Lifemiles is one of my favourite airline programs, as they they are basically the only program in Star Alliance that sells miles for a reasonable price. They currently are having a 100% bonus on purchased miles, which runs until May 30th.
Lifemiles sells their miles at 3 cents apiece, which means a 100% bonus on purchased miles will bring the price down to 1.5 cents. The maximum number of miles you can purchase is 150,000 with the bonus, which will cost $2250 USD. Miles have to be purchased in blocks of 1,000 each.
The last time they’ve ran a purchase promotion was last December and last August. They also ran a transfer promotion in March. Lifemiles purchases are processed by Avianca themselves, so you do earn category bonuses as it qualifies as travel. As well, you want to use a credit card with no Foreign transaction fees. You can also redeem miles that allow you to rebate travel charges on your credit card.
Lifemiles to me is a very interesting program, and if you can leverage it properly, it can be a very good value. They have many awards which require much fewer miles than other programs. There are opportunities to fly business class to Asia/Europe for less than $400 one-way, and Lufthansa First Class for less than $400 per segment. For more advanced reading, see my Lifemiles Strategy post.
However, recently they’ve been having problems with showing award space properly from airlines such as United among others, so make sure that there is space before purchasing. As always, the call center is absolutely useless in helping you book tickets, so what’s available on the site is what’s bookable. There is also a increase in the number of phantom seats online, so often if you click through on an itinerary, it’ll error out. No mixed class bookings, stopovers, or long overnight layovers are permitted.
I’d say that if you can redeem your miles immediately and can find value from their miles, purchasing is not a bad idea, especially even with a regular redemptions business class with Lifemiles maybe cheaper than the cheapest economy class revenue ticket.