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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requests a refund, either because it is permitted by the fare or for any other reason, the promotional Avios will be withdrawn from their account.”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“Extra promotional Avios not redeemed by 1 December 2018 will be withdrawn from the customer’s account.”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.)

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Comments

  1. daniel says:

    Does anyone able to find availability of oneworld partners other than BA, AA on their websites?
    Any intra-asia award search shows nil.

  2. Well, I’m all in. 10 raffle tickets bought! 😀

    Loads of SDR – MAD @ £21.20 in 2019.

  3. I’d like to know of its possible to book aer lingus ex Dub using the avios earnt via this promo (keeping the avios in iberia)?

    Or is it possible to book hotels using the bios earnt via this promo?

    • Seems like aer lingus cannot be booked online. Route comes up as ba ex Dub via LHR to my destination

      Still unsure about using the avios for hotels….??

  4. IberiaNovice says:

    So what are the sweet spots (or even just possible routes !) you can get on Iberia with the 90K or thereabouts ?
    Subject to horrendous availability issues I expect !

  5. Iberia website down?

    Bad Request
    The request could not be understood by server due to malformed syntax.

    • Lumma says:

      Are you using Chrome? The Iberia website seems to hate it. I use safari to access Iberia

      • Sorted in the end thanks – was using Safari but had to clear cache and cookies and then worked.

  6. Wayne says:

    Ive just bought 9 flights SDR-MAD £21.20 each. Seems to still be available at thjis price on or before 2nd April next year

    • do you have to buy each flight in a separate transaction?

      • Wayne says:

        Yep.. its a tedious process, but each one way needs to be booked in separate transactions… unless you are buying for multiple people on the same flight.

  7. james says:

    So the complication is that we will have to redeem via Iberia and not move them over to BAEC to spend there as your Iberia account will deduct the 90,000 Avios from you Iberia balance and even leave you in -90k ‘debt’ to them.

    Whether that just means you have to basically throw away your Iberia ccount and never use it again OR if they’ll try to recoup the cost somehow I don’t know.

    BUT if you want to be able to keep your Iberia account (as in not have a -90K balance) or any Avios in it then you will have to spemnd the Avios via Iberia and not via BAEC.

    If you have 100K in it now, get 90K through this promo, transfer that 90K to BAEC, leaving 100K still in your Iberia account – Iberia will actually deduct the 90K from your balance of 100K on December 1st as you haven’t spent 90K through Iberia……as transferring does not count as spending.

    So basically you have to know you want to use 90K via Iberia (not BAEC).

    So, what can we do with 90K on Iberia ?!

    • Chris A says:

      Good for flights from Manchester/London to Madrid; long haul redemptions with lower taxes from Madrid to North and South America/JNB/some Asia.

      I have done Madrid to Boston and JNB to Madrid Business class and recommend.

      • james says:

        Cheers.

        I suspect I’ll transfer the 90K out to BAEC (If that hasn’t been prevented by Iberia somehow by the end of the promo) and burn my Iberia account.
        I wonder how many Iberia accounts get closed (or just left at -90K) after this !!!!!!!!

  8. site is now down!

  9. walle says:

    I got the “Name doesn’t match…” error after 4 successfully bought tickets w/ iberia account #s on the ticket. After seeing the error I continued to buy 2 more but left the account number blank in hopes of adding at a later time. However after reading comments here and at other blogs decided to stop and call Iberia to make sure this would actually work. The rep I spoke to seemed to know the error well and basically said that since my account was opened today, it would take 48 hours for my account to “show up” in their system, even though I could login online. In the end I gave her all my booking #s, the ones with and without my account number, and she said that I would get the reward points for books. She wasn’t able to provide a confirmation email though… Given that all this a bit dodgy gonna stop @ 6 and just see how it turns out.

    • Calvin says:

      Keep in mind you can’t actually transfer out your points until your account is 90 days old.
      Since I also only opened up my account today, I’ll be waiting to see what information Rob gives out tomorrow before I pull the trigger.

      An earlier post regarding how to transfer your points from Iberia to BAEC

    • Chris says:

      I had exactly the same problem – I’d made two bookings. Called them this morning g and was told my IB PLus account needed to be have been ‘live’ for three days, ie it would take three days for a new membership number to reach a booking, thus after the expiry date on the promotion and breaching the promotion terms and conditions! So as I was within 24 hours of purchase, I canceled and refunded my bookings. Great in theory, not so good in practice.

    • thom bauwens says:

      I had the same problem when adding the IB Plus account of my girlfriends new account, but when I booked on her name when logged in it worked fine…

  10. Scott says:

    How are you supposed to spend the Avios by Dec if people are booking the flights for Jan etc.?

    • Scott says:

      Added: Ah, you get the Avios 10 days after the booking even though you’ve 6 months to your flight.

  11. scott says:

    I did not book my first 9 bookings on the promo page, just the regular one, Will it still count?

    • Christian says:

      conditions are: book through Iberia.com – thats it – so it should be count

    • The article today more mentions so long as it’s the Iberia site and not Iberia express, it will work regardless of the page you booked from.

  12. Wetboy1uk says:

    Nice to see all the greedy people out in force for this one again.

    • Hank Wakai says:

      Life is about trading. Most people stick with trading their time for money – the worst of all possible options. This offer allows you to trade some of that for greater value in money proxies, enabling you to keep more of your time for activities you value more. Don’t get all sniffy about how you do your trading … maybe expand your perspectives a little ?

  13. Hank Wakai says:

    Just cleaned out the low fares on MAD-OVD but there is still decent availability on VGO-MAD in September @ $35.

  14. the real harry1 says:

    I guess there’s another way to look at it – spend £250, get back £900, you owe the bank £650, interest free loan 🙂

  15. > “Nice to see all the greedy people out in force for this one again.”

    I don’t see it that way. IB is trying to manipulate their bottom line. To me it’s no coincidence that the promo is the last week of Q2 and the points post in Q3. Is IB being greedy or us or both?

    Also look outside the small group trying to get 90k for minimum cash. This promo encourages people to wrap up whatever planning they had put off. IB wins.

    Thanks Rob for sharing.

    • Londoner says:

      But audit rules normally require the company to disclose if any significant events have occured between Q2 date and the audit of the Q2, and, depending on the amount of flights booked under this promo, such event might have to be disclosed.

    • Genghis says:

      In Q2, there will be no revenue, simply a larger deferred income balance (i.e. Dr cash, Cr deferred income). The revenue will only be released when the flights are flown (or not) (and include the breakage then, under IFRS 15) (Dr deferred income, Cr revenue)

      • Crafty says:

        Cash, though…

        • Genghis says:

          Indeed. Businesses don’t fail due to lack of profit but lack of cash. My colleague’s son’s businesses has recently gone into administration despite being profitable, cash locked up in receivables and inventory.

  16. I am a bit confused, because many of the flight options shown on Iberia.com out of BCN are on Vueling… Does that still count? I can’t seem to find anything that says yes or no specifically.

  17. In the advertisement on the website and on the terms and conditions it only says 24 June. Not the time zone it refers to. Can this be a point of contention If you missed the cut off point you suggested and midnight UK time ?

    • Hard to say. The promo was open to US residents which means up to 8 hours behind – it has only just turned Monday on the West Coast. Were they meant to book by 4pm? Another example of not thinking through the rules.

  18. did anyone actually received these 9000 avios?

  19. Jason Rosenbaum says:

    I’ve received my bonus Avios this morning.

    Wondering if I can safely transfer them to BAEC now or not. What was the upshot?

    What are the ramifications if my Iberia Plus account subsequently went in to negative territory?

    • Jason says:

      Just tried to transfer out and was unsuccessful. Looks like it might have been blocked?

      • Ditto here; transfer is blocked yet the article said we would be able transfer out and that points would not be reclawed from BAEC but would be from Iberia….is any of this correct still?!

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