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New LifeMiles award chart vs United MileagePlus & old side by side

by on Sat July 19, 2014 • No Comment

Earlier this week Avianca / TACA LifeMiles announced it would raise prices on Star Alliance awards originating in the United States and elsewhere effective October 15.

But it didn’t show what the new award prices would be for Star Alliance partner flights.

That’s changed, and a new award chart has been released.

Some of the better values have been eliminated from the chart, with Business Class to Europe now 126,000 miles roundtrip versus 105,000 prior.

And versus United, Avianca still charges less for the most expensive awards, Business and First Class on long haul flights.

Here’s a comparison of the new LifeMiles award chart versus the old chart and versus United’s Star Alliance chart. United MileagePlus is the only other mileage program that lets you fly Star Alliance partners like Lufthansa without fuel surcharges of hundreds of dollars. All prices are one-way.

New LifeMiles Star Alliance Award Chart

EconomyBusinessFirst Class
North America12,50025,00035,000
Central America18,00036,00046,000
Northern South Amerca20,00040,00050,000
Southern South America30,00060,00070,000
Northern Africa42,50078,000105,000
Middle East42,50078,000105,000
South Africa40,00078,000105,000
North Asia35,00075,00090,000
Central Asia42,50078,000111,000
South Asia39,00078,00099,000
Australia / New Zealand40,00080,000111,000

Old LifeMiles Star Alliance Award Chart

North America25,00050,00070,000
Central America35,00060,00080,000
Northern South Amerca40,00070,00090,000
Southern South America60,000100,000135,000
Northern Africa80,000130,000175,000
Middle East80,000130,000175,000
South Africa80,000130,000175,000
North Asia65,000125,000150,000
Central Asia80,000130,000185,000
South Asia65,000130,000165,000
Australia / New Zealand80,000135,000185,000

New vs Old LifeMiles

North America000
Central America5006,0006,000
Northern South Amerca05,0005,000
Southern South America010,0002,500
Northern Africa2,50013,00017,500
Middle East2,50013,00017,500
South Africa013,00017,500
North Asia2,50012,50015,000
Central Asia2,50013,00018,500
South Asia6,50013,00016,500
Australia / New Zealand012,50018,500

United MileagePlus Star Alliance Award Chart

EconomyBusinessFirst Class
North America12,50025,00035,000
Central America17,50030,00040,000
Northern South Amerca20,00035,00045,000
Southern South America30,00055,00070,000
Northern Africa40,00080,000130,000
Middle East42,50080,000140,000
South Africa40,00080,000130,000
North Asia35,00080,000120,000
Central Asia42,50080,000140,000
South Asia40,00080,000130,000
Australia / New Zealand35,00080,000130,000

LifeMiles vs MileagePlus

EconomyBusinessFirst Class
North America000
Mexico05,000 5,000
Central America5006,000 6,000
Caribbean05,000 5,000
Northern South Amerca05,000 5,000
Southern South America05,000 0
Northern Africa2,500 (2,000)(25,000)
Middle East0(2,000)(35,000)
South Africa0(2,000)(25,000)
North Asia0(5,000)(30,000)
Central Asia0(2,000)(29,000)
South Asia(1,000)(2,000)(31,000)
Australia / New Zealand5,000 0(19,000)

LifeMiles can now be purchased for about 1.65 cents per mile each during their regular 100% bonus ‘buy miles’ promotions. That’s an increase from 1.5 cents per mile at the start of this year.

That means that ticket to Europe will cost $2,079 roundtrip if miles are purchased, versus $1,575 before.

Sneaking into Lufthansa First Class one-way to Europe will now set you back over $1,400 if you buy all the miles instead of earning them via flying or card spend. Before it cost 72,500 miles and would set you back around $1,200 (or $1,100 at the old 1.5 cent per mile purchase price that was raised earlier this year).

So overall the cost of buying LifeMiles to fly Business or First Class to Europe will increase around 30% versus where it was at the start of this year.

This still might be worth it for some, and if you have some ‘free’ LifeMiles earned via flying or card spend still an interesting deal.

But for buying outright you can sometimes find paid Business Class fares to Europe for about $2,000 – $3,000 on many airlines, and earn miles in the process. LifeMiles is the cheapest option most of the time, but only by a slim margin now.


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