25% bonus when you buy Avios – worth it so you can book before devaluation?

I normally do not recommend buying airline miles unless you need to ‘top up’ an account for an immediate redemption.  With a few exceptions, buying a large proportion of the miles you need is rarely a good deal.

Iberia Plus is currently offering a bonus of up to 25% on purchases of Avios points. This deal runs until 22nd February, see here for further details.

Note that you need to log-in to see details of the bonus offer. Without logging in, the page just shows the standard pricing.

Buy Iberia Avios

The bonus is staggered:

10% bonus when you buy 8,000 – 10,000 Avios

15% bonus when you buy 15,000 – 20,000 Avios

25% bonus when you buy 24,000 – 35,000 Avios

At the top end, you will be paying Euro 665 for 43,750 Avios (35,000 + 25%). This works out at 1.13p per Avios, based on £493.  You would need to add a 3% foreign exchange fee to this price if your credit card has one.

I would not usually be a buyer at this price.  However, with the deadline of April 28th to book Avios flights at the old redemption rates, you may want to consider it. 

It is worth noting that the collapse in the value of the Euro recently makes this deal a lot better than it was in the past.  When a similar offer ran last year – with a higher 30% bonus – you were actually paying more in £ terms (1.22p each) because of the prevailing € exchange rate.

The number of ways of earning Avios before April 28th is not huge because many offers take time to hit your account.  It is too late to earn Tesco Clubcard points, for example, because the next set of vouchers will arrive too late.

There ARE still some credit card deals you can get which WILL get the miles in your account before April 28th as I wrote about earlier in the week.

You MUST have been an Iberia Plus member for 90 days before you can buy points.  You must also have a balance greater than zero.  This is easily fixed if you have previously earned an Avios via Iberia with a transfer in from British Airways.  If you have never earned an Avios via Iberia Plus then you are stuck and cannot buy until a transaction has gone through your account.

At the end of the day, the Iberia Avios sale price is cheaper than buying Avios via BAEC or avios.com – which are not currently on sale – where you will pay £575 for 35,000 (1.64p).

If you have an American Express Gold or Platinum card, remember that you can buy up to 10,000 Membership Rewards points for 1.5p each per year (by phone only).  Transfer those into Avios and you are paying 1.5p per point – more than Iberia wants but less than BA is charging.

The other aspect of interest is the bonus on transferring Avios to someone else (ie your partner!). This is also a poor deal. Transferring the maximum 24,000 Avios to someone else incurs a fee of €160. Assuming that you receive (25% x 24,000) 6,000 Avios as a bonus, you will have effectively paid €160 for them. That works out at 2.0p per Avios – very poor indeed.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

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Comments

  1. If memory serves, Iberia was on sale just last week with up to 35% bonus and after converting from EUR to GBP it worked out about 1p per Avios but one had to spent the full 650 EUR.

    • To confirm, I see on Iberia (no status)
      24,000 – 35,000 Avios 35% bonus

      Purchasing the minimum required for max bonus
      24,000 + 8,400 Bonus = 459.00 EUR

      Works out as 1p per Avios.

      • avidsaver says:

        Just been into my IB+ account and only see a max 25% bonus. Where are you finding 35%?

    • This sale has been running since the 2nd, not sure if there was a promo immediately before.

  2. Elena-MuslimTravelGirl says:

    Thank you Brian

    totally missed this and I was thinking just yesterday how to top up my account

  3. When booking redemption flights on BAEC, it usually gives you the option to pay fewer avios with a larger cash component. I did this recently when I was 15,000 short and paid an additional £120 i.e. 0.8p per point. This also avoids the hassle of moving avios between accounts.

    • True. I might re-run my article on this again given the current circustances.

    • The last time I was slightly short it was cheaper to buy avois than to pay “more cash, less Avios”. So results vary by flight I guess.

      • Think Square says:

        I found the price-per-Avios varied considerably when doing Avios+cash – between 1.13p and 2p for the flights I was looking at.

  4. What are you thoughts on whether there might be an amex membership rewards to avios transfer bonus? It’s been so long now I’m wondering if they will ever do another one!

    • If BA starts getting worried about backlash to the Avios changes, we may see something as a sop – same with Tesco.

      • That would make sense.

        I’ve been hanging on to my Amex Gold card (past the first free year now) while waiting to get a bonus on my 100k points. I guess with the recent gutting of Avios it might even make sense to downgrade to a free amex and wait until I can use the points on another airline other than BA.

  5. Kilburn Flyer says:

    You ought to mention that it is NOT possible to transfer Avios FROM Iberia Plus account TO BA Executive club account if you are part of a BA Household Account. Important that people know

    • That should not be the case. In truth, there are problems moving IB Avios to ANY IB account.

      Try again via avios.com, ba.com and Iberia.com – one of them normally works. What also often works is moving Iberia to avios.com and then onwards to BA.

      I get an email a week on this topic!