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

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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

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  1. David says:

    I hope IB redemption availability in Business class improves. It’s been worsening steadily ever since the IAG takeover.

  2. Erico1875 says:

    Its almost as if BA want you to fly partner airlines rather than themselves

    • Metatone says:

      I think there will be ongoing possibilities if you have the time (and points) to go via Madrid.
      The history of the brands “British” Airways, “Iberia” means that IAG can’t just merge the airlines.
      But the price vs availability equation is different in Spain vs the UK at the moment, and given the ongoing issues in the eurozone is likely to remain so for a while.

  3. Jamie Dook says:

    It should also be noted, for those of us not avios rich, the part pay with avios is not as attractive with IB plus. Where BA generally allows you to buy avios at 0.8p / avios, IB will generally cost you more than 1p per avios to buy. A quick look and it will cost you upwards of 1.75p per avios

    • sandgrounder says:

      0.8p on an economy fare, maybe. I have never found a cash and points purchase rate anywhere near that on a business fare.

  4. Ralph says:

    We fly DUB MAD LAX next Saturday businesses class using Avios and return with AA on a direct flight, also in business, using AAdvantage miles. Booked eleven months ago but from memory the IB taxes were about £120 each and the AA taxes back, $3. We fly to Dublin for 4500 Avios and £17.50 each and make that part of our holiday, always wanted to visit the Guinness factory 🙂

    • Polly says:

      That’s what this site is all about, so enjoy dub it’s fab. We now just look out for biz J from dub on BA, for an extra trip, almost not worth collecting avios if you can get good biz deals. We do the avios for. F on the 241, so also stuck with BA. But IB now opens up more possibilities for us.

      • Ralph says:

        We use the 241s in F too Polly, off to Beijing in August for 150,000 Avios, a 241and £1.079 in taxes which provides a benefit we could never dream of spending our hard earned cash on ever!
        ps we also then booked business class on Dragonair and Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong for a couple of days, the taxes were pretty cheap from memory 🙂

        • Polly says:

          Ralph, we too are looking to use another 241 in autumn, and will prob do the Beijing route if we can’t get HKG. That’s what we used to bali in jan from HKG on CX biz, plus v little cash. I agree it’s something we would never normally do, so def the 241 is a brilliant perk. Flying F for the price of Y. Fab experience.

  5. Oliver says:

    No 241 on iberia 🙁 thats the only reason I’ve stuck with BA

  6. What's the Point says:

    Its these sort of differences in Avios required that make you wonder whether I should value the 241 vouchers we earn each year as much as I have previously?

    • +1 unless I am using the 2-4-1 on long haul flights, I always choose other airlines over BA. I am sorry to say there are far better products with better offers out there.

      The value of the 2-4-1 voucher will increase for regular BA flyer, but for someone like me only use it for long haul for once a year, I really have to rethink if there is any point to collect the 2-4-1 further. Especially we have seen so many sell from other airlines recently…

      • To be honest, it is not a terrible deal even if you only use it for a European flight. Let’s say you save 20-30,000 Avios on a longer economy or short Club Europe redemption. That still justifies the £150 fee and you’ve also had the benefit on the higher earning rate on your spending.

  7. There’s an error in the chart. Band 6 full fare economy in peak season seems to be rather expensive! 375,000 actually. One too many zero’s i think.

  8. Craig says:

    The only problem is that Iberia Plus’ website is broken and hasn’t been working for several days. Any attempt to book an award ticket results in a system error.

    • Matthew says:

      I booked two award seats on Weds with Iberia Plus. Maybe I got lucky!

    • Fenny says:

      Most of my Avios are in BAEC and as I still can’t access my account, I can’t transfer them to IB even if I wanted to.

    • James says:

      Same for me, just returns an error when I try to select seats

  9. 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?

  10. 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 Can they do it if I call them?

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

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

  12. 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.