This isn’t great news. As One Mile at a Time reports, LifeMiles will now expire a lot sooner when your account becomes inactive, and it’s a lot harder to keep that account active in the first place. Given that Avianca has been selling so many LifeMiles in recent years this could mean that any miles you purchased could just disappear. *poof*
You’ll soon get just 12 months to redeem your miles instead of the original 24 months. To keep them longer than 12 months, you’ll need to earn more miles somehow instead of earning or redeeming. That sucks.
Miles that you already have will still expire under the old rules, giving you 24 months. Anyone who has a LifeMiles credit card (likely few of you) or elite status (even fewer) will also enjoy a 24-month expiration policy. But that’s obvious because… if you have status or a credit card then you are probably earning miles.
LifeMiles can be quite valuable if you want to travel on Star Alliance partners. They can be purchased often and in large number, in the neighborhood of 1.5 cents per mile, and redeemed at reasonable prices. No surprise they’ve probably sold too many miles, and now the new expiration policy is a means to wipe the liability off their books.
What this ultimately does is force you to buy more miles or transfer more miles from Citi ThankYou Rewards if you can’t find a good way to use your miles within a year. This isn’t going to be expensive, just annoying. If you forget then losing all your miles would be a real pain.
For more information on when your miles will expire, whether with Avianca LifeMiles or other loyalty programs, be sure to check out my guide to expiration policies and how to get your lost miles back.