Buy Star Alliance Miles for Just 1.4 Cents Apiece

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Star Alliance frequent flyer program LifeMiles is back with a LifeMiles bonus purchase miles promotion.

It’s double miles, plus an additional 15% if you purchase between 41,000 and 100,000 miles or an additional 25% if you purchase 101,000 to 150,000 miles. Maxing out the bonus offer means buying miles at less than 1.5 cents apiece which is great.

But wait, there’s more!

Registered members at (and international Inside Flyer sites; as of this writing you can still register free and be eligible to register for the offer) can go to the Inside Flyer Award Store to register for an even better LifeMiles bonus.

Leveraging this promotion can bring the price per mile down to 1.4 cents apiece.

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% LifeMiles bonus promotion they ran in September. I don’t usually buy miles speculatively, but once you get to 1.5 cents and under I’ll consider it.

  • Registered InsideFlyer members will have until November 29 to purchase LifeMiles.
    You must be previously enrolled in LifeMiles to participate. You have until 25 November to enroll in LifeMiles HERE.
  • You must register with InsideFlyer to be eligible for the extra 10% promotion bonus (LifeMiles is offering a 15% / 25% bonus, only InsideFlyer members are eligible for the 25% / 35% bonus).
  • Miles must be purchased in multiples of 1,000.
  • Miles will be credited immediately after the miles purchase.
  • Once registered with InsideFlyer, you will be able to purchase miles starting 24 hours after you have registered.
  • All LifeMiles terms and conditions apply and are available HERE.
  • A reminder that LifeMiles members may only purchase up to 375,000 miles, including bonuses per year.
  • Additional disclosure: I am a co-founder of though I am not aware of any benefit to me that results from anyone taking advantage of this offer.

    About Gary Leff

    Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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    Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


    1. I am keen to take up this offer and have registered with Inside Flyer. But I don’t understand how I can buy miles with Life Miles and then get bonus miles from Inside Flyer? Can someone help me, as I don’t want to buy miles and then discover that I have not completed all the right steps and don’t get an extra 10% with Inside Flyer. Thanks

    2. The only problem that I’m having is that I got a total of 325K through the first offer and now the website states that can’t max on this deal! Would like to get a total of additional 300K miles.

      @tiddlesmango, you will get everything they promise you including the bonus on Life Miles’ website. Just register with Inside Flyer and provide your Avianca’s loyalty number.

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