Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

How To Buy Avianca LifeMiles and Get the Best Value in 2024

Ehsan Haque's image
Ehsan Haque
Ehsan Haque's image

Ehsan Haque

Content Contributor

47 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 100U.S. States Visited: 24

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and mile...
Edited by: Michael Y. Park
Michael Y. Park's image

Michael Y. Park

Editor

15 Published Articles 152 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 60+U.S. States Visited: 50

Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and que...
& Keri Stooksbury
Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

30 Published Articles 3097 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 45U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Buying points and miles is generally not a great idea. But there are times when purchasing miles represents great value — and, in some cases, can potentially save you a lot of money.

When it comes to travel rewards, a program that is often overlooked is Avianca LifeMiles. The program has incredible award pricing, tons of airline partners, and does not make passengers pay fuel surcharges.

Best of all, it is easy to accumulate LifeMiles, as the loyalty program is a transfer partner of several rewards programs. It’s also relatively easy to purchase Avianca LifeMiles.

Let’s take a look at how and when you should buy Avianca LifeMiles.

Basics of the Avianca LifeMiles Program

Avianca LifeMiles is an incredibly beneficial program and arguably the best way to book long-haul, premium cabin Star Alliance award tickets. Although the LifeMiles program has undergone devaluations over the years, it still provides excellent redemptions.

The program still uses a zone-based award chart with incredible sweet spots and has interesting pricing quirks when it comes to mixed-cabin awards. With a fixed award chart, it’s easy to determine how many miles you need for a specific redemption.

From 6,500-mile United domestic flights to 60,000-mile business class awards between the U.S. and Europe, there are various ways to redeem Avianca LifeMiles.

In addition to the fantastic award pricing, LifeMiles doesn’t levy fuel surcharges on award flights. This is especially important on award flights operated by Lufthansa or SWISS, which can tack on hundreds of dollars in carrier-imposed surcharges when booked with other programs.

For this reason, LifeMiles is the go-to mileage program for booking award tickets on Lufthansa Group airlines, particularly in premium cabins.

When To Purchase Avianca LifeMiles

Let’s get this out of the way: We don’t generally recommend buying miles. This is because the cost of buying miles is usually higher than the value you get redeeming them.

Generally, however, if the value of the miles exceeds the cost of buying them, purchasing them can be a good idea. But before you hit that confirmation button, there are more things to consider before buying miles.

Your chances of getting value from buying miles tend to be better with Avianca LifeMiles. The LifeMiles program has a generous award chart and does not add fuel surcharges to award redemptions, which is a huge benefit of the program.

Let’s take a look at when it makes sense to buy Avianca LifeMiles and how to actually buy them.

Purchasing Miles at a Deep Discount

You can buy Avianca LifeMiles for 3.3 cents each (i.e., 10,000 LifeMiles for $330) without any bonus. However, this does not represent the best value, as no bonus miles are involved.

Fortunately, Avianca has frequent bonus promotions when purchasing LifeMiles. In the past, these bonuses have been as high as 200%. Nowadays, it’s more common to see bonuses of up to 170%.

If you wanted to buy 10,000 LifeMiles with a 170% bonus, you would receive an extra 17,000 LifeMiles (27,000 LifeMiles total) for $330. This would bring your cost down to just 1.22 cents per mile.

For reference, we value Avianca LifeMiles at 1.4 cents per mile. If redeemed strategically, Avianca LifeMiles can be worth a lot more.

If you’ve done the math and know that purchasing LifeMiles is a good strategy for an upcoming redemption, make sure there’s a LifeMiles bonus promotion when you do it.

Buying for Specific Redemptions

As mentioned, Avianca is a member of Star Alliance, which means you can redeem LifeMiles on all Star Alliance airlines, including Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, and United, among others. Best of all, the LifeMiles program doesn’t tack on fuel surcharges for award redemptions.

Buying the necessary miles for an award redemption can be a great way to book Star Alliance premium cabin seats at a considerable discount. For example, many business class flights between the U.S. and Europe can easily cost upwards of $4,000 one-way.

Avianca LifeMiles charges 63,000 miles for a one-way business class award ticket between the U.S. and Europe. Even without a LifeMiles bonus promotion, you can buy 63,000 Avianca LifeMiles for about $2,100.

This represents huge savings over an expensive cash ticket. Of course, you don’t want to buy LifeMiles without a significant bonus promotion, as they’re relatively frequent.

Overall, LifeMiles represents an incredibly cheap path to Star Alliance redemptions, and buying the miles you need for a redemption can be a great way to save a considerable amount of cash.

Bottom Line:

Purchasing points and miles can be a great way to get a substantial discount when compared to expensive cash fares.

Topping Off Your Account

Of course, you can also buy miles when you need to top off an account for a redemption you already have in mind.

If you are short just a few thousand LifeMiles, it can make sense to buy the remaining miles needed. This is especially true if you have already confirmed award space and need the miles immediately.

Fortunately, most airline loyalty programs let you buy miles in small increments to top off your account.

How To Purchase Avianca LifeMiles

Buying Avianca LifeMiles is quite simple. Head to the Avianca LifeMiles website and log in to your LifeMiles account when prompted.

Lifemiles home page
LifeMiles home page. Image Credit: LifeMiles

In the top bar, click on More. This opens a menu with more options, including buying miles.

Purchase LifeMiles
Image Credit: LifeMiles

Select Buy Miles.

Lifemiles purchase
Image Credit: LifeMiles

From the page that pops up, you can purchase LifeMiles. Click Choose an amount, and a drop-down menu will appear. Here, enter the number of miles you wish to purchase.

Avianca LifeMiles purchase screen
Image Credit: LifeMiles

After that, agree to the terms and conditions and enter your payment information to complete checkout.

Lifemiles purchase Feb 2024
Image Credit: LifeMiles

Your purchased LifeMiles should be ready to use instantly.

How Many LifeMiles Can You Purchase?

LifeMiles allows you to purchase up to 200,000 miles per account per calendar year before factoring in any bonuses.

Which Card Should You Use?

In the past, LifeMiles used to sell miles directly, which meant using a credit card with elevated earnings on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, was the way to go. However, LifeMiles purchases are now completed through points.com.

The best cards to use for LifeMiles purchases are those that maximize your return on everyday spending, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing airline miles is generally not a great idea, as there are many different ways to earn miles through welcome bonuses and everyday card spending. However, there are certain situations where it may make sense to purchase miles, and this is especially true with Avianca LifeMiles.

Although you should never speculatively buy airline miles, buying Avianca LifeMiles can be a fantastic way to get deep discounts on many Star Alliance partners, particularly for premium cabins. When deciding to buy Avianca LifeMiles, you should always wait for bonus promotions.

The Avianca LifeMiles program continues to offer a ton of value thanks to its generous award chart and long list of Star Alliance partners. Strategically buying Avianca LifeMiles can be an excellent way to fly on some of the world’s best airlines for a fraction of the cost.

The golden rule remains to only buy LifeMiles (on any airline program’s miles) when you have a specific redemption in mind.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Avianca always have a bonus promotion for buying LifeMiles?

No, Avianca does not always have a bonus promotion for buying LifeMiles, but the airline does offer promotions frequently.

How can I earn Avianca LifeMiles without buying them?

The Avianca LifeMiles program is a transfer partner of several major reward currencies, including Amex Membership RewardsBrex RewardsCapital One MilesCiti ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Which partner airlines can you fly with using Avianca miles?

You can use Avianca LifeMiles to fly on any of its Star Alliance partners and codeshare partner airlines.

How many LifeMiles does Avianca charge for flights between the U.S. and Europe?

LifeMiles uses a zone-based award chart for most flights. Here is the one-way award pricing, based on which class you are flying:

  • Economy: 30,000 miles plus taxes and fees
  • Business: 63,000 miles plus taxes and fees
  • First: 87,000 miles plus taxes and fees
Ehsan Haque's image

About Ehsan Haque

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and miles annually, primarily using them for luxury hotels and long-haul premium cabins.

INSIDERS ONLY: UP PULSE

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse

Get the latest travel tips, crucial news, flight & hotel deal alerts...

Plus — expert strategies to maximize your points & miles by joining our (free) newsletter.

We respect your privacy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. Google's privacy policy and terms of service apply.

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse
DMCA.com Protection Status