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Last week we got some great news from American Express – the addition of a very under-rated and underused program from Avianca called LifeMiles. Avianca is a secret weapon in the luxury travel landscape that provides great redemption rates for first and business class travel. I’ve had great experience with the program for my own travel and clients with award booking. I actually thought Chase would follow Citi’s lead ( they brought Avianca on as a partner last November ) and add Avianca as a partner when they lost Korean, but instead, it’s Amex who has increased its steed of highly valuable transfer partners.
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Lifemiles can be used to fly on Lufthansa First Class – this is one of the programs sweet spots.
Awards can be searched online: here
- 87k Lifemiles to fly Lufthansa First from North America to Europe.
- This puts a one way ticket in Lufthansa First Class at roughly $1305 + taxes.
- 105k to fly from Europe to South America.
- Lufthansa’s longest flight is from Frankfurt to Buenos Aires on the 747-8i Pictured Below. The 747-8i is truly a fantastic experience that I had the pleasure of flying last year from Frankfurt to LA.
Another Primo redemption…Asiana First Class.
Tons of availability. Just 90k miles.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.