Readers might know about Avianca’s Life Miles frequent flyer programme because of a bunch of tricks and loopholes that allowed for long haul travel at a fraction of the usual (or intended) cost. Most of those loopholes have been closed, however, leaving a still half-decent programme that offers these advantages:
- One way awards are allowed
- No fuel surcharges are added
- They have a Cash & Points scheme, so you don’t need to have all the required miles ahead of an award booking – you only need 40%.
- Star Alliance frequently have the best “last minute” award availability in premium cabins. On several occasions I’ve found myself cancelling a less-than-ideal Avios booking, because I’ve found a better and/or cheaper routing on a Star Alliance carrier.
Regular changes to the Life Miles award chart have left it worse off than other Star Alliance carriers (see this post for details) but it still can make sense to buy miles at the promotional benchmark of 1.5 US cents each. Such an opportunity is now happening…
Until 26 July, 2016, LifeMiles are running a 100% bonus when sharing miles.
It will cost $15 for each 1,000 miles transferred, with the recipient receiving a 100% bonus – i.e. 2,000 miles. This works out to effectively buying miles for 1.5 cents each.
As always, the best method to participate is to have a LifeMiles account in the name of a close family member. Send them 25,000 miles (for $375) and they’ll receive 50,000 miles. Immediately share those 50,000 miles back to your account and receive 100,000 miles (paying $750 for the privilege). You’ll end up with an additional 75,000 miles for a total of $1125.
The annual limit for buying or receiving miles is 75,000 (before any promotional bonuses), so make sure to keep that in mind if participating in this promotion.
Since this method involves much more messing around than simply buying miles when the standard promotion rolls around – or alternatively booking an award using Cash & Points, when you can also buy miles for 1.5 cents – you might want to pass on this promo if you have no imminent need for the miles…