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Buy Gol Smiles: Hawaii for $112, South Africa for $269, Europe in Biz class for $493

by on Wed June 17, 2015 • 10 Comments
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smilespromo

Smiles, the loyalty program of Gol Airlines in Brazil is offering a lucrative promotion if you are adventurous, persistent, and buy its miles by this Friday, June 19th.

  • For every 1,000 miles you buy, Gol will deposit a total of 3x in your account.
  • So buying 1,000 miles nets you 3,000 miles, and you can buy up to 40,000 per year, netting you 120,000 miles.
  • Gol miles cost 7 cents in Brazilian Real each, but since you’re getting 3x they cost just 2.3 cents in Real.
  • And thanks to a really strong U.S. dollar, you can then buy them for less than one cent each in U.S. dollars.
  • Smiles can be used for flights on partners Delta, Alitalia, Copa, Aerolineas Argentinas, Qatar Airways, TAP, and Air France / KLM, along with Etihad, though prices on Air France / KLM and Etihad are inflated.

realusd

Here’s a table with some examples of what you can get with the deal, though Gol doesn’t publish a formal award chart as prices can vary by partner (note that  Air France / KLM and Etihad awards are more expensive, but Delta, Alitalia, and others are closer to these prices).

smilesconversion

What are some of the great deals?

U.S. to Hawaii for $110…

Flights within the U.S. on Delta can be a real steal, especially to Hawaii.

Gol charges just 12,500 miles one way to Hawaii on Delta flights – which costs just $112 to buy with this promotion, or $224 roundtrip!

ordhnl

U.S. to South Africa for $269…

Delta operates a flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg, and you can score it for just 36,000 Gol Smiles, for a cost of only $269.

atljnb

U.S. to Europe in Business Class for $493…

Alitalia flights to Italy in Business Class are 65,000 Smiles, which cost just $493 with this deal, though you can only buy enough for one way unless you earn an extra 5,000 Smiles another way. Delta and TAP flights also price at the same rate.

ordfco

It’s not of interest to us, but there are also some deals from the Middle East to Asia on Qatar Airways in Business and First Class being reported and you may find others.

What’s the catch?

  • You can only buy 40,000 Smiles per year, per account, for a total of 120,000 Smiles
  • As we note above, prices can vary by partner, presumably to account for Gol not passing on fuel surcharges
  • Award availability doesn’t always match outside sources. For example, we haven’t found any availability using Qaatar or Etihad from the U.S.
  • The added miles expire after 6 months
  • The website is really finicky and can give you trouble trying to process a credit card
  • Prices are in Real, so use a no foreign transaction fee card
  • Changes and cancellations are 80 to 100 Brazilian Real

How do you get in on this?

1. First, set up a Gol Smiles account at this link. It’s all in Portugese, so you may want to use Chrome as your browser to get real time translations.

2. If you’re a U.S. resident try to use an international address, as payment using a U.S. address on the account seems to create errors. Only use numbers in the field for the address number. Credit cards will process without the address, though you may have to respond to a fraud alert. We had no trouble with a major U.S. credit card.

3. Once that’s set you can buy the miles by logging into your account at this link.

4. You can buy miles in 1,000 mile increments, so you may want to do a test run of 1,000 miles for about $22. The price you see will be in Brazilian Real, and the bonus won’t be shown at all during the purchase process. That will post after you’re done purchasing.

buymilesamount

5. The payment page might have a bunch of installment options. Ignore them and choose the 1x single installment.

smilescardpage

6. Once you’ve purchased, you can see your miles in your account using this link. In this example we made separate purchases of 1,000 miles and 4,000 miles, with the bonuses of 2,000 miles and 8,000 miles listed instantaneously.

smilesaccountscreen

7. Now you can book. Just go to the main Smiles home page and pull up the flight search to book.

flightbooking

Final caution

This is not the first time this deal has been offered, it was last offered in May, so it is real. Given you are dealing with a foreign airline,  the award chart has been known to change suddenly, and the booking process is finicky, don’t buy miles for bookings you can’t make right now, or use money you’re in real need of.

Use the award search to find an award you know you’ll be able to take before buying the miles.

Here’s the fine print of the promo as translated by Google Chrome  – there appears to be no restriction on where you reside:

I – PROMOTION

1. promotional action filed by Smiles SA (“SMILES”), valid from 16.06.2015 to 06.19.2015 for all participants who are enrolled in the Smiles Program [“Participant (s)”].

2. Participants in the period from 16.6.2015 to 19.6.2015 (“Effective Period”), purchase airline Smiles miles (“Miles Smiles”) for your account Smiles (“Smiles Account”) within the logged area of ​​the site www.smiles.com.br, via mobile or Call Center will receive a bonus of 200% (hundred percent) Miles Smiles (“Bonus Miles”) on the amount of Miles Smiles acquired (miles resulting from the purchase Miles of Smiles). The unit value of Miles Smiles is $ 0.07 (seven cents).

3. During the Term, all Miles Smiles shopping can be paid in up to ten (10) months interest free (except those made through the mobile site or with promotional codes and / or coupons) credit card provided that the credit card is issued in Brazil. Only portions will be accepted with a minimum value of R $ 5.00 (five Reais). The Smiles Miles for purchases with discount codes and / or coupons will not the Participant entitled to receive bonus under this promotion.

4. SHELF LIFE OF SMILES MILES PURCHASED BY ENTRANT WILL BE OF 12 (TWELVE) MONTHS WHILE THE MILES BONUS WILL DATE 6 (SIX) MONTHS.

5. the Bonus Miles credit will be paid automatically by the SMILES at the time the Participant making the purchase of Miles Smiles.

6. the Bonus Miles credit will be paid in the same account where Smiles Smiles Miles are credited bought. The Bonus Miles are personal and untransferable.

7. This promotion is not combinable with other offers and / or promotions that are in place or will be launched.

8. ONLY MILES SMILES OBTAINED THROUGH MILES SHOPPING ON SITE WWW.SMILES.COM.BR OR VIA MOBILE BE VALID FOR PROMOTION. MILES SMILES OBTAINED BY OTHER SMILES OF PARTNER ENTERPRISES THROUGH THIS PROMOTION MAY NOT BE USED. MILES SMILES PURCHASED BY ENTRANT MAY not be reversed.

9. The Smiles Program reserves the right to change, suspend or cancel this promotion in accordance with the Regulations of the Smiles Program.

10. The failure to comply with conditions described in this Regulation may entail the loss of the Participant’s rights as well as the cancellation of his participation in the Promotion.

11. It will be excluded from the promotion and lose the right to Bonus Miles the Party that has provided information or incorrect or false statements to SMILES.

12. Without prejudice to any civil liability, administrative and / or criminal, the SMILES can also cancel Smiles Account of the Participant who use fraud, deception or other ruse to participate in this Promotion.

13. Tolerance, omission or compromise the SMILES not constitute a waiver or modification of the conditions expressed in the rules of this promotion.

14. This Promotion is independent of any random mode (luck) and are not therefore subject to prior authorization established in Art. 1 of Law No. 5,768 / 71.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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10 thoughts on Buy Gol Smiles: Hawaii for $112, South Africa for $269, Europe in Biz class for $493

  1. Debbie

    Do you know if you can book award flights for someone else? I’m wondering if I can buy and book for both of us from my account, or if my friend needs to sign up and buy their own miles?

    Reply
  2. Billy Brown

    After entering all of our info. I keep getting a message saying “there is a failure in the payment gateway” for both my and my wife’s attempts at purchasing smiles. Has anybody else had this happen?

    Reply
  3. flyer jay

    Do you only need to BOOK the travel before the miles expire, or must you FLY the route before they expire?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @flyer jay – You only need to book before they expire. If you cancel and try to redeposit after they’ve expired, then they won’t redeposit.

      Reply
  4. Billy Brown

    Does the credit card you use have to be issued in Brazil ? I thought I read that. Did you buy all of your miles in 1000 and 4000 increments? Why?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Billy – The example is with a US based credit card – the first 1,000 was the smallest allowed and used as a test. The second 4,000 was to get the account to 15,000 miles for a domestic one way award. Smiles account address was non-US, but no address is asked for in the payment section. People from many non-Brazilian countries have taken advantage of the offer during its prior releases.

      Reply
  5. Nun

    Have you actually done this? I ask because I thought Smiles is only open to Brazilians. (Don’t you need a CPF, which is like a SSN?)

    Reply
      1. MileCards.com

        @Nun – Yes, success registering a new account and purchasing the miles without Brazilian residency.

        Reply

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