LifeMiles Visa Secured Credit Card: Earn Miles as You Rebuild Your Credit

By Christina Majaski. Last updated 18 August 2017. 0 comments

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Avianca Airlines is Columbia's national airline, with destinations in North America, Columbia, Peru, Brazil, Europe, and many others. The LifeMiles program allows frequent travelers to earn miles that can be redeemed for awards with Avianca Airlines and Star Alliance airline partners.

The LifeMiles Visa Secured Credit Card provides cardholders the opportunity to earn miles on purchases made with the card, while working on building or rebuilding their credit. If you are a jetsetter and fan of Avianca Airlines, and on the lookout for a credit card for reestablishing your credit history, the LifeMiles Visa Secured Credit Card is one of the best secured cards to consider.

How This Card Works

The LifeMiles Visa Secured Credit Card requires a security deposit of at least $300, which is held in an interest bearing account with U.S. Bank. When you are approved for the card and have made your deposit, you receive a credit card with a limit in the amount of your deposit. Your activity is reported to the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, and is periodically reviewed. After 12 months of responsible use, you could qualify for an unsecured card.

Cardholders earn one LifeMile for every dollar spent. Earn an unlimited number of miles, but miles expire two years after the last time you have earned or redeemed miles. As long as you continuously use your card, your miles will not expire.

You can redeem your miles for flights with Avianca Airlines, on flights with Star Alliance member airlines which include 28 airlines such as Air China, United, and Air Canada, for hotel stays with over 100,000 hotels globally, and car rentals with companies such as Hertz and Budget. 

Pros

Rewards program. Secured credit cards with rewards programs are also rare, and the LifeMiles Visa Secured Credit Card allows you to earn a mile for every dollar spent, regardless of the purchase category. This gives you an opportunity to rack up miles that can be used for valuable awards, where most secured credit cards do not.

Earn interest on your security deposit. Your security deposit can grow a little while it is being held so that when you have repaired your credit and can close the card account, the deposit refunded to you will be a little more than what you started with. Not all secured credit cards provide this opportunity, which is an added bonus to the money you deposit for the credit card. (See also: Best Secured Cards that Pay Interest on Your Deposit)

Cons

High APR. This card includes one of the highest APRs offered by any secured card. It is important with credit cards, especially secured cards, that you are mindful of the interest you are paying on your purchases. If you consistently carry a balance from month to month, you should instead consider a secured card with a lower APR, even if it doesn't offer a rewards program. Because the APR is so high, it may become more expensive than any miles earned are worth.

Foreign transaction fee. The foreign transaction fee is at least 2%, depending on whether you use U.S. Dollars or foreign currency. If you frequently travel abroad or use the card for foreign purchases, this fee is going to cancel out the value of the rewards earned from your purchases. There are secured cards that do not charge foreign transaction fees and may be more cost-efficient for foreign purchases. (See also: Best Secured Cards with Low or No Foreign Transaction Fees)

High number of miles required. In order to redeem your miles for flights you need to accumulate at least 25,000 for a round trip flight. Because this is a secured card, it means you will also need to deposit a large amount of money to be held as a security deposit in order to earn the points needed for flights. In order to benefit from the rewards program, it is important that you plan on using the card a great deal.

Who This Card Is Best For

Because of the rewards program and the benefits provided, this card is best not only for those who are rebuilding or building credit, but who also frequently travel with Avianca Airlines. It is also best for those who pay balances in full each month to avoid paying the high interest rate, and for those who can take advantage of the flight and travel benefits the card offers.

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