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?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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requests a refund, either because it is permitted by the fare or for any other reason, the promotional Avios will be withdrawn from their account.”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“Extra promotional Avios not redeemed by 1 December 2018 will be withdrawn from the customer’s account.”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

  • Mark Mathieson says:

    Another risk factor.
    Has anyone considered IB would ‘tweak’ the rules by giving an IB Avios VOUCHER (instead of posting directly your account), with some strict T&C’s on it?
    As well as disqualifying no-shows of course…

    • Lee J Thornton says:

      This is exactly what I think they will do, I know they have awarded vouchers before and not actual Avios.

  • DrPositive Snell says:

    Brought one ticket from Palma Mallorca, Spain to Madrid, Spain for €27.79 which is £24.38.

    Hope it works and I get 18,000 Avios a bargain for under £50 if true.

    Also brought with my Amex blue reward card so MR Points to????????

    • DrPositive Snell says:

      Brought both tickets for November 2018

    • Cormac Murray says:

      I bought a return for that hoping to snag 18,000 points, turns out it needed to be 2 singles. Wasted £25, I guess it’s the price of the learning curve. However, 0.55p per avios point is still pretty good.

  • Barry says:

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

    Interesting update… but why the delay until tomorrow? Only have until Sunday to book!

    • shd says:

      Serious question? If we all come back tomorrow it doubles the pageviews…

      • Rob says:

        Look at Instagram and you’ll see why I am not doing it 🙂

        • Callum says:

          So you’d say it’s safe to buy now? I have planned out a complex itinerary of ten flights and would prefer to book now in case availability changes!

          • Rob says:

            Safe to earn them for 10 x one-ways booked on ib.com, yes.

            Spending them will have issues unless you are willing to abandon your IB account.

        • callum says:

          That’s annoyingly cryptic… I’d much rather you just didn’t say you knew anything if you weren’t willing to say what it is!

        • callum says:

          Never mind, I don’t know if Rob is happy for links to competitors here, but Loyalty Lobby and Onemileatatime also have this information that we can’t see until tomorrow!

          Seems that these will appear in your Iberia account as normal avios and can be moved to BA. If you don’t spend the equivalent via Iberia by December however, your account will then go into minus 90,000. The consequences of this beyond not being able to redeem via Iberia any more I don’t know.

        • the real harry1 says:

          what is your cost per Avios if it pans out?

        • callum says:

          0.3p per avios. You can get it slightly cheaper but I created a trip I’d actually complete – all be it far more elongated than I would otherwise do! In the few hours since I made that the prices seem to have changed a lot (particularly on the Palma leg!) so I may need to tweak it now.

          Manchester – Madrid
          Madrid – Seville
          Seville – Madrid – Mallorca
          Mallorca – Madrid – Santiago
          Santiago – Madrid – Tenerife
          Tenerife – Madrid – Toulouse

        • the real harry1 says:

          Very good – you won big time on that schedule

    • Rob says:

      See Instagram ????

      But there was a massive problem I would tell you.

      • PZE says:

        Looks like another hard day at the office… enjoy (and I trust if it was even a medium sized problem you’d tell us)

    • Jeff says:

      Look forward to tomorrow’s article. Hope it may also clarify why on earth they are doing such an apparently generous promotion. Since everyone will be buying non-refundable tickets it will fluff up their Q2 sales but can’t see the numbers would be meaningful enough.

      • Rob says:

        Can’t answer that!

      • Boobaholic says:

        Either someone didn’t think it through or we’re about to see a vicious devaluation ala Qatar meaning all the 90K Avios will get you is a one way London to Faro in economy 😉

        Worth the risk nothing bad’s about to happen though.

    • james says:

      I think 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 ?!

  • marcw says:

    The promo is very clear, there aren´t many ifs or buts. For each booking done on iberia.com on flights operated by IBeria, Iberia Express an Air Nostrum until the 24 june, each pax that puts its IBPlus frequent traveller number during booking process will receive 9.000 Avios (max 90.000 Avios). If you reimburse your flight ticket, you will not get them, or they will deduct them from your account. If you choose not to travel, you will still get them.
    And finally, you have until the 1st of december to use an equivalent amount of Avios received from the promotion (9-18-…-90k). Combine my Avios does not count as activity, otherwise your IbPlus will go into negative.

  • 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 ?

    • marc says:

      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)

      • meta says:

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

        • Matt says:

          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..!

        • meta says:

          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 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rob says:

      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.

      • shd says:

        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 !!

  • Hugh says:

    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?

  • palcsaky says:

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

  • Anon says:

    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 ??

    • Rob says:

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

      • Anon says:

        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.

        • meta says:

          Rob, now that’s a great advice!

        • the real harry1 says:

          🙂