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30 Best Ways To Redeem Avianca LifeMiles for Maximum Value

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

Senior Content Contributor

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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
Edited by: Jessica Merritt
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Jessica Merritt

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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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!

The Pros and Cons of Avianca LifeMiles (Quick Overview)

To start with, let’s talk about the many benefits of Avianca LifeMiles:

  • There are no fuel surcharges levied on any flights
  • You can basically book any Star Alliance partner online
  • No close-in booking fees, which means you can save big bucks on last-minute award availability
  • Miles will not expire as long as you have a qualifying earning activity every 12 months, which includes purchasing LifeMiles or transferring credit card points to LifeMiles
  • You can also regularly earn loads of miles from sales of up to 125% to 175% bonus miles!

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.

How To Boost Your Avianca LifeMiles

Transfer Points from Credit Card Partners

Avianca LifeMiles can be transferred from American Express Membership RewardsBrex Rewards, Capital One, and Citi Thank You Rewards at a 1:1 rate or from Marriott Bonvoy at a transfer rate of 3:1.

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

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.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

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!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

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!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

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.

Pros
  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$395
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-840)

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.

 

Pros
  • 10x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles per $1 on flights purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $395 annual fee (rates & fees)
  • Does not offer bonus categories for flights or hotel purchases made directly with the airline or hotel group, the preferred booking method for those looking to earn elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$95
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit (670-850)

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.

Pros
  • 5x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Cons
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

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! 

Avianca LifeMiles Sales

The last way to earn LifeMiles worth discussing is by purchasing them. We mention this method because there are often gigantic sales of up to 125% to 175% bonus miles!

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!

The 30 Best Ways To Use Your Avianca LifeMiles

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.

1. Fly Lufthansa First Class Without Surcharges to Europe (87,000 Miles)

Lufthansa First Class
Enjoy complete privacy and utter perfection in Lufthansa first class without the surcharges using Avianca LifeMiles! Image Credit: Greg 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:

  • Boston (BOS) to Frankfurt (FRA) — good availability
  • Chicago (ORD) to Frankfurt (FRA) — good availability
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Frankfurt (FRA) — availability is tough
  • New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) — good availability
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Frankfurt (FRA) — availability is sporadic
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Frankfurt (FRA) — good availability

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!

2. Fly Swiss Air Business Class Without Surcharges to Europe (63,000 Miles)

SWISS Air First Class
Revel in Swiss luxury aboard SWISS International Airlines First Class! Image Credit: SWISS Air

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:

  • Boston (BOS) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • Chicago (ORD) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • Miami (MIA) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • New York (JFK) to Geneva (GVA)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Zurich (ZRH)

3. Fly Transcontinental Business Class in the U.S. on United Airlines (25,000 Miles)

United Polaris 787-10 seat
Flying on United Polaris is a great way to try a new product en route to Europe. Image Credit: Stephen Au

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.

4. Fly to Europe on United Polaris Business Class (63,000 Miles)

United Polaris business class 787 10 window seats HND LAX
Image Credit: Ryan Smith

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:

  • San Francisco (SFO) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to London (LHR)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Paris (CDG)

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)!

5. Avianca Promo Awards

Avianca economy A320 LAX SAL seat spacing
Avianca A320 economy class. Image Credit: Ryan Smith

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:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Beijing (PEK) – round-trip for 144,000 miles in Air China first class (regular price = 180,000)
  • New York (JFK) to Seoul (ICN) – round-trip for 144,000 miles in Asiana Airlines first class (regular price = 180,000)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Taipei (TPE) – round-trip for 136,000 miles in EVA Air business class (regular price = 170,000)
  • Seattle (SEA) to Taipei (TPE) – round-trip for 136,000 miles in EVA Air business class (regular price = 170,000)

6. Fly to Australia and New Zealand in Economy (40,000 Miles)

Air New Zealand economy class
Air New Zealand economy class. Image Credit: Air New Zealand

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:

  • Chicago (ORD) to Auckland (AKL) on Air New Zealand
  • Houston (IAH) to Auckland (AKL) on Air New Zealand
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL) on United Airlines
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Auckland (AKL) on United Airlines
  • Vancouver (YVR) to Sydney (SYD) on Air Canada

7. Fly to Belgium in Business Class on Brussels Airlines (63,000 Miles)

Brussels Airlines business class
Fly Brussels Airlines in business class for 63,000 Avianca LifeMiles. Image Credit: Brussels Airlines

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:

  • New York (JFK) to Brussels (BRU)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Brussels (BRU)

8. Fly to Warsaw in Business Class on LOT Polish Airlines (63,000 Miles)

LOT Polish Business Class
While definitely not industry-leading, LOT Polish Airlines presents a comfortable way to fly to Warsaw, Poland. Image Credit: LOT Polish

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:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Warsaw (WAW)
  • Chicago (ORD) to Warsaw (WAW)
  • New York (JFK) to Warsaw (WAW)
  • Newark (EWR) to Warsaw (WAW)

9. Fly From Japan to Australia in Business Class on ANA (40,000 Miles)

ANA Business Class Seat
Enjoy the comfort of ANA business class. Image Credit: Stephen Au

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:

  • Tokyo (HND) to Sydney (SYD)

Hot Tip: Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step guide to booking ANA business class.

10. Fly Between Bangkok and Japan in THAI Business Class (36,000 Miles)

Thai Airways Royal Silk business class 777 300er cabin
THAI Airways business class. Image Credit: Ehsan Haque

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:

  • Bangkok (BKK) to Tokyo (HND/NRT)

11. Fly Between Bangkok and Japan in THAI First Class (50,000 Miles)

Thai Airways Boeing 747 - First Class
Thai Airways first class. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

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!

12. Fly From New Zealand to Japan in Business Class on Air New Zealand (50,000 Miles)

Air New Zealand Boeing 787 business class cabin rear
If you have a chance, you can also try the Air New Zealand 787 Dreamliner business class product! Regardless of what plane you fly, Air New Zealand business class is one of the best in the world. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

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!

13. Fly From Hawaii to Korea in Business Class on Asiana Airlines (48,000 Miles)

Asiana Airlines business class
Enjoy Asiana Airlines Business Class to or from Korea! Image Credit: Stephen Au

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.

14. Fly to Portugal in Business Class on TAP Portugal (63,000 Miles)

TAP A330 900neo business class cabin
TAP A330-900neo business class. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

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.

15. Fly From Thailand to Australia in THAI Business Class (40,000 Miles)

Thai Airways Royal Silk business class 777 300er business class seat
Thai Airways business class. Image Credit: Ehsan Haque

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.

16. Fly to Turkey in Business Class on Turkish Airlines (63,000 Miles)

Turkish Airlines Boeing 787 9 Business Class Middle Aisle Seats
Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9 business class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

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!

17. Fly From Hawaii to China in Business Class on Air China (48,000 Miles)

Air China business seat with flight attendant
Air China business class. Image Credit: Air China

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.

18. Fly From Hawaii to Tokyo in Business Class on ANA (48,000 Miles)

ANA A380 Business Class
ANA A380 business class. Image Credit: ANA

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!

19. Fly to South Asia in Economy (39,000 Miles)

Turkish Airlines 777-300ER economy
Turkish Airlines economy class. Image Credit: Turkish Airlines

Interested in flying to South Asia for the cheapest miles price possible? These are the countries that Avianca LifeMiles considers to be “South Asia:”

  • Bangladesh
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

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:

  • Houston (IAH) to Taipei (TPE) to Bangkok (BKK) to Vientiane (VTE) on EVA Air and THAI Airways (average cash price = $2,200)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Singapore (SIN) to Bandar Seri Begawan (BWN) on Singapore Airlines (average cash price = $2,500)
  • New York (JFK) to Istanbsul (IST) to Dhaka (DAC) on Turkish Airlines (average cash price = $1,000)
  • Seattle (SEA) to Seoul (ICN) to Phnom Penh (PNH) on Asiana Airlines (average cash price = $1,000)

20. Fly to the Southern Tip of South America in Economy (30,000 Miles)

Avianca economy A320 LAX SAL full cabin
Don’t care too much about business class when flying to South America? Try out Avianca economy for 30,000 miles each way in economy! Image Credit: Ryan Smith

Another nice opportunity for economy flyers is checking out the southern tip of South America! These countries include:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay

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:

  • Houston (IAH) to Buenos Aires (EZE) on United Airlines
  • Houston (IAH) to Santiago (SCL) on United Airlines
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Bogota (BOG) to La Paz (LPZ) on Avianca Airlines
  • Miami (MIA) to Panama City (PTY) to Montevideo (MVD) on COPA Airlines
  • Orlando (MCO) to Bogota (BOG) to Asunción (ASU) on Avianca Airlines

21. Fly to Scandinavia in Business Class on SAS (63,000 Miles)

SAS A350 business
SAS business class. Image Credit: SAS

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:

SCROLL FOR MORE
U.S. AirportCopenhagen (CPH)Oslo (OSL)Stockholm (ARN) 
Boston (BOS)X  
Chicago (ORD)X X
Los Angeles (LAX)X  
Miami (MIA)XXX
Newark (EWR)XXX
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!

22. Fly to Ghana in Business Class on United Airlines (78,000 Miles)

United Polaris business class 787 10 window seats HND LAX
Image Credit: Ryan Smith

This next redemption is a pretty niche redemption because it really is only 1 route:

  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Accra (ACC)

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.

23. Fly to Cairo in Business Class on Egyptair (78,000 Miles)

Egyptair 787 business
Egyptair 787 business class. Image Credit: Egyptair

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.

24. Short-haul Flights Within North Asia in Business Class (22,500 Miles)

Eva Air Royal Laurel Class business 787
Eva Air Laurel Class on the 787. Image Credit: EVA Air

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:

  • China
  • Guam
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Mariana Islands
  • Mongolia
  • North Korea
  • Palau
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

Here’s an example route you can try:

  • Seoul (ICN) to Taipei (TPE) on THAI, EVA Air, or Asiana Airlines business class

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.

26. Fly to Saipan From Seoul in Business Class on Asiana Airlines (22,500 Miles)

Asiana A321neo Business
Asiana A321neo business class. Image Credit: Asiana

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.

27. Fly to Tokyo From Guam in Business Class on United Airlines (22,500 Miles)

United 737-800 First Class
United 737-800 first class. Image Credit: United

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.

28. Fly to Hong Kong From Tokyo in Lie-flat Business Class on ANA (22,500 Miles)

ANA Business Class
This lie-flat ANA business class seat can be yours with some planning! Image Credit: Stephen Au

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.

29. Access Southeast Asia in EVA Air Business Class Far in Advance (90,000 Miles)

Eva Air Royal Laurel Class business 777
Image Credit: EVA Air

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:

  • Chicago (ORD) to Taipei (TPE) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) one-way in EVA Air business class for 90,000 LifeMiles + ~$61 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Taipei (TPE) to Bali-Denpasar (DPS) one-way in EVA Air business class for 90,000 LifeMiles + ~$61 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Taipei (TPE) to Bangkok (BKK) one-way in EVA Air business class for 90,000 LifeMiles + ~$61 in taxes and fees

30. Fly Within Africa in Business Class (From 33,000 LifeMiles)

South African Airways JNB VFA business class seat
South African Airways business class. Image Credit: Keri Stooksbury

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:

  • Egyptair
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • South African Airways

And here are some great example routes you can book using LifeMiles:

  • Addis Ababa (ADD) to Cape Town (CPT) one-way in Ethiopian Airlines business class for 33,000 LifeMiles + ~$61 in taxes and fees
  • Cairo (CAI) to Addis Ababa (ADD) one-way in Ethiopian Airlines 787 business class for 35,000 LifeMiles + ~$61 in taxes and fees
  • Cairo (CAI) to Johannesburg (JNB) one-way in Egyptair 787 business class for 35,000 LifeMiles + ~$61 in taxes and fees
  • Lagos (LOS) to Johannesburg (JNB) one-way in South African Airways A330 business class for 35,000 LifeMiles + ~$61 in taxes and fees

Final Thoughts

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!

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join Avianca LifeMiles?

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.

Do I need to be an Avianca LifeMiles member to search for awards?

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.

How many Avianca LifeMiles do I have?

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.

When do Avianca LifeMiles expire?

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.

How many Avianca LifeMiles are required for a trip reward?

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.

Which credit cards can I use to earn Avianca LifeMiles?

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.

How can I contact Avianca LifeMiles?

You can call Avianca LifeMiles at 800-284-2622. You can also email them at support@lifemiles.com.

Be prepared to have to call several times to get the outcome you desire.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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