Avianca LifeMiles is in the midst of a 100% bonus on purchased miles promotion but is offering a 125% bonus special today only for Cyber Monday. Bottom line: you can buy up to 66,000 miles for $2,178.00 (1.47 cents each) and will receive 148,500 miles in your account — enough for a business class ticket from North America to Europe, South America and just about enough miles for a business class ticket anywhere else in the world.
$2,178 is no small amount of change, especially with the amount of discounted business class promotions we have seen to Europe lately on revenue tickets, but for Asia, Africa, and beyond, this is a great way to rack up the miles needed to save big on a premium class ticket. Remember that if you have at least 40% of the miles needed for a redemption, you can purchase the remaining miles on the online checkout page when you are booking your ticket for as little as 1.56 cents per mile.
The LifeMiles call center is hopelessly bad — worse even than Air France/KLM Flying Blue — and the award rules are aggravating (no mixed cabin awards permitted). LifeMiles also blocks first class Lufthansa space. But the award chart is still competitive and there are no fuel surcharges.
If you have a specific trip in mind and can book it on the website, buying these miles makes sense – otherwise, I would be cautious before stocking up on these miles: the program has a history of unannounced, customer-unfriendly changes and hoarding a depreciating asset like airline miles is not generally a good idea.
AA just announced a similar, though less lucrative, BuyAAMiles promotion. Buy 80,000 miles for $2,360.00 and receive 125,000 miles total, for a final cost of 1.9 cents/mile. It’s good through January 2nd.