Ends Tomorrow: Transfer AMEX Points To Avianca Lifemiles And Get A 15% Bonus! Redeem United Award Flights For Under 6K Points!

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Update: This offer ends tomorrow!


Transfer AMEX Points To Avianca Lifemiles And Get A 15% Transfer Bonus

You can transfer increments of 1,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points into 1,150 Avianca Lifemiles through 10/31/19.

With this promotion you’ll be able to redeem United award flights for less than 6K points each way!

As always, I don’t recommend transferring points to airlines unless you have short-term plans to use them.

Lifemiles is one of the rare mileage programs that doesn’t collect any fuel surcharges. United is another program that does not collect fuel surcharges, but AMEX points can’t be transferred to United as they are exclusively with Chase.

AMEX cards with transferable Membership Rewards points to Avianca include:

You can also transfer Marriott points to Lifemiles at a 60K:25K ratio or Citi ThankYou points to Lifemiles at a 1K:1K ratio.

Note that Avianca Lifemiles require earning activity every 12 months in order to stop your miles from expiring. Transferring points to Lifemiles will extend the points validity for 12 more months.

Avianca is a Star Alliance member and their Lifemiles program is an interesting one. Lifemiles can be used to book travel with partner airlines like United and Air Canada within North America.

Back when I used to give regular seminars I talked about many of the glitch cities that existed that allowed you to fly to Europe or Asia for just 12.5K Lifemiles, but a blogger managed to have them killed by complaining to the DoT about a flight that involved a trip from North America to Guam via Asia that Lifemiles used to count as a domestic US award.

They recently got rid of their award charts, so I set about figuring out what they now charge for awards.

On their old award chart, Lifemiles split up the US into 3 zones:

US Zone 1: Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC.

US Zone 2: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin

US Zone 3: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

This used to be the one-way mileage requirements for travel within the US:

From/ToUS Zone 1US Zone 2US Zone 3
US Zone 1 7.5K Coach
15K Business
10K Coach
15K Business
12.5K Coach
25K Business
US Zone 210K Coach
15K Business
7.5K Coach
15K Business
12.5K Coach
25K Business
US Zone 312.5K Coach
25K Business
12.5K Coach
25K Business
7.5K Coach
15K Business

The new formula isn’t published, but first I tried to figure out if it could be based off of the previous zones.

It soon became clear that the old zones are dead and things were working based on the distance of the flight.

I used GCMap.com to calculate the distance between airports and try to figure out what their new award chart is.

I included the distance flown in parenthesis in the sample routes below. Based on those I believe that Lifemiles typically charges:

  • 6.5K miles in coach and 15K-16K miles in business for flights under 500 miles in distance.
  • 7.5K miles in coach and 15K-16K miles in business for flights 500-799 miles in distance.
  • 10K miles in coach and 15K-25K miles in business for flights 800-1,199 miles in distance.
  • 12.5K+ miles in coach and 15K+ miles in business for flights 1,200+ miles in distance.

There are some exceptions. The short haul pricing only seems to apply within the US, as flights between NYC and Toronto or Montreal are 10K in coach or 15K in business. Chicago to Great Falls is 1,210 miles in distance and should cost 12.5K miles in coach, but only costs 7.5K miles. But for the most part, domestic routes in coach seemed to follow this formula.

Business class pricing though is all over the place.

Lifemiles used to always charge a $25 booking fee on top of tax, but now the booking fee is variable and starts at $10.

Note that Lifemiles also allows cash plus points. For example you can use 3.5K miles+$45 instead of 6.5K miles.

  • All of these routes are under 500 miles in distance, cost 6.5K miles each way in coach, and had a $10 booking fee:
    • Chicago-Kansas City (403): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Cleveland-Chicago (315): 6.5K coach, 16K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Houston-New Orleans (305): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • LaGuardia/Newark-Cleveland (404): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Newark-Boston (200): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Newark-Columbus (463): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Newark-Detroit (488): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Newark-Pittsburgh (319): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Newark-Washington/IAD (212): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Los Angeles-Las Vegas (236): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Los Angeles-Phoenix (370): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Los Angeles-San Francisco (337): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Washington/IAD-Charlotte (322): 6.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
  • The following routes cost 7.5K miles in coach and vary between 500-799 miles in distance. The booking fee on these is $10 as well:
    • Newark-Atlanta (746): 7.5K coach, 16K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Newark-Charlotte (529): 7.5K coach, 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Newark-Cincinnati (569): 7.5K coach, 16K business. $10 booking fee.
    • LaGuardia/Newark-Chicago (719): 7.5K coach, 16K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Los Angeles-Jackson Hole (784): 7.5K coach. 15K business. $10 booking fee.
    • San Francisco-Seattle (679): 7.5K coach, 25K business. $10 booking fee.
    • Washington/IAD-Orlando (758): 7.5K coach, 16K business. $10 booking fee.

Exception route: Chicago-Great Falls (1,210): 7.5K coach, 15K business. $25 booking fee.

  • The following routes cost 10K miles each and vary between 800-1,199 miles in distance. The booking fee on these ranged from $15-$25:
    • Chicago-Bozeman (1,186): 10K coach, 15K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Chicago-Denver (888): 10K coach, 25K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Cleveland-Orlando (895): 10K coach, 15K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Chicago-Fort Lauderdale (1,182): 10K coach, 15K business. $15 booking fee.
    • LaGuardia/Newark-Toronto (357): 10K coach, 15K business. $25 booking fee.
    • LaGuardia/Newark-Montreal (324): 10K coach, 15K business. $25 booking fee.
    • Los Angeles-Colorado Springs (833): 10K coach. $15 booking fee.
    • Los Angeles-Denver (862): 10K coach, 25K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Los Angeles-Seattle (954): 10K coach, 25K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Newark-Fort Lauderdale (1,065): 10K coach, 15K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Newark-Kansas City (1,094): 10K coach, 15K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Newark-Orlando (937): 10K coach, 15K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Newark-New Orleans (1,167): 10K coach, 15K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Washington/IAD-Fort Lauderdale (901): 10K coach, 15K business. $15 booking fee.
  • The following awards over 1,200 miles in distance cost 12.5K or more miles:
    • Chicago-El Paso (1,236): 12.5K coach, 25K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Chicago-Salt Lake City (1,250): 12.5K coach, 25K business. $15 booking fee.
    • LaGuardia/Newark-Houston (1,400): 12.5K coach, 15K business. $15 booking fee.
    • Newark-Vancouver (2,429): 12.5K coach, 25K business. $25 booking fee.
    • Newark-Los Angeles (2,454): 13.5K coach, 25K business. $25 booking fee.
    • Los Angeles-Honolulu (2,256): 15K coach, 40K business. $25 booking fee.
    • Newark-Honolulu (4,962): 15K coach. Keep dreaming in business. $25 booking fee.
    • JFK-Zurich (3,931): 16.5K coach, 63K business. $25 booking fee.
    • Newark-Sao Paulo (4,758): 30K coach, 50K business. $25 booking fee.
    • Newark-Tel Aviv (5,692): 42.5K coach, 78K business. $25 booking fee.

 

Back in the day I’d use 7.5K BA Avios for a last minute flight. However American now blocks nonstop saver award space within 2 weeks on the route. Plus, American seems to know when I fly as they delay or cancel nearly every single flight I have on them.

A paid last minute ticket is a small fortune:

 

But 6.5K miles? Now that’s a bargain!

 

While I typically book all of my travel as one-way as that allows the most flexibility, with Lifemiles you’ll pay the booking fee twice if you book 2 one-way awards instead of a round-trip award.

It’s worth noting that Lifemiles has non-existent customer service and their website does not see all of the awards that it should, so you should always check for availability before transferring miles.

Will you transfer points to Lifemiles?

HT: grodnoking, via DDF

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40 Comments On "Ends Tomorrow: Transfer AMEX Points To Avianca Lifemiles And Get A 15% Bonus! Redeem United Award Flights For Under 6K Points!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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1991

Will they have more availability than United or the same (lass)?

Benny

In my experience they have much less availability than United or even Aeroplan. It’s fairly difficult to snag valuable Business class tickets on Lifemiles.

moe8555

To counter, I literally booked TLV-EWR in Polaris Business via Lifemiles yesterday… and for less than the mileage United demands. 🙂

Avi

How much did it cost?

YW

Can I book united to Europe through lifemiles?

noah32

Can we add our united number after booking to get elite benefits? (economy plus seats, etc.)

Alex

Do you know how much USA-TLV will cost?

New York

What options is there JFK – TLV with lifemiles?

New York

42.5K coach is just like united

lazertek

how good is united availability in business from ny to tlv with LM ?

New York

none

Helen

As “good” as united itself or worse if there is such a possibility

New York

Can barely find anything to europe in business

YW

Or even economy.

Eli

Do they have the $75 last minute booking fee like United? Any other way to avoid the hefty last minute booking fee?

Eliezer

What’s the best option for Canada booking ? We have a wedding in November. We have quite a few points with Amex platinum business.

username

What are cancellation fees.

S

What do they charge for changes /cancelation

justmeha

$150 change fee
$100 iirc cancellation fee

Sarah

Wont this be affected by the new change coming on November 14th/15th with dynamic pricing for partners?

D

A few days ago a short haul usa to Canada (phl yyz) was pricing at 10k as described in your post but now its saying 12.5k . any idea why?

FlyingBoat

Would we get free checked bag with United card on a United flight booked with Lifemiles and fees paid by United card?

dan1

Dan, does lifemiles have close-in booking fee? may need to fly from MSY to IAH on Nov. 9th? Thx

nolad

Can someone please send a link that works for the Avianca rewards booking.

wpDiscuz