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This morning I wrote about the very first offer from the new Inside Flyer (of which I’m a co-founder): a 150% bonus on the purchase of 100,000 – 150,000 miles from Star Alliance frequent flyer program LifeMiles, combined with short-term award redemption discounts of up to 50% on Star Alliance partners.
LifeMiles usually sells miles at 3.3 cents apiece. This promotion should let you buy miles at 1.32 cents.
I’ve gotten several questions about the offer, so thought I’d take the time to walk through it.
Here are the rules:
- You have to be a registered InsideFlyer member to be eligible.
- Offer valid for purchase of 100,000 – 150,000 LifeMiles in one single transaction.
- You need to be a LifeMiles member and register for the offer by October 6. Once you register, wait 24 hours and you will receive confirmation prior to purchase.
- You will be able to buy LifeMiles under this offer through October 12.
- You have until October 15 to redeem LifeMiles at discounted rates
There was some confusion earlier about price. Here are the standard terms for the price of LifeMiles:
Each package of 1,000 miles costs USD 38,94, including all taxes applicable to each country*. For residents in Colombia, each package of 1,000 miles, has a cost of USD 33, the values are settled based on Colombia´s exchange rate on the date of the transaction. For residents in Peru each package of 1,000 miles has a cost of USD 38,94 or S/.123.44 including taxes. Reference exchange rate to July 1st 2015: S/. 3.17 Per 1 USD dollar. For residents in Costa Rica, each package of 1,000 miles has a cost of USD 33 plus taxes.
They list the maximum tax-inclusive price charged of $38.94 per thousand. If that were the price charged to US members, this deal would reduce the cost to 1.5 cents per mile. But it isn’t, because there is no tax charged on the purchase of miles from non-US airlines. So US members get charged the lowest base price of miles, $33 per thousand which is 3.3 cents per mile… and with a 150% bonus, 1.32 cents a mile.
How to Register to Be Eligible for the Offer
You need to Login or register for Inside Flyer. Previous Milepoint members should already be registered.
The head over to the ‘Award Store’ which is where you see special benefits you’re eligible for. That’s where you can register for this offer.
You want to check the box to claim this award.
Then enter your LifeMiles number and submit:
Award Discounts Paired With Purchase Miles Bonus
Last month I wrote about LifeMiles award discounts for Star Alliance redemptions. They ran a short-term promotion, with some awards discounted up to 50%. Usually when an airline discounts redemptions is this only for their own aircraft, and most often only for coach. LifeMiles discounted Star Alliances awards and even business and first class.
They’re bringing back the promotion to coincide with this miles purchase opportunity. For a full analysis of the award discounts, here’s my description of the details. Note that these are roundtrip prices, one way awards are half the cost:
Should You Buy LifeMiles?
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, in the past LifeMiles has tweaked some award prices without notice. 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). They currently don’t have access to Lufthansa first class awards. And the award chart isn’t as good as it once was.
Since this question keeps coming up, miles are sold directly by LifeMiles, and therefore count as an airfare purchase (for the Citi Prestige Card airline credit, and for bonus points-earning with cards that offer airlines as a category bonus).
I jumped on the 135% + 10% promotion they ran last month. I don’t usually buy miles speculatively, but once you get to 1.5 cents and under I’ll consider it.