Star Alliance member Avianca’s LifeMiles program is useful for frequently reasonable redemptions, no fuel surcharges, and regularly selling miles on the cheap.
Miles have expired after 24 months of account inactivity, and until now any activity has been enough to reset the clock. Starting April 15th they’re revising the rules to say miles expire after 12 months and only earning more miles resets the clock, not redeeming miles.
It’s easy to get LifeMiles, buy 1000 miles if you have to. Still, it’s a gotcha to watch out for if you weren’t on top of it.
Miles Expiration Policy valid from April 15th, 2018.
a. Any miles accrual transaction in a member´s account in the Program extends the validity of the miles in the account of such member for a term of twelve (12) months from the date of such accrual of miles.
Other transactions that may affect the balance of miles in a member’s account, including redemption transactions, will have no effect on them and will not extend the validity of the miles in such account.
This general rule will have the following exceptions that extend the validity of such miles in the account of such member for twenty-four (24) months from the date of such accrual: (i) any accrual of miles in a member´s account with an Elite Status at the time of the accrual; (ii) any accrual of miles derived from a cobranded credit or debit cards under the LifeMiles brand.
b. Accrual of miles means any transaction that increases the balance of the accrued miles in the member´s account and the accrual shall be considered to have been made on the date on which the miles are actually credited into the member´s account, based on the reports sent or accrual methods implemented by the different commercial partner, date that may or may not coincide with the date of the transaction from which the accrual of miles is derived.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following accrual activities do not extend the validity of the miles in the member´s account: 1) the birthday bonus or any other miles bonus that may be given by the LifeMiles Program and LifeMiles LTD so establishes.; 2) the migration of points or miles from other loyalty programs to the LifeMiles Program made as a consequence of the union of both loyalty programs or the migration of one member from another loyalty program to the LifeMiles Program; and 3) the merger of accounts of the LifeMiles Program, including those derived from a member´s duplicate accounts.
In the case of the transfer of miles from a member´s account to another, the activity in the account of the transferring member will extend the validity of the miles that are kept in its account for twelve (12) months or twenty-four (24) months if it has an Elite Status, from the date of the transaction.
c. To calculate the validity of the miles in the member´s account it will also be taken into account if the member already has miles in its account when it performs an accrual transaction. When an accrual transaction is made in a member´s account, the entire miles in the account of such member will receive the greater validity between the validity of the existing miles in the account before the accrual transaction or twelve (12) months (or twenty-four (24) months in the cases that apply in accordance with the previous paragraph a. above) from the referred accrual transaction.
d. The miles accrued in the member´s account before April 15th, 2018 will continue to have the same validity which they had under the expiration policy in effect as of April 14th, 2018. However, its extension from April 15th , 2018 will be governed by what is established in the present Miles Expiration Policy
e. Once the validity of the miles has expired, the total miles balance in the member´s account will expire and the new balance will be zero (0) miles. LifeMiles LTD and/or the Airlines may, but are not obligated to, establish special conditions for the reactivation of expired miles and may also establish a charge for the reactivation of the same.
f. It is the member´s obligation to be aware of the expiration date of its´ miles. The member may consult the expiration date of the miles in its account through any of the Program´s contact channels. Additionally, the expiration date can be found in the member´s account statement that is sent to the members who have provided their e-mail address.; in the case the member has any doubts about such date it may check with LifeMiles call center. LifeMiles assumes no obligation to notify the member on the upcoming expiration of its miles.
Updated to flag both changes to the length of time to expiration and how to extend.
(HT: Chun K.)