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A pretty handy, albeit very imperfect, Star Alliance frequent flyer program is LifeMiles. I have used them on occasion to fly for far less than retail price on Star Alliance airlines such as United, Lufthansa, ANA, and many more. What makes them popular in some frequent flyer circles is that they sell miles at relatively inexpensive rates on occasion, and allow you to use a combination of miles and cash to lock in flights.
In fact, they are currently offering a sale on miles with a 140% bonus on purchased miles (if you go through the special link for One Mile at a Time) which drops the per mile price to as low as 1.375 cents per mile. Get the full details on how that works at the link above.
Even better, those who make a purchase of at least 15,000 miles (not counting the bonus miles) seem to be getting targeted emails to purchase up to 5,000 more miles with a 200% bonus. That drops the per mile price to 1.1 cents each, which is outstanding. This bonus reportedly tops out at 15,000 total miles for about $165, but some have used it more than once…
Discounted LifeMiles Star Alliance Redemptions from 10,000 Miles Each Way!
The reason this caught my attention today however is not the current mileage sale, but rather a sale on award redemptions for those in North America for travel within North America and from North America to North Asia valid on all classes of travel and with all Star Alliance partners. Piece together a sale on miles plus a discount on select award redemptions and you can see where this is going….
The discounted LifeMiles award travel is valid for bookings made by May 30, 2017 at the following one-way award rates:
Save on North America – select destinations in Asia Awards
- Economy: 33,500 miles (regularly 35,000 miles)
- Business Class: 67,500 miles (regularly 75,000 miles) – valid to China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Mongolia
- First Class: 82,500 miles (regularly 90,000 miles) – valid to China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Guam, Hong Kong, Macao, Mariana Islands, Philippines, Palau, Taiwan
Save on North America – North America Awards
- Economy: 10,000 miles (regularly 12,500 miles or less in certain zones)
- Business/Domestic First 22,500 miles (regularly 25,000 miles)
For these purposes North America includes Lower 48 and Canada, and you would likely be traveling primarily on United and/or Air Canada for those routes.
These awards are bookable online at the LifeMiles site (you do have to register to search) and this could be a great way to put together an affordable last minute trip this summer or beyond. The discounted awards are valid as far out into the schedule as you can book.
To put some numbers to this, a 20,000 mile round trip award booked via this sale valid for travel within North America is 5,000 miles cheaper than the normal LifeMiles price, or than what United would want. If you purchased those LifeMiles miles at 1.35 cents each via the current sale then it would come out to $270 per round trip ticket, which isn’t tremendous, but also isn’t bad for some markets or for last minute travel. LifeMiles does not charge fuel surcharges for tickets, but does charge a $25 redemption fee and is a royal pain to work with if your plans change.
To kick this up a notch, you could obviously go all out with a premium cabin international redemption to or from Asia to North America for fewer miles than normal. For example, you could fly ANA business class from Tokyo Narita – San Francisco for just 67,500 miles one-way. At 1.35 cents per mile that works out to about $911 for the one-way ticket, which is much less than you would buy it for outright with cash.
If you want in on these discounted award tickets you have until May 30, 2017 to book!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.