Lifemiles promotion is back, with some interesting maths to do…

Everyone’s favourite FFP, Lifemiles, has announced its latest mile selling promotion. From now until 30 Sept, purchases of Lifemiles will accrue a variable bonus, depending on the amount you buy. Note that this different from the usual promotion, where the bonus you get is fixed.


The chart above looks pretty sweet, but it gets better. Apparently, registering your FFP number here gets you a bonus 10% miles on top of whatever you buy. That said, the terms and conditions say you need to register by 8th Sept to enjoy this. It doesn’t hurt to try though. It accepted my registration on the 9th, but you shouldn’t view this as a guaranteed bonus. If you get it, great, but don’t factor it into your calculations.

The cost per mile can be summarised as such (remember that you pay $33 for 1,000 miles). I’ve only taken the published bonus into account below and not the 10% mentioned above.

Purchase quantity Obtained quantity Cost per mile (USD)
1,000-3,000 1,500-4,500 0.022
4,000-6,000 7,000-10,500 0.019
7,000-12,000 14,000-24,000 0.017
13,000-25,000 26,550-51,250 0.016
26,000-40,000 54,600-84,000 0.016
41,000-60,000 88,150-129,000 0.015
61,000-100,000 137,250-225,000 0.015
101,000-150,000 237,350-352,500 0.014

Obviously, the more miles you buy, the better the deal. 1.4 cents per mile is good value ASSUMING you already have an intended use in mind for the miles. I would strongly advise against buying speculatively, given the potential for devaluations.

Also, the USD has appreciated quite a bit vis a vie the SGD in recent months, so that’s something else you want to factor into your calculations. The usual caveats about Lifemiles apply- you cannot book SQ premium cabin space except on short/medium haul flights, Lufthansa is blocking First class award availability, cancellations cost US$50 and about 40 mins of your time with customer service, you cannot do mixed class bookings.  Remember that the maximum Lifemiles you can buy each year (including bonuses) is 360,000 (they increased the cap for this promotion).

But, remember that a one-way ticket from SIN-SFO costs 78,000 miles on Lifemiles (and lets you experience EVA Air’s quite excellent business class), and that Lifemiles does not charge fuel surcharges. So there is potentially some excellent value to be found here if you’re ok with booking far in advance/very close to departure and can put up with some inconvenience.

So, what do you guys think?

EDIT: I’ve been reminded that there’s still the bonus miles you’ll earn on your credit card for this purchase. This transaction will code as Avianca, meaning that if you’re using the DBS Altitude AMEX card and you’re within your first 6 months, you’ll earn 4.5 miles for every S$1 spent. You can’t combine Lifemiles and Krisflyer to do a redemption, obviously, but consider this a bonus.

EDIT EDIT: To summarise what you can’t do with Lifemiles

  • Book SQ premium cabin space on their latest products (except in rare, rare instances)
  • Book mixed cabin awards (eg fly J on one leg, F on another. If you want to fly F you need to make sure the flight you pick has F throughout)
  • Book a stopover
  • Make online changes to your booking (change fees via call centre are $150, it is actually cheaper to cancel for $50 and rebook)


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20 Comments on "Lifemiles promotion is back, with some interesting maths to do…"

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Is the miles purchased instantly credited to your account? I bought some miles last night, credit card charged, but the LifeMiles is still 0 as of now.

Do you have any tips on searching for available flights for redemption on the Lifemiles website? I’m really struggling to find business class tickets to Europe at the period that I want, even when I randomly pick dates there’s always no availability. It doesn’t help that the Lifemiles website search function is so slow

I am really considering going for the max purchase here (7000 SGD). The one thing missing from your calculations (but I am sure you’re obviously thinking about this) is, the fact that you will also get the miles from using your credit card here in SG. So, when looking at the actual cost per mile, this should fall even further with the miles eventually credited to the KrisFlyer account :-).

My problem is, that this would be somewhat speculative and although I know I will be flying to Europe summer 2016 and winter 2016, I am not sure the gamble would be worth the 7k.

What do you think?

Hey, Thanks so much for your quick reply. I was going to use the AMEX card although, last time I called they also said, their promotion is only until a certain spend/ a certain mile bonus. If this is true, I may have well maxed this already. The routes I am looking at are basically these: SIN – TLS Alternatively: SIN – BCN or SIN – ZRH I will be flying with my wife so calculated that if I were to max the purchase, this could give us 2 return business flights to Europe or, would give us quite a number of business/ first class flights to Japan (where my wife is from). Most likely, I would actually use the miles for trips to Japan over the next few years as the flights to Europe are generally the ones I use to keep Aegean (star alliance) gold status. I have… Read more »

Hi MileLion

I have signed up for Lifemiles after reading your website but somehow the email notifications came in a language I didnt understand and hence I missed out the notifications on the above promotion until you have mentioned it again on your website here.

One question I have – you mentioned that SIN-JAPAN is good value at 36,000 miles one way on business class with no fuel surcharge.

Assuming I have bought the maximum miles n on the current exchange rate, it would have cost me around S$7,000. At 36,000 one way, it would have allowed for 9 one-way trips or rather S$1,500 for a return business class trip. SQ business-class return tickets from Japan cost abt S$2500-S$2700 depending on dates so the cost-savings is about S$1000-S$1200 per trip. Assuming I am always flying from Japan to Singapore, am I getting my sums right?

Thanks for the response. Yes, I agree about the Japan trip being a good deal. All I was saying is that although, I would love to use the miles for the Europe trip, I think I’ll get more bang for the buck if flying to Japan. Also, as outlined, I probably need the longest haul flight (in my case, Europe), to maintain status every year.

Are you going to buy the max. miles?

Hi, any idea whether upon cancellation, miles are credited back to account immediately?

Also, any idea on whether stop overs are permitted, and if so, do we call the Avianca service line to request or can it somehow be done online? Thanks!

Thanks aaronwong, decided to take the risk and buy since my travel dates are still far out, both dates & destination are flexible and I only want 1 tix. Keeping my fingers crossed!

It seems that if one is travelling with a companion, there’s no way to guarantee that after booking one award ticket (each on separate lifemiles accounts), that there will remain availability for the other ticket.

Is there any way you can tell if more than one seat is available, or does lifemiles allow one person to book two tickets on the same flight for 2 individuals?

Ok, so if one books 2 tickets under the same booking, presumably the downside is that in the event either ticket needs to be changed or cancelled, the whole booking will have to be cancelled together?

Or does it come out as two separate bookings even when booked from the same account for the same flight at the same time?