Avianca is offering a 100% bonus when you transfer LifeMiles between now and October 15, much like the promotion US Airways announced yesterday. One potential issue is that not everyone may have any LifeMiles that they can transfer, but in the past there have been some very good promotions on buying them. Maybe a few of you have some that have not been put to use and would like an opportunity to double your stake.
The cost is $15 plus taxes per 1,000 miles, and the maximum transfer amount is 50,000 miles (100,000 miles total for the recipient). Not having any LifeMiles to test this with, it’s difficult for me to calculate an exact price. Without taxes it would be $750 to transfer — and essentially buy an additional — 50,000 miles. That works out to 1.5 cents per mile.
I don’t think this is a particularly great deal on the surface. I value United’s miles at 2 cents and consider them easier to use and at less risk of devaluation. But LifeMiles do have some benefits that make them worth considering.
As I said, Avianca has had frequent sales in the past at a good discount. They have a fairly good award chart for Star Alliance carriers, which makes me think of them as a replacement for US Airways should the merger go through. They provide one-way awards for half the normal price. And they provide the option to buy additional miles at a discount when you book awards; you only need about half the miles to start with.
There are still many downsides. The website is iffy. The call centers even more so — especially if you only speak English. And there was a recent devaluation this year not long after another such sale. Complex awards with open jaws or mixed classes are either difficult to book or not permitted. View from the Wing has some similar advice he shared during the most recent sale.
To the best of my knowledge, you do not need to have an existing account to participate in this promotion, but here are the Terms and Conditions included in the email:
This promotion is available at LifeMiles.com, Avianca’s Information Centers and Call Center except for Venezuela where is only available through LifeMiles.com. This promotion applies between October 1st, 2013 and October 15th, 2013, as the last date of transfer. Minimum transfer miles: 1,000. Maximum transfer miles: 50,000. The miles must be transferred in multiples of 1,000. Transfer fee for each block of 1,000 LifeMiles: USD $15 + local taxes. For residents in Colombia: block transfer fee of 1.000 LifeMiles is USD $15 + local taxes. The values must be calculated at the Alaico rate of the date of transaction. For residents in Peru: the transfer fee for each block of 1,000 LifeMiles: USD $17.7, S. / 49.6. Rate change to September 1st, 2013: S /. 2.80. The amount paid for the miles’ transfer is not refundable. Form of payment through Call Center and LifeMiles.com: credit card or international debit card. Cash payments are only allowed at Avianca’s Information Centers. At LifeMiles.com, the transfer can only be done through Enjoy/Transfer LifeMiles Does not apply to the Flexible Redemption (miles + money) during the payment process of air ticket redemption. The miles transferred and earned with this promotion do not apply to achieve Elite status. The transaction receipt will reflect the total miles accrued in the member’s account, including the bonus miles and the total charge of the transaction. The transferred miles, once accrued, can be redeemed according to the conditions specified in the LifeMiles’ Terms and Conditions and portfolio of products and services available for redemption. LifeMiles Terms and Conditions apply.