Update: This gets even better – read the comments before buying…
Star Alliance frequent flyer program Avianca LifeMiles is offering a tiered purchased miles bonus through September 30 — from 50% to 135%.
This is of course the program that will monetize everything, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d sell you printed copies of your mileage statement. They straight-up sell Star Alliance Gold status.
Here’s the bonus table for this buy miles bonus offer.
Buying 237,350 to 352,500 miles costs 1.4 cents apiece. The top bonus gets the mileage cost below the normal bonus price of 1.65 cents.
I don’t like investing in LifeMiles speculatively though. In the past they’ve tweaked some award prices without notice.
When Avianca joined Star Alliance I declared their program the most generous in the alliance. They are part of my “Devaluation Plan B” which is to look to international frequent flyer programs for value if and when US programs devalue further.
There are no fuel surcharges and they offer one-way awards many of which are priced reasonably. They also offer ‘cash and points’ which means that as long as you have 40% of the miles needed for an award you can buy the rest at the time of redemption.
That said, their call centers are frustrating (if you can wait a day for a reply, they’re better over e-mail) and they don’t permit “mixed cabin” redemption — so if you are redeeming a transatlantic business class award, all segments need to be in business class (including domestic US flights, and intra-Europe flights). And the award chart isn’t as good as it once was.
Miles are sold directly by LifeMiles, and count as an airfare purchase (for the Citi Prestige airline credit, and for bonus points-earning with cards that offer airlines as a category bonus).