Or, consider other cards for 50,000 or more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
2x points on all your spending.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
5. The payment page might have a bunch of installment options. Ignore them and choose the 1x single installment.
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.
7. Now you can book. Just go to the main Smiles home page and pull up the flight search to book.
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.
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