Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Good long-haul Avios bargains with Iberia and their new spend chart – save £380 tax AND Avios

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I wrote yesterday about how, for three weeks or so until British Airways brings in its new Avios pricing, some British Airways redemptions will be cheaper if booked via Iberia Plus.

There are also some excellent deals to be had if you are willing to fly on Iberia from Madrid rather than British Airways from London for your long-haul redemptions.

Here is the Avios redemption table for Iberia when redeemed via Iberia Plus which came into effect from April 1st:

Iberia chart PNG 2

And here is the current British Airways Executive Club redemption chart, which applies to both BA and Iberia until April 28th:

Avios bandings

Let’s take a look at New York as a typical Iberia long-haul route which is also served by British Airways.  New York is Zone 5.

This is what a return business class redemption costs today:

British Airways flight from London: 80,000 Avios + £515 (this pricing jumps after April 28th)

Iberia flight from Madrid: 68,000 Avios + £134 (€183) at off-peak; 100,000 Avios + £134 (€183) at peak

On an off-peak data, you can save 12,000 Avios and £381 in charges by getting yourself to Madrid (for cash or Avios) to connect.

Taking Los Angeles as another example, a business class Iberia reward will be 85,000 or 125,000 Avios depending on season.  Today, British Airways asks 100,000 Avios so you save 15,000 Avios on off-peak Iberia dates – and the taxes will be £381 less. Would you buy a ticket to Madrid in order to save £381 and 15,000 Avios per person?

The chart showing peak and off-peak dates when booking Iberia flights via Iberia Plus is here – peak dates are red:

Iberia peak dates

Remember that – after April 28th – the differences in pricing will get even wider.  New York using BAEC will cost 120,000 Avios on a peak date and 100,000 off peak.

Iberia will be 100,000 or 68,000.  BA and Iberia also have DIFFERENT peak dates.  October and February half-terms in the UK are peak for BA but off-peak for Iberia, meaning you save (120,000 – 68,000) 52,000 Avios per person.

Remember that Iberia is starting flights from Manchester (in September) and Edinburgh (already launched) to Madrid this year which will give those in the regions an easy option for connecting.  Remember that your flight to Madrid from the UK must be on a separate ticket from your long-haul flight if you are to avoid long-haul business class Air Passenger Duty.


British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (25)

  • victor says:

    Is the Iberia “bands” same as British Airways?
    Ex. Searching a direct flight from Ibiza to Florence on Vueling/ Iberia on June 20th.
    GCMap says the distance is 614miles, just under the Band 1 threshold of 650 miles.
    However, from the Iberia website, I had expected it to quote at 5000 avios (peak time/ band 1) instead it quoted at 8250 avios.

    Have others had a similar situation?

    • Rob says:

      Banding works on capital cities so prices as Madrid to Rome

  • James says:

    By the way Iberia only seems to open 2 business class redemption seats per flight on the MIA route… Very frustrating. Also can’t seem to book AA flights on Iberia.com.. Can they do it if I call them?

    • Rob says:

      Yes, if BA can see them then Iberia can see them. Remember – no changes and no refunds allowed on non-Iberia flights booked via Iberia.com

  • AA says:

    Can you book BA flights via Iberia and connect via LHR for BAs F?

  • Don says:

    I remember IB having really good 50% off Business Avios redemptions last year. I think ORD, EZE might have been in there. I hope they continue! IB Biz is just below BA F in terms of quality. IB Biz Plus is very much CW Plus :p.

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