ENDS 11pm SUNDAY: Iberia’s VERY generous 90,000 Avios promo – you can book, it really does work!

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Iberia launched a new promotion on Thursday which, on the face of it, looked EXCEPTIONALLY generous.

For every Iberia flight you book between now and Sunday night, 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.

Even if you use the points for what is usually a poor value deal, such as booking a hotel, you should double your money.

You can find full details on the Iberia website here.

Iberia 90000 Avios promotion

There were, however, a number of things that weren’t clear as you can see in the comment section under yesterday’s article.

We talked to someone at Iberia to clarify the promotion and here are the facts about how the deal works.

In summary – EARNING the Avios really is as good as it seems.   (Spending is different, see below.)  Book 10 x cheap one-way flights on iberia.com from a participating country by Sunday night and you’ll have 90,000 Avios in your Iberia Plus account within 10 days.

Santander to Madrid appears to be a route with very low fares, around €25, as is Palma to Madrid and Malaga to Madrid.  There are likely to be others.  If you want to spend some time digging I would start with the Iberia Express route map and look for the Winter months.  October to February are likely to have the best prices.

To clarify:

The 9,000 bonus Avios are awarded per booking and not flight, so for cheap Avios you need to be booking one-way flights on any of the participating airlines (Iberia, Iberia Express, Air Nostrum)

You need to book via iberia.com – any page, not necessarily the offer home page.  Do not use the Iberia Express or Air Nostrum sites.

You only need one segment in a booking to be on Iberia, Iberia Express or Air Nostrum, so a flight on British Airways which connects to Iberia Express for the last leg is OK

Bookings must be made by Sunday night – for safety I would make them by 11pm which would be midnight in Spain

Your Iberia Plus number needs to be put into the booking at the time of making it

Each booking can be for multiple people – if each person has an Iberia Plus account, each will receive 9,000 Avios

This offer is available in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Russia, United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Mexico and USA

There is no obligation for your flights to start or end in the UK – domestic Spanish flights are fine

Here is the key one:

Iberia WILL NOT take back the 9,000 bonus Avios if you don’t turn up for the flight but you will not receive the normal base Avios that the flight would generate

So, as far as earning the 9,000 to 90,000 Avios is concerned, it is all now very clear.  If you can find 10 x bargain one-way flights, which could be as cheap as €250 or so, you’ll get 90,000 Avios very cheaply.

Spending the Avios is more of an issue:

If you don’t spend the bonus Avios via Iberia Plus by 1st December they will be taken back.

Iberia has confirmed that the 9,000 bonus Avios have to be spent through the Iberia Plus programme before 1st December but the services booked can be for 2019 (i.e. future flight tickets, hotel bookings or rental car bookings)

Transferring the Avios to a BA account instead of using them through the Iberia Plus programme will result in a negative balance in your Iberia account on 1st December

So, as I see it, here are your options for spending the points:

You transfer the Avios to a standard BA Executive Club account and spend them as normal

This is possible via ‘Combine My Avios’ and they can be used as you want.  However, on 1st December, your Iberia Plus account will show a negative balance because the bonus Avios will be reclaimed as you have not spent them.   Having a permanent negative balance on your Iberia Plus account will stop you booking low-tax redemptions via Iberia Plus in the future.

You CANNOT transfer Iberia Plus Avios into a BA Executive Club account which is part of a Household Account

You would need to break up your BA Household Account, remembering that changes can only be made once every six months.  Alternatively you could transfer to an Aer Club or Vueling Club account but I am not 100% sure if they can transfer into a BA Household Account.  It should be possible as the old-style avios.com accounts allowed this.  Your Iberia account would still end up with negative balance in December which may or may not concern you.

You spend the Avios via the Iberia Plus website

This is the ‘cleanest’ option because you won’t end up with a negative balance in December as the bonus Avios won’t be clawed back due to non-use.  However, remember the following quirks with Iberia Plus:

British Airways short-haul redemptions have higher taxes, because you don’t get Reward Flight Saver pricing

You cannot use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher when redeeming via the Iberia Plus website

Partner redemptions (except for BA) CANNOT be cancelled or changed once booked, if made via Iberia Plus

Partner redemptions (except for BA) must be booked as return flights if made via Iberia Plus

One good option is booking a hotel via Iberia Plus.  90,000 Avios will get – using the 0.55p per point valuation Avios uses – exactly £500 of free hotel stays.  If you can pick up the 10 flights for £250, you are doubling more money.  Remember that hotel bookings made with Avios do not earn hotel loyalty points and you will not receive status benefits.

If you can work around these three issues then you are fine.  This HFP article looks at low tax options when redeeming Avios on Iberia’s website.

Conclusion

It is now clear that Iberia is serious about this offer (heaven knows why, as they are paying real intra-group cash to Avios Group for them) and that you can earn 90,000 Avios as cheaply as you can find 10 x one-way Iberia, Iberia Express or Air Nostrum flights on iberia.com.  You will NOT need to take these flights.

Spending those Avios will not be totally straightforward, however, and will leave you with some mess to tidy up, even if it is nothing more than having to abandon your Iberia Plus account due to a negative balance.

Iberia has ensured us that complaints, should your Avios not appear, will be taken seriously and you can email: [email protected] or call 020 3684 3774 if there are any issues.

If you are going to give this a go, block out an hour of your day to do it.  You need to make 10 totally separate bookings, meaning 10 credit card payments etc.

You can find full details of this offer and the booking link on this special page of the Iberia website.

You can book from there or via the main Iberia booking page here.

(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. I don’t recommand doing this on this specific promotiom, but I can confirm that transferring miles feom Iberia to a british airways household account works totally fine via avios.com and aer club, even for non UK residents. Did that 10 days ago.

  2. OT: I read an excellent article on HFP re how to earn BA TP flying Emirates by booking through Qantas. Is there any way to book a reward flight on “Qantas” but actually fly Emirates and still collect TPs? Im guessing no.

  3. Ritch says:

    Rob I’m not sure how to message you directly? When I click on your name it leads elsewhere & contact us to your accolades (well done) so could you advise further and send me the confirmations you have from Iberia please.

    • That would be via the email address on the Contact Us page 🙂 Will send it across anyway.

  4. I bought all the ten flights on Sunday morning, and on my credit card online statement they were showing as pending until yesterday, now it’s showing as I have not bought anything and that amount as available to spend. I looked on my Iberia account and the reservations still there. I am very puzzled! Has anyone experienced this? Does it sound like Iberia is starting to cancel the flights?

    • Geoff says:

      Not Iberia, but I have seen this on other airlines. Transactions appear as pending, then vanish, then re-appear as completed a few days later.

    • Same experience I’m having – except they never showed up pending for me. They’re still not showing up on the CC, but the website let me pick seats for my Monday flight et al.

  5. Reports of bookings being cancelled on Flyertalk. Emails being sent from Iberia saying booking has not gone through. Wonder if this is really the case.

    • the real harry1 says:

      it’s just 1 person and their payment method failed

      relax! 🙂

  6. the real harry1 says:

    it’s just 1 person and their payment method failed

    relax! 🙂

  7. Anyone seeing the bonus Avios yet?

    • the real harry1 says:

      no – & no reports on FT IB threads either

      did you see comment yesterday that when BAEC and IB frequent flyer progs get joined up, any Avios points will be amalgamated?

      so running a -90K balance on IB won’t help in the medium term, you really do need to use them on redemptions thru IB portal

      not sure whether closing your IB a/c after moving 90K to BAEC could be a workaround (how do you even close the IB a/c anyway?)

  8. Npwharf says:

    Anyone receive their Avios yet ?

    • I still haven’t

    • No points from the first tranche of flights I booked on the Friday of the offer. Tried to call them this morning – after speaking to the bot, it dumps your call after 2 mins. I’ve got a bad feeling that this promo will show that Iberia are scarcely able to scale up their customer service to handle the number of new queries and bookings they’ll be getting. I didn’t factor the cost of time tax in actually securing the points and making a booking.

  9. matthew says:

    no points either. and the prospect of clawback from BAEC highly likely (IT wise, it won’t be difficult).

    Did 2, but starting to wish I had passed now

    • Looks like they’ve closed my account! No email and definitely no points. Anyone else seeing the same?

      • They’re offering me refunds alongside my cancelled account

        • the real harry1 says:

          which country are you based in? they were offering refunds on tickets bought from non-promo countries

          they also were telling people with failed ID that they would close the a/c – do you fall into that camp?

          if you opened a new a/c with legit reasons but poor ID, I guess you could appeal – is there any reason to suppose your ID would not be accepted?

        • Based in the UK, just used passport to register

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