Last December Avianca’s LifeMiles (one of the unknown frequent flyer programs you should pay attention to) offered triple miles on purchased miles for one day only. It was a targeted promotion, but many people who called were able to successfully take advantage of the offer that hadn’t been targeted for it..
GlobetrotterHQ reports that this offer is back through May 23. Again, it’s targeted, but some may find it worth calling to try to take advantage of even if they didn’t receive an email about the offer (and hang up, call back).
It’s available over the phone (and in person) only and not online.
Only one purchase can be made during this promotion
Min 1000 miles; Max 20,000 miles purchased
Must have received the email
Cannot exceed 150,000 purchased miles in a year (includes bonuses from buying miles)
He also reports that the standard price of purchased miles from Lifemiles will be going up to $33 per 1000 miles on October 1.
- This is a 10% increase, but think of it as an increase of about 1/7th of a cent only since the only time to buy miles is when there’s a 100% bonus. That makes the standard price 1.65 cents instead of 1.5 cents per mile.
- I like that this is more than four months’ notice, considering that back in 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).