Avianca LifeMiles has launched a new sale with up to a 125% bonus on miles purchases.
While this is far from the biggest bonus we’ve ever seen (the two most recent sales have offered 145% and 150% bonuses), what makes this potentially lucrative is the offer of a 10% miles rebate on the next award booking for anyone who buys miles during this sale.
In other words, you could buy the bare minimum of 1,000 miles, then score a big discount on your next LifeMiles redemption.
Buy LifeMiles with a 125% bonus
From now till 30 September 2022, 2 p.m SGT, LifeMiles is offering a 120% bonus on miles purchases. An additional 5% bonus is offered to readers of the OMAAT blog (anyone, really), provided they register here.
The bonus is tiered as follows:
- Buy 1,000-20,000 miles: 105% bonus
- Buy 21,000-50,000 miles: 115% bonus
- Buy 51,000-200,000 miles: 125% bonus
Bonus miles will be credited instantly upon purchase, and members can buy up to 200,000 miles (pre-bonus) per account, per calendar year.
A 125% bonus works out to paying 1.47 US cents per mile. It’s far from the cheapest price we’ve ever seen, as during the height of the pandemic, bonuses went up to 200%.
But that’s not really the point…
10% rebate on award bookings
Avianca is offering a 10% rebate on the next award redemption to any member who buys miles during the current sale, with no cap on the maximum rebate.
- No minimum miles purchase is required
- The LifeMiles member must redeem an award between 21 September and 21 October 2022 (travel can be for any date)
- The 10% rebate applies to the first award redemption booked during this period
- The 10% rebate applies to a single redemption, but can be for multiple travellers on the same booking
- The 10% rebate will post within 15 business days of making the booking
To illustrate, I could buy 1,000 LifeMiles during the current sale, then make a round-trip booking from Singapore to North America for two travellers in Business Class. This would cost 312,000 LifeMiles, and I’d receive a rebate of 31,200 LifeMiles credited to my account.
Do note that the T&Cs state the 10% rebate offer is only for LifeMiles members who received an eDM, but Ben from OMAAT has further clarified in the comments section that registering and buying miles through the OMAAT link makes you eligible for the rebate offer.
What can you do with LifeMiles?
LifeMiles uses zone-based award charts, and here’s the cost of selected Business/First Class awards out of Singapore (classified under “South Asia”).
|✈️ LifeMiles Redemption Prices|
(from SIN, one-way)
|Business Class||First Class|
|To Japan||36,000 miles||50,000 miles|
|To Australia||40,000 miles||60,000 miles|
|To Hawaii||51,000 miles||75,000 miles|
|To North America||78,000 miles||99,000 miles|
|To Europe||78,000 miles||102,000 miles|
LifeMiles does not pass on fuel surcharges for redemptions, so you’ll only pay airport taxes.
A few important things to note about LifeMiles:
- Don’t buy them speculatively
- Only buy LifeMiles if you have a confirmed trip in mind and have found award space on LifeMiles (you don’t need any miles in your account to search)
- Singapore Airlines First and Business Class space will be restricted
- You can’t redeem Singapore Airlines First or Suites Class through LifeMiles (rare exceptions apply, and should not be taken as the norm). Business Class will only be available on certain regional routes
- 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. Always check availability via LifeMiles
- All changes and cancellations must be done through the Avianca call centre
- Changes to LifeMiles tickets cannot be done online, so you’ll need to use Skype to call and the experience can be hit and miss (some agents are excellent, others barely understand English). It costs between US$100-200 to cancel an award ticket, depending on your origin and destination
- LifeMiles tickets can be redeemed for anyone you choose
- You can put anyone’s name on a ticket
- LifeMiles expire after 12 months of account inactivity
- Earning or redeeming at least one mile extends the validity of the entire balance by a further 12 months
The LifeMiles website is notoriously temperamental (documented here), but a much easier way to look for awards is to use the Awards PNR tool. This amazing little website shows a full listing of all award space available on LifeMiles, saving you from having to take a guess-and-check approach.
While there are a handful of limitations, it makes your LifeMiles experience so much less stressful.
What card should I use for LifeMiles purchases?
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||Min S$1K, max S$2K FCY spend per s. month|
|DBS Woman’s World Card|
|4 mpd||Max S$2K per c. month|
|UOB Lady’s Card|
|4 mpd*||Max S$1K per c. month|
|UOB Lady’s Solitaire|
|4 mpd*||Max S$3K per c. month|
|4 mpd||Max S$1K per c. month|
|SCB Visa Infinite|
|3 mpd||Min. S$2K spend per s. month|
|DBS Altitude AMEX or Visa|
|3 mpd||Max S$5K per c. month|
|S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month|
*Must declare travel as quarterly 10X category
Since the Citi Rewards doesn’t award 4 mpd for airfare transactions, pairing it with the Amaze isn’t an option. You can, however, pair the UOB Lady’s Card (with travel as your 10X category) with Amaze to earn 4 mpd with zero FCY fees.
LifeMiles is offering up to a 125% bonus on purchased miles, which isn’t a great price to pay. That’s not the point though. All you need to do is buy 1,000 miles, after which you can enjoy a 10% rebate on your next award redemption with no cap.
In other words, if you already have LifeMiles in your account, this is a great time to look for ways of spending them. Long-haul award space out of Singapore is patchy for the rest of 2022, but if you’re able to reposition to Bangkok, or don’t mind booking for later in 2023, you should be able to find some options.