Through Nov. 15, you can purchase Avianca LifeMiles — one of our favorite airline currencies — at just 1.29 cents apiece.
Avianca is a member of Star Alliance, so you can use LifeMiles to book Star Alliance itineraries even if you never step foot on an Avianca plane. Better yet, LifeMiles oftentimes requires fewer miles to book Star Alliance award seats than United MileagePlus and other popular programs.
Avianca’s current LifeMiles promotion lets you purchase LifeMiles with up to a 155% bonus through Nov. 15 using this promotion from One Mile at a Time.
Once you register for the promotion, head over to the LifeMiles site to purchase LifeMiles at as little as 1.29 cents per mile. In some cases, this can bring the effective cost of a business-class ticket down to what you’d pay for premium economy if you book outright.
Here’s everything you need to know about the current LifeMiles sale and some of the best ways to use it.
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Should I buy LifeMiles?
Before we dive into some Star Alliance itineraries, I want to lay out a few disclaimers.
Beyond the limited Star Alliance award space, LifeMiles may increase the miles required to book a given flight at any point without notice. In other words, while 63,000 miles might get you across the Atlantic right now, there’s no guarantee that the award rates will stay the same for flights booked later. In fact, LifeMiles recently increased award rates to Asia without notice. Because of this, I don’t recommend buying miles unless you have a specific redemption in mind that you plan to book immediately.
For the examples below, I’m assuming you’re buying at least 51,000 LifeMiles, the minimum to unlock the 155% bonus. You also need to register on this landing page for the full 155% bonus. Again, this deal is valid through Nov. 15.
Note that you can purchase up to 200,000 base miles (before the bonus) each year, and LifeMiles expire after 12 months of earning inactivity on your account. You can keep your miles from expiring by earning miles, even if it’s transferring just 1,000 points from a credit card. Remember that your miles will expire if you have more than 12 months without earning LifeMiles.
Is this a good deal?
On paper, buying LifeMiles at 1.29 cents apiece is a solid deal.
This price is significantly lower than TPG’s valuation of 1.7 cents per LifeMile. However, the value you’ll get from your LifeMiles depends on how you redeem them. Typically, the best value is found when you book last-minute domestic flights and business-class international itineraries.
Related: When does it make sense to buy points and miles?
Sample LifeMiles redemptions
Now, let’s look at a few examples using a mileage purchase rate of 1.29 cents.
Vienna for under $850 in Austrian business class
Although it operates a fleet of only nine long-haul aircraft, Austrian Airlines has a great business-class product. When I flew with Austrian Airlines in 2017, a designated “chef” was on board and prepared a royal assortment of Viennese delicacies. Business-class passengers could select what they wanted from the meal cart as it passed down the aisle.
Dessert consisted of Sacher torte (Austrian chocolate cake), apple strudel and freshly brewed Viennese lattes. Yum!
Austrian Airlines flies to O’Hare International Airport (ORD), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Dulles International Airport (IAD) and seasonally to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
This ticket costs 63,000 LifeMiles, so you’ll pay around $850 after factoring in taxes and fees.
Related: Flight review: Austrian Airlines (767-300) business class from Vienna to JFK
Geneva, Switzerland, for under $850 in United Polaris business class
United flies its “high-J 767” between Washington and Geneva. The 1-1-1 configuration is ideal for single travelers but isn’t the best option for families or those traveling with companions.
Still, with 46 seats in business class, it’s not too hard to find award space. Also, a real highlight of the Polaris experience is access to the Polaris lounge at IAD, which recently joined the lineup of Polaris lounges. This ticket requires 63,000 LifeMiles, so you’ll pay just under $850 for the ticket after factoring in taxes and fees.
Related: 16 rows of biz: Reviewing Polaris on United’s ‘high-J’ 767-300ER
Taipei, Taiwan, for roughly $1,050 in EVA Royal Laurel business class
If poached lobster and butternut squash with pumpkin ravioli, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006 Champagne and Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits pique your interest, EVA’s business class is a good choice.
As you might expect, award space is scarce. But at the time of writing, there is some EVA Royal Laurel business-class award space on U.S. routes next fall. If you find seats, the LifeMiles promotion is your ticket to a $1,050 flight to Singapore.
Related: Flight review: EVA Air Boeing 777 in business class from Houston to Taipei
Need more LifeMiles?
When you buy LifeMiles, I suggest paying for them with a card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. That way, you’ll earn 2 Capital One miles for each dollar you spend.
As you might have guessed, those Capital One miles are transferable to LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio, along with American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.
Related: How (and why) you should earn transferable points
It’s great to see another LifeMiles sale, particularly since this one has one of the lowest LifeMiles purchase rates we’ve seen.
You’ll have to act fast. This promotion offers up to a 155% bonus when you buy LifeMiles so that you can travel on long-haul premium Star Alliance tickets for prices close to economy class. Just make sure you register first with your LifeMiles number on this page before going to LifeMiles’ buy-miles page.
You can always refer to our guide to the current points and miles promotions so you never miss a deal.