Ends Today! Transfer Citi Points To Avianca Lifemiles And Get A 25% Bonus! Redeem United Award Flights From 5.2K Points!

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Update: This offer ends today!


Originally posted on 11/17:

Transfer Citi Points To Avianca Lifemiles And Get A 25% Transfer Bonus

You can transfer increments of 1,000 Citi ThankYou Points into 1,250 Avianca Lifemiles through 12/11/19.

With this promotion you’ll be able to redeem United award flights from 5.2K 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 Citi points can’t be transferred to United as they are exclusively with Chase.

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.

Want to earn Lifemiles?

-You can earn miles on the Banco Popular Lifemiles Visa cards here. The standard card offers a 20K signup bonus, while the premium card offers a 40K signup bonus that becomes 60K by using the following promo code on the application page: SB4060 

  • You can transfer AMEX Or Citi points to Avianca at a 1:1 ratio, Capital One points at a 2:1.5 ratio, or Marriott points to Avianca at a 60K:25K ratio.

AMEX cards with transferable Membership Rewards points to Avianca include:

  • AMEX Blue Business Plus
  • AMEX Platinum Business
    • $595 annual fee, earn 1.5 points per dollar on eligible $5K+ transactions, $200 in annual airline fee credits, $200 in annual Dell credits, 1 year WeWork Global Office Space, 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
    • $295 annual fee, 25% points rebate on paid airfare redemptions, earn 4 points per dollar on your most common spending categories each billing cycle.
  • Capital One cards with transferable points to Avianca include:
  • The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offering 50,000 miles for spending $5,000 in 3 months and another 150,000 miles for spending another $45,000 within 6 months, for a potential signup bonus of 200,000 points+100,000 base points! Get free Global Entry/Pre-Check Membership. $95 annual fee waived for the first year.
  • The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offering 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 in 3 months and 2 miles per dollar spent. $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

Citi cards with transferable points to Avianca include:

  • The Citi Double Cash card offers 2% cash back or 2 points per dollar spent everywhere that can be transferred into ThankYou points. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles or get a 25% added value for paid airfare. No annual fee.
  • The Citi Rewards+ Card offering 15,000 points for spending $1,000 in 3 months. This card can’t transfer points on its own, but can transfer points if you have one of the Citi cards above. This card automatically rounds up rewards earned on every purchase to the nearest 10 points, meaning you earn 10 points on a $0.50 Amazon balance reload. Earn 2 points on $6K in annual spending at supermarkets, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and a 10% points rebate when you redeem points, up to a 10K points rebate per year. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles or get a 25% added value for paid airfare, plus get a 10% points rebate on transferred or redeemed miles. No annual fee.
  • Citi Premier offering 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months, 3 points per dollar on travel and gas, and 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment. $95 annual fee.
  • Citi Prestige offering 50,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months, 5 points per dollar on airfare and dining, and 3 points per dollar on hotels. $495 annual fee.

Marriott cards with transferable points to Avianca include:

Will you transfer points to Lifemiles?

HT: pointer, via DDF

Leave a Reply

25 Comments On "Ends Today! Transfer Citi Points To Avianca Lifemiles And Get A 25% Bonus! Redeem United Award Flights From 5.2K 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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Orel

Would the consumer Green or Gold card work to transfer?

pointer

yes, but no bonus

dav

How many miles to israel?

Wiz23

42k coach , 78k business

sam

Why is the default on lifemiles in Spanish?

Yanky

How long does double cash to TY take ?

LM

Avianca is not allowing booking flights in US for example Cleveland to Newark. I chatted with the rep and they said that its not possible.

LM

As per Rep from Avianca :
Nidelson: Through our website you can only purchase flights operated by Avianca International.

L

I’m on lifemiles and keep getting errors. When I asked a rep that’s what they said. That you can’t book USA flights on Avianca

L

Thanks. Any other ways to book a United flight using Amex?

L

I still get an error when I choose Cleveland Newark flights. Even though, I see saver award on United :(….

Isaac

Can you help me out here?
this comes up when I log in to my acount
We’re Sorry
Unfortunately your account is not eligible to transfer ThankYou Points to the Points Transfer partner you selected. Please review the Points Transfer Terms & Conditions to learn more about program eligibility.

Yitschak

I have a chase sapphire preferred and freedom unlimited. Should I apply for a different credit card to get better value to Israel on United/Air Canada/Lufthansa?

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