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Update: I transferred 26,000 LifeMiles to my friend for $390. He received 52,000 after the 100% bonus. I did this because he likes to book one way Business Class tickets between the United States and Europe for about $1,000 by using LifeMiles and 52,000 miles gives him the base to do that twice.

The transfer is instant, and I got 3x points on my Citi ThankYou® Premier Card because the $390 coded as an airline purchase.


Avianca LifeMiles is running a 100% bonus on transferred miles from July 8 to July 22, 2015. You can transfer up to 75,000 LifeMiles during the sale and get up to 75,000 bonus miles.

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LifeMiles transfers cost 1.5 cents per mile, so this is an opportunity to buy new LifeMiles for 1.5 cents each if you already have some.

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For instance, if I transferred 72,000 miles from my account, I’d pay $1,080, and you’d receive 144,000 LifeMiles.

That’s 1.5 cents for each of the new 72,000 miles created.


Comparison to Buying Miles

During the last sale in May, LifeMiles accounts registered in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, United States, or Colombia could buy miles for 1.65 cents each.

Folks in other countries could buy miles for 1.5 cents each.

When booking a LifeMiles award, you only need 40% of the miles listed on the LifeMiles award chart, and you can buy the rest of the miles for about 1.5 cents each.

Can You Transfer From Account A to B and back to A?

Yes, so if you control two accounts, you can create new miles in each account. Think carefully about the sizes and order of the transfers to leave the number of miles you want in each account.

When to Transfer (Buy)

How many LifeMiles should you create for 1.5 cents each?

For many people the answer is zero. As with most mile sales, the main way it make sense to buy miles at these prices is if you have an immediate high value use for them.

But there are a ton of deals on the LifeMiles award chart, which allows one way redemptions with no fuel surcharges on all 27 Star Alliance partners, so an immediate high value use is very possible.

For instance, you can book a one way Business Class award from the United States to Europe for 63,000 miles plus taxes or $945 plus taxes if you can buy miles for 1.5 cents each. Or the United States to Cuba for 17,500 miles + $31.65 or $294.15 one way.

Do not just use the award chart, though. Make sure you can book what you want to book on You can do an award search with zero miles in your account. The reason for this extra step is that if you can’t book your award online, LifeMiles call centers are nearly useless.

Also remember that you cannot mix cabins on LifeMiles awards. That means you can’t fly domestic economy to connect to international Business Class. And your international First Class awards are probably only going to be one segment, since they cannot connect to Business Class regional flights.

There are similar deals all over the world and in all cabins through this sale, too many to list here. Investigate where you want to go on the award chart and then make sure you can book the award you want. If the math works out, buy LifeMiles.

Transfer LifeMiles with These Credit Cards

LifeMiles transfers and purchases are processed directly by Avianca. That’s great news!

It means you can buy them with your Citi Prestige® Card, and its $250 Air Travel Credit will refund you the first $250 of the purchase price of the miles (plus you’ll earn 4x ThankYou Points on the first $250 of the miles purchase.)

It means that the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers 3x ThankYou Points on the purchase of LifeMiles.

It means you can purchase LifeMiles, then use your Arrival miles for an offsetting statement credit.

Bottom Line

You can buy 75,000 Avianca LifeMiles for $1,125 or 1.5 cents each through strategic transfers until July 22. That’s too high to buy speculatively, but there are a lot of immediate awards you can book where that price offers great value.

LifeMiles transfers are now processed by Avianca itself, so you can get category bonuses on cards that bonus airline or travel purchases like my latest card, the Citi Prestige® Card which offers 3x on purchases from airlines and a $250 Air Travel Credit, or you can use your Arrival Plus to get American Airlines miles for zero cash.


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

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