Leana and I are transparent about the cards we have in our wallets and which cards we apply for in order to travel on miles and points. Last fall, I wrote about how I was tempted to apply for the Avianca LifeMiles Vuela Visa. Ultimately, I decided to pass.
Well, things have changed, and both my husband and I just applied for the Avianca LifeMiles Vuela Visa. We were both approved instantly.
Why did we change our minds?
Increased Bonus with Promo Code
Two words: More miles!
This credit card, issued by Banco Popular of Puerto Rico, initially had a 60,000 LifeMiles bonus offer with a promo code when it was first released. That promo code expired, so for several months the bonus was down to 40,000 LifeMiles.
Now, the extra LifeMiles are back with a new promo code, so the bonus is back to 60,000 LifeMiles. The card is now more useful to me than it was last fall. You can read all the details on Doctor of Credit. You must enter the promo code LM17WB on your application in order to receive the higher bonus. The higher offer ends on May 31. Here is the direct non-affiliate link.
The card has an annual fee of $149, and each award ticket has a $25 fee. But there is no minimum spend amount to get the bonus. Just make a purchase of any amount during the first 90 days.
Why Do We Want Avianca LifeMiles?
Avianca is in the Star Alliance, which means we can use the points to book award flights on United as well as other partners. Plus, Avianca has shorthaul award flights in the U.S. for 7500 LifeMiles. We could fly from Texas to Florida for just 7500 LifeMiles each way (vs. 12,500 miles on legacy US airlines).
While we may use those miles to fly to Florida, we have our sights set on an international trip next year. Leana has been counseling me on the best way to increase my mileage stash for this big trip, and with the increased bonus, this card is a no-brainer. And 120,000 miles (combined bonuses from me and my husband) to use on United flights will certainly come in handy.
If we decide to travel to Australia/New Zealand, award flights cost 40,000 miles each way. Since Avianca lets you use miles plus cash to book a ticket, we could use one of the 60,000 bonuses to purchase two award flights for an extra $300 (1.5 cents per mile). So our two combined card bonuses could give us four award tickets from Australia if we kick in an extra $600. Not free, but still much cheaper than buying tickets with cash.
Or, if we decide to travel to Europe next summer, we have enough LifeMiles to cover four one-way tickets without paying for extra miles.
Keep in mind that Avianca LifeMiles can be quirky. I still giggle when I read Leana’s tale. I do speak Spanish, but I’m a little rusty.
Do you already have the Avianca LifeMiles Vuela Visa? Are you planning to apply before the extra bonus miles disappear? Or, is this program too much hassle?
Click here to view various credit cards and available sign-up bonuses
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.
I definitely think this offer is an easy win. Sure, it stinks to prepay $149 in fees, especially when talking about such a crazy program as Avianca. But the miles are valuable as long as you are willing to jump through some hoops. Btw, canceling the card isn’t too bad. I was concerned when I called Banko Pupular, but it took a total of five minutes.
I’m ok with jumping through a few hoops. I’m glad it wasn’t too hard to cancel!