August is a banner month if you're looking to get more out of your Amex Membership Rewards thanks to some excellent transfer bonuses. And this one is stellar.
You'll currently get a 15% bonus when transferring points to Avianca LifeMiles from cards like the American Express® Gold Card or The Platinum Card® from American Express – your co-branded Delta SkyMiles credit cards from American Express won’t do the trick, sorry. Otherwise, you should see this bonus available in your Amex account when you navigate to transfer rewards.
This new transfer bonus is only available through Aug. 31, so you've got until the end of the month to come up with a plan to use it.
Not sure how (or why) to transfer your miles? Read our full guide to Amex transfer partners!
Using transfer partners like LifeMiles is one of the best ways to put your Amex points to use for even more value. These transfer bonuses make it even better – think of it as a way to get some free airline miles. Amex is also out with a 30% transfer bonus to British Airways and Iberia Avios through Aug. 31.
From cheap economy flights in the U.S. to jaunts down to South America and booking business class seats to Europe or Asia, Avianca LifeMiles is one of our go-to airline programs. While its website isn't the best and its customer service can be poor, you won't find a better combination of cheap award rates and low taxes and fees to book flights.
Just remember: These transfers are a one-way street – once you send points to Avianca, you can't get them back in your LifeMiles account. That means you'll want to scope out award availability to ensure the flights you want are bookable before transferring any points.
But with a mileage program as lucrative as LifeMiles, you've got plenty of options to put this transfer bonus to use.
Best Ways to Use This Bonus
If you're not aware of LifeMiles, it's time to study up. This program is the key to unlocking some of the cheapest mileage rates to Europe, Asia, and beyond. And this 15% transfer bonus just makes the sweet spots even sweeter.
LifeMiles is the quirky yet still underrated mileage program of South American carrier Avianca. While customer service can be spotty at best and its website is a bit of a mess, you put up with it because few airline programs offer cheaper ways to book flights using miles around the globe – with low cash taxes and fees, too. And that's not just true of flying Avianca itself: It's even better when using LifeMiles to fly United, Lufthansa, Swiss, Turkish Airlines, and other top Star Alliance airlines.
Here are a few sweet spots that come to mind:
- LifeMiles can be a great way to book domestic flights within the U.S. on United, and this transfer bonus just lowers the cost even more
- You can book TAP Air Portugal business class from New York City (JFK) to Lisbon (LIS) for just 35,000 miles one way. With this 15% bonus, transferring just 31,000 Amex points to LifeMiles is all you need to book
- Other business class flights to Europe are 63,000 miles each way, which works out to just 55,000 Amex points with this transfer bonus
- LifeMiles is also one of the best ways to book Lufthansa First Class at 87,000 miles each way or just 76,000 Amex points with this 15% bonus! Thanks to a quirk with LifeMiles' pricing, you can drop that cost even further by connecting onward elsewhere in Europe. Just keep in mind you can only book it within a few weeks (or even days) of departure.
- After a recent devaluation, most business class flights to Asia now cost 85,000 miles or 90,000 miles one way from the U.S. But it's more affordable with this bonus: You could transfer 74,000 Amex points to get what you need to book ANA business class to Tokyo!
Oh, one last thing to beware of with LifeMiles: while many other frequent flyer programs are now allowing free changes or the ability to cancel your trip for a full refund of your miles, Avianca still charges a $150 change fee and a $200 cancellation fee for award tickets – and the process of canceling these tickets requires a phone call. That means LifeMiles are best used if you're absolutely certain you're going to take that trip.
How to Transfer Amex Points to Avianca
Sold on one of those redemptions but not sure how to get started? Don't worry: transferring your Amex points to Avianca LifeMiles (or any airline) is easy.
Start by logging into your Amex Membership Rewards account and navigate to “Rewards & Benefits” from the homepage.
Scroll down a bit until you find the options to redeem your points. Skip covering existing card charges or others here – you can do much better by selecting “Transfer Points,” especially with this bonus. Click the option to “View All” so you can see all the Amex transfer partners at your disposal.
From there you should see a long list of all 20-plus transfer partners, including those with ongoing transfer bonuses marked with a green “Offer” icon. Select Avianca LifeMiles.
If you haven't yet linked your LifeMiles account with Amex, you'll need to enter and confirm that account information. And if you don't yet have a LifeMiles account, you can easily set one up for free. Once that's complete, just enter how many Membership Rewards points you want to transfer, and voila: you'll get a 15% bonus on top of it. Hit “Review Transfer,” confirm it, and you're done.
One important note: While Amex warns that transfers to LifeMiles can take up to 72 hours, in our experience, they're almost always instantaneous.
Got Amex points and big travel goals? Don't sleep on this transfer bonus.
Through Aug. 31, you'll get a 15% bonus when sending Amex Membership Rewards points to Avianca LifeMiles. LifeMiles can be one of the best ways to book many flights – both domestic and international – with miles, and this bonus makes those sweet spots even sweeter.