You guys should know the drill by now.
Lifemiles= cheap first and business class tickets. Lifemiles frequently go on sale. To take part in a sale, you need a Lifemiles account that was opened before the sale was announced. So go open one now.
The sale this time is 125%, meaning you can buy miles at 1.47 US cents each. This is an ok price, but not one I’d pull the trigger on. I bought my miles at 1.375 US cents each when they went on sale last year, and the grand laojiao of travel hacking says you can buy at 1.35 US cents at the cheapest
There is an interesting article on View from the Wing interviewing the CEO of Lifemiles
Vincent sees offering miles for sale inexpensively as win-win for the program and the consumer. Flexible consumers who can travel on award tickets gain access to travel less expensively than if they were buying tickets directly. And the program generates revenue that’s greater than its redemption cost.
The CEO pretty much straight up comes and says that Lifemiles is gaming the Star Alliance award pool. Lifemiles sells miles at $X. Lifemiles members redeem awards on partner carriers. Lifemiles compensates partner carriers $Y as per internal reimbursement rates. $X>$Y. Lifemiles wins.
It makes me worry how long this can go on for. I don’t know if Star Alliance internal rules allow airlines to charge differential reimbursement rates to members, but if they do one thing that could happen is that everyone else jacks up reimbursements for Avianca.
If the rules don’t currently allow for that then it’s difficult to see what can be done- other carriers might star blocking award space (as SQ already does for its premium non-regional cabins), or start releasing less award space overall.
Anyway, that’s a problem for Future Homer.
If you want to take part, you should use your DBS Altitude Card to get 3 miles per $1 on the online purchase. You can also use your DBS WWMC or UOB Visa Signature for 4 miles per $1, subject to their usual caps and minimums.