Posted by William Charles on November 7, 2018
Airline Rewards

Published on November 7th, 2018 | by William Charles

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American Express Membership Rewards Adds Avianca LifeMiles As A 1:1 Transfer Partner

American Express has added a new transfer partner to the Membership Rewards program users. Members can now transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to Avianca LifeMiles, with a minimum of 1,000 points. Avianca is already a transfer partner of Citi ThankYou points at the same 1:1 transfer rate. Other acquisition sources include frequent point sales and the Avianca co-branded card offering up to 60,000 miles.

Avianca is an interesting program because they don’t charge fuel surcharges or close in fees. Feel free to share some of your favorite sweet spots with the program in the comments below. It will be interesting to see if American Express ever offers a transfer bonus to Avianca. I’d recommend holding off transferring until you have an immediate use just in case they do add a transfer bonus in the future (plus it’s always better to hold flexible points). A full list of Membership Rewards transfer partners can be viewed below:

American Express Membership Rewards Transfer Partners   
Airline Partners (1:1 Unless Otherwise Noted)
Delta SkyMilesAeroMexico Club Premier (1:1)Air Canada AeroplanKLM/AirFrane Flying Blue
Alitalia MilleMiglia ClubANAAsia MilesBritish Airways Avios
EmiratesEL AL Israel Airlines (50:1)FrontierHawaiian Airlines
Iberia PlusjetBlue (1.25:1)Singapore Airlines KrisFlyerVirgin America Elevate (2:1)
Virgin atlantic flying clubEtihadAer LingusAvianca Lifemiles
Qantas
Hotel Partners (1:1 unless otherwise noted)
Choice PrivilegesHilton Hhonors (1:2)Marriott (1:1)

Hat tip to Dans Deals



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Jags
Jags

Time to update that SPG transfer…

quasimodo
quasimodo

Does that count as activity to extend the expiration date?

Mike
Mike

The answer is usually yes for other programs, but the fine print suggests otherwise?

James B.

Citi Thank You Pt transfers extend the expiration date, so I would bet that MR transfers do the same.

quasimodo
quasimodo

Just did a transfer. Had an expiration of Oct 2019, extended to Nov 2019. I guess that means yes. Instant.

quasimodo
quasimodo

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

Based on that legalese – the answer would seem to be no? What’s people’s experience with Citi TYP and expiration dates? So the only way is to credit miles or buy?

James B.

Citi Thank You Pt transfers extend the expiration date, so I would bet that MR transfers do the same.

Jeremy
Jeremy

The problem with Avianca is they charge a $25 booking fee, even online.

GL
GL

It’s not that bad really.

Artem
Artem

You’re getting “free”/ heavily discounted tickets what is $25 facking dollars…jeez

James B.

They charge a $25 fee when booking on partner airlines, but bookings on Avianca flights pay no booking fee.

P
P

Time to sign up for Avianca and do some research.

NinjaX
NinjaX

its very rare that i read super smart comments like this when every n00b has terrible tribal mentality being fed to them by other n00bs. whenever i hear a new CSR 0/24 private talk about how UR is the most valuable currency in the game, i throw up.

but FYI, Avianca is not for beginners and its a colombian currency.

tolikfox
tolikfox

UR only good for Hyatt transfers these days. Removing Korean Air was a huge loss. Now if Amex adds Korean Air then game over for UR!

NinjaX
NinjaX

yea dude. that was def a loss. thats why playing the SPG and Travel Package game was key if korea was a big one for you back in aug. but honestly, korean air is part of SkyTeam so not all is lost for award booking.

not only that, MR and TYP have transfer bonuses. while its a niche play for the bonus airlines, it provides huge value over UR that never has bonuses. meaning there are many ways to get to your destination with other carriers.

tolikfox
tolikfox

Korean Skypass miles has some sweet spots for booking Delta awards. I found this out when searching for award ticket to Hawaii.

Suzijiebug
Suzijiebug

I agree, a currency only for business and first class!

P
P

Thanks. As part of my initial research, I discovered Ethiopian Airlines fly between NRT and ICN!

Alex
Alex

Minor point – on the Membership Rewards Transfer Partner list, Virgin America Elevate does not exist anymore.

tBoston
tBoston

True… I can only imagine if Amex teams up with Alaska…. one can dream!

NinjaX
NinjaX

that is such a damn shame…

Enrico
Enrico

Out of my experience after one year still sitting on a lot of Lifemiles from Avianca. It is a challenge to redeem for Star Alliance flights because a lot of flights are not shown (compared to looking on united.com). Customer service also won’t see more, so if they are not online they are not bookable.

But I had a more specific/picky requirements for flights the past year. If you are more flexible then you can for sure find good deals. They have increased some of the fees including change fee of award flight. Good thing is it shows you those fees before booking the flight.

When you use the search engine on lifemiles you have to toggle between airline/alliance a bit to see all flights or straight go for star alliance if Avianca hasnt flights on where you want to go.

I’m confident I’ll have a redemption opportunity next year, just have to be more flexible or book earlier.

Good Luck.

John Galt
John Galt

For ME, this is a WIN! I’ve had excellent success booking flights on TG from BKK to numerous destinations. All done online, reasonable redemption value and availability.

Enrico
Enrico

Just had to look up those acronyms. 🙂
TG Thai Airways and BKK New Bangkok Airport.

What kind of redemption deals did you have? Economy or Business or first?

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