Tag Archives: lifemiles

Enhancement to Lifemiles sale with up to 140% bonus

Lifemiles is currently holding a sale with a bonus of up to 125%, depending on how many miles you buy. I said that this is a decent price, all things considered, but if you can I’d hold off because I consider 140% to be the minimum bonus I’d consider.

Well, thanks to Lucky at OMAAT (he does this for a living, you know), you can get a maximum of a 140% bonus on the current Lifemiles sale. All you need to do is register on this page between May 17 and May 29, and buy your miles between May 18 and May 30.

This is how your bonus structure looks like with the additional 15% that OMAAT readers get.

As you can see, your bonus now maxes out at 140%, or 1.375 cents per mile, if you buy 101,000 miles or more. You need to wait 24 hours after you register for your enhanced bonus to be reflected.

Another interesting development is that if you buy at least 15,000 miles during this promotion, you’ll receive a follow up email offering to let you buy up to 5,000 miles with a 200% bonus. That means you get 15,000 miles for US$165, or 1.1 cents per mile. I’d definitely jump on that.

Usual caveats about Lifemiles apply, see any of my previous Lifemiles articles for the FAQs.

Lifemiles sale is back with 125% bonus

Lifemiles are on sale again from now till 30 May with a 100% base bonus.

Depending on how much you buy, you enjoy an additional bonus that can be as high as 125%

  • 1,000-50,000 LifeMiles, 100% bonus (1.65 cents per mile)*
  • 51,000-100,000 LifeMiles, 115% bonus (~1.535 cents per mile)*
  • 101,000-200,000 LifeMiles, 125% bonus (~1.467 cents per mile)*

*all prices above in USD

Is this the best deal I’ve ever seen? Nope. in recent memory, Lifemiles have gone at sale with bonuses as high as 140%

  • December 2016- 140%
  • November 2016- 140%
  • September 2016- 140%
  • May 2016- 135%

So 1.467 cents per mile isn’t a terrible price to jump in, but if you’re willing to wait there will be better deals. To put things in perspective, a one-way business/first class award ticket to the USA costs 78K/99K miles, so the savings if you wait for a 140% sale would be $72/$91 respectively. Actually, now that I say it aloud, it doesn’t sound like that big a saving.

If you want to buy, login to your Lifemiles account and click on Buy Miles. You’ll see this screen. Click on “other” to enter the amount you want to buy, and you’ll see the summary of the transaction on the RHS.

A few points to remember

  • You can buy a maximum of 200,000 LMs a year, before bonus. So, if you haven’t bought any now, you could buy 200,000 LM and get a total of 450,000
  • Lifemiles purchases will code as airline purchases (Avianca), so if you use your DBS Altitude card you will earn 3 mpd. Or you could use your DBS Woman’s World/ HSBC Advance, both of which will get 4 mpd.
  • Lifemiles cancellation fees have recently increased up to 4X what they were previously. It used to be that you could cancel a Lifemiles ticket for US$50, now it’s as high as US$200 depending on route. This makes booking LM tickets as a precaution more expensive
  • Here’s the Lifemiles award chart for your reference
  • Lifemiles does not charge fuel surcharges on award tickets

I’m also gonna copy pasta some advice I’ve given in previous articles

You should not be buying Lifemiles if your goal is to fly with SQ. This is because

(1) Lifemiles (and other *A partner programs) does not have access to SQ’s long haul First and Business class space. You will at best be able to book SQ’s regional business class seats on the A330

(2) SQ awards are cheaper to redeem through the Krisflyer program than via Lifemiles

It’s also not a good idea to buy Lifemiles speculatively.

That said, if you’re cognizant of all the potential shortcomings of Lifemiles and have a place in mind to head to, why not give it a shot?

Lifemiles increases award cancellation fees by up to 4X

So file this one under “why we can’t have nice things”. Everyone’s favourite South American airline, Avianca, has quadrupled the cancellation fees for Lifemiles award tickets.

As per OMAAT, Lifemiles now charges up to US$200 to cancel an award ticket, versus US$50 before. You can read more posts about this on the FT thread and this Aussie FF thread.

Ben at OMAAT suggests that there are 2 scenarios

  • If your award ticket is within 1 region (eg start in North America, end in North America), your cancellation fee is US$50
  • If your award ticket goes from 1 region to another (eg start in North America, end in Singapore), your cancellation fee is US$200

That said, other people are reporting different- user Tokyoite on FT reports that this varies by cabin class as well.

The logic I see so far is that,
– cancel fee varies between F , J and Y redemptions.
– intra-region is USD 100/ticket/person to refund. as per the site (F & J award)
– inter-region is USD 200/ticket/person to refund. as per the site (F award. J is USD 100)

– Existing tickets are not affected (tickets still show USD 50/ticket).
– Call-center is still clueless and they still say USD 50/ticket

Here’s my experience with some dummy bookings-

  • SIN-SFO in Business Class, US$200 refund fee

  • SIN-JFK in First Class, US$200 refund fee

  • SIN-BKK in Business Class, US$100 refund fee

  • SIN-PER in Business Class, US$200 refund fee

  • SIN-NRT in Business Class, US$100 refund fee

It appears I’m getting something closer to Ben’s experience. However, it’s not strictly the case that inter zone awards always get a US$200 refund fee- Singapore and Japan are in different zones (South and North Asia) as per the LM award chart, yet my cancellation fee is still US$100.

The best advice I can give you is to be aware of these changes and always check what the cancellation fee is before you book (if you hover your mouse over your itinerary the fees for changing/cancelling will appear.

The important thing is that it appears tickets issued before this change will have the original US$50 refund fee honored, at least based on anecdotal reports I’m reading on the forums.

The funny thing about Lifemiles awards is that traditionally they’ve been cheaper to refund (US$50) rather than change (US$150). With this new development it would be cheaper to change rather than refund. I’ve never actually tried changing a date with the call centre before but I can imagine that will be all sorts of fun, given their reputation for competence.

Suffice to say, this doesn’t make Lifemiles a terrible program overnight, but it does mean you’ll want to think carefully about booking “just in case” awards. When the cancellation fee was US$50, it was still justifiable to snap up an award you saw, with cancellation being a (potentially long) phone call and US$50 away. Now that the fee is US$200 the dynamic changes a bit.

By the way, if you want to buy Lifemiles, you can follow this link and get a 140% bonus (buying at 1.375 US cents per mile) when buying miles. You need to register by 27th Feb and buy by 28th Feb.