It has been quiet for some time around GOL Smiles, the frequent flyer program of the Brazilian carrier that made headlines starting a few years ago when selling miles at an extremely low price.
Just as all the recent GOL mileage purchasing promotions, the Clube Smiles membership is designed for those who can produce a Brazilian CPF Registration number in order to participate.
LoyaltyLobby has covered the GOL Smiles program ever since it had some insanely cheap Buy Miles promotions early 2016 and since then it pops up here and there with sometimes very useful redemption options we’d like to keep our readers updated on.
Short after signing up for the program and purchasing points back then I started to visit the website more frequently and discovered that not only do they sell miles during promotions but they also offer plans for a paid membership called ‘Clube Smiles’ where they charge a monthly fee and add miles to your account.
You can access the GOL Website and Clube Smiles here.
These memberships are available in various versions and at times they also come with promotions:
I decided to sign up for the largest 10,000 Smiles per month package that comes with a bonus of 3x 10,000 Smiles stretched over the first 3 months of membership. In total that will be 60,000 Smiles for US$270 ($90 per month).
The first two bonus options appear to be one time bonuses while the remaining three are the ones stretching over the initial 3 membership months period. I got the 10,000 Smiles credited immediately but as of now still missing the 10k bonus for the first month. I’ll follow up with that in the next weeks.
If you put that in perspective to the ticket I booked last December and covered in our series Award Success (access here) it’s possible to get a ticket Seoul to Frankfurt in Business Class for US$ 530.00 (considering GOL Smiles still offers Cash&Points at the time of booking).
Gol Smiles are really quite useful when redeeming for tickets on Korean Air, Qatar Airways and Delta Airlines especially when booking Business Class tickets.
The downside? As mentioned the key in order to be eligible to the mileage purchase is the Brazilian tax registration number (CPF) which has to be used when signing up for the Smiles account. You can’t add the number at a later point so beware!
Another word of warning: You can’t cancel the Clube Smiles online anymore as before, this now requires a phone call. Otherwise GOL will continue charging your card if for some reason you want to stop. Either that or you cancel your credit card.
I had an original CPF number from back in the days but I heard from people who successfully used an online number generator they found on a search engine. We don’t endorse or encourage doing so and there is always the option of applying for a CPF through the Brazilian Consulate (with some expenses) or during a trip to Brazil itself should you have one coming up. You don’t require any sort of residence just a reason to state why you want to pay taxes and that could be a business relationship as well.
Once successfully signed up for the Smiles account in a proper way you can really make GOL Smiles work in a very lucrative way as my most recent redemptions showed me. Especially on Korean Air but also Qatar Airways Business Class I was able to save a great deal of money.
Another big advantage is that you only need a small amount of miles even for larger redemptions through the Cash&Points option that only requires roughly a third of the total mileage to be in the account. The rest of the miles are being sold for a very lucrative rate (I was able to substitute 52,000 Smiles for US$380).