100% Bonus on Purchased AviancaTaca LifeMiles is Back

In December I explained Why You Want to Get Started With the AviancaTaca LifeMiles Program Right Now.

LifeMiles is one of the best programs in the Star Alliance. There are some frustrations, like inability to book flights in more than one class of service on an award. But they sell miles cheap, their award chart is reasonable, they offer one-way awards, and the website is decent. Plus there are no fuel surcharges.

I consider the better non-U.S. programs a great hedge and refuge against the risks of revenue-based frequent flyer redemption changes.

And the AviancaTaca LifeMiles program regularly offers 100% bonuses on purchased miles and then lets you effectively buy miles even cheaper with their cash ad points awards (where you need just 40% of the miles required for a given award ticket).

Through April 30, LifeMiles will give you a 100% bonus on purchased miles (limited to one transaction/bonus only during the promotion).

Per usual practice, the offer is only open to folks whose accounts were open prior to the April 8 start of the promotion.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] Via View from the Wing, Avianca is selling LifeMiles at a 100% bonus up to April 30, 2013.  This works out to ~1.5 cents per mile.  Avianca is a Colombian airline, but is a Star Alliance member, so you can use Avianca miles to fly on other Star Alliance airlines such as United, Lufthansa etc. 100% Bonus on Purchases of Avianca LifeMiles […]


  1. Gary, do you know what’s the exact rule of stopover for AV? I heard mixed voices about its S/O policy..

  2. Gary, not necessarily related to Lifemiles, but why do some FF programs charge fuel surcharges on awards while others do not. Wouldn’t the operating carrier want to be compensated for the YQ (if that is what they charge every one of their revenues pax)? How is an award redemption different? Thanks

  3. Am I right that it costs around 1.8 cents per mile? Is this a better deal than buying AA miles at 2.0 cents?

  4. The landing page says 35 cents per 1,000 (it was 30 cents the last time around), but when you enter the transaction, it gives you 150,000 for $2250. I’m tempted to strike just in case we see inflation soon.

  5. I know you can’t do a stopover with Lifemiles, but I’m wondering if anyone knows whether you travel from US to Asia with just a layover in Europe?

  6. Gary, 2 questions as I contemplate making building a Lifemiles balance.

    1) If I’m looking for 100k miles, does it make sense to (i) buy only 40k miles (at 1.5 cents each) to seed the balance and (ii) then redeem Cash + Points with subsequent cancellation (1.25 cents each + $50 per transaction) rather than simply buying all of the miles at 1.5 cents each?

    2) Assuming that #1 is “Yes”, how difficult is it in your experience to (i) buy miles through the Cash + Points method and (ii) dealing with making/modifying redemptions online and on the phone with CSR’s?

    I’ve been reading that Lifemiles CSR’s make US Airways and Delta CSR’s seem like MENSA members. Don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of miles that I can’t use due to general incompetence of CSR’s.


  7. I`d like to book a First Award from Europe to BKK.
    Therefore would be 170k Lifemiles required.
    Is it possible to buy on the current Promotion 34k (plus 34k Bonus=in total 68k)
    and pay the rest of approx 1300 USD in cash ?

    Thanks a lot !

  8. I bought miles last time around, but finding it difficult to redeem. They don’t allow mixed class awards, when sometimes you don’t mind a short hop in Y and won’t allow domestic F with a C class award. They don’t accept long layovers of over 12 hours even though other programs accept up to 24 hours as transit. So LM is ok for simple redemptions, but beware of the limitations. Their call center can only find what is on the website, so no use trying to call in a more complex itinerary.

  9. even though cancellation is only $50 — cancelling a lifemiles ticket is a pain. not only does it take 3-7 days (i.e. dont expect to cancel a ticket slated for flying tomorrow), but agents give lots of confused info about how much is refunded if one uses a CASH+MILES combination…. e.g. if one used the best 40% miles plus cash option…. would one only get back the 40% miles, or 100% of the ticket mileage? some agents say only the 40% mileage and no cash refund. Any clarification??

    And their poor English is a royal pain!!!

  10. @Eric F-D: they will refund you 40% miles and 60% cash if you pay with that combination.

  11. @Ed – no, even though I paid with the 40% miles + 60% cash combination, they only refunded the 100% miles (they converted the 60% cash to miles and refunded the miles). had to cancel twice already – both times got miles back.

    incidentally, doing the math, on a big redemption like a 62k redemption…. if one factors in the $50 cancellation fee, the refund of the miles (from 60% cash purchase of the miles at 1.275 cents) actually yields a cheaper net purchase of miles at around 1.4 cent, compared to the 1.5 cents in this promo. minor loophole – but not worth that much given the long 45 minute phone call necessary to do the cancellation over the phone. but just an extra saving FYI on purchasing LIFEMILES.

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