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Many travelers may not realize there are two co-branded Avianca LifeMiles credit cards. Avianca LifeMiles may not be the most-talked-about frequent flyer program. But it is one of the most flexible for booking international travel and now there are two new offers on the Avianca credit cards.
Avianca LifeMiles Credit Cards Review
- Earn up to 40,000 LifeMiles
- Two different Avianca LifeMiles credit cards
- Can book any Star Alliance airline partner with LifeMiles
- Avianca airlines is a transfer partner of Amex MR, Chase UR, Capital One Venture, and Citi TY
Maybe you already transfer your American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, or Capital One Venture Miles to your LifeMiles account.
You now have the chance to earn up to 40,000 bonus LifeMiles with an Avianca credit card — one of the best credit card offers because of its simplicity. Most award flights start at 15,000. This Avianca LifeMiles credit cards review will also help you decide which option is better for you.
Earn Up to 40,000 Bonus Avianca LifeMiles
Though there are different type credit cards, these Avianca credit cards can help you travel through a pretty sweet welcome bonus. Below are the current welcome bonus offers for both Avianca Lifemiles credit cards:
Avianca Vida Visa® Card: 20,000 welcome bonus miles after making your first purchase on your card.
Avianca Vuela Visa® Card: 40,000 welcome bonus miles after making your first purchase on your card.
Both bonuses are very easy to earn. Don’t ignore one of the easiest ways to earn points and miles for travel.
For what it’s worth, I just applied for this Avianca credit card and was approved instantly. My credit score is over 750 and I have a very good credit utilization percentage.
Avianca Vida Lifemiles Visa Credit Card Review
The Avianca Vida Visa® Card is the entry-level LifeMiles credit card. It has the following features:
- Earn 2 LifeMiles per $1 spent on all Avianca purchases
- Earn 1 LifeMile per $1 spent on everything else
- 15% discount on miles purchases with Multiply Your Miles
- Welcome bonus of up to 20,000 bonus LifeMiles
- $59 annual fee
This card does have a 1% foreign transaction fee. Because of this fee, you may only want to use this card for U.S.-based purchases. If you are interested in cards for traveling abroad, check out our post on the best credit cards for international travel.
Note that LifeMiles expire after 12 months of account inactivity. The only way to renew your miles is to earn more miles — spending miles no longer resets the counter. This card can be the easiest way to maintain your LifeMiles balance with periodic Avianca Lifemiles card purchases.
Avianca Vuela Visa Card
The more luxurious offering is the Avianca Vuela Visa® Card. It does have a $149 annual fee but offers these benefits:
- Earn 3 LifeMiles per $1 spent on Avianca purchases
- Earn 2 LifeMiles per $1 spent at gas stations and grocery stores
- 1x LifeMiles for everything else
- 15% discount on miles purchases with Multiply Your Miles
- Welcome bonus of up to 40,000 bonus LifeMiles
- A free additional piece of baggage between the United States and Central America
- No foreign transaction fee
The Avianca Vuela Visa® Card is the better option if you plan on traveling abroad. That’s because there isn’t a foreign transaction fee and you can save money on Avianca flights. Plus, you earn 3x miles on Avianca purchases, slightly more than the standard award rate for some of the best credit cards for travel miles.
Although your first checked bag is free when flying between North America and Central America, the free baggage benefit with the Vuela Card also covers the second piece of luggage, saving you $50 each way.
50% Award Flight Discount
If you spend $12,000+ annually, you’ll earn a 50% discount on an award flight redeemed for travel from the United States to Central American or Colombia. Additionally, if you spend $24,000+ annually, you’ll earn an additional 50% discount on an award flight redeemed for travel, also from the United States to Central America or Colombia.
One-way flights start at 15,000 LifeMiles. This means you would pay as little as 7,500 miles, plus fees and taxes, with this discount.
Redeeming Avianca LifeMiles
LifeMiles is one of the more underappreciated frequent flyer programs, especially when it comes to international travel because they don’t charge fuel surcharges. If you were to book the same flights through certain carriers, they would charge you the fuel surcharge. You also don’t have to worry about close-in booking fees when reserving award flights within two weeks of departure.
One large downside is that less business and first-class seats are available through Star Alliance partners than in the recent past. If you find a premium seat, consider booking it ASAP because they disappear quickly. You may also need to call Avianca to book a partner flight as some seats may not display online.
Below are a few examples of how you can redeem your bonus LifeMiles.
Domestic United Flights for 10,000 Miles
You can find select zone-based United Airlines flights for 10,000 LifeMiles plus $5.60 each way for economy. One example is from Houston to Chicago. The same flight costs 12,500 miles booked directly through United.
You can also fly economy across the continental United States for 13,500 miles. This can be a decent alternative if the standard United Airlines saver award of 12,500 miles isn’t available. When you don’t have United miles or transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards banked up, spending the extra 1,000 miles can be better than paying cash.
The United States to Colombia for 15,000 LifeMiles
As Avianca is based out of Colombia, there are plenty of flights there along with Central and South America. Economy seats start at 15,000 LifeMiles plus $25.60 taxes and fees for a one-way ticket from the United States. If you have been wanting to visit Bogota or Medellin, this is one way to do it.
The United States to Europe for 30,000 LifeMiles
Economy flights between the United States and Europe are available for $30,000 plus fees and taxes. Depending on the flight details, those fees and taxes are usually less than $30. However, some itineraries can charge as much as $40.65.
These flights may be operated by Lufthansa, Iberia, United or another Star Alliance partner.
The United States to Taipei for 67,500 Miles (Business Class)
One business class route you might consider is on EVA Airways from San Francisco to Taipei for 67,500 miles plus $5.60 each way. This flight is several thousand miles less than booking a partner flight through United at 70,000 miles each way.
Economy seats cost 31,500 LifeMiles plus $5.60 each way. In either case, you will need to transfer miles or pay cash for the point gap for this route.
LifeMiles periodically posts award travel promotions. Select routes will cost less than the standard redemption amount. You will need to act fast to secure a seat if you find a route you like.
Summary of the Avianca LifeMiles Credit Cards
The Avianca cards come with some of the easiest signup bonuses to earn. Don’t miss the opportunity if Avianca is available in your area.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.