100% Bonus on Transferred Miles: Cheap Star Alliance Premium Cabin Award Tickets

Star Alliance member Avianca is offering a 100% bonus on transferred miles in its LifeMiles program through July 17.

    Be careful, there are probably states where it’s illegal to give someone “the double” without their explicit consent.

You can transfer up to 75,000 miles (with the recipient receiving 150,000) at a cost of $17.70 per 1000 miles transferred. That means you’re buying incremental miles generated through the promotion at 1.77 cents apiece, an increase over earlier pricing.

Note that an account cannot receive more then 150,000 miles (which is reached with one 75,000 transfer) in a year.

I don’t like investing in LifeMiles speculatively: Last May they tweaked some award prices without notice and increased the cash cost of cash and points awards as well.

When Avianca joined Star Alliance I declared their program the most generous in the alliance. After United’s February devaluation, that’s likely true. They are part of my “Devaluation Plan B” which is to look to international frequent flyer programs for value if and when US programs devalue further.

There are no fuel surcharges, they offer one-way awards which are priced reasonably, and as with this offer they sell miles cheap. They also offer ‘cash and points’ which means that as long as you have 40% of the miles needed for an award you can buy the rest at the time of redemption for just over 1.5 cents apiece.

That said, their call centers are frustrating (if you can wait a day for a reply, they’re better over e-mail) and they don’t permit “mixed cabin” redemption — so if you are redeeming a transatlantic business class award, all segments need to be in business class (including domestic US flights, and intra-Europe flights).

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. They are only charging $15 per 1000 transfer. They say they are going to charge tax, but in reality they do not. I just did 3 transfers and all were done @ 1.5 cpm.

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