Topic Wiki

Lifemiles Basics

Buying miles:

Lifemiles runs frequent promotions for buying miles, usually for 1.5 cents per mile. Given that Lifemiles has one of the most reasonable Star Alliance award charts, linked here, and doesn't charge fuel surcharges for any partners, buying miles can make a lot of sense.

The promos are usually run in one of two ways.

1. A straight up buy miles promo at 1.5cpm. In all previous buy miles promos, you needed to have an account before the promo starts in order to buy miles. Buying miles though the promo is limited to 75k per year. Be sure to use a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees.

2. A share miles promo. You can share miles from one account to another with a 100% bonus on each transaction. The cost is again 1.5cpm. Although in the past you needed to have a Lifemiles account in order to take advantage of the promo, the current promo (7/3-13) does not require a previously open account to participate. In order to maximize the promo on accounts not previously open, open 2 accounts, buy 1k miles at 3cpm, then share back and forth between both account at 1.5cpm. You can share back and forth between 2 accounts an unlimited amount of times provided you stay under the 75k cap. Doing this will most likely trigger a fraud alert with your CC, so it may be a good idea to call them beforehand and give them a heads up.

Lifemiles will also allow you to buy up to 60% of the miles required for booking a flight. The cost starts at 3cpm but is nonlinear. There are sweet spots that allows you to buy a large quantity of miles for 1.5cpm, usually in the 25-35k range. The 1.5cpm sweetspot varies depending on the amount required for the award. Full CPM spreadsheet linked here. (HT: Some dude on FT.)

Lifemiles is known to devalue without warning so hoarding miles is not advised. Buying miles at booking allows to hedge against sudden devaluations.

There is also a Lifemiles credit card  that occasionally offers a 40k bonus. Linked here.

Redeeming Lifemiles:
You can only redeem flights which are shown online. The Lifemiles call center has a horrible reputation and is usually useless. Emailing them usually yields better results if you can wait a day or two.

Lifemiles does not allow mixed cabin redemptions. If you want to book a first class flight with connections, you will need to book all legs in first class or book separate tickets.

Lifemiles is known to have better access to Miles & More and Singapore premium cabins than the rest of Star Alliance.

Lifemiles does not charge any fuel surcharges.

Lifemiles does not allow stopovers or open jaws on awards.

The max layover time that the booking engine will usually show is 8 hours, although people have had success forcing much longer layover times.

Lifemiles does not issue any lap infant award tickets.

Lifemiles cannot book any Austrian flights operated by Tyrolean Airways.

You can access partner confirmation numbers and eticket numbers with your Lifemiles PNR at

Lifemiles will occasionally show boomerang routings, which are routings that go from A-B, via C.  ;)

There are many mispriced cities and quirks in the Lifemiles booking engine, allowing for really cheap international awards.  ;)

Canceling a Lifemiles award: (HT, FT)

Lifemiles charges $150 to change an award and $50 to cancel.


1. This will take 20-30 minutes and costs $50
2. You have to pay the $50 up front and will need to have your credit card handy
3. You will need a PIN number for the call center. You set up the PIN online by changing your "information and preferences". Note that this has 3 pages but you only need to change the "Manage the Basics" page and hit "Save". The progress-bar at the top never seems to reach 100% but it doesn't matter. There are two places to press "Save and continue" when you give the PIN. The top button doesn't work. You have to click on the one on the bottom of the screen
4. Call the USA reservations number preferably during business hours +1 800 284 2622
5. Key 2 for English (or 1 for Spanish), 3 for Lifemiles/Corporate, then 1 for Lifemiles
6. If you have got a noisy phone line, hang up and go back to step 4. It is possible to get a good line even from overseas.
7. With luck, someone coherent will answer. If not, don't waste your time, HUCA
8. Give them the PNR to be cancelled
9. You will be asked "do you have a PIN". say yes. You will be put on hold
10. You will be connected to an automated system to key in your PIN. Don't press # afterwards.
11. You will be asked to pay the $50 via an automated system. You'll be asked for your CC number, then you must repeat it. Don't press # afterwards. Then the expiry month, then year, then the id number. Be ready to rattle through the keys as any hesitation causes the system to think you've finished. So, typically you will need 2-3 attempts. [The operator listens in on the automated process and helps you along if you donít key in the right numbers]
13. You will be put on hold for 5-10 minutes while the card is checked. It may fail the first time, for no reason. Go back to step 12.
14. Once the CC is confirmed the operator will ask you for the full billing address, then your name as it appears on the card, then the name of the bank which issued the card.
15. You will be put on hold for 5-10 minutes
16. The operator will confirm the cancellation, or rather confirm it will be put in the queue for manual cancellation.
17. After 24 hours or so, you should receive an E Mail receipt for the $50 (could be in Spanish)
18. Miles will be refunded within 2-3 days, as if you had paid using the maximum miles with no cash to refund all the cash and the miles to what you had before making the booking. The miles sometimes reappear immediately. [Most often, the miles are available within 24 hours.]
19. The taxes - fairly modest - will be refunded in full since you already paid the cancellation fee up front. The refund should hit the CC within a week or so. No refund for the $25 booking fee.
20. The refund will be refunded to the original card.

« Last edited by username on March 11, 2019, 02:37:39 PM »

Author Topic: Lifemiles Master Thread  (Read 95702 times)

Offline justmeha

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Re: Lifemiles Master Thread
« Reply #480 on: May 07, 2023, 05:46:28 PM »
I'm trying to book LUZ-JFK with a stop in WAW using Lifemiles.
The itinerary is available as Saver Award on United, but Lifemiles returns an error- the issue seems to be the LUZ-WAW leg, as they do show the WAW-JFK leg. I spoke to customer service and they were unable to help.
Any workarounds on getting Lifemiles to show Star Alliance availability?
can you pull up LUZ-WAW show up on its own?

Online cgr

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Re: Lifemiles Master Thread
« Reply #481 on: May 07, 2023, 06:16:38 PM »
can you pull up LUZ-WAW show up on its own?
No. I ended up booking just the WAW-JFK leg via lifemiles and paid $ for the LUZ-WAW leg.

Wasn't worth an additional 21.5k points (since Amex is currently offering a 15% transfer bonus) to book the full itinerary via UA.

Offline HoKo

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Re: Lifemiles Master Thread
« Reply #482 on: May 26, 2023, 09:29:35 AM »
Does transferring points  from a credit card program to lifemiles extend their expiration? I have a faint memory of their terms stating mileage transfers won't extend expiration ( although it may have been the sort of thing that wasn't actually enforced in reality)

Worked with amex transfer

I transferred points a ~week ago and this worked for me as well. It did take a day or 2 for the expiration date to update though.