How a reader redeemed 52,500 Avios for a £1,500 Iberostar hotel in Majorca

I have, once, written about how to redeem Avios with Spanish hotel group Iberostar.

It was back in January 2014 so I won’t blame you if you have forgotten.

Whilst not a chain I have ever used, Iberostar runs a large number 4- and 5-star ‘Summer holiday’ properties in Tenerife, Majorca etc.  They are also in Bulgaria, Brazil, Cape Verde, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Greece, Hungary, Jamaica, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia.


As per the Iberia website, the earning rate if you stay at an Iberostar hotel is 150 Avios points per night.  These Avios must be deposited in an Iberia Plus account, although you can move them across to BA or via ‘Combine My Avios’.

What is more interesting is that you can redeem your Avios via Iberia Plus for Iberostar properties at the following rates:

Premium Gold and Grand Collection – 12,500 Avios per night

Premium and Classic – 7,500 Avios per night

A HFP reader had not forgotten about the Iberostar deal and dropped me a line to share his experiences.

He booked a week in Majorca for August for 52,500 Avios (7 x 7,500 Avios).  The cash rate for the same hotel would have been £1,500.

I asked him to tell us how he booked it:

“Essentially, we wanted to go to Majorca during the Summer.  For a little while now, I’ve been looking at the Iberostar hotels since you mentioned them.  Going on their chart they seem to offer incredible value if you go for ‘room only’ at a Premium / Classic hotel. Breakfast – which being Spain they hardly ever check if you’re actually eligible for – would have added an extra 8,250 Avios per day.  For a Gold or Grand property, breakfast adds an extra 13,750 Avios per day!

What we wanted was a decent beach with kids entertainment and solid F&B options.  I did some research and Albufera Playa (this is NOT the hotel in the photo above) seemed the best option for us.  I based this on tripadvisor reviews, kids entertainment and the equivalent cash cost on say

I called the number given on the Iberostar webpage. Not being a Spanish speaker, I braced myself for a Spanish speaking hotline.  To be honest, I couldn’t have been more surprised. I first asked if it was OK to speak in English. “Yes, sure” was the answer! A short hold ensued then “Good Morning Iberostar, how may I help you?”

I explained I wanted to use my Avios to redeem for an Iberostar hotel and she couldn’t have been more helpful. She just needed the hotel name, dates. She then checked for availability. The dates I wanted were available.  She finally explained that you can cancel until 24 hours before check in.  We were then all done. By the time I’d put the phone down the confirmation email had arrived!

Just a final note – I didn’t check availability at other properties but in theory you could get even better value.  The Iberostar Portals Nous is more expensive for cash (£3,000 for a week) but it is adults only, for example, so would not have worked for us.”

Remember that you can only book these deals using Avios in Iberia Plus.  In order to be able to transfer your Avios into Iberia Plus, your account must be at least 90 days old and have earned 1 Avios point.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Great! Thank you and the reader for sharing his experience. Is there a way to check what hotels are in Premium Classic tier?

  2. Great. well done and a good read!

  3. Dannyrado says:

    Brilliant idea.

    So what’s the most cost effective way of finally ‘activating’ my Iberia account.. Never got around to it.

    • Genghis says:

      Transfer some MR points in?

      • Dannyrado says:

        Fair point. It’s early, I’m not up to speed yet.

        I’ll get my coat.

        • Genghis says:

          No worries. It’s best to activate your Iberia account as soon as you can so that you can take advantage of time limited opportunities as they arise.

    • We got an email from Iberia yesterday offering the same wine I bought last year to kickstart my account. Marques de Caceres £48 for 6 bottles and 480 Avios – go to Iberia Plus shopping partners page and look for Vino Seleccion. Free delivery in UK. I don’t drink wine but my husband enjoyed it! I’ve bought from them twice now – no hassles!

      • Got a link to the offer, please? I can’t see it online.

        AmazonVIP is back with free 200 Avios for signing up – but you’d need to stick in a Spanish address, which should be easy enough to google up.

        Did everybody end up getting the correct number of Avios from the Groupon deal? (We did.)

  4. I just stayed at the newly renovated Iberostar Christina in Mallorca, 50 EUR breakfast & dinner buffet incl. Great value, but they charge almost €17 to use the safe for one week. Talking about scam charges 😀

    • Hi Sven, how was the Iberostar Christina, it looks nice, is it suitable for a family of 4?
      50 EUR for breakfast and dinner sound reasonable, was the food good?, any other tips?

  5. How do these compare with 7k SPG redemptions?

    • Waribai says:

      They seemed from my research to be slightly more basic….

      • Thanks – definitely worth considering though!

        • Waribai says:

          No worries. TBH, I’ve never been impressed with the Spanish resort type SPG properties.
          Admittedly, with Plat status we get a suite usually and “free internet”. But once those perfunctory duties are out of the way they seem much more intent on catering for the Thomson/Thomas Cook package crowd.
          Had a very dicey trip to Sheraton Fuerteventura in December. What seemed like a bargain points wise was actually a rather shoddy experience for which admittedly SPG HQ were very apologetic and compensated us but still I wouldn’t be in a hurry to go back!

          • Care to elaborate on the Sheraton? One off bad experience, or to be avoided? We did the Sheraton in Tenerife and it was great. And I was looking at the relative bargain of the Fuerteventura property.

            • Waribai says:

              Yes, we thought we had found a bargain too and admittedly we were there at Xmas with the hotel filled to capacity. Essentially, they are just a bit lackadaisical and non responsive to any issues during your stay. The hot water failed twice. We got trapped in a toilet due to a rusty lock. ( funny in hindsight I guess) We got told off for approaching the SPG counter as they were just ‘working’ there not taking queries. Porter never arrived to collect the bags despite phoning twice. It just didn’t feel 5 star at all. Any complaints were just met with a nonchalant shrug or look of mild annoyance.
              To be fair there were repeat guests but mostly without SPG status and they seemed happy just to grab some sunshine and tolerate the service!

  6. Waribai says:


    I’m the reader in question. Yes, I had read about the extra charges for safes etc. TBH though I think this is something we can live with especially considering how expensive Majorca is likely to be this year! Think no Egypt or Tunisia. Also, another caveat which is not an issue for us (could be a plus point actually) is that Brits are not necessarily in the majority at Iberostar properties. Thanks Raffles for printing this for others to take advantage of. :)

    • trickster says:

      Unfortunately the practice of charging to use the in room safe is pretty standard in Mediterranean holiday hotels/resorts. I find it really annoying!

  7. Eshaq Choudhury says:

    What do they charge for breakfast if you paid at the hotel? I don’t really like the idea of walking in for breakfast when i’m not entitled to it. It would be rather embarrassing if they checked.

  8. Eshaq Choudhury says:

    Also wanted to ask, did they provide room to accommodate 2 adults and 2 kids for that amount of avios?

    • Waribai says:

      Each to their own. With breakfast, they would generally let you know if they were going to charge you. Embarrassment is minimal, honestly!

    • Waribai says:

      “A guaranteed room for 2 adults and 2 children”.

      For 52500 avios. Hehe…no. Sounds like you’ve got big kids so you would probably be best off with two interconnected rooms

  9. You can also cut the effective rate of the hotel by taking the telly off the wall when you leave and flogging it on eBay. Or paying with a stolen credit card. Don’t like those pesky safe charges? Just punch the duty manager in the face and say you’re not paying. You might even be able to get his wallet while he’s knocked out.

    • Waribai says:

      Easy tiger, I think the point about safes is a fair one as very few chain hotels charge for this. On the other hand I know of relatively few hotels which allow you to leave with the telly.

  10. OT and I’m new to the hobby,. I’m looking at my first Asia trip with Turkish Airlines on their round trip offer, and may I ask a couple of very basic questions.

    1 – Is a good first city to visit in Asia for a week or two – thinking perhaps Tokyo / Beijign / Jakarta. My interests are mainly architectural / cultural.
    2 – Is it worth taking a 6-7 hr or 2 hr stopover in istanbul – is 2hrs short enough that I may miss the connection, or is 6 hrs enough for a quick shufti around the City perhaps on one of the Turkish Airlines tours?
    3 – Planning to fly semi/flexible economy, which (I think) gives me 100% miles, as part of the plan to reach Star Gold via Asiana fairly quickly.

    I guess I also need to read up about Visas :-)


    • Genghis says:

      Hi Matt and welcome.
      1) Tokyo is great. I lived in Japan for two years. Accommodation is pricy but food is great. Avoid Jakarta. Not been to Beijing but I’m going to September and from what I’ve read looks like a great place to visit.
      2) 2 hour connection should be sufficient but there are reports about Turkish connections really difficult. Perhaps others can offer some advice.
      3) If flying economy and you’re sure of your dates, I wouldn’t pay good money for a semi flexible ticket (for extra miles) when discounted economy will be so much cheaper.
      4) Visa summary – Pricy for China – around GBP150 a person, Japan no visa required, Indonesia is visa on arrival.
      Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions once your itinerary is more solid.

      • Waribai says:

        Yes, price is a large factor in Tokyo but air b’nb have changed that somewhat. Never tried it but it seems to be hassle free in Tokyo. If you are a traditional architecture buff you will see little originality in Tokyo compared with Beijing. Much of the ‘traditional’ in Japan is from China.
        However for me, the buzz, ease, minimal scams and overall cleanliness would make Tokyo a winner.
        I like Jakarta as it is a ‘one off’ but it’s definitely not a walking city and not really a destination for a ‘first timer’ to Asia.

        You could always do Beijing as a 72 hours stopover on the way to Tokyo then no need for a visa.

        • Thanks, both.

          This first trip I’m keepnig it simple. I’m happy to pay a bit extra for the miles because I can offset the more rapid Star Gold status against the fees on the Amex Platinum it could save me wrt Lounge Access.

          This time I’ll do the straight roiund trip rather than juggling bookigns and stopovers.

          Since I enjoy dancing, a week in Buenos Aires plus a holiday at a Tango school also beckons.

    • Matt

      I would look at Thailand as you have the cultural and also the beaches. if you want to stay on the cultural trail you also have Sukothai and Ayutthaya so plenty to see and do.

      If you do a 2 hr stop then stay at the airport. traffic is horrendous.

      No Visa required for Thailand


  11. Genghis says:

    OT – received an email from Curve. Shipping late March.

  12. Mrtibbs1999 says:

    What board basis would this book into at an all inclusive only property? Would you need to pay for the food and drink, or would it default to the only board basis sold – All inclusive?

    • trickster says:

      My guess is that the only rate available will be the AI one:

      60,000 per night for GRAND COLLECTION / PREMIUM GOLD
      34,000 per night for PREMIUM / CLASSIC

      From the link Rob posted above.

  13. Johnnycl says:

    I’ve had good feedback from Appleyard Flower recipients last year…so long as I get the same this Sunday too… :)

  14. Back to the original topic !

    From their website, they state: “The above rates apply to a standard double room for two people on a room-only basis. Enquire for children.”

    Is there a charge for kids and what sort of room are you getting which can accommodate multiple kids plus parents ? From my experience, Spanish tourist hotel rooms for multiple occupancy tend to be one bed for 4 people with 2 sleeping on the couch !