Avianca LifeMiles Changes Miles Expiration Policy Effective April 15, 2018

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Avianca LifeMiles has been emailing members about extending miles validity effective April 15, 2018, forgetting to tell that this is an actual downgrade.

Avianca LifeMiles Changes Miles Expiration Policy Effective April 15, 2018

Previously, miles were valid for 24 months and effective April 15, 2018, they are only valid for 12 months and only certain transactions that accrue miles will extend the validity.

You can access LifeMiles website for the change here.

  • Note that redeeming miles won’t extend the validity miles as of April 15, 2018, because it is not transaction that would accrue miles.
  • Transferring points from other loyalty programs to LifeMiles doesn’t appear to extend to validity either (not sure how LifeMiles can distinguish the type).
  • Miles in the account as of April 15, 2018, will have the existing expiration policy.

Conclusion

It is laughable that they use words “Earning LifeMiles is Easier than Ever” when in fact that they are starting to expire them more aggressively.

When programs print and sells miles they must record a liability on the balance sheet. When they change the expiration rules some miles will now expire that otherwise wouldn’t and they can write this liability down and take a non-cash gain.

I don’t know any other program where redeeming miles wouldn’t extend the validity of them or where program tries to distinguish between various accrual types.

LifeMiles must have found that they have been too aggressive selling miles and they can no longer show increasing profits for their investors when these miles are actually used and expenses must be paid.

LifeMiles should be careful or their gravy train of selling miles to members that will never set their foot on Avianca planes will come to a sudden end.

Personally, I have not found any reasonable use for my close to 30K LifeMiles sitting on the account. Program used to be good but devaluations and the online booking interface issues (deliberate or not) have lead me not to purchase any LifeMiles for the past few years during their never ending sales.

Here are the new expiry terms of LifeMiles:

  • Any miles accrual transaction in a member´s account in the Program extends the validity of the miles in the account of such member for a term of twelve (12) months from the date of such accrual of miles. Other transactions that may affect the balance of miles in a member’s account, including redemption transactions, will have no effect on them and will not extend the validity of the miles in such account. This general rule will have the following exceptions that extend the validity of such miles in the account of such member for twenty-four (24) months from the date of such accrual: (i) any accrual of miles in a member´s account with an Elite Status at the time of the accrual; (ii) any accrual of miles derived from a cobranded credit or debit cards under the LifeMiles brand.
  • Accrual of miles means any transaction that increases the balance of the accrued miles in the member´s account and the accrual shall be considered to have been made on the date on which the miles are actually credited into the member´s account, based on the reports sent or accrual methods implemented by the different commercial partner, date that may or may not coincide with the date of the transaction from which the accrual of miles is derived. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following accrual activities do not extend the validity of the miles in the member´s account: 1) the birthday bonus or any other miles bonus that may be given by the LifeMiles Program and LifeMiles LTD so establishes.; 2) the migration of points or miles from other loyalty programs to the LifeMiles Program made as a consequence of the union of both loyalty programs or the migration of one member from another loyalty program to the LifeMiles Program; and 3) the merger of accounts of the LifeMiles Program, including those derived from a member´s duplicate accounts. In the case of the transfer of miles from a member´s account to another, the activity in the account of the transferring member will extend the validity of the miles that are kept in its account for twelve (12) months or twenty-four (24) months if it has an Elite Status, from the date of the transaction.
  • To calculate the validity of the miles in the member´s account it will also be taken into account if the member already has miles in its account when it performs an accrual transaction. When an accrual transaction is made in a member´s account, the entire miles in the account of such member will receive the greater validity between the validity of the existing miles in the account before the accrual transaction or twelve (12) months (or twenty-four (24) months in the cases that apply in accordance with the previous paragraph a. above) from the referred accrual transaction.
  • The miles accrued in the member´s account before April 15th, 2018 will continue to have the same validity which they had under the expiration policy in effect as of April 14th, 2018. However, its extension from  April 15th , 2018 will be governed by what is established in the present Miles Expiration Policy
  • Once the validity of the miles has expired, the total miles balance in the member´s account will expire and the new balance will be zero (0) miles. LifeMiles LTD and/or the Airlines may, but are not obligated to, establish special conditions for the reactivation of expired miles and may also establish a charge for the reactivation of the same.
  • It is the member´s obligation to be aware of the expiration date of its´ miles. The member may consult the expiration date of the miles in its account through any of the Program´s contact channels. Additionally, the expiration date can be found in the member´s account statement that is sent to the members who have provided their e-mail address.; in the case the member has any doubts about such date it may check with LifeMiles call center. LifeMiles assumes no obligation to notify the member on the upcoming expiration of its miles.

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