Avios changes 8: oneworld partner redemptions may be cheaper via Iberia Plus
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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?
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
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:
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 UK credit cards (June 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 Mastercard
Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
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
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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 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.