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Redeem Avianca LifeMiles for best value

No fuel surcharges mean you'll save big when you fly internationally.

While Avianca’s award flight prices are a little less than the best in the business, the sheer earning potential of Avianca LifeMiles bulldozes this pesky little fact. With enough LifeMiles, you can book solid travel deals through Avianca and the Star Alliance.

Airline transfer partners

Since Avianca is in Star Alliance, you can earn and redeem LifeMiles on nearly every Star Alliance airline partner. You can also redeem flights using LifeMiles with Avianca partners Aeromexico and Iberia.

Awards chart

Here are a few examples of how many LifeMiles are needed to fly with Avianca to certain parts of the world. These ranges assume roundtrip flights originating from LAX.

DestinationLifeMiles required
Bogota, ColumbiaEconomy on sale: 16,500
Economy: 21,500
Business on sale: 33,000
Cancun, MexicoEconomy on sale: 16,500
San Juan, Puerto RicoEconomy on sale: 16,500

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Partnered flights

The amount of LifeMiles needed to fly with each airline varies by destination and cabin. Avianca offers a full table of mile ranges needed to fly with Star Alliance on their site, assuming a one-way itinerary.

mile range table
Full table not shown. Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

You can find similar tables for Aeromexico and Iberia at the LifeMiles site.

How to redeem LifeMiles for maximum value

There are a few ways to maximize the value of your LifeMiles once you’ve earned enough.

1. Book a flight with StarAlliance partners
Avianca is just one of three airline rewards programs within the Star Alliance that can go towards fuel surcharges or close-in booking fees for any partnered flights.

That makes your LifeMiles especially valuable for booking otherwise pricey international flights. While LifeMiles adds a $25 booking fee to all award tickets, this pales in comparison to the fuel surcharges on a Lufthansa first class flight.

2. Book a flight on Avianca
You can find some good deals on Avianca-operated flights depending on when you book and where you’re going,

For example, a business promo ticket could run you 70,000 LifeMiles for a round trip from LAX to SJU. Purchasing this same route with cash might run you about $2,747, meaning your LifeMiles jump in value to about 4 cents per mile.

3. Upgrade your Avianca flight
Avianca also features respectable rates on upgrading your flights to business class. The exact value of your LifeMiles depends on your itinerary, though Avianca offers a handy chart to give you an idea of how many points you’ll need to spend.

Upgrade prices chart

How to earn Avianca LifeMiles

The fastest way to collect LifeMiles is to effectively use associated credit cards. For more details on all of the ways you can earn LifeMiles, check out our complete earning guide.

Compare cards for earning LifeMiles

Avianca’s cobranded cards offer additional LifeMile bonuses when you spend with Avianca and feature a solid signup bonus.

If a cobranded card isn’t your first choice for earning LifeMiles, you can apply for one of Avianca’s credit card partners. American, Express, Citi and Capital One all allow you to transfer points to your LifeMiles program, so you’ll have a great card selection to choose from.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
The Platinum Card® from American Express
100,000 points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months
5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 5x points on directly-booked flights on up to $500,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on other eligible purchases
100,000 points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points), 3x points on directly-booked flights and 1x points on other eligible purchases

Rose Gold is here to stay. Card Members can choose between a Gold or Rose Gold Card.

Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 based on our valuation with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Avianca Vuela Visa® Card
40,000 miles after first purchase
3x miles on Avianca, 2x miles on gas and groceries, 1x miles on all other purchases and 15% Multiply Your Miles discount
Earn 40,000 bonus LifeMiles after first purchase.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Avianca is just one of three Star Alliance partners to not pass on fuel surcharges, making the LifeMiles rewards program all the more intriguing. It’s easy to bank a ton of LifeMiles and redeem the points on flights that’d otherwise be expensive. Learn how to best earn LifeMiles and compare your rewards credit card options to find the best fit for your preferences.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Do LifeMiles expire?
    Yes. LifeMiles expire after 12 months unless you make at least one accrual transaction or cobranded credit card purchase within that time.
  • Can I reactivate expired LifeMiles?
    Yes, your miles will expire if your account is inactive for 18 months. Avoid this by earning and redeeming miles at least once every year.
  • Can I redeem flights if I’m short the total number of LifeMiles needed?
    Yes. You can combine LifeMiles and cash to book your flight using the “LifeMiles + Money” option, though you’ll need at least 40% of the required mileage.

Images: Shutterstock

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