusions.
Please share your data points in the comments if you apply.
Sign Up Bonus
You will earn 60,000 Avianca LifeMiles after your first purchase on the Avianca Vuela Visa. I value LifeMiles at 1.6 cents each, making this sign up bonus worth approximately $960.
To get the 60k bonus instead of the automatic 40k bonus, in the first step in application process, make sure you input LM17WB into the Promo Code box.
Why are LifeMiles valuable?
- Avianca does not collect fuel surcharges
- Mixed Cabin LifeMiles awards are permitted
- Their award prices range from decent to cheap–check out Avianca’s mileage calculator to see award prices flying their own planes, as well as their award chart for redeeming Avianca miles on Star Alliance airlines. As a means of comparison, also check out our Comprehensive Spread Sheets of Eight Star Alliance Award Charts: Cheapest Awards to Every Region.
- LifeMiles can book Lufthansa First Class: 87,000 miles one way from the United States to Europe with NO fuel surcharges, if you can find First Class award space (that tends to prove difficult)
- It costs 60,000 to 63,000 LifeMiles and no fuel surcharges to fly Business Class to Europe
For more (and specific) tips on what LifeMiles are good for, read Maximizing Avianca LifeMiles.
Category bonuses included 3 LifeMiles per dollar spent on Avianca purchases and 2 miles per dollar spent on gas and at grocery stores.
What merchants are included in the category of gas and grocery stores? Looks like pretty much every gas station and grocery store except places like Sam’s Club and Costco. The following is from the card offer’s terms & conditions:
“You’ll earn 2 LifeMiles for every $1 in Net Purchases spent at qualifying gas stations and grocery stores, which are those categorized by the merchant or its processor as gas stations and grocery stores using the merchant category code. Large warehouse-type stores are generally not categorized as grocery stores.”
15% Discount When Purchasing Miles via Multiply Your Miles
Multiply Your Miles allows you to earn more LifeMiles when either Flying with Avianca, via spending on Avianca credit cards, or via traveling on partner airlines/other partner activity. It doesn’t mean you get 15% off when purchasing miles directly from Avianca, which is a bummer.
This is how Multiply Your Miles works: You can double the miles you’ve already earned (price per double mile is 1.85 cents each before the 15% discount, 1.57 cents each after) or triple them (price per triple miles is 1.71 cents each before the 15% discount, 1.45 cents each after). You can read more about the specific terms and conditions behind Multiply Your Miles here.
But is buying LifeMiles for 1.45 cents each a good deal? Scott values them at 1.6 cents each so it’s a decent deal… not good enough to buy speculatively but could definitely be worth it if you have an immediate high value use in mind.
The following is from the card offers’ terms and conditions:
“Non Elite LifeMiles members that are primary cardholders may check a second bag free of charge when traveling on Avianca flights from United States to Central America and vice versa (“Qualifying Trip”), except on trips where Avianca provides the second bag free as standard benefit. The second checked bag must be less than or equal to 50 pounds’ weight and dimensions up to 158 linear centimeters considering height, width and length. Others restrictions apply.”
The annual fee of $149 is pricey, but 60k LifeMiles are valuable and the real kicker, in my opinion, is that you don’t have any minimum spending requirement. That adds a lot of value to this sign up offer because there’s no opportunity cost–you can put spending towards meeting other minimum spending requirements for more big returns.
If you apply for this card, please share your experiences below, particularly because this card is issued by an unfamiliar bank. You will be helping your fellow miles/points enthusiasts decide whether or not this is worth a hard inquiry. Remember these offers expire May 31, 2018.
If you are denied or given a decision pending response, try calling Banco Popular’s reconsideration line: 844-343-1010.
Application link: https://www.lifemilescreditcard.com/WLI/avianca.aspx?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Avianca&utm_campaign=Avianca&utm_content=Jan18#!, and don’t forget the promo code LM17WB or you’ll only get the 40k / 20k LifeMiles bonus. We do get commissions when you sign up for some cards, but not this one–we just want you to be aware of the best deals.
Hat tip Doctor of Credit