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?


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requests a refund, either because it is permitted by the fare or for any other reason, the promotional Avios will be withdrawn from their account.”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“Extra promotional Avios not redeemed by 1 December 2018 will be withdrawn from the customer’s account.”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

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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  1. Hank Wakai says:

    So you book a bunch of cheap flights, transfer your 90,000 avios to BA, don’t show for the flights, then abandon your Iberia Plus account once it’s negative 90,000 ? There must be a catch surely ?

    • Yes. However, remember that to open an IbPlus account you need your passport. It could be, that if you do that, you won´t be able to open a 2nd account (but I guess you can always “create” a passport number)

      • I didn’t need a passport to open mine a few years ago. Is this a new thing?

        • If you need to reset passwords etc or get in to your account again you need to send in passport ID and personal details. I locked my account as my password had expired and I didn’t realise it – email a scan of documents was the only way to unlock. Would be a problem if you made up a passport number.

          Could work if your passport is due to expire soon..!

        • I see. I am an old account holder and still login via pin. Never had an issue with loging in nor with any of the Iberia promos, incl. Groupon offers since the beginning. Always posted for me promptly. However, we shall see…

      • james says:

        Good thing I have dual nationality & two passports 😉

        At last it will pay off !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • You need an Iberia account to play this game long term, that is the snag.

      • marcw says:

        Yes. Without IbPlus, the game is not that fun.

      • I used to do fairly regular IB promotions, but I’ve not touched my IB account for ages, so is that still true?

        Put it another way, if someone offered me 90k Avios to close my IB+ account forever, I’d jump at the chance! So would my OH (that would get us to 180k) and the kids, grandparents and aunts and uncles would too… 🙂

        • callum says:

          I’ve had an Iberia plus account open “just in case” for about 3 years now and have never used it (other than a rare promo).

          It’s only really useful if you want to book Iberia flights to the Americas due to the lower taxes/charges than BA.

    • James says:

      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 !!!!!!!!

      Perhaps enough that Iberia backtrack and don’t deduct the 90K if they’ve been transferred to another IAG company (I’m thinking BAEC of course).

      That has to be worrying someone at Iberia, surely !!

  2. I don’t currently have an Iberia avios account. If I open one today do you think I will be able to take up this offer?

  3. palcsaky says:

    Does Iberia allow cancellation with full refund within 24 of booking?

  4. I am going to ask the obvious question that nobody else has asked – If I have a minimal Avios balance in my IB account, book under the promo for refundable flights in 2019, then book flights in 2018 with the bonus Avios and then cancel the refundable flights after I have flown, what will happen ?? I cant believe that this is a loophole that IB would not have seen, so what is going on ??

    • Rules say the 9k are taken back so you would go negative, same as if you move them to BA and do fly it.

      • I understand that they get taken back, but – unlike the transfer to BA where they could be repatriated by the combined might of IAG’s constituent elements – what recourse is there if I end up with a negative balance ? Since opening my IB account I have a new passport, so no hassle even about opening a new account, I would imagine.

        • the real harry1 says:

          No different to (say) buying a fully flex flight in First for £10K on Amex, banking the points & transferring them elsewhere, then cancelling the flight.

          Not to be recommended, IMV – there are blacklists etc.

        • ….. or on your MBNA credit card just before it stops being miles earning ….

        • Rob, now that’s a great advice!

        • the real harry1 says:


  5. Went all in on this earlier when the cheaper flights were still available on the basis of if there was at least a 10% chance I get the 90,000 Avios it would be a positive expectation bet.

    I think this promo is deliberately overgenerous as they approach the end of the 2nd quarter and need to make some figures look better.

    Slightly OT: Has anyone ever been able to find partner availability online with IB that isn’t BA? (Specifically Sri Lankan, Royal Jordanian and Cathay)

    Am I better to search on BA site and then phone IB to book? Do BA and IB have access to the exact same partner award flight inventory?

    • Quantas actually offers one of the easier OW searches.

      You may have to book by phone.

    • Don’t book partner flights on Iberia if you don’t have firm and immediate plans. Partner flights on Iberia are non cancellable and non refundable.

    • How cheap were the cheaper flights that were available earlier?

      • From Palma to Madrid in Feb there were some under €20

        • There are still some flights at 21.50 GBP so the difference is not too huge thankfully

        • There still are a few Palma to Madrid for £15.40. I’ve just purchased the last one. All in all 10 flights for £154. Not bad, and if they don’t honour it, I can ask for a chargeback and if not successful, I can live with that and at least I’ll get some points for credit card spend.

    • Marcw says:

      Partner award can only be booked rtrn!! Afaik Malaysia and Japan Aurlines need to be booked on the phone. All other oneworld can be booked online. Maroc and the other non oneworld remain a mistery how to book them

      • Oh yeah, you’re correct. I forgot about this rule that we can only redeem for round trip tickets with OW partners on IB. I can see availability now.

  6. londonsteve says:

    I’m trying to book on and whatever I do, I get the following message coming up, when I click to proceed past the name and contact details page:

    Please check your Iberia Plus number XXXXXXXX because it does not match the name and family name on the booking.

    I’ve tried booking while logged in to my Iberia Plus profile, when logged out, I’ve tried to capitalise my name and double checked my details are correct in my profile. Nothing works…. Any ideas gratefully received…..

    • the real harry1 says:

      it’s an apelidos thing 🙂

      everybody’s called Maria as well! lol especially the men

    • Galwaygirl says:

      I got hold of a CS on Twitter. Here’s their reply.

      Hi, the IB number can only be added to an existing booking 72h after the IB account has been created. Please try again by then

      P.s. i already booked 3 one-way EUR29 tickets…. hesitating should i book another 7 tickets..

      • Marcw says:

        You’re stuck. You have to put your IBPlus number during the booking process!!!

        • Galwaygirl says:

          The weirdest thing is my IB number are clearly shown on the emails, as in those 3 bookings I made (though 1 booking shown Purchase Request instead of Booking confirmed like other 2). These booking were made right after Iberia account created and when i was still logged in.

          Just when I go back to the website to try manage the bookings, none of these flights are under my account, which is why I tweet to [email protected] on twitter. Well I have all emails as proof that they were purchased when my IB number was filled in though.

    • Galwaygirl says:

      My reply meant to be answering below…as I encountered the same problem after just created Iberia account today…..

      Below message came up when I tried to “manage my booking” when I logged in on Iberia… Even though my email booking confirmation showing my new IB number… below message still popped up.

      Please check your Iberia Plus number XXXXXXXX because it does not match the name and family name on the booking.

      …..All twitter CS @iberia replied was only below concerning my question..
      Hi, the IB number can only be added to an existing booking 72h after the IB account has been created. Please try again by then

      • londonsteve says:

        I’ve had my Iberia account since 2014…. Yet I still received the above message.
        I’ve booked a flight without my IB number (this was the only way to proceed with the booking) and will call CS to get my number added to the booking profile. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t still receive the bonus, as long as I do this within the validity of the offer, right?

        • Galwaygirl says:

          Very strange indeed, as you are the existing member!!!

          But point to note though , the fine print reads “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”

          During the purchase process you must be identified as members of the IB programme. Pls keep us updated after talking to CS. I dont have luck with the calling today, have waited 10 mins and I lost my patience lol

          Now … can’t even get onto the website, must be overwhelmed by the news…

          “As a result of the high number of accesses we have at the moment, our services are saturated. Please try to access again after a few minutes. Thank you very much and apologize for any inconvenience.”

  7. I wonder what will happen if you transfer Avios to BA and redeem them (e.g. to take advantage of 241)

    Interpreting “The extra promotional Avios not redeemed by 1 December 2018 will be withdrawn from the customer’s account” pedantically, it doesn’t say the avios have to be redeemed via IB, just that they have to be redeemed.

    • the real harry1 says:

      good point, more tomorrow?

      they are one company, after all

    • Marcw says:

      Nope. General rules of IbPlus apply, meaning that transfer to BAEC or Avios is not considered as “use/redemption”.

      • the real harry1 says:

        I think the point was: points redeemed on BA metal is effectively the same as redeeming on IB metal

    • Your IB account goes 90k overdrawn.

      You better hope IB and BA are not on the ‘ one Avios’ platform by then!

      • Presumably one could change the address of an overdrawn IB+ account to some random location (say, in North Korea)

        Given IAG’s mastery of everything IT-related, the chances of them matching up IB+ and BAEC accounts *even if the addresses match* isn’t necessarily very high!

      • Hank Wakai says:

        Has anyone ever seen a negative Avios balance anywhere ? Do the relevant websites even have provision for displaying a minus sign, red, braces, or however this might be indicated ? I might take a look at the source code on the relevant Iberia page just to see …

        • Mark2 says:

          Negative Avios balances are quite common e.g. when an Avios Store merchant claws back the points after I had move them to BAEC. A small number so it righted itself.

        • Tracy says:

          Yes, my Avios avios account has been in negative a few times. I always transfer out to BA immediately I get them. Then my avios store avios get cancelled and taken back. It sits as a negative balance until I earn some more avios to clear it off……

  8. Question, I am resident in Mallorca and therefore get 50% off all flights (not taxes) to Barcelona. Will I still get the 9000 avoid? This would slice the price for me

    • the real harry1 says:

      to try it for yourself or not – that is the question 🙂

  9. Boobaholic says:

    The cheapy Palma to Madrids are gone 🙁 No more $18 options.

    Now seeing £38 🙁

    Any other routes coming up super cheap ?

  10. Boobaholic says:

    Cheers, seeing Asturius – Mad for £24.
    Seeing Santander – Mad for £21

    • Margaret says:

      Thanks – went with Santander too though – found some of the cheap Palma earlier, but just convinced myself to go for 10 now. I can’t wait to find out what Rob knows! We’ve all spent a couple of hundred pounds on flights. I wonder what the planes will look like with all these passengers not flying!!

  11. Boobaholic says:

    Yeah Iberia will be flying with quite a few empty seats.

    I just hope they don’t screw us over somehow.
    I expect they will !

    Done 6 now. Santander – Madrid.
    Going to see if I can find something I might want to actually fly even if it costs twice the price.

  12. Hsergio10 says:

    Ercept from LL

    “Our Iberia Plus cardholders will be able to keep the promotional Avios, if they don’t fly the purchased segments.

    And you can only redeem the Avios awarded through this promotion through the Iberia Plus programme.

    If the customers transfer these Avios to their BA Executive Club account, they will have a negative balance in the Iberia Plus programme, as those Avios wouldn’t have been spent by the date mentioned above.”

    Looking for more details tomorrow

    • the real harry1 says:

      that’s all the details people need

      1. you keep the Avios even if you can’t be bothered to fly IB, so can redeem on BAEC

      2. only redeemable thru IB without penalty or transfer to BAEC and IB goes negative

      • Everyone aiming to move to BAEC, but there’s nothing stopping me using for MAD-New York in business at 68k return +£160 (ish) tax?

    • The above is 100% correct as we were told it.

  13. james says:

    Awaiting massive devaluation of Avios redemptions via Iberia on the 25th !!!!!!!!!

  14. james says:

    Tempted to burn my Iberia account to get these over to BAEC.
    I’m sure I’ll be proper screwed over somehow though !

    • the real harry1 says:

      tempted to shag my secretary but somehow I resist

      • James says:


        I don’t need my Iberia account really, I do however need my secretary AND my wife !!

        For different things of course !!

  15. Georges says:

    If Iberia don’t honour this deal, I’m wondering if we could contest the charge with our credit card provider on the basis that they did not honour the promotion and ask for a refund from them instead?

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