Airlines

LifeMiles on sale with 140% bonus; plus discounted Star Alliance awards

Buy LifeMiles at 1.375 US cents each and redeem selected Business Class awards for up to 31% off.

LifeMiles is the frequent flyer program of Avianca, a member of Star Alliance. It runs frequent mileage sales and is a good way of getting discounted First and Business Class tickets, if you can find award space.

From now till 6 June 2 p.m SGT (edit: extended till 11 June 2 p.m SGT), LifeMiles is offering a 140% bonus on miles purchases for readers of One Mile at a Time. This is 15% higher than the current public sale of 125%.

Register for the 140% bonus sale here

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Here’s how the bonus works:

  • Buy 1,000-50,000 LifeMiles: 115% bonus (1.53 US cents each)
  • Buy 51,000-100,000 LifeMiles: 130% bonus (1.43 US cents each)
  • Buy 101,000-200,000 LifeMiles: 140% bonus (1.375 US cents each)

Unlike past promotions where you had to wait up to 24 hours to see the upsized bonus, this bonus can be enjoyed immediately upon registering.

LifeMiles purchases are processed directly by Avianca in USD, meaning that they code as foreign currency airfare spend. You’ll want to use one of the following cards to maximize the miles you earn:

  • UOB Visa Signature: 4 mpd, with min $1K max $2K foreign currency spend in a statement period
  • DBS Woman’s World Card: 4 mpd, max $2K spend per month
  • SCB Visa Infinite: 3 mpd, with min $2K total spend in a statement period
  • BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard: 3 mpd, no cap or minimum spend
  • DBS Altitude Visa/DBS Altitude AMEX: 3 mpd, capped at $5K spend per month

The usual caveats about buying LifeMiles apply:

  • Don’t buy them speculatively. Only buy them if you have a confirmed trip in mind and have found award space on LifeMiles (you don’t need to have any miles in your account to search for award space)
  • You can’t redeem Singapore Airlines First or Business Class cabins on selected routes with LifeMiles
  • LifeMiles may not see the same award space as other Star Alliance partners. Just because you see something on Aeroplan or United doesn’t necessarily mean it will appear on LifeMiles
  • All changes and cancellations must be done through the Avianca call centre; they cannot be done online. It costs between US$100-200 to cancel an award ticket, depending on your origin and destination
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LifeMiles expire after 12 months of account inactivity, but you shouldn’t be holding on to them for that long anyway. Some people have raised concerns about Avianca’s US$68M Q1 2019 loss and its bond downgrade. I’d point out that (1) LifeMiles is a separate legal entity from Avianca, and has a stable credit outlook from Moody’s and (2) the program’s financial future is only of concern to you if you’re holding on to LifeMiles, which you shouldn’t be in the first place.

You can buy a maximum of 200,000 LifeMiles each year (pre-bonus), and LifeMiles tickets can be redeemed for anyone you choose. There are no fuel surcharges on LifeMiles redemptions.

Up to 31% off Star Alliance redemptions

In addition to the 140% bonus sale, LifeMiles is offering up to 31% off selected Star Alliance redemptions. I’ve summarized the Business Class options in the table below (note that these discounts may apply one-way only).

Origin Destination Original Discount Savings
BKK ICN 36000 25000 -31%
HND PEK 22500 17500 -22%
HND PVG 22500 18000 -20%
HKG LAX 75000 64000 -15%
LAX HKG 75000 64000 -15%
HKG SFO 75000 64000 -15%
SFO HKG 75000 64000 -15%
ICN LAX 75000 64000 -15%
LAX ICN 75000 64000 -15%
LAX PVG 75000 64000 -15%
PVG LAX 75000 64000 -15%
AMS TPE 75000 64000 -15%
TPE AMS 75000 64000 -15%
IAH TPE 75000 64000 -15%
TPE IAH 75000 64000 -15%
LAX TPE 75000 64000 -15%
TPE LAX 75000 64000 -15%
ORD TPE 75000 64000 -15%
TPE ORD 75000 64000 -15%
SEA TPE 75000 64000 -15%
TPE SEA 75000 64000 -15%
TPE VIE 75000 64000 -15%
VIE TPE 75000 64000 -15%
NRT SIN 36000 31000 -14%
SIN NRT 36000 31000 -14%
HKG ICN 22500 19500 -13%
ICN HKG 22500 19500 -13%
HKG PEK 22500 19500 -13%
PEK HKG 22500 19500 -13%
KIX PVG 22500 19500 -13%
PVG KIX 22500 19500 -13%
HKG TPE 15000 13000 -13%
TPE HKG 15000 13000 -13%
PEK TPE 22500 19500 -13%
TPE PEK 22500 19500 -13%
PVG TPE 15000 13000 -13%
TPE PVG 15000 13000 -13%
PVG HND 20000 18000 -10%
PEK HND 19000 17500 -8%
ICN BKK 27000 25000 -7%
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The only destination on offer ex-SIN is Tokyo Narita, at 31K miles instead of the usual 36K. That said, provided you’re willing to position yourself to nearby destinations like HKG and TPE, you’ll be able to take advantage of discounted US award tickets too.

The discounted price will appear when you search for space on selected routes. These discounted prices are available for any travel dates you can find in the LifeMiles system, so long as you make your redemption before 20 June 2pm SGT. 

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Conclusion

Assuming you can find the award space you need, LifeMiles can be a great program to use. That said, this isn’t a program that newcomers to the miles and points game should jump into, and if you’re asking questions like “can I transfer LifeMiles to KrisFlyer?” may I gently suggest that this is not for you.


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paulAaron WongFindnismoGTbelikedannyanon Recent comment authors
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belikedannyanon
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belikedannyanon

SIN-NRT-SIN
62k LM ( 29k LM purchase) @ US1.53 cents ~ USD 957+taxes
compared to krisflyer saver 94k @ sgd2cents valuation ~ SGD1880+taxes

GT
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GT

Hi Aaron, thanks for sharing these limited time FFP promotion . I am planning for travel from SIN to FRA / LON on return business class but seems like the award tickets are very rarely available. Any tips to find such tickets?

Findnismo
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Findnismo

Hi Aaron,

Could I nominate a companion and buy tickets for 2 pax like with SQ??

Thinking of going Japan with the Missus.

Buy 120+k LM for 2 pax return on ana biz sounds decent.

Thanks

paul
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paul

Is there TPE- SFO – TPE business class option? Thank you so much Aaron.

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