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Exploring the limits of Reward Flight Saver via Iberia

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I am a huge fan of the Avios ‘Reward Flight Saver’ redemptions, which cap your taxes and charges at £27 for a return Economy ticket and £37 for a return Business ticket.  I wrote more about it here.

I decided to spend some time last week exploring what is actually possible with Reward Flight Saver tickets issued by Iberia. 

(Remember that you can transfer your BAEC or avios.com points over to Iberia Plus using the ‘Combine My Avios’ feature.)

Why did I do this?  Well, Reward Flight Saver redemptions are available on direct BA or Iberia redemptions where the main flight is under 2,000 miles. 

Flying from London on BA, this covers everything down to Marrakech and Istanbul.  You also fly to Moscow using Reward Flight Saver.  Now that this route has gone to 747’s with long-haul seating, this is your only chance to experience First Class or Club World whilst paying the heavily reduced level of Reward Flight Saver taxes.

However …. were there any interesting Iberia redemptions under 2,000 miles from their hubs in Madrid or Barcelona?  After all, Madrid is a lot further south than London, so in theory it should open up a number of different Reward Flight Saver destinations within a 2,000 mile radius.

I was, therefore, disappointed by what I found.  Most of Iberia’s routes are to Latin and South America.  There are only two routes, both ex-Madrid, which offer a Reward Flight Saver opportunity not offered by BA.  These are Dakar in Senegal and Nouakchott in Mauritania.  Neither of these are likely to be top of any tourist itinerary, although obviously the routes will be of interest to those in the UK with family in the region.

Madrid to Dakar prices out (return) at 30,000 Avios plus Euro 27 in Economy or 60,000 Avios plus Euro 37 in Business, with the flight stopping at Gran Canaria on the way.

Madrid to Nouakchott is the same, with an identical stop.

A Reward Flight Saver flight from the UK to Madrid to connect with these services would cost 15,000 Avios plus £27 in Economy.

Reward Flight Saver flights are also available on Comair from South Africa – I will take a look at these in a future article.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (8)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • yousef says:

    What routes would you like to see IB offer that would not be possible from LON?

    • Raffles says:

      Good question! To be honest, I didn’t really know what fits into a 2,000 mile radius south of Madrid which is why I did this exercise. Frankly, if I lived in Spain, I would be shocked by the long haul routes of IB as they go to few major business centres and you are reliant on foreign airlines choosing to fly to Spain from wherever you want to go.

  • james says:

    The only places you can get to from BCN that you can’t from London (or Madrid, for that matter) are Cairo, Tel Aviv, Beirut, Amman and Damascus.

    Lanarca doesn’t actually qualify on BA, but does from Spain.

    When flying from Spain, Star Alliance through FRA/ZRH has always been the cheapest and most convenient for me. EK via DXB may also be an option. I suppose you don’t see many Spaniards in Asia, so there is less demand.

  • Mat says:

    I have been investigating using Iberia Plus to use up some of my UK Avios. Living in South Wales I was interested to see that you can book flights to Spain/Majorca etc from Cardiff for only 15,000 Avios (return). Iberia appear to code share with Vueling as these are all low cost carrier flights. For 60,000 Avios +£100 for a family of four to go to Majorca I think it is a good deal.

    • Raffles says:

      Very interesting! I think I need to dig into this a bit more when I am back from holiday and see what else is out there for non London redemptions.

      • pazza2000 says:

        Yes, I for one would appreciate this dug into a little greater. I think there might be a few interesting oppourtunities on IB that we have yet to uncover.

  • Eric Ambassidor says:

    There is a Manchester – Madrid direct flight on Air Nostrum that I think falls under the reward saver as well. Will do some more investigation…..

  • dark_horse says:

    Reward Flight Savers are indeed available to and from South Africa. I’ve recently got a couple of seats one-way from Mauritius to Johannesburg in order to connect up with a BA mainline flight home, all for the princely sum of 20k Avios and £25 [sic] each.

    Here’s hoping the incoming flight isn’t late though; they’re on separate tickets… :-O

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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