Avianca, a Star Alliance member, has a very interesting and creative frequent flyer programme, LifeMiles. While the airline has a strong presence in South America, they are otherwise not very globally recognised. They do have a fantastic Business Class product on their new Boeing 787s and offer convenient routes and connections for those flying to South America.
Avianca’s LifeMiles is unique because they do not impose fuel surcharges on mileage tickets and they also often sell miles for a very low price, including purchase bonuses like 2×1 + 35% when buying miles. LifeMiles isn’t a partner of American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards, so it is a bit hard to earn those miles (other than outright buying them). In addition to not imposing fuel surcharges, LifeMiles has a great award chart for mileage redemptions whereby you’re able to fly some of the best Star Alliance Business Class products very cheaply.
LifeMiles recently introduced a new credit card for those living in the United States. The new credit card offers a fantastic sign-up bonus and is issued by Banco Popular of Puerto Rico, which means that approvals are theoretically easier than those from Chase or AMEX (since we tend to apply for a lot of cards from those banks).
The new credit card launched last year and is offered in two versions. I applied for the higher-end version which offers more benefits and a larger sign-up bonus. I was instantly approved and earned 60k Avianca LifeMiles for $149 USD! The public offer is 40k miles after first purchase, but those of us who were able to get a special promo code were eligible for an additional 20k miles. The annual fee of $149 USD isn’t waived the first year and best of all, there is no minimum spend requirement for those miles – they’re issued after your first purchase.
I simply made a ~$1 USD purchase and when my statement closed, I was billed the annual fee and the sign-up bonus was deposited into my LifeMiles account.
60k Avianca LifeMiles for $149 USD is an amazing offer. Hell, I would even say the regular public offer of 40k miles is still a great deal. LifeMiles are very valuable and allow you to fly premium products for a cheap price.
It is important to note that their website does not display all possible routings. Therefore the routing you want might not show up online even if it has availability. There is, however, a work around – a “manual” booking through email. For a complete guide, see my post: