Posted by William Charles on November 24, 2016
Credit Card Review

Published on November 24th, 2016 | by William Charles

76

New Avianca LifeMiles Credit Cards – Issued By Banco Popular – Full Reviews & Up To 60,000 Miles

There looks to be two new Avianca credit cards available, big thanks to Amol at Travel Codex for providing me with the application link:

  • Avianca Vida Visa Card
  • Avianca Vuela Visa Card

Both of these cards are issued by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, they normally trade under the name Popular Community Bank in the United States. I’m not exactly sure if you can sign up for these new cards yet or not, as there was supposed to be a 60,000 mile offer initially (although maybe they meant you could get 60,000 miles by applying for both cards?) and the e-mail that contained the link to these cards still said coming soon. There was also a generic promotional code of AVSPWE given in the e-mail and an area for that promo code to be added in (under financial information) – that e-mail also specifically references the Vuela card so I imagine that bonus is only available on that card.  Reader @TProphet applied and was approved, so I imagine the links are live now. But who knows if the 60,000 bonus with the promo code will work or not.

avianca-credit-cards

Let’s take a look at both card’s in a bit more detail.

Avianca Vida Visa Card Review

  • Sign up bonus of 20,000 Avianca LifeMiles after first purchase within 90 days of account opening
  • Annual fee of $59 is not waived first year
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 2x LifeMiles per $1 spent on Avianca purchases
    • 1x LifeMiles per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 15% discount on purchases of miles with Multiply Your Miles

Fine print for Multiply Your Miles can be found here.

Avianca Vuela Visa Card Review

  • Sign up bonus of 40,000 Avianca LifeMiles after first purchase within 90 days of account opening (possibly 60,000 miles by using promo code AVSPWE. Enter this under financial information on the application form)
  • Annual fee of $149 is not waived first year
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 3x LifeMiles per $1 spent on Avianca purchases
    • 2x LifeMiles per $1 spent on gas stations and grocery stores
    • 1x LifeMiles per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free additional piece of baggage for travel between the United States & Central America
  • A 50% discount on an award ticket redeemed for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States after $12,000 spent each year
  • An additional 50% discount on an award ticket redeemed for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States after $12,000 spent each year
  • 15% discount on purchases of miles with Multiply Your Miles
  • 0% Introductory APR on balance transfers from the date you transfer (2% fee with a maximum of $10 being applied)

The fine print of the award ticket states that travel must be booked in X class (economy). Award flights from North America to Central America (Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador) cost as follows (one way, so double for return):

  • Economy: 18,000 miles
  • Business: 36,000 miles
  • First: 46,000 miles

Flights from North America to Colombia cost:

  • Economy: 20,000 miles
  • Business: 40,000 miles
  • First: 50,000 miles

When I read the fine print, it looks like multiple tickets can be booked at once to receive this discount. Depending on how all of this works at practice, spending $12,000/$24,000 on this card might make sense for some people. If it’s only for a single ticket then you’ll be saving 20,000 miles, that’s basically an extra 1.67x miles per one dollar spent. If it’s for multiple tickets then it would be an extra 1.67x per dollar spent multiplied by how many tickets you’re redeeming for.

Redeeming Miles

Full award chart can be found here. Keep in mind they do not charge fuel surcharges.

Our Verdict

Personally I see people getting these cards for the sign up bonus and not much more, but that’s also the case with the majority of airline cards I find. There could be some good value here depending on how the 50% discount exactly works. The fact that these bonuses only require a single purchase is also great for people that struggle to meet minimum spend requirements.

If anybody applies for both cards, let us know if combine inquiries or not. As I said previously, thanks to Amol at Travel Codex, you can read his view on these cards here.

Update: There is no reconsideration number for Banco Popular and one reader was told that they need to mail a physical letter to Puerto Rico to try for reconsideration.

 



76 Responses to New Avianca LifeMiles Credit Cards – Issued By Banco Popular – Full Reviews & Up To 60,000 Miles

  1. Ryan says:

    It just won’t take my membership number. Keeps on telling me that my membership number is incorrect, when I know it is.. Hmm.

    Since it costs $15 per 1000 Lifemiles to transfer between accounts, I’d rather not leave the membership info blank..

  2. Adam says:

    Any idea what CB they’d pull or most likely pull? Since they’re a smaller, unknown credit issuer – it’d be awesome if they used TU! In that case I wouldn’t even care if they don’t combine inquiries as long as you could get multiple cards & churn these regularly.

  3. Dima says:

    Anyone tried applying yet? The link has been live for about 12 hours now but I don’t see anywhere where I can enter the promo code for 60k. Unable to call to appy right now.

  4. N says:

    DoC, are you seeing the 60k language on the third (review) page after entering the promo code? The “review your application before submit” page still says 40k even after putting in the promo code

  5. mac says:

    Seems to me that 15% off purchasing miles is a pretty good benefit that people aren’t talking about (unless I’m missing something about this). I know I recently saw a deal with lifemiles that gave you a 150% bonus and I know they do similar deals like that all the time. But if you can get those at 15% off that seems like it could be an incredible deal for some. Thoughts, DoC?

    • My understanding was that the 15% off wasn’t on the purchase of miles but some other program they have where you get extra miles when you fly or something…

      • Jeremy says:

        The 15% discount is used for purchasing miles through Multiply Your Miles. You can double or triple the miles you earn through the credit card (or flights) buying the miles at a price (after the 15% discount) of 1.45 cents. This is a good option to access competitive prices for relatively low volume purchases.

  6. Dirah says:

    I applied and got approved.
    They pulled both Equifax and Transunion 🙁
    At least they left Experian alone.
    (State: NY)

  7. DKTEE says:

    Please tell us how much you were approved for

  8. nina says:

    How long did it take to get card in mail? I applied 8 Dec/approved but they need utility bill.

  9. PedroNY says:

    I applied, was told to submit paystub/utility bill, etc., I never submitted anything. I received the card in the mail yesterday, $25,000 credit limit.

    Let’s see how this plays out.

    Cheers,

    PedroNY

  10. Del says:

    Did anyone try applying for both cards? Looking over the terms, I saw that it mentions “6 Subject to credit approval. Only one Avianca credit card per customer.” but I’m curious if anyone has tried it.

  11. Chris says:

    DP: If you are not auto-approved, and they request employment/pay verification, they will not approve you if you have been with your current employer for less than six months. I switched jobs two months ago, and after uploading employment verification and pay stubs, my application was denied due to my short term of employment.

  12. Gene says:

    anyone know if you can spoon-feed star alliance flight segments to an Avianca telephone agent when redeeming an award?
    thanks

  13. tai says:

    anyone has the points post on account yet? I received my first bill and paid but still no points on account yet.

  14. Mary says:

    What is the website to access your credit card information? I accessed it once to confirm I received the card and now can’t remember what that website is.
    This is for the Avianca Vida.
    Btw- approved for 25k

  15. Mary says:

    Myonlinecreditcard.com

    I found the answer to my own question, finally, after looking for 2 weeks. Tried calling customer service but hung up after waiting for 25 minutes.

  16. TWoK says:

    Has anyone had their points post? Statement closed, no points…

    • TWoK says:

      Turns out the miles posted on Monday. Statement closed on a Thursday or Friday, so they clearly won’t post over the weekend.

  17. xur17 says:

    Is anyone else’s card not working? I’ve seen a few data points like mine, but I’m wondering how common it is.

    I was approved on 12-28, and received the card about a week later. I activated the card as soon as I received it, but my card gets declined whenever I try to use it. When I try to talk to customer service they tell me there is a passcode on my account and transfer me to the fraud department. They just claim that their systems are having issues and it is affecting all card holders. They don’t know when it will be fixed, and it has been going on since I got the card, so I can’t my 1 required purchase.

    There are several more datapoints like this on the flyertalk thread about this card. I’m curious how widespread this is.

  18. PedroNY says:

    Just to follow up, my 60,000 miles posted. I spent ~$30 on the card during the first week I received it, my statement closed about 10 days ago, my miles posted on 1/13/17.

    Cheers,

    PedroNY

  19. JoeBlack89 says:

    I searched for flights by this carrier but certainly out of my airport there are limited options. The aware chart implies maybe these miles can be used with another carrier. Does anyone know if these miles can be used on an airline other than Avianca?

    Thank you!

  20. JoeBlack89 says:

    I applied without a LifeMiles number. Will they create one for me?

    My application went pending. They asked for documentation. I will report back when the decision is clear.

    I have no intention of flying to Central or South America but if I can use these miles for a domestic trip on one of the Star Alliance partners, that would be fabulous. Can I use these miles for any United flights?

    • I think they will create one, not 100% sure so keep us updated.

      • JoeBlack89 says:

        Last I checked my application status about three weeks ago, they wanted a list of 10 or so documents. I sent one. I haven’t heard back and haven’t checked back. They did a hard pull on Equifax the day I applied. I won’t be sending them any more information. Since it’s been a month, I consider this matter closed and my application denied, although no confirmation from the bank.

  21. ein oid melvado says:

    need help with this Banco Popular bank lifemiles card

    i got approved for the card, activated it, tried to make a purchase which was declined
    its already 3 weeks and the card was not unlocked and is not available for use
    all they are saying when i call them that its a problem with the system and when it will be restored they’ll call me
    i tried several times asking to speak to a supervisor and all they say the supervisor is in a meeting and cant talk

    any advise please

  22. Chris says:

    Statement closed 5 days ago. No miles yet. Wondering if I should call in….

  23. RC Davis says:

    William Charles, do you see another sale of LifeMiles coming soon ?

  24. SQUID23 says:

    Closed the card after bonus posted, annual fee refunded 2 days later.
    60k points clawed back 5 days later.
    DO NOT CLOSE THE CARD

  25. Frank says:

    Really?…First I’ve head of a clawback on miles or points that were not part of the card issuer’s own program(like ultimate rewards, membership rewards, or thankyou points)

  26. Frank says:

    I was about to cancel mine for the annual fee refund, but now think I’ll wait for a few more reports.

  27. david says:

    I called the Bank, the card has been blocked for about 4 months. The customer service refund me the annual fee.. Maybe you should ask for this waiver instead of canceling.

  28. Bob says:

    Got the card and bonus but I’m having issues with lifemiles website. It seems any flight I try to book is showing as sold out for Star Alliance. Anyone else seeing this?

  29. BBQ says:

    Bob – yes, also am having issues booking anything with lifemiles.

    Data point: I cancelled two cards a few weeks ago just after receiving the 60K. Fingers crossed that there will be no clawbacksies. I still see the 60K miles in my account as of today.

  30. NoClawbacksies says:

    BBQ that’s great to hear on the no clawbacksies! I wonder if Squi23 was just an anomaly.

  31. BBQ says:

    Data point: FYI: 3-27: still no clawbacksies.

  32. NoClawbacksies says:

    Thanks for the update BBQ. I’ll be cancelling mine next week and will update the thread on my experience.

  33. BBQ says:

    Sure thing NCB.

    Data point update: As of 3-30, still no clawbacksies! 🙂

  34. Bbq says:

    April 10 – still got my LifeMiles

  35. bo knows says:

    it takes several months for this bank to do anything due now…so it might take them several months to claw back the 60k. don’t celebrate too soon

  36. NoClawbacksies says:

    1 week after bonus posted and I’ve still got 20,000 miles. Just spent 40k just in case to Cartagena for the week. Cancelled 1 day after bonus posted. No clawback.

  37. Information2020 says:

    So I’m not sure I saw this mentioned anywhere but when I was applying for the card today I was looking through the terms and conditions and read that to receive the offer you must maintain the card through the billing period which includes your purchase. So if you purchased an item as soon as you got the card; got the points before your billing cycle ended and cancelled before it closed then the points are clawed back as indicated by the T&C. Otherwise there’s no indication that the points should be clawed back.

  38. Tom says:

    Has anyone tried to churn this card yet ?

    • Robert says:

      I have the same question.

      • Frank says:

        I’ve read only 1 comment of someone auto approved then denied later while going for 2nd card after closing the 1st. No mention of reason for denial.

        • Robert says:

          Meaning, everyone else was successfully able to churn, aside of that DP? Or meaning, there is only this one DP wherein the person was unable to successfully churn? Thank you for the clarification.

          • NoClawbacksies says:

            Only 1 DP period. And in that DP I found where they were not successful. But he could have been denied for other reasons. 1 DP doesn’t yet make a trend, so I will give it a shot in several months. Please post back if you try.

  39. crystal says:

    hi is the 60,000 bonus points still available for applying Avianca Vuela Visa Card by using promo code AVSPWE? what is the spend requirement? thanks!

  40. high end hobo says:

    Is this card Churnable?

  41. UncivilEngineer says:

    DP: Just received my 60k LM points after being hit with the $149 AF after using the promo code.

    Additionally, Lifemiles is offering a 2-for-1 promo when purchasing LM directly from Avianca until May 30. Probably best reserved for those with a solid redemption plan.

  42. Dan says:

    Not saying that the clawback data point was necessarily a lie, but it seems odd that they would claw back one person’s points and not another’s when they did the same thing. I also know there are people in this game who make false posts to try to deter activity that they themselves have exploited. I think I’m going to give it a go with the opening and closing.

  43. Sam says:

    Does anyone still see the offer for 0% apr on balance transfers and $10 maximum balance transfer fee on either of these cards? I’m not seeing the 0% intro apr, and I would love to take advantage of that.

  44. Uncivil_Engineer says:

    Just called to close my account. Looking to apply again in ~30 days to see if this card is actually churnable. I’ve seen mailers showing a late Aug expiration on the AVSPVE code, so I’m hoping to apply for the card again before the end of that period.

    • Mike says:

      got a card 2 weeks ago, bonus points posted right after the statement closed on Wednesday. just called to cancel, and they told me they will open up a case to refund the AF since i am closing but i will not be receiving my bonus miles (which already posted). did they give you such warning when you called?

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