TPG exclusive link: Save on United, Star Alliance awards by buying LifeMiles with a 150% bonus


LifeMiles is the mileage program of Colombia-based airline Avianca. But even if you arent interested in flying Avianca or flying to Colombia its worth getting to know LifeMiles. Thats because the program has made itself known as the wholesaler of cheap Star Alliance miles and award tickets, as well as offering regular sales of discounted miles.

And LifeMiles just launched the best buy miles promotion weve ever seen: TPG readers can score a 150% bonus on buying LifeMiles even when buying as few as 1,000 miles. Note that youll have to register on this page to be eligible for the improved buy miles offer rather than the publicly-available offer.

As with most programs, the standard rate for buying LifeMiles is pricey. However, this offer drops the cost down to as little as 1.32 cents per mile once you register for the 150% bonus. Thats a solid deal compared to TPGs valuation of 1.7 cents per mile.

While youll normally need to buy a significant number of miles to get the top bonus, thats not the case with this promotion. That makes the bonus chart pretty easy to understand:

  • Buy 1,000 200,000 miles, get a 150% bonus (1.32 cents each)

Why buy LifeMiles?

Although TPG originally didnt recommend bothering with LifeMiles, the program has made some notable improvements to its online booking process and recently added mixed-cabin ticketing. Now, LifeMiles lands at number one on our list of most undervalued airline loyalty programsdue to the number of hidden gems in the programand low taxes and fees. One of the best benefits of LifeMiles is that it doesnt pass along carrier surcharges, making it an excellent way of booking Lufthansa first class for cheap. Taxes and fees on LifeMiles awards from the U.S. to Germany only cost $25 out of pocket. Other programs can charge more than $500 one-way in taxes and fees.

Be aware that LifeMiles usually expire 12 months after the most recent mileage accrual. Other transactions, including redemption transactions, dont extend the validity of the miles. However, earning miles from a cobranded LifeMiles credit card or as an Avianca elite status holder will extend the validity of miles by 24 months.

Speaking of Avianca credit cards, both the Avianca Vida Visa Cardand theAvianca Vuela Visa Card are offering an extra 20,000 bonus miles when you apply by Dec. 31, 2019 using promo code SB4060 and spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.The Vuela Visa card normally offers 40,000 bonus miles after your first card use, so this promo code brings the total bonus up to 60,000 miles. And the Vida Visa card usually offers 20,000 bonus miles after your first purchase, so this promo code brings the total offer up to 40,000 miles.

Points and miles are a poor long-term investment, and devaluations can be announced at any time. So, its never a good idea to buy miles without having a planned use for them. If possible, its best to search and confirm award availability before buying miles and then redeeming the purchased miles as soon as they hit your account.

With all of that said, here are some great sweet spots in the LifeMiles program and how cheap you can score these awards with the targeted 150% bonus:

One-way domestic United flights for just 4,500 miles through LifeMiles new award sale from $59 at the maximized 1.32 cent rate

One-way transcontinental lie-flat United business-class flights for 25,000 miles from $330 at the maximized 1.32 cent rate

One-way to Europe inLufthansa business class for 63,000 miles from $832 at the maximized 1.32 cent rate or just $634 when you buy as part of LifeMiles new award sale.

The upper deck of a Lufthansa 747-8, configured in a 2-2 business-class layout (Photo by JT Genter/TPG)
The upper deck of a Lufthansa 747-8 (Photo by JT Genter/TPG)

One-way to Europe inLufthansa first class for 87,000 miles from $1,148 at the maximized 1.32 cent rate

While TPG hasnt completed testing on which card to use for buying Avianca LifeMiles (see our United and IHG testing), my purchase of LifeMiles through last falls 100% transfer bonus promotion coded as 3x points on myChase Sapphire Reserve.

Other ways to pick up more LifeMiles include Aviancas Club LifeMiles monthly subscription plan. And if you need to top off your account, remember thatLifeMiles is also a transfer partner of four major transferable currencies:

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

This isThe Points Guyspermanent page about Aviancas buy miles promotions, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for the latest offer. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older deals below.

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