Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Kellie Jez
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Avianca LifeMiles may not necessarily be one of the most talked about miles like ANA, Virgin Atlantic, or United, but we find LifeMiles extraordinarily useful, particularly for those who have lots of different transferrable points!
Headquartered in Bogota, Colombia, Avianca Airlines has been the national airline and flag carrier of Colombia since 1919! It’s also part of the Star Alliance — the largest airline alliance in the world.
In fact, there are so many good options for using your Avianca LifeMiles that it can often be difficult deciding which flights to take! But in this guide, we will show what we believe to be the best ways to redeem Avianca LifeMiles for maximum value!
To start with, let’s talk about the many benefits of Avianca LifeMiles:
Avianca does have a few disadvantages, one of which is a not-so-competent phone reservations department. If you do find an award that isn’t bookable online, you will need to call them over the phone, which can be a pain.
There is also a flat $25 award booking fee, and a high set of award change/cancellation fees. For more details on award fees, check out our guide for airline award cancellation and change fees!
It’s also important to be aware that award availability on the website has been inconsistent; it doesn’t always show the same availability as websites like United.com or Aeroplan.com.
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.
Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.
Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.
Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.
Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.
Hot Tip: We’ve also got an entire article dedicated to the best ways to earn lots of Avianca LifeMiles, so don’t miss it!
Be sure to wait until these sales happen (which is quite often) to buy LifeMiles if you need to. If you catch that rare 175% bonus, you’ll be buying LifeMiles for around 1.2 cents each!
As already discussed, you are best off booking awards online; the phone agents are not as competent as you’d typically like them to be.
In theory, you can book any partner award online, but sometimes availability is blocked.
For example, Air New Zealand is known to have limited award availability shown on the Avianca LifeMiles website. With business class availability being so rare on Air New Zealand, this example might be one of the extreme cases where you want to try calling LifeMiles.
The flat $25 award booking fee is definitely offset by the fact no fuel surcharges will be passed on LifeMiles award bookings. There is also no close-in booking fee, so last-minute awards won’t cost any additional money.
However, once you do make your award booking, change and cancellation fees are no joke, so be sure you understand that before setting plans in stone.
The first choice is definitely one of the most popular: flying on Lufthansa first class! This is a stunning redemption, and flying Lufthansa without surcharges at reasonable rates is often difficult.
Lufthansa first class awards are almost never available more than 15 days in advance to partners, so you’ll have to book pretty close to departure. Luckily, LifeMiles doesn’t assess any close-in booking fees!
Avianca LifeMiles provides the most affordable way to fly on Lufthansa first class from the U.S. to Europe without paying ~$900 in fuel surcharges each way. First class from the U.S. to Europe will cost you just 87,000 LifeMiles + $61 in taxes and fees!
Here are some great example routes you can take:
If Europe is on your list, we’ve written an extensive guide on flying there with points and miles.
Hot Tip: Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step guide for booking Lufthansa first class!
SWISS Air has a fantastic business class product that generally has solid availability far in advance. It levies fuel surcharges, but luckily LifeMiles doesn’t pass them on!
All but one of its nonstop routes are to Zurich. You can snag a one-way flight for only 63,000 LifeMiles and $61 in taxes and fees!
Here are some great example routes you can take:
Another great sweet spot is United Airlines’ premium transcontinental business class between Newark (EWR) or New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO).
You’ll be able to fly transcontinental on United’s awesome Polaris business class with lie-flat seats!
Trying United Polaris across the U.S. will set you back only 25,000 miles each way, as long as you find partner-level availability.
If you want to try United Polaris business class on long-haul flights, you can do so when flying to Frankfurt, London, Paris, and more! It will only cost 63,000 miles each way + ~$61 in taxes and fees.
Here are some great example routes you can take:
Hot Tip: If you want to fly to the Middle East, you can redeem 78,000 LifeMiles + ~$61 in taxes and fees for the 2 nonstop United routes from San Francisco (SFO) and Newark (EWR) to Tel Aviv (TLV), as well as the nonstop flight from Newark (EWR) to Dubai (DXB)!
Avianca will routinely run promo awards for different destinations all around the world. There’s some solid opportunity to eke extra value from your LifeMiles due to the discounts offered here.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to read carefully and be sure to book the awards when the sale is actually occurring. The promo awards are typically only valid if booked within a short window of time (2 to 3 weeks).
Some example promos include:
If you wanted to save money when flying to Australia or New Zealand (where round-trip tickets from America regularly cost more than ~$1,200), you could use 40,000 Avianca LifeMiles + ~$61 in taxes and fees each way!
Here are some example routes you can take:
There are 2 nonstop flights to Brussels from the U.S. on Brussels Airlines. Its business class is solid, with direct aisle access and a 1-2-1 configuration.
It will cost just 63,000 miles + ~$61 in taxes and fees each way to book these routes, but the only ones available are from the East Coast:
If visiting Poland is high on your to-do list, you will be very pleased to find that Star Alliance partner LOT Polish Airlines has 4 nonstop routes from the U.S. to Warsaw.
LOT’s seats are in a 2-2-2 configuration, so direct aisle access isn’t always possible. The seats themselves are not industry-leading by any measure, but it’s certainly a way to fly nonstop to Poland in comfort.
It will cost 63,000 miles each way to fly on LOT Polish business class. Here are the 4 non-stop routes you can take:
Have you ever wanted to fly ANA business class? Well, you can do so for ridiculously cheap prices using LifeMiles! You’ll fly for almost 10 hours nonstop, and it’ll only cost you 40,000 miles!
ANA flies its 787 Dreamliner, which only has business class, but it’s sure to be comfortable with lie-flat seats and delicious Japanese catering.
You can fly on ANA’s only flight to Australia with this route:
Hot Tip: Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step guide to booking ANA business class.
Ever wanted to try THAI business class? Since Thai Airways operates all different types of aircraft, the business class products are dramatically inconsistent, but a solid business class product is on the A350!
You can fly between Bangkok and Japan (6 hours each way) for 36,000 miles! This is definitely an affordable way to try THAI’s business class product while traversing around Asia.
Keep in mind that THAI flies both the 777 and A350 on this route, so you’ll want to pick the A350 product if you can.
Here are the routes you can fly:
If you want to fly first class between Bangkok and Japan on THAI, you can do so on the 777. The A350 does not have a first class cabin, but the 777 has 2 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.
One great route operated with a first-class-equipped 777 is TG 676, which flies between Bangkok (BKK) and Tokyo (NRT). You can fly first class on this 6-hour flight for 50,000 miles each way!
Hot Tip: If you take this flight, try to get bulkhead seats 1K and 2K for extra privacy and space!
Want to fly from New Zealand to Japan in business class? You can do so on the 11-hour flight operated by Air New Zealand!
For 50,000 miles and ~$61 in taxes and fees, you’ll be able to fly on Air New Zealand’s great business class product aboard the 787 Dreamliner.
With a 1-1-1 configuration and only 18 seats in the entire business class cabin, you will definitely be spoiled to the max!
If you’re leaving from Hawaii, you can enjoy being closer to Asia with shorter flight times to reach places like Korea.
Asiana Airlines has a pretty convenient route between Honolulu (HNL) and Seoul (ICN) that averages about 9 hours each way for 48,000 LifeMiles.
This flight is typically operated by the 777-200LR, which features lie-flat business class seats.
Flying to Portugal is a pretty niche award redemption, and it’s impossible to fly nonstop from the West Coast.
TAP Portugal, the flag carrier of Portugal, offers lie-flat business class seats on its A330, and it flies the A330 from Boston (BOS), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), and Newark (EWR) from 63,000 miles.
If you want to fly on Thai Airways business class, you can do so for 9 hours from Bangkok (BKK) to Sydney (SYD) and spend only 40,000 LifeMiles one-way!
When you’re flying THAI business class, be sure to arrive early and visit the business class lounge in Bangkok.
Want to visit Turkey and explore the serene scenery there? Itching to enjoy some delicious kebabs and Turkish delight? Now, you can fly comfortably on Turkish Airlines with LifeMiles for only 63,000 miles one-way!
Unfortunately, Turkish Airlines’ business class product is pretty dated with a 2-3-2 arrangement. This means that the cabin is a lot more crowded — but if you care about legroom, these straight forward-facing seats provide lots of it and are completely lie-flat.
Alternatively, Turkish Airlines’ new A350s and 787-9 Dreamliners have business class products in a 1-2-1 configuration that have greater privacy but less legroom and width.
So if you’re a larger person, the 2-3-2 arrangement might end up being more comfortable — but if you value privacy more than the size of the seat, you might opt for the newer business class seat.
As always, you won’t be responsible for the common out-of-pocket fuel surcharges that plague European flights!
Although Air China has a reputation for being a relatively lackluster airline for anything less than first class, you’ll be able to fly from Honolulu (HNL) to Beijing (PEK) in fully lie-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration on Air China’s A330!
For 11 hours and 25 minutes of flying time, paying 48,000 miles is not bad if you get to enjoy flat-beds and decadent Chinese cuisine.
If you’re based in Hawaii and want to fly to China nonstop, this is definitely your best option! Cash prices for business class are approximately $3,000, and economy is typically no cheaper than $1,000 round-trip — it’s definitely best to use points for this redemption.
Hot Tip: As China begins to reopen, we’ll stay tuned to see whether Air China reinstates flights between Hawaii and China.
If you’re based in Hawaii, finding affordable nonstop flights to Asia can be extremely difficult.
For those who want to fly between Hawaii and Japan, spending 48,000 LifeMiles will get you a very solid business class product between Honolulu (HNL) and Tokyo (HND/NRT).
ANA is using its A380 on its Honolulu service, meaning that you’ll be flying a brand-new, huge, comfortable double-decker with some of the best seats in the business!
Interested in flying to South Asia for the cheapest miles price possible? These are the countries that Avianca LifeMiles considers to be “South Asia:”
Honestly, cash tickets to some of these countries can get hairy pretty quickly. Instead, for just 39,000 miles, you can fly one-way in economy to any of these places from the U.S.!
Here are some great example routes you can take:
Another nice opportunity for economy flyers is checking out the southern tip of South America! These countries include:
If heading to any of these countries is on your radar and you don’t want to use too many of your hard-earned points and miles, then look at this redemption! Flying in economy will only cost 30,000 miles each way, which is perfect for budget travelers.
Here are some great example routes you can take:
Scandinavia is a region that contains several countries. A Star Alliance member, SAS is the flag carrier of Scandinavia, and it has hubs in Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), and Stockholm (Sweden).
Here are the airports that fly to each of the hub cities:
|U.S. Airport||Copenhagen (CPH)||Oslo (OSL)||Stockholm (ARN)|
|Los Angeles (LAX)||X|
|San Francisco (SFO)||X|
|Washington, D.C. (IAD)||X|
With this in mind, you can plan your award travel based on the country you want to visit first or the airport you live closest to.
SAS flies the A321neo (with lie-flat business class seats), A330, and A350 to Scandinavia, and these aircraft all feature lie-flat business class seats. Also, these are staggered Thompson Vantage XL seats, which are very similar to the Delta One Suites (but without the doors). On wide-body planes, this configuration is 1-2-1. And on the A321neo, there’s a 2-2 configuration.
Overall, it is a very solid product with great inflight entertainment, food, service, and comfortable beds that will get you to Scandinavia and leave you pleased!
This next redemption is a pretty niche redemption because it really is only 1 route:
You’ll be able to fly on United Polaris class to Ghana for only 78,000 miles + ~$61 in taxes and fees.
United Airlines operates the only nonstop flight for this route. The seating configuration is completely lie-flat, so you’ll have a comfortable time flying.
This particular redemption is even more niche than the United flight to Accra. Egyptair operates a couple of routes from the U.S. — from New York (JFK) or Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Cairo (CAI) — and its only other route in North America is to Toronto.
Its Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a 2-cabin aircraft with 30 lie-flat, reverse herringbone business class seats and economy seats in a 3-3-3 setup.
And even though this business class product is pretty standard, the soft product tends to be severely lacking, including the service quality.
But then again, if you’re a traveler from New York or Washington, D.C. and need to get to Egypt in the quickest way possible without transiting other airports, it is an option.
Flying this route in business class will cost 78,000 miles each way.
One of the best ways to redeem Avianca LifeMiles is on “short-haul” flights within North Asia. Luckily, Avianca has a very generous definition of North Asia:
Here’s an example route you can try:
This 2.5-hour flight will cost 22,500 miles each way, and you’ll have the chance to try some solid regional business class products.
This redemption expands on the “within North Asia” sweet spot for 22,500 miles each way that we explained above.
A highly niche redemption, you can fly nonstop on Asiana Airlines’ business class from Seoul (ICN) to Saipan (SPN) in the Mariana Islands.
For a 4.5-hour flight, it’s an excellent nonstop way to get to Saipan directly from Korea.
Yet another sweet spot is to fly from Guam (GUM) to Tokyo (NRT) on United Airlines in business class. This also qualifies for the 22,500-mile cost one-way, even though it is a 4-hour flight!
The not-so-good news is that these seats are simple recliner seats like the ones you’d find on domestic first class flights. They are arranged in a 2-2 configuration on 737-800 planes.
Nevertheless, it’s a great way to get from Guam to Tokyo on a quick 4-hour flight for only 22,500 miles each way.
The last redemption we’ll be discussing in this guide is a darn good one.
How would you like to fly 4-5 hours in ANA’s 787 Dreamliner lie-flat business class from Tokyo to Hong Kong for only 22,500 miles each way? Yeah, we thought you’d like this redemption!
These 2 countries both fall into “North Asia,” so you can enjoy 4-5 hours in real business class for only 22,500 miles!
Hot Tip: A word of caution — ANA operates a few flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong. Be sure to book flights on the 787 Dreamliner, because that is the only business class product that has lie-flat seats exactly like long-haul flights from America.
If you’re looking to fly to Southeast Asia in style, EVA Air is one of the best options for you. Keep in mind that although EVA Air is awesome about releasing business class seats far in advance, you’ll generally only find 2 seats at a time.
Still, you can enjoy an award-winning business class flight that takes you to Taipei (TPE) and beyond in Southeast Asia.
Best of all, you can use LifeMiles to book these flights. Here are some great example redemptions:
If you need to fly from 1 city in Africa to another, you may be able to use your LifeMiles for business class flights.
The key airline partners are:
And here are some great example routes you can book using LifeMiles:
Overall, Avianca LifeMiles doesn’t receive enough attention for being a solid all-around frequent flyer program.
Those who live by the mantra of earning lots of flexible rewards points will rejoice since Avianca is a transfer partner with Amex Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.
You can also top off your LifeMiles balance with transfers from Marriott Bonvoy and even buy LifeMiles at huge sales of up to 175% bonus miles.
With tons of quality redemptions, no fuel surcharges, no close-in booking fees, and lots of ways to explore the world on Star Alliance partners in first, business, and economy class, you should definitely give Avianca LifeMiles a look when deciding on how to travel!
You can join Avianca LifeMiles here.
LifeMiles is a separate entity from Avianca, so you will notice that you’re redirected to an external website. You will make all your award bookings through LifeMiles.
Yes, you must join LifeMiles to search for award availability. Also, keep in mind that Avianca LifeMiles is not the best search engine for multiple connections. The search engine becomes clunky at that point and can display incomplete award availability.
Check your Avianca LifeMiles balance by logging in. You may also boost your LifeMiles by purchasing during one of its many sales! With these sales, you’re eligible to receive up to 175% bonus miles! Be sure to hold out for these sales when buying miles.
Avianca LifeMiles expire after 12 months unless there is qualifying earning activity, which includes purchasing any amount of LifeMiles. If your miles are about to expire, you can always buy a small amount of LifeMiles, such as 1,000 LifeMiles. You can also transfer 1,000 points from Amex, Capital One, Citi, and so on to LifeMiles.
Avianca LifeMiles has an award chart; partner flights and Avianca flights are priced the same.
Make sure to confirm the award cost online when searching for award flights.
We recommend always using Amex, Capital One, or Citi cards due to the fact that you don’t need to limit yourself to only earning LifeMiles. You can pick when to transfer to LifeMiles or other partners.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.