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Update: This offer is no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Via Mighty Travels, US Bank has doubled the bonus on the Avianca LifeMiles
Card to 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the 1st 3 months.
US Bank LifeMiles Visa Card
Link: US Bank LifeMiles Visa Signature Card
The regular sign-up bonus on the US Bank LifeMiles Visa card is 20,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the 1st 3 months. We get a commission for that offer, but it isn’t as good as the new offer.
The new offer is for 40,000 miles with the same minimum spending, if you sign-up before April 30, 2014.
- 20,000 miles when you make your 1st purchase, and another 20,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months
- 1 mile per $1 you spend on regular purchases
- 2 miles per $1 you spend on Avianca
- 6,000 miles on your card anniversary each year
- 50% discount on excess baggage charges on Avianca
- Annual fee waived for the 1st year, then $75
Note: The fine print on this offer says that if you’re not eligible for the Visa Signature card, US Bank may issue you a regular Visa card or a secured Visa card. The sign-up bonuses on those cards are only 15,000 or 5,000 miles.
And there’s no way to tell which card you’ll get until they process your application! That’s very sketchy.
If you are not eligible for the LifeMiles Visa Signature card, you will be considered for the LifeMiles Visa card. LifeMiles Visa Cardholders will receive 15,000 First Use bonus miles when the first purchase is made. If you are not eligible for the LifeMiles Visa card, you will be considered for the LifeMiles Visa Secured card. LifeMiles Visa Secured Cardholders will receive 5,000 First Use bonus miles when the first purchase is made.
My link to the LifeMiles Card is only for 20,000 miles. Emily and I don’t earn a commission on the 40,000 mile card, but we always let you know of the best possible offer for a card whether or not it pays a commission.
Mixed Feelings About Avianca’s Frequent Flyer Program
The Avianca frequent flyer program has a few advantages and limitations.
I like that you can use Avianca miles to book 1-way trips, and that they don’t add fuel surcharges to award tickets. And you can book flights on-line.
But their telephone customer service isn’t very good, so don’t try booking an award on the phone. This means that if you can’t find an award online, you’re unlikely to be able to book it with Avianca miles – even if you know that the award seats are available!
And they don’t allow mixed cabin awards, which means you can’t book a Business Class ticket on 1 segment and Coach on another. This means that I can’t book a business class award to Europe and fly in Coach on a regional jet to get back to Austin!
Where Can I Go for 40,000 Avianca Miles?
You can see how many Avianca miles you need by looking at their Star Alliance award chart. It shows the number of miles needed for a round-trip ticket, so just divide by 2 to figure out the miles needed for a 1-way ticket.
For example, you could fly round-trip in Coach from North America to:
- USA and Canada (but not Hawaii) for 25,000 miles
Mexico for 35,000 miles
- The Caribbean for 35,000 miles
- The North of South America for 40,000 miles (includes Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru)
Hawaii for 40,000 miles
Or you could fly 1-way in Economy Class from North America to:
- Europe or the South of South America for 30,000 miles (includes Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Brazil)
- North or South Asia for 32,500 miles (for example Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, The Philippines and more)
- The Middle East, Africa, or Central Asia (for example India, Maldives, Nepal, and more) for 40,000 miles
Or you could use your miles to fly 1-way in Business Class from North America to:
- US and Canada (but not Hawaii) for 25,000 miles
- Mexico for 30,000 miles
- The Caribbean for 30,000 miles
- The North of South America for 35,000 miles (includes Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru)
- Hawaii for 40,000 miles
Or you could use your miles to fly 1-way in First Class from North America to:
- US and Canada (but not Hawaii) for 35,000 miles
- Mexico and the Caribbean for 40,000 miles
When you book award tickets with Avianca miles you’ll sometimes get a better deal than if you use miles from other Star Alliance airlines like United!
For example, a 1-way ticket from North America to Hawaii in Economy Class costs 22,500 miles if you use United miles. But if you use Avianca miles, it will only cost you 20,000 miles.
And a 1-way ticket from North America to Europe in Business Class using United miles costs 70,000 miles. But Avianca only charges 52,500 miles!
That said, you’re out of luck if the Avianca website doesn’t let you book the flights online, even if you can find the same flights on the United website!
The sign-up bonus on the Avianca LifeMiles Card has increased to 40,000 miles up to April 30, 2014. You can use Avianca miles to book award tickets on Star Alliance airlines.
However, you might not get approved for the 40,000 miles version of the card and get a lesser card with a bonus of 15,000 or 5,000 miles.
I’d skip this card if you’re new to miles and points and focus on the better cards in the Hot Deals tab. But this could be worth considering for folks with lots of cards.