Avianca LifeMiles has launched a new sale, and it’s the largest one we’ve seen this year.
From now till 3 December 2022, 2 p.m SGT, LifeMiles members can buy miles with up to a 160% bonus. If you’re a reader of One Mile at a Time (i.e. anyone), you can register to receive a further 10% for a total bonus of 170%.
You should note that LifeMiles carried out an unannounced devaluation in September 2022, which increased the cost of Business and First Class awards from Singapore to the USA from 78,000 and 99,000 miles to 90,000 and 120,000 miles.
That’s another reason why you should never buy LifeMiles speculatively- only buy them if you intend to burn them straight away!
Get a 170% bonus on LifeMiles purchases
Registration is now open for the LifeMiles 170% bonus sale, which can be done via the link above. Once registered, members will earn bonuses tiered as follows:
- Buy 1,000-20,000 miles: 150% bonus
- Buy 21,000-50,000 miles: 160% bonus
- Buy 51,000-200,000 miles: 170% bonus
The 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 170% bonus works out to paying 1.22 US cents per mile, the lowest we’ve seen this year.
What can you do with LifeMiles?
In late September 2022, LifeMiles carried out an unannounced devaluation of its award charts, which saw an increase in the cost of awards between Asia and the USA (old award chart | new award chart).
The impact for those of us in Singapore is summarised below:
|✈️ LifeMiles Redemption Prices|
(from SIN, one-way)
|Business Class||First Class|
|To Japan||36,000 miles||50,000 miles|
|To Australia||50,000 miles||75,000 miles|
|To Hawaii||51,000 miles||75,000 miles|
|To Europe||78,000 miles||102,000 miles|
Business Class awards to the USA now cost 90,000 miles instead of 78,000 miles (an increase of US$146 based on current sale prices), and First Class awards to the USA now cost 120,000 miles instead of 99,000 miles (an increase of US$256).
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 Seats.Aero tool (formerly known as Awards PNR). This amazing little website shows a full listing of all award space available on LifeMiles, saving you from having to guess and check.
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.
While this won’t necessarily earn you the most miles on your purchase, you could also use LifeMiles transactions to hit the minimum spend for the following sign-up offers:
- Citibank: S$400 cash with min. S$500 spend in 30 days
- CIMB: S$350 cash with min. S$988 spend in 60 days
LifeMiles is now offering the biggest sale we’ve seen in 2022, with a 170% bonus for registered members. This represents a cost of 1.22 US cents per mile, and could potentially save you big on First and Business Class flights- provided you can find award space!
That said, I currently do not have any LifeMiles, nor do I intend to buy them. While I appreciate the ability to redeem awards without fuel surcharges, I’m still well-stocked with KrisFlyer miles, plus I don’t think highly of FFPs that carry out unannounced devaluations.
Like the last paragraph. Tell me what you’d do and I’ll follow.
Seats.Aero uses the lifemiles engine, but availability on it does not mean its bookable on LM. Much ink has been spilt on whether this is just garden variety ineptitude or a cynical LM move. They may like collecting revenue from selling miles but be less inclined to make redeeming them easy.
It’s especially true for F, but noticeable for Biz. I routinely see more than 1 seat on a route on Seats.Aero that is not bookable on LM.
There are barely any destinations that have availability. At least for the places I’m searching.
Kinda makes lifemiles less valued for me
Why would 1.22 US cpm be worth it when you can buy KF miles for 0.8 cpm every tax season?
Not an apples to apples comparison. These are 2 different currencies. Kf has yq when redeeming Star Alliance Awards, Lifemiles does not
Can explain more? LM will have a better redemption rate on SA?
Those who bought some on singles day get upsized 175% bonus. LM is pretty decent for redeeming with Thai, ANA, Lufthansa and United.