Fortunately, or unfortunately (it depends how much trouble you had getting the Avios to post when this deal first ran in December) you can yet again buy cheap Avios points simply by heading over to Groupon!
It isn’t quite that simple – but near enough. When the process works, it is great. If it goes wrong, as it did for a few HFP readers last time, you are in for a long period of ringing Spanish-speaking call centres trying to get your miles.
This is an Iberia Plus deal. This means that there are two hurdles to jump:
You need an Iberia Plus Avios account (easily fixed by going to iberia.com if you don’t have one)
Your Iberia account will need to be 90 days old before you are allowed to use ‘Combine My Avios’ and send your points across to your British Airways Executive Club or avios.com account
Start by visiting the Iberia home page here.
Iberia has its own online shopping portal. However, it is not meant to be offered to UK residents. You must change the site language (top left) to Spain – English. It will not work if you are set to United Kingdom – English.
Click on ‘Iberia Plus’ in the top menu and you will see a link for Iberia PluStore. Go there. Search for Groupon and click through. You will earn an extra 5 Avios per €1 for your purchase in the IberiaPluStore!
Once you have clicked through to Groupon and got the relevant cookie on your computer, click here for the Avios page you need on the Spanish Groupon site.
It is best to use Google Chrome to open it. Chrome should offer to translate the text. If it doesn’t, right click on your mouse and a translation option will appear.
There are five price levels- the 2,000 Avios deal is the cheapest:
2,000 Avios = €19 (£15.09) = 0.75p (0.71p when including 95 PluStore Avios)
4,000 Avios = €49 (£38.92) = 0.97p (0.93p when including 195 PluStore Avios)
8,000 Avios = €99 (£78.63) = 0.98p (0.93p when including 495 PluStore Avios)
12,000 Avios = €149 (£118.34) = 0.99p (0.93p when including 745 PluStore Avios)
20,000 Avios = €259 (£205.70) = 1.03p (0.97p when including 1,295 PluStore Avios)
You can buy a maximum of five packages per Iberia account. However, you are restricted to just one of the ‘2,000 Avios’ packs.
The maximum number of Avios you can buy is therefore (20,000 x 5) 100,000 points for €1295, or £1,028.
You can pay by Paypal which may be easier – I did during the previous promotion – although you get legged over on the exchange rate. All other credit cards are accepted including American Express. If you do not use a 0% payment card, remember to factor in the 3% FX fee to the prices shown above.
This is where it got messy last time ….
About 30 minutes later you will receive an emailed voucher. If you don’t, the voucher will also be showing in your account on the Spanish Groupon site.
There is a link in the voucher to a page on the Groupon site where you need to input the two coupon codes.
Here’s the cool bit – when you hit return, you may well get an error message. If you do, try again. And again. And again.
Once accepted, you will be asked for your Iberia Plus account number. All done.
Reader Andrew posted the following guide in the comments yesterday which may also help:
“Once you’ve made your purchase, it will show up in your Groupon purchases as ‘processing’. Wait 5 or 10 minutes and check again (you should get an email to confirm that the Avios are ready).
The ‘processing’ message should have disappeared and a link should appear in its place. Click it and you will be taken to a new page to redeem the Avios.
On the left side there should be a blue button underneath a picture of an Iberia plane. Click the button and a pdf file will open in a new tab. At the top left there should be a security code and a coupon code. You will need these codes so make a note of them (ignore the ‘ref’ code).
Close the pdf file. Towards the bottom of the previous page, there’s a set of instructions. In the first paragraph there should be a small link. Click it, and you’ll be taken to a new page with some fields to fill in.
Add the security code, the coupon code, your email address, click the tick box, and hit the green ‘validate coupon’ button. The page will not change, but on the right hand side, your coupon details will appear.
This is where the main problem lies. I HAD TO DO THIS TEN TIMES TO GET IT TO WORK. Same as last December. But it will eventually work, just be patient!
When you can see your code details on the right, scroll down the page and click the blue ‘continue’ button (not the green one, which is to validate the coupon – you’ve already done it).
You will be taken to a new page and prompted to enter your Iberia Plus number. Again, it took me ten attempts to do this, but it will eventually accept it!
You should then get a confirmation message on the next page!”
Once you’ve got to this stage, you will get your Avios. I don’t think anyone actually had any trouble after getting a confirmation. They will take a few days to appear (the site says 30 days but that is overkill) and of course you are also waiting on your Avios from the shopping portal as well.
The big question ….. is it worth it?
Normally, if I was offered the chance to buy Avios as cheaply as 0.7p without having to leave my desk, I would jump on it.
Here, however, you have various moving parts – the translation issues during purchase, the effort required to validate the coupons, the potential risk that the shopping portal miles do not arrive and the knowledge that if it gets messy you will have to deal with Groupon Spain to fix it.
Last time, it must be said, most people – including myself – got their points without any trouble. What surprises me more than anything is that the deal is being re-run without having fixed the IT bugs which caused all the trouble in the first place ….
(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.)