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requests a refund, either because it is permitted by the fare or for any other reason, the promotional Avios will be withdrawn from their account.”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“Extra promotional Avios not redeemed by 1 December 2018 will be withdrawn from the customer’s account.”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

  • Jamie P says:

    Just went to transfer my existing avios from Iberia to BA in the Iberia website and it seems I can only select the other way round.
    “You can only move Avios from British Airways to Iberia Plus – you cannot move your Avios back again.”
    Has this always been the case or if not, a potential pit-fall for those wanting to claim the promotional bonus and transfer out

  • Raj says:

    The cheapest I am getting is MAD-PMI for 40 Euros, but I have loads of avios in my IB Plus account and can bring it down to 34 euros. If I do that, will that still be valid for promotional avios? Also it would be interesting to know if any promotional Avios granted can be moved out from IB Plus to Avios.com account or not. Not sure if they will have software system restrictions in place for these promotional avios or not

  • Jovanna says:

    As there are quite a few people booking these tickets (with no intention of flying) why not have a HfP non-meet up? Notionally, people are flying PMI-MAD. I propose none of us meet in Madrid. However, if you prefer to not meet in Palma then I’m happy not to meet anyone there..!

  • AndyK says:

    I feel sorry for people who will genuinely need to fly MAD-PMI in November

  • CountryKerry says:

    I’ve booked 10 one way flights; total was £259.00; am expecting 90k avios.
    I screen recorded the entire process and paid with Amex.

    I’m fairly sure if you pay on a credit card you’ll get S75 protection and if the Avios do not appear you can claim a refund; at least that is my personal thought on the matter!

    • Genghis says:

      No S75 protection as individual items <£100 but I’m sure Amex would still listen to your case.

      I booked a Premier inn room in the north east for March and was due to travel when the Beast from the East came. Trains had significant delays and VTEC advised against travel. So I didn’t. I had booked a non refundable room and Premier Inn refused a refund / change dates. I went through Amex who ruled in my favour. Great CS.

    • Alan says:

      Have done exactly the same – fingers crossed

    • Rob says:

      We now have a statement from IB on this promo and exactly how it works. See HFP tomorrow!

  • Martin b says:

    Well I stuffed up big time. Booked 4 one way flights for cheap using sky scanner and took me to Iberia express site. I’m an idiot! Just realised you have to book on Iberia.com

    • Ricardo says:

      Maybe a cooling off period?

    • Robq says:

      You should be able to cancel your booking for free if it was made less than 24 hours ago. I’m going to cancel mine and wait for this additional information to flow through tomorrow before (possibly) re-booking.

      • Robq says:

        All done (Unfortunately you have to call them but wait was only 7 mins…). There is a 24 hour grace period for those wanting to hold off until tomorrow!

  • chan says:

    Ive tried Safari, Chrome and firefox, with different amex cards, wont work.

    get the error below.

    We are having difficulty accepting the credit card details provided. Please validate and try again. This may be due to an invalid credit card type, in which case please provide another one (4613 – 2001)

    Anyone else having trouble currently?

    • bsuije says:

      I also got an error message re my Amex the first time I did it, although I don’t think it was the same as yours. Turns out that I had selected a CORPORATE Amex from the drop-down menu, and not a PERSONAL Amex. Have a go and see whether that fixes things…

  • Braiden says:

    Bought two MAD to PMI flights in November for £26 each.