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Bits: ignore Iberia’s Amex transfer bonus, Avios payment for seats selection

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News in brief:

Ignore Iberia’s email about an Amex to Avios transfer bonus

Iberia Plus sent out an email last week offering a 20% bonus if you convert your American Express Membership Rewards points into Avios before 31st March.

This was a big mistake.

In teeny tiny small print at the bottom, it says:

Promotion valid for American Express Cardholders registered for the Membership Rewards® programme, with cards issued by American Express Card España S.A.U

This means that transfers from UK issued American Express cards will not count.  You will not receive a 20% bonus if you transfer Membership Rewards points to Iberia.

Iberia should have been substantially more careful in how it worded the English language version of this email, given that many will have gone to people living outside Spain.  I fear that the UK Amex call centre is going to be busy.

PS.  Of course, there is an outside chance that Iberia’s IT is not up to speed (hard to believe, I know), that it fails to spot that a transfer has come from the UK Membership Rewards scheme and awards the bonus anyway.  The problem is that the bonus will be added 14 days in arrears, not alongside the base points, and by the time we find out whether or not it works the offer will nearly be over.

Avios payment for seat selection coming soon

‘The Club’, the British Airways Executive Club online magazine, is – bizarrely – very rarely the source of any useful information about British Airways Executive Club.

(Typical article from ‘The Club’ – ‘Singer Celine Dion on her favourite holiday, where she’s visiting next and her packing essential’ ……)

However, the March 2018 edition does have some genuine newsAs you can read here (click, select country, then click this link again):

Later this year, Executive Club Members will be able to use their Avios to pay for and reserve seats in advance via Manage My Booking. This additional benefit is one of a number of new initiatives which will give members more ways to use their Avios. 

The same page includes a reminder of the new Run Gatwick fun run on Sunday 13th May, which we have covered on Head for Points before, which will raise money for BA’s Flying Start charity.

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  1. O/T but my Curve card arrived today. Anyone have any thoughts on whether I’d be able to pay off a student loan with it? I’ve heard paying off a credit card can get you banned, and I’m not sure if this would be treated the same.

    The plan is to try and switch the several hundred pounds a month coming directly out of my salary, and pay it directly to the student loans company with the Curve, earning essentially free points! Unfortunately at 1.5% APR, I’ve no interest to pay it any faster than I need to (pardon the pun)

    • The Urbanite says:

      There are a list of merchant types they block in the T&Cs – Gambling, Dating and escort services, Massage parlours, Inbound teleservices, Automated fuel dispensers, Investment services and Prepaid/ cash services. The SLC might count under cash so definitely worth asking them to be on the safe side. They say they carry out a risk review based on your activity – if you use the card normally I suspect they’d be fine with it, but if it’s a barrage of failed prepaid card loads, credit card payments and gambling transactions mixed with huge cash withdrawals, I think they’d bar the account.

      Will your plan work? Had a look on the SLC website under “Plan 1 – How to repay more quickly” and it does say that any additional payments made through the website will have no impact at all on the amount that is deducted from your salary. I think it’d only work for free points if you paid the lot as quickly as the Curve allows. I’m with you on the disincentive to make additional payments. If you’re sitting on 5 figures cash, surely it’s pretty easy to use it to generate several times the interest the loan is costing you.

      • Thanks for the advice both! Firstly I’ll see if I can indeed pay it direct and not via my employer (otherwise, like you said, paying extra isn’t actually a financially sound decision). And then I’ll test the waters with a small additional payment and cash thereafter

        • Gavin says:

          You would need to switch to a direct debit method I believe, this is usually only allowed when in the last year of your payments.
          A one-off payment could be done to pay off the loan.

    • I don’t know if you can pay cash into your student loan account (they only introduced them in my final year so mine was paid off about 20 years ago!) but you can withdraw £200 per calendar month on each card you have linked to Curve.

    • FlyingChris says:

      You can pay SLC fixed lump sum additional amounts via Credit Card no problem (no Amex, but Visa/Mastercard fine). I’ve just paid the final balance off mine this way. There’s no fees or no need to use Curve.

      However, almost certain SLC won’t let you replace PAYE with monthly card payments – the card payments would be in addition to payroll deductions. When you get within 2 years of finishing payments they will let you come off the payroll system and move to direct debit so you don’t overpay – but even then needs to be a DD.

    • Alex W says:

      Yes I paid off my student loan at the 2 year point with my IHG premium Credit Card. Seem to recall I had to do it directly on the IHG Card as Curve wouldn’t work. That may change now if you have the curve debit card version.

      • Scallder says:

        Be slightly warned as I tried doing it with my Creation IHG Premium card a little while back and they treated it as a cash advance so as was above the daily limit it didn’t go through (And would of course charge you at the cash advance rate)

  2. Brian says:

    Hi, IT but do BA still offer complimentary food on the cityflyer flights to London city?

    The below link not totally clear for info. Thanks

  3. Londonsteve says:

    Drat, I read the Iberia Amex offer e-mail (without reading the small print word for word) and transferred MR points to Iberia Plus. I’ll let the community here know how I get in. The takeaway is always, always, always read the small print.

    • ColinJE says:

      Likewise, 80k MR points transferred. Also, a bit worried that I’d got a message my Iberia points were about to expire, though account was empty. Does a transfer in reset the account or is there a danger I could lose the points I’ve just transferred in? If so, I’d better move them to BA pronto. Otherwise I was going to leave them there in the hope that the IT system might assume it’s a Spanish Amex account and give me an extra 20%. Didn’t see anything in T&Cs to say whether the points had to stay or remain to get it (and now I’ve deleted the Iberia email!)

  4. Iberia Plus avios expire after 3 years lack of activity. transfers don’t count. Do we just move avios over to an active BA account and then move back if we wish to redeem via iberia or does that actual account export at iberia plus?

  5. Jose María says:

    AMR Avios points transferred to an IBP account, makes a reset to the expiration date. Your Avios won’t be expire.

    The transfers that does not count are the ones btwn IBP accounts


  6. Edward Noel says:

    (First time poster.) Will I be able to use Avios to pay for reserved seats when booking, but pay for the rest of the cost normally? And, if so, would I still earn Avios on that flight, or would the whole flight be treated as a reward purchase? Many thanks in advance – greatly enjoying HfP!

    • No, cannot (yet) use Avios to pay for seats.

      • Edward Noel says:

        Many thanks, Rob. Just wondering, when the time comes later this year, is it your understanding that one could use Avios just for booking the seats, pay for the rest of the cost normally, and still qualify to collect points for the flight?

  7. ColinJE says:

    Just noticed that my transfer of 80k Amex Rewards points from a UK card to my Iberia account earned an additional 20% bonus. 16,000 extra avios! It took 3 days for the bonus to be added. If you’re thinking of moving some into an Avios account it might be worth a try.

    • Be very careful. My test transfer did NOT get a bonus (7 days ago now). I did not get the original email though.

      If you were NOT emailed about this then I wouldn’t risk it. If you were, you will probably be OK.

    • After someone one here said they tried with 1,000 MR points and got the bonus, I transferred my stash (I would have converted into Avios anyway, so no risk for me) on 12th Mar, and just checked and a 20% bonus was added on 15th Mar, so pleased with that.
      I did receive the offer email.

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