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requests a refund, either because it is permitted by the fare or for any other reason, the promotional Avios will be withdrawn from their account.”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“Extra promotional Avios not redeemed by 1 December 2018 will be withdrawn from the customer’s account.”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

  • Daleroxxu says:

    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?

    • faff says:

      Quantas actually offers one of the easier OW searches.

      You may have to book by phone.

    • meta says:

      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.

    • JPV says:

      How cheap were the cheaper flights that were available earlier?

      • Rob says:

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

        • JPV says:

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

        • meta says:

          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

      • Daleroxxu says:

        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.

  • londonsteve says:

    I’m trying to book on Iberia.com 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.”

  • JPV says:

    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

    • Rob says:

      Your IB account goes 90k overdrawn.

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

      • shd says:

        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……

  • Maro says:

    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

  • Boobaholic says:

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

    Now seeing £38 🙁

    Any other routes coming up super cheap ?

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 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

      • Tom1 says:

        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?

    • Rob says:

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