Recently I saw on RapidTravelChai a link & code for an Avianca card with a 60,000 mile bonus… and a 50% discount on specific award redemptions (like to Colombia).
A 60k bonus AND a 50% discount on award seemed like a killer combo. Actually, any 50% discount on miles redemptions could potentially double the value of your miles.
So I decided to look into the details of the card, how the discounts work, and why you should want an Avianca card.
Essentially, this one credit card bonus and the $12k spend for the 50% off coupon, could give you four roundtrips US to Colombia! That’s a lot for one credit card bonus.
The biggest unknown I have is where RapidTravelChai got the code to change the bonuses for the Avianca cards.
He says that if you use the code “AVSPWE” on the application page, you get a 60,000 mile bonus instead of 40,000 miles.
Actually there are two cards, and both would give 20,000 more points:
- Avianca Vuela card would give 60,000 miles (instead of 40,000), and has a $149 annual fee.
- Avianca Vida card would give 40,000 miles (instead of 20,000), and has a $59 annual fee.
The problem with the second, cheaper card is that it doesn’t come with the 50% off redemption coupon.
However, if you’re not planning a trip to Central America or Colombia, or can’t fly Avianca, the coupon wouldn’t help you. In which case, the question is whether or not the extra $90 is worth an extra 20,000 miles.
Before discussing the coupon, the card, and Avianca miles, I’ll just give a reminder that the higher bonus requires the code… and I otherwise know nothing about the code.
50% Off Redemptions
Get a coupon for 50% off miles redemptions to/from Colombia / Central America and the US.
This coupon really does look like a great deal, but there are a number of stipulations.
- You have to spend $12,000 in a calendar year to get the coupon.
- And you can get a second coupon when you spend $24,000 in a calendar year.
- It’s only for roundtrips US to Colombia / Central America…
- “50% discount for the redemption of Award Tickets on round trip flights on Avianca in routes originating in Colombia and Central America to the United States and vice versa.”
- You must fly Avianca. Their current US destinations are FLL, LAX, MIA, JFK, MCO, IAD, SFO, DFW, IAH, and BOS starting June 2, 2017.
- Economy only.
- ” Travel must be in “X” class.”
I can not find anywhere on lifemiles.com whether or not it would work for two people on one reservation. It does say “for the redemption of Award Tickets“. To me, it looks like this implies a group of people on one booking gets the 50% discount.
This (along with the bonus code) is the most vague detail… not because it isn’t plural, but just because they really don’t clarify how many people. They give relatively few details about it for such a good benefit.
- 2x at Gas and Grocery
- Bank: Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
- $149 annual fee NOT waived. You can get a 20k version with a $59 fee – which could give 40k with the code – but it does not come with the 50% discount. So you’re paying $90 more to get 20k more miles and a 50% discount, likely only on economy flights.
General Avianca Miles Stuff
- You can search for your awards right now here, and select Avianca.
- US to Central America and Colombia is 17.5k each way.
- Some flights are 15k each way.
- While the Star Alliance award chart is here, Avianca is slightly cheaper.
- You can actually buy miles via their cash & points for only ~1.5 cents each. So if you have 7,500 miles, you could buy a 17,500 miles ticket for 7,500 Avianca Miles and $151.76.
17,500 miles seems to be the high end for awards to Central America, but some routes seem cheaper.
Houston to Bogota is currently 17,500, but Miami to Bogota is 15,000. (I say currently because I thought I remembered IAH-BOG being 15k).
The weird thing is that Houston to Quito via SAL is 15,000, yet… Houston to SAL is 17,500 miles!
The pricing isn’t sensical, but it does mean that you can get oneways to Latin America for 15,000 miles, and better yet, with the 50% off coupon you can get 15,000 mile roundtrips to certain places in Central America / Colombia.
15,000 miles for a roundtrip to Central America / Colombia is unbeatable. Not even close. And with a bonus of 60,000 miles, that’s enough for 4 people – almost 5 people after meeting the $12,000 spend to get the 50% coupon.
This is a fantastic deal for those who can fly Avianca and are interested in Central America.
And despite the high annual fee, 60,000 miles could be worth it for the miles without using them on a discounted Avianca flight. The award prices are competitive, 30k to Europe, 35k to North Asia, etc… You can still get good uses of the miles with Star Alliance.
And you might as well, since you’re probably not getting “too many open account” letters from Banco Popular de Puerto Rico… well, not yet.