100% Bonus on Transferred Miles is Back!

No, not from US Airways.

Star Alliance frequent flyer program Avianca LifeMiles is offering a 100% bonus on miles transferred between accounts through March 17.

They charge 1.5 cents per mile to transfer points from your account to another member, and with this bonus every mile transferred will be matched by an additional mile. That means you can combine miles between accounts and effectively buy additional miles at 1.5 cents apiece.

To take advantage of this offer you need to already have miles in a LifeMiles account, and you can transfer up to 50,000 miles per year between accounts.

Avianca is taking over the mantle from US Airways as the official consolidator of premium cabin Star Alliance award seats, offering their miles for sale at a discount on a regular basis and at an even lower price than US Airways usually did.

Most recently they ran a 100% bonus on purchased miles in December and a 100% bonus on transferred miles in October.

As with US Airways, they very much know what they’re doing. I’ll be moderating a panel at a conference next month where the President of the LifeMiles program will be speaking on “managing the redemption challenge” and in particular ensuring award availability at the lowest award levels and getting buy-in from revenue management.

When Avianca joined Star Alliance I declared LifeMiles the most generous in the alliance. Since United’s 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.

The program has no fuel surcharges, offers 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 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). And back in May they tweaked some award prices without notice and increased the cash cost of cash and points awards to its current pricing as well. So it’s far from a perfect program!

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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. Ah nuts – I don’t have any Avianca miles. I did sign up for the program and am just waiting on one of the 2x signup bonuses. On the other hand, that 40,000 bonus mile offer for a new credit card is sounding more and more attractive…

  2. Now they charge $17.7 per 1000 miles transferred, esentially that is the same as you buy their miles @ 1.77 cpm

  3. Anyone confirm or deny if two way trading works? A->B and B->A to net 50K each?

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