Book Cheaper United Airlines Awards With This Increased Avianca Credit Card 60,000-Miles Bonus

INSIDER SECRET: Avianca is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use Avianca miles to book flights with United Airlines, Lufthansa and many more.

Avianca might not be the first airline you think of when it comes to miles and points deals, but the Colombian airline can be useful for booking Star Alliance partner awards — and right now, there is an opportunity to earn an extra 20,000 miles with either of the Avianca credit cards.

This increased Avianca credit card offer could get you closer to your next United Airlines award. (Photo by Markus Mainka/Shutterstock)

Increased Avianca Card Offers: Great for Booking United Airlines Awards

The Avianca credit cards currently have the following offers:

But now through September 30, 2019, you can get an extra 20,000 miles (on either card) if you enter “SB4060” in the “Promo Code” box under the “Additional Information” section of your application. To earn the extra 20,000 miles you’ll need to spend $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening.

The Avianca Vuela card has a higher annual fee, but comes with these perks:

  • 3 LifeMiles per dollar spent on Avianca purchases
  • 2 LifeMiles per dollar spent at gas stations and grocery stores
  • 1 LifeMile per dollar spent on everything else
  • A free additional piece of baggage for travel between the United States and Central America
  • A 50% discount on an award ticket redeemed for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States after $12,000 spent each year
  • An additional 50% discount on an award ticket redeemed for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States after $24,000 spent each year
  • 15% discount on mile purchases with Multiply Your Miles
  • No foreign transaction fees

The Avianca Vida card has fewer benefits, but a much smaller annual fee:

  • 2 LifeMiles per dollar spent on Avianca purchases
  • 1 LifeMile per dollar spent on everything else
  • 15% discount on mile purchases with Multiply Your Miles.

The 50% discount on award tickets is an interesting perk for the Vuela card, but it takes a lot of spending to earn that benefit and it’s only valid for travel to Central or South America, which limits the value. These cards are issued by Banco Popular and qualifying isn’t easy. For starters, you’re only eligible if you’ve never had the Vuela or the Vida card.

Avianca has an interesting award chart, which includes deals like Lufthansa first class to Europe for only 87,000 miles or United Airlines domestic business class for only 25,000 miles round-trip. Avianca doesn’t add fuel surcharges to award flights, which can save you $100s. And Avianca miles can be useful for United Airlines domestic economy flights too; these awards vary in price depending on the route, but you can find flights for as little as 3,500 miles one-way.

The Avianca loyalty program and website do have quirks. For example,  Avianca adds a $25 award booking fee (even to online reservations) and if you have to make changes to a reservation I’ve heard that the Avianca phone agents are generally less than stellar, although I don’t have any personal experience with them.

You can also transfer points to Avianca from:

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