Avianca LifeMiles is offering a bonus of up to 125% on purchased miles through December 20, 2016. You can buy up to 150,000 LifeMiles during the sale and get up to 187,500 bonus miles.
LifeMiles cost 3.3 cents each, so with a 125% bonus, you get the miles for 1.47 cents each. For instance, 227,250 total miles would be $3,333 or 1.47 cents each.
When to Buy (Math)
Here are the prices for each number of miles (including bonus) that you can purchase.
- 4,000 to 100,000 miles for 1.65 cents each
- 109,650 to 215,000 miles for 1.53 cents each
- 227,250 to 337,500 miles for 1.47 cents each
I value LifeMiles at 1.6 cents per mile at the moment. Buying them for 1.47 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 $3,000+ 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
Do not just use the award chart, though. Make sure you can book what you want to book on lifemiles.com. 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.
My stock example of a possible good deal during this buy miles sale is to buy miles to book a Business Class award to Europe.
Europe in Business Class
The United States to Europe is 63,000 LifeMiles each way in Business Class. The Star Alliance has great award space.
You could buy 26,000 miles (13,000 + bonus) for $429 and buy the last 37,000 miles for $555 at the time of booking. That would get you a one way in Business Class for about $1,000 total after taxes.
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.
And don’t forget that Avianca just came out with a new co-branded credit card issued by Banco Popular. Read Sarah Page’s review of the Avianca Vuela Visa from yesterday that comes with 60k LifeMiles after just one purchase and the payment of a $149 annual fee (you’ll only get the 60k bonus if you use promo code AVSPWE when applying, otherwise you will get a 40k bonus). If your goal is to use that sign up bonus towards a Business Class ticket to Europe for 63k LifeMiles, perhaps buying a few thousand LifeMiles to top off your account is a good idea.
Buy LifeMiles with These Credit Cards
LifeMiles purchases are processed directly by Avianca. That’s great news!
It means you buy them with Chase Sapphire Reserve, and its $300 Travel Credit will refund the first $300 of the purchase price. Plus the spending will count toward the minimum spending requirement that unlocks the present 100,000 point bonus.
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 you can purchase LifeMiles with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, then use your Arrival miles for an offsetting statement credit.
You can buy 227,250 Avianca LifeMiles for $3,333 or 1.47 cents each. That’s too high to buy 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 the Chase Sapphire Reserve which offers 3x on travel purchases and a $300 travel credit or the Citi Prestige® Card which offers 3x on purchases from airlines and a $250 Air Travel Credit.