Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Iberia cuts long-haul routes and your low-tax redemption options

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Many people forget that Iberia also has Avios as its reward currency (since BA and Iberia have the same parent) and that you can transfer your Avios into Iberia Plus.

(Transfers of Avios to Iberia Plus can only be done on Iberia Plus accounts which are 90 days old and which have earned 1 Avios.)

This article looks at Reward Flight Saver options from Madrid.  This article looks at Iberia’s long haul network.

Iberia is very attractive to Avios collectors because it charges very low taxes.  As my July post pointed out, a business class ticket on Iberia from Madrid to New York is 80,000 Avios plus £89 of tax (when booked on the Iberia website).  A BA flight from London to New York in business is 80,000 Avios plus £520!  If you don’t mind buying a separate flight to Madrid, you can save a lot of money.

Unfortunately, Iberia is a financial basket-case, losing €1.7m per day.  In an attempt to restore profitability, it is taking a knife to certain routes for 2013.

Athens, Istanbul, Cairo, Santo Domingo, San Juan, Montevideo and – annoyingly – Havana are to go.

The remaining long-haul (non Europe) destinations are, I think:

  • Africa – Accra, Algiers, Casablanca, Dakar, Luanda, Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), Oran
  • North America – Chicago, Miami, New York, Boston, Los Angeles
  • South America – Bogota, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Guatemala City, Guayaquil (Ecuador), Lagos, Lima, Mexico City, Mauritania, Panama City, Quito, Rio do Janeiro, San Jose (Costa Rica), San Salvador, Santiago, Sao Paulo
  • Asia – none
  • Middle East – Tel Aviv

The better news from Iberia is that it will be rolling out its new business class seat across its A340-600 fleet and the A330’s due for delivery in 2013.  They will be a variant of the flat EADS Solstys seat.

This is a massive improvement on the current seat:

Iberia Business Plus seat


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.

  • Britbronco says:

    I have a reward booking to/from Cuba, falling either side of the date the route stops. Two separate one way bookings actually. Do you think they will just cancel the return booking or would they book me on another flight?
    I would actually prefer to fly back with Air Berlin, but have been waiting for availability. I haven’t contacted Iberia yet as I’m trying to keep my options open. The return leg is in economy and I’d rather redeem business if available.

    • Raffles says:

      IB will rebook you, hopefully. If you are lucky, it will be on a revenue ticket so should be miles earning. You might even get the direct Cuba to UK Virgin service, if that still operates. If you don’t like what they offer, there is AB as the fall back.

  • Britbronco says:

    The press release said the standard rebooking is with air Europa. My booking is just HAV – MAD, so I expect they would try to offer me this, but maybe they would allow me Air Berlin instead as an alliance partner. (I want get to either LGW or DUS)
    However I’m worried any rebooking would compromise my flexibility to cancel if two business award seats become available.

  • Mr Bridge says:

    Raffles this is a great tip.
    Are there any earn free avios promtions for iberia avios, should i transfer some amex MR, or wait for a transfer promo??

    • Raffles says:

      Havr a search through the Iberia Plus articles (see Categories on the right). Some options for crediting hotels and car rentals you don’t get with BAEC. Signing up for newsletters from alice.es online retailer gets you 125 IB Avios and ‘activates’ your account so you can, after 90 days, do transfers in and out – there is a post on alice.es if you search.

    • Britbronco22 says:

      Don’t forget you can transfer Avios held with BAEC or Avios.com to Iberia using ‘combine my avios’. However your Iberia account must be open 3 months before you can use combine my avios.
      I haven’t seen a transfer promo from MR to Iberia, but there have been promos from MR to BAEC, which can then be transfered using combine my avios.

  • Raffles says:

    You can form a BA Household Account to pool your Avios. However, 2 snags. If you book the Iberia flight via BA Avios then you pay far higher taxes. You can’t use a 241 either as that can only be used on BA planes.

    Iberia allows miles and money redemptions – do a dummy booking on their site and see if you have enough Avios each for a miles and money ticket.

  • Raffles says:

    I post in the travel bit of paidtoshop. I don’t use v-flyer although I may focus on it more when VS launches its domestic services.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.