Even a 140% bonus is pretty amazing, but you'll need to buy at least 51,000 miles if you want to unlock the full 160%.
But what are these miles worth and what can you do with them?
Here's a quick example:
Unlocking the lowest 160% bonus would cost you about $1,700 and would yield 132,600 miles.
With that many miles, you could book any of the following flights:
New York to London on United
Philadelphia to Johannesburg on Lufthansa
Los Angeles to Tokyo on Singapore Airlines
Chicago to Rio de Janeiro on United
In fact, all of these flights together only cost 130,000 miles. Just look:
Since Avianca is a member of Star Alliance, you can use Avianca LifeMiles to book flights on dozens of different airlines.
Booking all of those flights I just mentioned would run you thousands of dollars... If you travel a lot and could put these miles to use, it's not a bad deal at all to shell out 1,700 bucks.
If you want to really maximize this deal, you can use 90,000 of those miles to book a flight from San Francisco to Singapore on ANA...
... in BUSINESS class.
That's right; you could book one of the best business class seats in the sky and still have 40,000 miles left over. For reference, this flight costs over $10,000 when paying cash...
But here's where things get even better...
When you buy miles, you'll also get a 10% rebate on your next award booking, meaning you'll have an even bigger stockpile to work with.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.
For every 2 miles you buy, you'll receive 1 qualifying mile toward Avianca elite status.
Trust me, you're gonna want to hear this...
Avianca is a member of Star Alliance, meaning if you earn Avianca Gold status, you'll also have Star Alliance Gold status.
SA Gold is one of my favorite perks of traveling. It gives you access to Star Alliance and business class lounges all over the world, and perks on all Star Alliance airlines, even when flying basic economy.
Here are the requirements for Avianca Elite Status:
So theoretically, you can earn Star Alliance Gold status by buying just 48,000 miles (since you'll receive 24,000 tier miles as a result).
So, by buying 51,000 miles you can book thousands of dollars of free flights around the world, get a 10% rebate on your next booking, AND potentially earn Star Alliance Gold status.
In my book, that's a pretty good deal.
Now just a quick disclaimer before you go:
According to the chart above, Avianca requires a certain portion of miles to be earned "on Avianca" in order to get elite status. Generally, this would mean flying on Avianca, but we travel hackers are expecting this to also apply to miles purchased through Avianca. However, this is not guaranteed.
So here's my advice to y'all:
If you can get good value from buying miles for flights, go for it. But let me be the guinea pig in terms of earning Star Alliance status through this method.
If it works out, I'll let you know so you can get in on the fun next time Avianca has a sale on points like this.
Phew, that was a doozy. Go take a quick coffee break and then we'll continue.
✈️ Portal Kombat: Alaska Airlines Edition
Shopping portals are great ways to earn extra points, miles, or cashback on your normal everyday purchases.
Once in a while, certain portals will offer bonuses for hitting various spending thresholds. Right now, Alaska Airlines' portal is in the spotlight.
Currently, you can earn up to 1,200 bonus miles when using this portal to spend $300 at various retailers.
Since Alaska miles are worth 1.8 cents each, this bonus is worth a whopping $21.60!
Isn't that incredible??
It's okay, I suspected you might be underwhelmed.
But I'm sure you know this newsletter well enough to know that there's more to this than meets the eye...
In addition to these bonus miles, Alaska is offering some amazing rates for earning miles at their many retailers. They even have some offers where you can win a sizeable flat chunk of miles for making a purchase.
So let's say you purchase the Motley Fool Stock Advisor (which I personally subscribe to, by the way), for $79.
You'd earn 4,500 miles from this alone.
Then let's say you buy $260 of clothing, handbags, shoes, or other accessories at a store like Kate Spade (which I do not subscribe to, surprisingly), which earns 7 miles per dollar.
Since you're spending more than $300, you'd also unlock the big boy bonus of 1,200 miles.
Here's how many miles you'd earn in total:
Motley Fool ($79) - 4,500
Kate Spade ($260 x 7) - 1,820
$300 spending bonus - 1,200
Total miles: 7,520 miles
With that many miles, you can book all kinds of different flights around the U.S.
So if you need to make any online purchases in the coming days, definitely look at the Alaska portal to see if you can rake in some big heaps of bonus points and turn those purchases into free flights.
This offer ends on January 27th, but many of the individual retailer bonuses last into February and beyond.
If you don't care much for Alaska miles and want a shopping portal alternative, check out our tips for leveraging Rakuten's signup offer to get free travel accessories.
🖼️ Cute travel photo
I've talked your ear off enough today with all this technical travel mumbo jumbo, so here's a cute photo of a suitcase full of puppies to finish off the day.
That's gonna do it for today, friends!
What is your favorite shopping portal to use? Which airline alliance is your favorite?Let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on social media.