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Iberia launches ‘Part Pay with Avios’ – and it’s rubbish

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From July 2nd, Iberia is letting you use Avios to pay for part of the cost of a cash ticket.  “All your Avios count and they also discount” is the catchy slogan they are using.

British Airways launched a similar ‘part pay with Avios’ scheme last year.  I wasn’t very excited about that – although it is better than it was at launch after tweaking – and I am even less excited about this.

Iberia discount

I was a little excited when I got the email.  I was promised the ability to save 25% of my flight cost using my Avios points, which could have been substantial for a long-haul flight.

In truth, you can’t.

I did a test booking from Madrid to Buenos Aires for late September.  The economy ticket came out at €1,137.  The maximum discount offered to me was €113 – for a cost of 25,950 Avios.

This is a terrible deal.  €113 is £89.  That works out at 0.35p per Avios.

This is shocking.  Remember that it is almost impossible to get less than 0.5p per Avios point even if you use all of your points for hotel bookings, car hire, champagne, sports tickets, Eurostar tickets or one of the hundreds of other random things that can sell you.

I then tried a short-haul flight from Madrid to London.  On a €217 flight the maximum discount was €30.  That would cost me 5,575 Avios.  This is a slightly better result as you get 0.43p per Avios.  I still wouldn’t go near it though.

For some reason this deal is also only available on flights that start in Spain.  If you try to book London to Madrid then you are not offered the discount.  It is also not available on BA flights, only Iberia, Iberia Express and Vueling.

If you want to know, full details can be found on the Iberia website here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios 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 a huge range of valuable 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.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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 bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (5)

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

  • Brian says:

    Their newsletter, which was sent out the other day, did contain the chance to enter a competition for 30,000 Avios, though, as well as giving everybody 50 free Avios for answering 4 questions correctly.

  • Mike says:

    I booked an Avios flight with BA a few weeks back. I was a tiny bit short so I looked at doing part-pay and part-avios, or just buying the extra Avios. It worked out cheaper to just buy the Avios.

  • Toby says:

    Flights from the UK operated by Iberia (i.e. LHR) can now be partly paid with Avios, it’s not exciting though, as you already mentioned.

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

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