40,000 Mile Signup Bonus for No Fee the First Year LifeMiles Visa

Avianca LifeMiles has a co-branded Visa offered by U.S. Bank here in the States. Usually the signup bonus is just 20,000 miles.

But there’s a new offer with a 40,000 mile signup bonus. It’s also a $0 annual fee the first year.

As with recent posts about the statement credit Citi Hilton Reserve Card and the Fidelity 2% card, this card does not offer referral credit to me (only the card with the smaller bonus does).

Though LifeMiles has a history of tweaking their award chart pricing without notice, they remain one of the best programs in Star Alliance and thus most useful programs in the world given one-way awards at half the cost of roundtrip, a still reasonable award chart, and no fuel surcharges.

Their call center customer service can be a challenge, they don’t offer mixed-class awards (a business class award must be all in business, no other cabins) and no long or overnight connections.

They also frequently sell miles at 1.5 cents apiece via 100% purchased miles promotions.

I wouldn’t put substantial spend on this card on an ongoing basis. I’d rather take 2% cash back, and use the cash to buy miles at 1.5 cents apiece when they’re offering a bonus. But this is a good offer for a bunch of miles in a useful frequent flyer program.

(HT: Ronald A. who also gave me the heads up about the British Airways Visa 100,000 mile offer in November — he’s a rock star.)

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. I just applied for the 20k offer yesterday only to get this email *hours* later. I called US Bank and was initially advised that I’d need to reapply(!), followed by them deciding that I can get the 40k offer if I mail them a paper(!!) copy of the email I received. I can’t send the letter yet though, as I need to wait to receive my card in the mail as I must include my full account number(!) in my cover letter.

    All of these steps are for “regulatory” reasons. Somehow Chase and Amex don’t have issues matching their own offers (when you are legitimately targeted for them) so I do not understand the customer unfriendly regulatory environment US Bank lives in.

  2. Given that you can get 40,000 miles for $600 during the 2×1 promo (or $1,200 regularly), with the $3,000 minimum spend I wouldn’t call this a good deal.

  3. Let’s see. You can pay nothing for 40,000 miles with the credit card signup or you could pay, at best, $600 for 40,000 miles by buying them outright. In what world is that not a good deal?

  4. Darn Darn Darn. Got the 20k one last month. There really isn’t much need to use it. Barclays needs to incentivize people to use their cards with bonus categories .
    @gary: What about 5x miles for purchasing miles in a mileage sale?
    Damn, I should be in marketing.

  5. @everyone See I made a stupid comment. Just PROVES I should be in marketing .
    Also you can manufacture Lifemiles @ slightly over 1.5 cents anytime you want.Jst start with the 40k

  6. Well, someone could buy 40k miles during one of their many promotions for $600, but I am applying for this CC because the minimum spend of 3K will cost me $23.70 with VR’s. A bit less than $600…….

  7. @Al

    i understand that but it doesn’t make sense to me… one credit pull from a bank we rarely use plus $23.70 in vanilla fees is not worth $645???

    maybe not to you or to scibuff but to me it surely is…

  8. How difficult is it to get approved for this card? For some reason, US Bank cards are the only ones that I can’t seem to receive approval for. I’ve seen this same idea discussed in Flyertalk too, but I just wanted to see what your opinion was. Does a person have to wait more than 90 days before applying for US bank cards?

  9. Does anyone have a link that works for applying? Every one i have tries says the deal has expired

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