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Avianca LifeMiles and InsideFlyer are offering a 150% bonus on purchased miles through October 12, 2015. You must buy 100,000 to 150,000 LifeMiles (pre-bonus) during the sale at a minimum cost of $3,300.

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LifeMiles cost 3.3 cents each, so with a 150% bonus, you get the miles for 1.32 cents each. For instance, if you purchase 100,000 LifeMiles with a 150,000 mile bonus for 250,000 total miles, it would cost $3,300 or 1.32 cents each. That’s the cheapest I’ve seen LifeMiles sold. Normally they cost 1.5 cents during sales, though the last sale saw the price go as low as 1.35 cents each.

You can combine the cheapest LifeMiles ever with an award sale that discounts awards within the United States, to Europe, and to Brazil. The minimum 250,000 miles purchased during this sale would be enough for two roundtrips in Business Class to Europe with 40,000 miles left over. If you could just buy the 52,500 LifeMiles needed for a one way to Europe in Business Class at these prices, that one way would cost $699.

The Steps to Purchase LifeMiles for 1.32 Cents

This deal is a bit more complicated than previous sales because it requires pre-registration. Here are the steps, though note that Americans will pay $3,300 for 100,000 LifeMiles. The higher listed price is for those unfortunate enough to have to pay taxes on the purchase.

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If you are/were a member of MilePoint, you can log in to Inside Flyer with that account information. Otherwise create a free account. Then click Award Store along the top of the home page and register for this promotion with your Avianca LifeMiles account number.

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About 24 hours after registering, you’ll receive an email with a link to purchase LifeMiles with a 150% bonus.

The Concurrent LifeMiles Award Sale

Through October 15, 2015, Avianca LifeMiles has discounted certain awards including intra-United States, United States to Europe, and United States to Brazil.

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The sale, and redeeming LifeMiles in general, is complicated enough that you should read this whole post about the sale.

At a price of 1.32 cents per mile, Business Class to Europe starts $693 + taxes each way and Business Class to Brazil starts at $561 + taxes. Taxes are generally $5.60 leaving the United States, under $100 returning from Brazil and $50 to $300 returning from Europe. Avoid returning from the Britain to stay at the low end of the tax range.

When to Buy (Math)

I value LifeMiles at 1.5 cents per mile at the moment. Buying them for 1.32 cents per mile is not enough of an inducement for me because I don’t have an immediate use for them, and miles get devalued all the time. I don’t want to shell out $3,300+ on such an uncertain investment.

Many people should have a similar view of this sale and buy zero miles. 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.

Possible Immediate High Value Uses

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.

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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.


Americans can book awards to Cuba with LifeMiles. For instance, here is a search from Washington-Dulles to Havana, Cuba. It costs 17,500 LifeMiles + $31.65 or 7,500 miles + $181.65. It’s hard to see how you could use 250,000 miles this way unless you want to go with seven people (245,000 miles for seven roundtrips.)

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Buying miles during the award booking often costs 1.5 cents per mile as in this case.

Europe in Business Class

The United States to Europe is 63,000 miles each way in Business Class normally, though only 52,500 miles one way during the award sale referenced above. The Star Alliance has great award space.

Buying 250,000 LifeMiles would be just short of the 252,000 needed for two roundtrips in Business Class to Europe. You could buy the last 2,000 miles while booking the awards for $30 total, so that would be $3,330 plus taxes (probably $200 to $300 total for two people) for two roundtrips in Business Class to Europe. That’s well below the normal price for cash tickets.

See How to Consistently Buy Business Class Tickets to Europe for about $1,000 and Anatomy of an Award: Using LifeMiles to Buy Business Class Ticket Between Europe and USA for $1,040 for full details on these awards.

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.

Buy LifeMiles with These Credit Cards

LifeMiles 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 250,000 to 375,000 Avianca LifeMiles for 1.32 cents each. That’s too much money for me to invest speculatively, but there are a lot of immediate awards you can book where that price offers great value.

The LifeMiles sales 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.

Hat Tip One Mile at a Time

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