Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get 500 FREE Avios for joining IHG Rewards Club – no stay required

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Avios (via Iberia Plus) and IHG Rewards Club have joined forces to offer you 500 Avios points for signing up – no stay required.

Full details are on the IHG website here.

IHG Rewards Club is the loyalty programme for Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo etc.  A lot of Head for Points readers will already be IHG Rewards Club members – but perhaps there are members of your family, perhaps people with whom you share a British Airways Executive Club household account, who are not?

Iberia IHG Rewards Club Avios offer

Now, before I go on, a quick confession.  Back in July, IHG ran a similar offer with Virgin Atlantic’s Flying ClubThe offer was very badly described by Virgin.  On their website, it said you got 500 miles just for joining.  On the IHG landing page, it also said you got 500 miles just for joining.  In the small print – which I missed when I wrote about it – it said that you had to join up AND STAY to get the 500 miles.

There is no such doubt here.  The small print, and indeed the large print, makes it clear that NO STAY IS REQUIRED.  All you need to do is:

sign up for IHG Rewards Club via this page of their website

set up your profile so that you earn Iberia Plus Avios and not IHG Rewards Club points from your stays

and do it before 31st December

When do you get the Avios?

The wording is suitably vague:

“Avios will automatically be awarded by Airline partners on completion of Registration, and in any event before 15th February 2018”

…. but there is a good chance they arrive quickly.

Remember …. you need an Iberia Plus account

This offer ONLY works with Iberia Plus accounts.  If you don’t have one, go over to the Iberia website and join.

Once the 500 Avios have arrived, you can use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move them from Iberia Plus to your or British Airways Executive Club account.

You cannot transfer Avios out of Iberia Plus until the Iberia account is 90 days old.  If you join Iberia Plus as a new member today, and even if IHG posts your 500 Avios quickly, you won’t be able to move them across to BA until early January.

Get a fast track to IHG Gold status too

There is also a ‘fast track to Gold’ offer.  If you complete three nights at IHG hotels in the 90 days following registration, you will be upgraded.  Gold would usually require 10 nights.

This isn’t hugely beneficial, since you can get free Gold status by getting the free IHG Rewards Club credit card (representative APR 18.9%) – no spending required.  There are not many benefits to being Gold, although you will get a few hundred bonus points and usually a free drink or snack on every stay.

You can sign up, or discover more details, on this page of the IHG website.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

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, £200 travel credit 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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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 (43)

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

  • Jovanna says:

    If I renew Ambassador with points do I still receive the free night certificate?

  • Nicholas says:

    I’d be grateful if anyone (especially Rob!) could answer the following questions;

    1. For those of us who, having clicked on Rob’s link, only see an option to select Iberia Airlines: is this the option to select in lieu of Iberia Plus – Avios? If not, where do I find the Iberia Plus – Avios option?

    2. Which membership number is required – Avios or Iberia? If I am not a member of Iberia, just IHG Rewards Club, do I also have to become a member of Iberia too?

    3. I do not have a passport – is this 500 free Avios offer applicable to me?

    Many thanks!

    • Rob says:

      You select Iberia and must input an Iberia number. The news about needing a passport is new to me but the comments do seem to imply that.

      • Nicholas says:

        Thanks, Rob. I managed to join successfully by enetering my National Insurance number in the National Idenity Card field. It came up with an error, asking me to contact the Iberia Plus Service Centre, but an email arrived later welcoming me to Iberia Plus. So it seems a passport isn’t necessary after all!

  • Delbert says:

    Thanks for the IHG gen, Rob. Not a bad morning then, signed Mrs Delbert up to IHG as we both have mature Iberia accounts (unfortunately, I’m already an IHG member) and also took a spin down to Tesco to spend £10+ on the BA Amex blue to trigger the 500 Avios bonus.

    I’m also considering applying for the Amex Nectar offer as £150 worth of Nectar points is about as good as they come.

  • Roger says:

    OT- Does anyone know what is the delay between Avios leaving Amex (for BAPP card) and hitting your BAEC account?

    My some 30K Avios have left Amex account earlier this morning, but so far not appeared in my BAEC account.

    • Delbert says:

      Usually about three or four days to show up, Roger. Nothing to worry about.

  • Delbert says:

    Thanks for that, Steve. Doubled up for me and Mrs Delbert as recall that the 2000 offer flies off the shelf.

    • the real harry1 says:

      CIAO10 EUR10 off EUR30 for new users

      might make a higher amount a bit cheaper…

      • the real harry1 says:


        4000 would be EUR49 so still a bit pricier than the 2000 offer

  • Delbert says:

    Also looks like the offer expires in little over four and a half hours.

  • SS says:

    Has anyone had the points posted yet?


  • ieva says:

    signed up, set up the profile, but still no points..

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

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