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U.S. Bank is losing the Avianca LifeMiles co-brand product. They’re getting a new bank issuer, and coming out with a really strong signup bonus.
Existing cardmembers received the following email:
We are excited to announce that we expect to launch new and improved Avianca LifeMiles credit card in the coming months in the United States. These cards will provide qualifying members the chance to earn miles faster and to receive other benefits, which we currently expect will include:
Welcome Bonus of up to LM60.000 for purchases made within the first 90 days*
LM3 for every dollar spent on Avianca purchases
LM2 for every dollar spent at gas stations and grocery stores
LM1 for every dollar spent on all other purchases
Two 50% discounts on award tickets redeemed for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States
Free additional bag for travel between the United States and Central America
No foreign transaction fees
15% discount on purchases of miles with Multiply Your Miles
We don’t know what the public signup bonus will be yet. This is pre-marketing to people who already had the old US Bank card, and they also note that the specific bonus offered will be based on historical use of the LifeMiles card. If they’re announcing 60,000 though it seems like that will be available to most previous cardholders.
And if it’s available to previous cardholders to convert them to the new product, they may see the economics similarly for acquiring new customers.
This will not be a good card for everyday spend. You don’t want to earn just 1 LifeMile per dollar. That’s because they regularly sell miles for 1.35 – 1.5 cents apiece. So get the Citi Double Cash Card, and use your rebate to buy 30% – 40% more miles than you would earn with the LifeMiles credit card during one of these sale periods.
Nonetheless, LifeMiles is a fantastic Star Alliance program and a 60,000 mile signup bonus will absolutely be worthwhile.
- No fuel surcharges
- Reasonable award chart
- Recent improvements include allowing mixed cabin redemptions and Lufthansa first class redemptions
Not all connections are bookable, you’re pretty much limited to the options you see on their redemption website (which is quite good) and telephone customer service is challenging (e-mail is better). I’m a fan of the program and have a few hundred thousand miles there myself.