Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Avios changes 8: oneworld partner redemptions may be cheaper via Iberia Plus

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

Executive summary:  instead of charging for partner airline redemptions by segment, Iberia is using an ‘all-in’ pricing chart.  This will make some redemptions cheaper than booking via BA.

Key link: ‘Club Changes’ page on ba.com, ‘Club Changes’ page on iberia.com

Here are the other articles in this series you may have missed:

1. Understanding the new tier point rules

2. Understanding the new earning rates

3. Understanding the new spending rates

4. What is an Avios point worth after April 28th?

5. Exploiting the ‘no repricing on date changes’ rule

6. Why are off-peak upgrades now more expensive than peak?

7. Save 43% of your Avios on long-haul redemptions if you fly Iberia

9. What will happen to airline partner earning rates?

10. Are you a winner or a loser overall?

Avios wing 13

This article looks at the cost of booking Avios flights on airberlin, American, Qatar, Qantas etc after the forthcoming changes.  Will it be cheaper using ba.com or iberia.com to book?

Remember that, using ‘Combine My Avios’, you can move your points freely between BAEC and Iberia Plus.  The only conditions are that your Iberia account is 90 days old and has ‘earned’ 1 Avios point.  This is easily done via e-rewards or an Amex Membership Rewards transfer.

British Airways has made its position clear:

  • Partner awards will be priced flight-by-flight, like BA redemptions
  • They will use the BA pricing chart below but ALWAYS using the ‘peak’ pricing

Redemption chart 2

Iberia is doing something completely different.

They have a got a totally separate chart for awards using just one partner airline (or Iberia and one other partner airline).

This chart prices your Avios redemption based on the distance of the entire trip, return, irrespective of segments.  The rules say that you MUST book a return flight and it must return to the same airport from which you departed.

Take a look at this which is from their PDF booklet explaining the changes:

Iberia partner 2

Let’s look at a few examples:

airberlin from Berlin to Abu Dhabi in Business Class.  BA wins:

  • Current BA price:  50,000 Avios return plus tax
  • New BA price after 28th April:  75,000 Avios return plus tax
  • Price if booked via Iberia (5800 miles return):  100,000 Avios plus tax

London to Doha on Qatar Airways in Business Class.  Iberia wins:

  • Current BA price:  80,000 Avios return plus tax
  • New BA price after 28th April:  120,000 Avios return plus tax
  • Price if booked via Iberia (6520 miles return):  100,000 Avios plus tax

London to Perth on Qatar Airways.  Iberia wins:

  • Current BA price:  (2 x Zone 5 + 2 x Zone 7 flights):  200,000 Avios return plus tax
  • New BA price after 28th April:  (2 x Zone 5 + 2 x Zone 7 flights):  300,000 Avios return plus tax
  • Price if booked via Iberia (18098 miles return):  270,000 Avios plus tax

The downside of Iberia Plus redemptions is that they are non-refundable and non-changeable on carriers other than Iberia.  You may therefore prefer to see the saving you make booking via Iberia Plus as a discount in return for losing your cancellation flexibility.  It is also likely that you will need to book via Iberia’s Spanish call centres.

Coming soon:  tier point and Avios credit when flying partner airlines, a summary of the winners and losers


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

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

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

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

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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.

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

Comments (53)

  • Jason says:

    I see iberia’s website only lets you book 11 months ahead and it doesn’t seem to have the same availability, in business, as BA’s does 🙁
    Ie BA has lots of availabilty, London to Doha, Iberia no availabilty.

    • Mark says:

      I also spotted that. It also doesn’t accept many destinations at all. As Rob says you may have to phone them – not sure if that will open up more availability though for the routes you can see online.

      Maybe a miracle will happen and the website will magically improve when all the changes kick in. 😐

      • Andrew S says:

        …and you think Indian call centers are bad. Iberia is in another league of worstness.

        • Greenpen says:

          Well not really a representative sample, but the only time I had to telephone Iberia, to cancel a redemption booking, they were charming and efficient. Money and Avios back to me not immediately but very quickly – couple of days or so.

          • Jason says:

            Raffles

            Will you be doing further articles on booking reception flights through, Iberia plus, as although I don’t have any Avios in our Iberia plus accounts currently I would probably like to use them for LHR – doh/dxb redemptions post devaluation.
            At the moment when I check on iberia’s website their availabilty in business, October onwards, is non existent.
            As someone mentioned earlier does that change if you phone them?
            It’s the difference in peak and off peak, between them and BA, that makes Iberia a possible option.

          • Rob says:

            If ba.com shows a partner award then the Iberia call centre can book it for you. Their website does not really ‘do’ partner awards!

  • Oliver says:

    Is it possible to add DOH-DXB on to this as well if it is only based on distance and not segments? So to fly LHR-DOH-DXB-DOH-LHR – it would come into the same band as under 8,000 miles?

    • Mark says:

      Yes, in principle.

      • Jason says:

        The above table says direct flights. If it was possible then London dubai comes out almost similar to today’s cost, of 98k Avios, via Doha, which would be a result in my eyes.

        • Rob says:

          I know. However, the very fact that the table goes up to 50,000 miles means that cannot be true. The ‘multi partner’ chart, which I have not covered, allows up to 8 flights per trip.

  • Gordon says:

    Are the cash elements the same booking via IB an BA?

  • mark2 says:

    The e-Rewards link from Iberia still does not work.

  • Adam says:

    Hi, sorry newbie question.
    I have looked up my chosen flights on Iberia and it states my route is flown by BA on the IB site even though it shows the IB logo. If you book through IB i take it they will charge you the same Avios as if you booked directly through BA?
    Just worth a chance of asking, you never know!

  • Fahd says:

    I presume there’s no way to redeem a 2for1 on Iberia though?

  • Jason says:

    On a completely separate note, tesco have extended the fuel save until 31st May
    🙂

  • Scott says:

    Hi, I want to cancel an Amex card which has a MR points balance. Is there anywhere I can hold these points that means I don’t need to commit to moving them into a particular airline scheme, until I’ve had time to digest the BA changes?

    • MagicByNature says:

      When I cancelled my card a few months ago, I was told that the MR points will still stay intact for 30 days from cancellation. However, once you cancel, you can’t move transfer them anywhere using the online account and would need to call instead.

    • Rob says:

      If it is a Plat you could downgrade to Gold (£10 per month) or Green (£8 per month including the fee to be in MR). It buys you some time albeit at a cost.

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.