A HUGE LifeMiles Promo Probably Worth Skipping


The relaunch of InsideFlyer last week, supplanting Milepoint and a number of international affiliate sites, includes a massive promotion for buying LifeMiles. Arguably the largest promo ever offered but it also comes with a hefty price tag and a bit of risk.

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The promo is for a 150% bonus on buying miles. That’s a massive number and bigger than anything LifeMiles has offered previously. But there’s a catch: It requires a minimum purchase of 100,000 points at a price of $3,894. Yes, the payout is big – buying 100k nets 250k at a price of 1.56 cents each – but that’s only slightly better than some of the direct sales LifeMiles has had and those typically do not require the massive investment.

I’m generally opposed to buying points without a specific redemption lined up and known to be available. Beyond that there is the risk associated with potential devaluation of the LifeMiles points. It has happened before and it may happen again. Sitting on a large pile of points from a program with such a history is not a risk I’m particularly keen on.

The promotion also requires relatively immediate execution. Registration is required before executing on the deal and said registration must be made by 6 October 2015. After that there is what appears to be a 24 hour window to complete the purchase. Or maybe only after 24 from registration and until the 12th of October. The language on the LifeMiles promo page seems to contradict itself on that front.

Either way, the short term nature of the promo and the challenges of liquidating that many points quickly, not to mention the significant cash investment required, are factors which give me pause. Plus, I don’t have $4k laying around with nothing better to do.

So, yeah, nice to see the folks at Milepoint/InsideFlyer/House of Miles trying something new. But I’m not yet sold on the new layout for the forum and the very, very small potential buyer base for the promo makes me wonder if this is more about the noise of a promo than actually something they expect to be converted on.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

16 Comments

  1. Agreed, seems like an attempt at some hype. Plus I really don’t enjoy the new milepoint, the performance times alone of the forums is terrible and the layout leaves a lot to be desired. Makes me wonder if they left the UI/UX design up to the programmers or if they overpaid for a UI/UX designer…

  2. Just not something I can get excited about. So far the MP->IF switch has been a lot of sizzle and not a lot of steak.

  3. I have a feeling that a huge LM devaluation is coming our way. I’m definitely sitting out on this one!!

  4. Do not trust LM. Would not surprise me to see a conversion to a revenue award model at 1cpm or worse in the next few months. That would represent a 33% loss at these figures.

  5. Seth, you are usually the most detail oriented and accurate blogger on such matters, but how have you calculated the cost for US members? I see others highlighting the fact that the price is $33/1,000. Are you casting doubt on the claim or unconvinced by the promoters?

    1. On the promo page it clearly states, “100,000 LifeMiles will cost $3,894.00 USD. *some country exceptions apply”

      Clicking through to the LifeMiles page says, “Each package of 1,000 miles costs USD 38,94, including all taxes applicable to each country*. ”

      There is no indication anywhere that the price for US-based members will be $33/1000. I have not read anyone else’s thoughts on the topic so I cannot speak to how they are getting to those numbers.

      1. Thanks for clarifying, it seems this is one of those some may lose credibility on if it turns out reality is different from what they promise. You are justified in your pragmatism.

        1. Even at $3300 instead of $3900 I’d say it is a risky deal. That’s a big bet to make unless the plan is to cash out a substantial sum immediately.

    1. So it is showing $3300 there. Dunno why they’re listing a higher price; that’s pretty stupid. I’ve also been told that the “only 24 hours to buy” restriction is being removed, but there is still a short deadline on that purchase.

      And the basic math remains the same: If there is a great redemption and the space is available today and you’ve got the spare cash then it might not be a bad deal. But anything beyond that is a huge investment in a very, very uncertain stake.

  6. When I go online to buy, it shows $3300 for 250,000 miles, about 1.32cpm. There is no excise tax for US buyers, that’s why it’s just $3300. Yes, it’s a lot of money but might be ideal for someone with a lot of international travel coming up. If Lifemiles flights were as easy to book as United or Aeroplan I’d bite in a heartbeat, but what gives me pause is how many flights don’t show up on their website. And even when the flights do show up you might not be able to book them… I’ve had to email them and wait for their support team to manually book it and call me, which usually happens during an inconvenient time in the middle of the day.

    1. If there are seats available and you can book the travel now then it might be a good deal now. But LifeMiles can be challenging to use, particularly on complicated or multi-carrier trips, and there is a history of unannounced changes. Plus it is a huge investment.

      Don’t get blinded by the “big bonus” number and forget how to conduct a rational analysis of the offer.

      1. I have to agree. My initial reaction was one of excitement, but looking at it more closely it just doesn’t add up for me. I don’t have a high value redemption to do right away and so the two deal killers are:

        1) Lack of trust the program won’t devalue any day (based on history of that with poor or no notice)
        2) Bad call center service

        If these were United miles, I’d probably be maxing out on this promotion.

  7. My numbers are also $3300/100k+150k.
    I found that I could actually get myself to Europe and back using LM next June/July in relative comfort.
    While AC/United and others show me nothing in Business. LifeMiles offered me Business from SFO via Bogota to LHR and from FRA( or CDG) back via Seoul(!) for 63k each way w/o any fuel surcharges. That is some funky routing, but why not. I know that BUS seat to Seoul sucks and the total travel times are long, but I could barely find any economy, forget business in other *A programs at this point. I guess I could wait till next May/June and hope for the openings in the last two weeks before I travel, but then Aeroplan will be devalued already.

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