Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get up to 90,000 Avios in a VERY generous (or crazy) Iberia promo – but is there a catch?

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++++ We now have info from Iberia on exactly how it all works and will reveal tomorrow – it looks more promising than we thought! ++++

Iberia launched a new promotion yesterday which, on the face of it, looks EXCEPTIONALLY generous.

It appears to be open to all and not targeted.

For every Iberia flight you book between now and Sunday, however cheap, you will receive 9,000 bonus Avios.  Your flying dates can be for whenever you choose.

These Avios will post to your account immediately (within 10 days) and not when you fly.  It appears to pay out on one-way flights, so a return cash flight would net you 18,000 Avios.

ANY flight to ANY destination seems to count.  One-way flights from Palma to Madrid early in 2019 are occasionally under €20 for potentially 9,000 Avios.

You can find full details on the Iberia website here.

Iberia 90000 Avios promotion

Is there a catch?

Possibly.

Let’s look at the small print.

“Special offer of an extra 9,000 Avios for each ticket purchased between 21 and 24 June 2018 (maximum of 90,000 promotional Avios per member) on iberia.com for a flight operated by Iberia, Iberia Express or Air Nostrum. Avios will be added within 10 days of the purchase to the Iberia Plus account of all customers identified as members of the Iberia Plus programme during the purchase process.”

The first bit seems OK – you get 9,000 Avios per ticket purchased by Sunday, and any flight on Iberia, Iberia Express or Air Nostrum will do.  All you need to do is be logged in as an Iberia Plus member when you book. Importantly, you get the Avios within 10 days of booking.

This next bit also seems fair:

“If the customer requests a refund, either because it is permitted by the fare or for any other reason, the promotional Avios will be withdrawn from their account.”

Then you have this line, which worries me more:

“Extra promotional Avios not redeemed by 1 December 2018 will be withdrawn from the customer’s account.”

What does this mean?  Are these ‘promotional’ Avios going to be somehow different to normal Avios?  There is a clue in the next line:

“For example, if a customer purchases tickets on Iberia.com for three people to fly from Seville to Madrid and two of the people are identified as Iberia Plus members during the purchase process, 9,000 Avios will be credited to both of these people within 10 days of the purchase. These two people must have redeemed at least 9,000 Avios by 1 December 2018, or this same amount of Avios will be withdrawn from their account.”

So …. you MUST spend your bonus Avios via Iberia Plus (remember there is no Reward Flight Saver if you book BA short haul) by 1st December.  If you haven’t had total redemptions between now and 1st December for at least the number of Avios earned under this offer, the balance will be withdrawn.

What happens, though, if you transfer the Avios you earn under this promotion to British Airways?  Does that count as ‘redeeming’?  Or will your Iberia Plus account go into negative territory on 1st December?

(You can move the Avios from Iberia Plus to British Airways by using the ‘Combine My Avios’ function on ba.com.)

90000 Avios with Iberia

This IS a very generous deal though

If we assume that there is no small print we don’t know about – and the rules are clearly laid out on the promotional page here – then there are clearly bargains to be had here.

I’ve no idea what the cheapest Iberia Express ticket would be, but I’m sure there are some knocking around intra-Europe for a handful of Euro one-way. Palma to Madrid out of season seems the cheapest.

My concerns would be:

that actually you must book a return flight, even though it doesn’t say that (RISK – MEDIUM)

that actually your booking must start in the UK, even though it doesn’t say that (RISK – LOW as the example given on the site does not originate in the UK and this offer seems to be available in other languages)

that Iberia may take back the 9000 Avios if you don’t turn up for the flight, even though it doesn’t say that (RISK – MEDIUM)

that you must book via the promotional webpage here (RISK – NIL as long as you book via the special link)

that Iberia has a track record of ignoring any complaints about promotions, should your Avios not appear (RISK – HIGH)

You can find full details of this offer and the booking link on the Iberia website here.

Do NOT book on the BA website, the Iberia Express site or the Air Nostrum site.  For absolute certainty, only use the special promotional landing page here.

Do NOT book London to Madrid flights operated by British Airways with an Iberia flight number, because the rules say that flights must be operated by Iberia.

I am NOT going to recommend that you make 10 cheap Iberia, Iberia Express or Air Nostrum bookings in order to pick up 90,000 cheap Avios.  I simply don’t have enough trust in Iberia for them to pay out.  Even if they did I don’t want to risk my Iberia Plus account going 90,00 Avios into the red when I transfer them to BA and don’t redeem them via Iberia by 1st December.

You may take a different view, of course.  Let us know what you decide, especially if you decide to book a cheap fare with no intention of flying it …..

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (241)

  • Nick (not Arrogant Nick aka The Original Nick) says:

    Rob – I don’t think your first two concerns regarding return flights or flights originating in the UK are valid given that the example shown on the promotional webpage is for a single flight originating in Spain:

    “For example, if a customer purchases tickets on Iberia.com for three people to fly from Seville to Madrid and two of the people are identified as Iberia Plus members during the purchase process, 9,000 Avios will be credited to both of these people within 10 days of the purchase.”

  • Alex W says:

    Wouldn’t there be a risk of having your Iberia account shut down completely if you didn’t turn up for 10 flights?

    • Adam says:

      Nothing to say you can’t book flights for 2019 and spend the Avios before the 1 dec deadline, hence your choice to fly unless your plans change!

  • slider says:

    Already bought 10 flights and maybe will not fly them.
    Decide to wait and see what will happen since the rules are silent about the case of no show.

  • Willem says:

    I also jumped into this and bought 10 tickets yesterday. Let’s see how this plays out, for me it is worth the gamble.

  • Paul says:

    What? No trust in an airline frequent flyer programme? Hold the front page!!!! That made me chuckle.

    I have No trust in IAG certainly and specifically BA. The cancellation of tickets to TLV should be a warning to us all that we are dealing with businesses that simply cannot be trusted.

  • shd says:

    Another masterclass from H4P on how to kill a deal.

    • Nick_C says:

      Oh for heavens sake.

      All Rob is doing here is giving further publicity to an Iberia promotion which may be of interest to some readers who are not on Iberia’s mailing list.

      The risks and uncertainties on this one are not for me. Anyone buying cheap flights purely to get Avios that might be reclaimed later on is gambling. But for anyone planning to go to Spain, it may make sense to use IB instead of BA or another low cost airline.

      Highlighting deals like this is what HFP is all about.

      • Mycity says:

        This is what HFP is for highlighting deals thanks Rob

      • Roger1* says:

        Quite right, Nick.

        I had already received the offer direct from IB and declined it. (I have issues with IB. Currently locked out for IB IT reasons.)

        Rob provided further clarification and useful advice. Thanks, Rob!

    • slider says:

      Even if HFP doesn’t post this, other sites will.

      • Jovanna says:

        Remember the old BMI / BA link to 10% off flights? I got some really fantastic savings through that link. Some quite bizarre prices on a handful of routes. Something like £59 return to EDI, even when booked at the last minute and some super cheap CE fares to Rome and Berlin (around £180 return). And there were more.

        Somebody posted this on flyertalk. They’d gone within 2 days. It happens. You just move on. Celebrate your good fortune and savings at the time. Nothing lasts forever.

        This is a time limited offer. If more people can benefit then the better. I’ve benefited greatly from this site. Thanks Rob.

        • Kk says:

          Wow, did that link (the one from BMI diamondpoints site) really work after the promo ended? I vaguely remember “saving” it when the promotion was about to end but I don’t think it had worked for me when I tried, once, so I gave up. Or was there another link discovered?

    • Evan says:

      Er what!? We were all emailed directly about this. If you are going to troll do it it properly.

    • CV3V says:

      and why do you read this website?

  • Richard says:

    In fairness I think all Iberia plus members were emailed about it already! Hence the website crashing yesterday

  • Dan says:

    It does say “The redemption terms and conditions are subject to the general terms and conditions of the Iberia Plus programme.”

    This suggests that they should behave like any other Avios, though maybe only from a redemption point of view – it is not completely explicit what terms conver them from a transfer point of view.

    With so many bonus Avios being given away (e.g. through this promotion, the huge compensation pay out in the US, etc.). I can’t help but feel a devaluation might be coming.

    Looking at it that way, if you earn 9-90k avois on flights booked for next year, spend the Avios by December, and then don’t show for the booking(s) you earned them from…if they do decide there was a secret unwritten term and that you actually had to fly so they will “take back” any Avios as you earn them/transfer in then:
    1. You can test that is not the case by transferring over a small number after Dec and seeing if they disappear and 2. Any devaluation in the interim would mean they essentially loaned you 9-90k Avios as today’s value and they would be taking back at the lower post devaluation value.

    I can foresee a lot of empty PMI-MAD flights….but at least they will have been paid.