Club Lifemiles is a miles subscription program started by Lifemiles back in February this year. How it works is that you sign up for any one of six plans and receive a fixed number of miles each month (Plan 500 got you 500 miles per month, Plan 1,000 got you 1,000 miles per month…) for 12 months. You get an additional bonus at the end of each 3 month period.
At the time of launch, the six plans allowed you to buy miles at the following prices (assuming you saw the membership out to its 12 month term):
- Plan 500 (US$10.99/mo)- 1.65 US cents permile
- Plan 1,000 (US$19.99/mo)-1.6 US cents per mile
- Plan 2,000 (US$32.99/mo)- 1.41 US cents per mile
- Plan 3,000 (US$49.99/mo)- 1.41 US cents per mile
- Plan 6,000 (US$92.99/mo)- 1.39 US cents per mile
- Plan 8,000 (US$129.99/mo)- 1.39 US cents per mile
Although receiving a fixed amount of miles each month to your account kept your balance from expiring, I wasn’t won over by the concept, because
(1) buying miles piecemeal instead of in bulk implies that you’re holding miles while looking for a redemption opportunity, when I believe you should identifying a redemption opportunity first and then buying miles,
(2) the cheapest price of 1.39 US cents per mile was still above the cost you’d pay if you managed to buy miles at a 140% sale (1.375 US cents), which most promotions max out at and
(3) you shouldn’t be holding on to Lifemiles for so long that expiry becomes an issue
Well, the good news is that Lifemiles has improved the program by bringing down the cost per mile. As of 5 April 2018, the six subscription plans have changed as follows:
If you had signed up for an existing plan, you will keep the same price, monthly miles and bonus miles as was the case when you signed up. However, you can also switch to the new offer if you wish at any time, without penalty. It might be a good idea to wait till the end of your 3 month period to get your quarterly bonus before switching.
You can see that the prices of miles have decreased across the board (plus the names have changed). Plan 7,000 now allows you to buy Lifemiles at 1.35 US cents each, which is just under the 1.375 US cents price that 140% sales get you (and roughly equivalent to a 145% sale). This certainly makes the plans more price-competitive, but the question again is whether you’d prefer to buy miles on a monthly basis, or in a lump sum during a sale.
Your Club Lifemiles subscription can be cancelled at any time without penalty, although you’ll lose out on the quarterly bonus if you cancel before the end of a 3 month period.
My personal style of buying Lifemiles is more lumpy, eg make a purchase every once in a while when they go on sale. I realise the subscription plans can be useful for someone who wants to smooth out their purchase or needs to put a certain minimum spend on their card each month, but the usual cautions should apply here. Don’t buy miles speculatively. Buy miles when you have a clear redemption in mind and you’ve confirmed the award space exists (both through the Lifemiles.com engine as well as a 3rd party engine like United or Aeroplan).