Transfer AMEX Points To Avianca Lifemiles And Get A 15% Bonus! Redeem United Award Flights For Just 6.5K Points!

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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 4/1/19.

With this promotion you’ll be able to redeem United award flights from just 6.5K points each way!

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.

DansDeals will receive compensation if you are approved for a credit card via a link in this post.

AMEX cards with transferable points include:

  • AMEX Blue Business Plus
  • AMEX Platinum Business
    • $595, up to 75K points welcome bonus, earn 1.5 points per dollar on $5K+ transactions, $200 in annual airline fee credits, Marriott and Hilton Gold status, 35% points rebate on paid airfare redemptions, Global Entry/Pre-check, AMEX Global lounge collection access.
    • For rates and fees of the AMEX Platinum Business Card, please visit here.
  • AMEX Gold Business Card
  • AMEX Gold Card Consumer Card
    • $250 annual fee, 50K points welcome bonus, $100 in annual airline fee credits, earn up to 4 points per dollar.
  • AMEX Platinum Consumer Card
    • $550 annual fee, up to 60K points welcome bonus, earn 5 points per dollar on airfare, $200 in annual airline fee credits, up to $200 in annual Uber credit, up to $100 in annual Saks credit, Marriott and Hilton Gold status, Global Entry/Pre-check, AMEX Global lounge collection access.
  • AMEX Everyday Preferred Consumer Card
    • $95 annual fee, up to 20K points welcome bonus, earn between 1.5-4.5 points per dollar everywhere with 30+ monthly transactions.
  • AMEX Everyday Consumer Card
    • No annual fee, up to 15K points welcome bonus, earn between 1.2-2.4 points per dollar everywhere with 20+ monthly transactions.

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.

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.

That being said, there is plenty of value to be had with Avianca Lifemiles.

Lifemiles splits 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

Here are 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 7.5K and 10K short-haul awards are even better than with BA Avios in many scenarios as United availability is generally much better than American’s and they allow for free connections as well.

Let’s take a look at some comparisons between using United miles and Avianca miles.

1. A flight from Chicago to Miami on 11/13 would cost 12.5K United miles in coach or 25K United miles in business class. Plus there is $5.60 tax and a $75 fee for booking an award within 3 weeks unless you have elite status or a United Club card. That $75 close-in fee is the same on a one-way award as it is on a round-trip.

 

With Avianca Lifemiles this is an intra-Zone 2 award, costing just 7.5K miles in coach or 15K miles in business class. Note that Avianca has a $25 partner airline redemption fee, regardless of when you’re booking the award, so you’ll also need to pay $30.60 per passenger. That partner award fee is the same on a one-way award as it is on a round-trip.

 

2. United does have 10K short-haul awards for flights under 700 miles, such as Cleveland to LaGuardia, subject to the $75 close-in fee.

 

However with Lifemiles you can redeem a points+cash award by moving the slider on the flight search results page. The price per mile varies, so you can move the slider and divide the cash by the miles saved to determine the best rate. In this case you can spend $60 to save 4,000 miles.

In other words you can redeem 3,500 Lifemiles, plus $60 for the 4,000 miles,  plus the $25 booking fee, plus $5.60 tax, or a total of 3,500 Lifemiles plus $90.60:

 

The cost of the paid flight is $432.20, so that’s a value of 9.76 cents per Lifemile ($432.20-$90.60=$341.60/3,500)!

Plus there is no close-in fee, making this a better option than using 10K United miles plus $80.60. That would value the United miles at 3.52 cents per United mile ($432.20-$80.60=$351.60/10,000)!

3. A flight from San Francisco to Newark in business class on 11/22 would cost 35K United miles. United domestic first class saver awards are typically 25K miles, but it costs 35K on premium lie-flat transcontinental routes. Plus there is $5.60 tax and a $75 fee for booking an award within 3 weeks unless you have elite status or a United Club card. That $75 close-in fee is the same on a one-way award as it is on a round-trip.

With Avianca miles this is 25K miles in business class. Note that Avianca has a $25 partner airline redemption fee, regardless of when you’re booking the award, so you’ll also need to pay $30.60 per passenger. That partner award fee is the same on a one-way award as it is on a round-trip.

 

4. United charges 70K miles for Lufthansa business class or 110K miles for a Lufthansa first class flight between the US and Europe. Note that Lufthansa only releases first class award space within 2 weeks of a flight.

 

 

 

With Avianca miles this is just 63K in business class or 87K miles in first class:

 

5. You can save even more miles flying Lufthansa First Class to a different city in Europe besides Frankfurt or Munich. For example if you search for JFK to Madrid and pick the flight from JFK to Madrid via the first class flight to Munich and business class from Munich to Madrid the price is actually less than just the JFK to Munich flight! It will display 87,000 for this flight, but after you select it, it goes down to 81,460 miles:

 

Searching from JFK to Paris and picking Lufthansa first class via Munich is 84,700 miles:

 

 

6. United charges 85K miles for Lufthansa business class or 140K miles for a Lufthansa first class flight between the US and Israel. 

 

With Avianca miles this is just 78K in business class or 97,180 miles in first class:

 

7. United charges 120K miles for a Asiana first class flight between the US and Asia:

 

With Avianca miles this is just 90K miles in first class:

 

 

8. United charges 60K miles for a United business class flight between the US and Brazil:

 

 

With Avianca miles this is just 50K miles in business class:

 

9. United charges 30K miles for a coach flight or 55K miles for a business class flight between Israel and Africa:

 

Avianca charges just 17.5K in coach or 35K in business, however the Avianca website struggled to find the same coach space that United has available:

 

 

Of course there are caveats to all this:

  • If you have a United credit card you have access to expanded saver availability on United flights. Avianca Lifemiles can’t book awards like that.
  • United’s website is far more capable at finding awards than Avianca Lifemiles. That applied to both nonstop flights and connecting flights. You can try calling Avianca to book award tickets, but that rarely works as their call center is mostly incompetent and frustrating to deal with.
  • Lifemiles charges just $50 to cancel intra-region awards. International award cancellation and change fees range from $100 to $200. Hover over where it says “Limited seats” on the page that displays the award flights to check the change and cancellation/refund fee to see the fee for your itinerary. Oddly on some awards it will be cheaper to cancel an award than to change it, while on other awards it will be more expensive to cancel an award than to change it.
  • You can’t book a multi-city award, such as Cleveland to LaGuardia and Newark back to Cleveland, without booking it as 2 separate one-ways. That means you need to pay the $25 booking fee twice on such an itinerary and the $50 cancellation fee twice should you need to cancel.
  • United allows a free stopover leg on a round-trip award, Lifemiles does not.
  • Lifemiles requires earning activity every 12 months in order to stop them from expiring. Redeeming miles will not extend the life of your miles. With United any earning or redeeming extends your miles for 18 months and if you have a United credit card your miles will never expire.

What other Lifemiles sweet spots have you used? Will you transfer points to Lifemiles? Hit the comments!

HT: shapsam, via DDF

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24 Comments On "Transfer AMEX Points To Avianca Lifemiles And Get A 15% Bonus! Redeem United Award Flights For Just 6.5K 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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Al

Dan, can i transfer my MR points to my wife’s lifemiles account? thanks.

Arye her

Only if additional on amex
It takes a few seconds to open a lifemiles account

moshe

how would it work to hawaii? UA charges 22.5K economy and 40K Biz

Arye her

@Dan I think the required lifemiles needed are outdated
I paid yesterday 8K miles for EWR-ORD
also since they changed to the new website you can’t see the miles+cash option only if you have point in the account

Lifer

+1
I just was checking that flight and all the days I saw were 8,000 miles.

Hakimthedream

Would I get better mileage if I transfer from ua to lifemiles?

Arye her

How would you do that?

pointer

you can not transfer from ua to lifemiles

Than you sir

What is the transfer time from MR?

Arye her

Instant

Kiwii

No bonus on my blue biz 🙁

dave

No examples from nyc to tlv ? why not?

ddmsrocks

Thank you! this is great

Question: Looking at a united flight to brazil in business using avianca miles. Can I call after i book to add an infant (lap child)? How much do they charge? (i was previously planning to use aeroplan..)

Yossi

I just transferred a few 100k last week to LifeMiles you think there’s a chance they’ll give me the 15% if I call?

Tzvi

How do I transfer my Amex points to lifetime points?i opened account

Li La

Does it make sense that United has X class available but the flight is not showing on Avianca?

Arye her

Start a new search
Had this a few times already

Li La

Thanks!

Than you sir

How log does it take to link your membership rewards to your lifetime account. It says it’s been pending for a while.

S

Having the same issue. I tried linking my lifemiles to my amex rewards account a few hours ago and it still shows pending. Anyone know how long it should take?

S

And now I just checked again in amex rewards and it says linking rejected…

My mann

You may have to try to link a few times

Sos

Dan, thanks for posting
I see that your NYC to TLV screenshot has a stop, is non stop the same 42.5k points +$110?

rivki

Does it make sense use my avianca account and earn lifemiles when flying on other star alliance airlines?

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