Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The madness continues …. Iberia’s ‘90,000 Avios points for £200’ ends tonight. Let’s do the maths.

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In all of the years I’ve been running Head for Points, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a deal get as much attention – globally – as the Iberia ‘90,000 Avios for booking 10 flights you don’t need to fly’ offer this weekend.

We’ve certainly had good Tesco Direct deals in the past which were more generous, such as 2,400 Avios (1,000 Clubcard points) for a £10 printer ink which you could resell on eBay.  These were glitches and got no attention outside the UK.  This deal is NOT a mistake – Iberia has been keen to tell us that! – and it is getting huge amounts of traction across the world.

You can book the Iberia deal here if you still want to jump in or find out more.

To summarise:

  • You get 9,000 Avios for every Iberia, Iberia Express or Air Nostrum flight you book by 11pm UK time on Sunday
  • You can earn up to 90,000 Avios per Iberia Plus account
  • You must book on iberia.com
  • Your booking must include your Iberia Plus frequent flyer number
  • Your 9,000 bonus Avios will arrive within 10 days
  • Iberia has confirmed that you do not have to take the flights – you won’t lose the Avios if you don’t
  • One-way flights work fine

So …. if you can find 10 cheap one-way flights on iberia.com for €25 each (Santander to or from Madrid still had availability at that price last night, obviously prices are lowest in Winter) then you are getting 90,000 Avios cheaply.

There are restrictions on using these Avios and I STRONGLY recommend reading my article from yesterday here before booking.

Iberia 90000 Avios

Let’s put the deal in context

I am guessing that between 50,000 and 100,000 seats will be booked under this promotion.  If you think that sounds high, remember that it only requires 5,000 to 10,000 people to book their full quota to hit that number.  You also need to remember that non-UK frequent flyer sites have been going crazy over this deal too – virtually all of them, I have to say, giving less focus to the potential downside risks than we have.

What would 100,000 booked seats mean?

Iberia Group carries 85,000 passengers per day, so this equates to over one full day of passenger numbers

If you assume all of the bookings are for Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, as that is when fares are cheapest, it will add 0.6% to Iberia’s load factor for those two quarters (management bonuses all round)

If Iberia pays 0.75p per Avios to Avios Group (which is my best guess) then it will have to hand over £6,750,000 to AGL

Assuming an average ticket price of £20, Iberia will therefore lose £4,750,000, albeit IAG overall sees no loss

The promotion seems to have wiped out every single Iberia seat priced at under €20 for the next 12 months, and a large proportion of those priced under €25

Iberia will see a disproportionately high number of ‘no shows’ over the next year which could have a longer term impact on planning as they will lose track of the ‘genuine’ no show rate which is how they decide how much they can oversell a flight

It is all very odd and, frankly, probably beyond anything that Iberia thought would happen.  There will be some interesting discussions in Madrid on Monday.  Iberia cannot realistically go back on the deal, however, given that it briefed various websites including Head for Points on Friday about how the offer worked.

You can book via the special offer page here if you still want to give it a go before 11pm tonight.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards. You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (427)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Shona McKay says:

    “Iberia cannot realistically go back on the deal, however”

    I wouldn’t bet my house on that, based on previous experience with them !!

    • BJ says:

      There is any number of ways Iberia could honour this deal but still take the shine off if. Sure, that will create a lot of ill feeling but why should Iberia care about screwing people who try to screw them. Even if it all goes to plan, the avios delusion will ensure that many, if not most, will squanderp their 90k avios on bad deals so Iberia still wins.

    • Paul says:

      And at £212 I don’t think anyone has. But if IBERIA refuse to pay out now the damage to their reputation will be global and immediate. Many would sue and given the very clear statements from IB, they would almost certainly lose.
      They could shut down all non IB redemptions and make reward availability difficult to come by which is why spending them quickly and for non flight rewards may make sense. I can easily get 3 times the value for hotel redemptions or perhaps car hire, two areas where traditionally I would not redeem avios on.

  • Sam G says:

    Wonder if their “load factor” includes no shows though – in my hotel past that didn’t count as occupancy – we booked no show revenue to it’s own line on the P&L (as we didn’t have to service the room, they weren’t there to eat in the bar etc, so we didn’t want them counted in the occupancy as it would skew other analysis)

    Though I know Ryanair reports “seats sold” as it’s load factor, so maybe airlines do

    Anyway – crazy promo and I see a lot of downside for Iberia. If they wanted bums on seats why not just do a 10eur sale or something. Anyway I hope it works out as I would like to use the Avios to fly my family to my sisters wedding in Club Europe – couldn’t usually justify it but at these prices why not?!

  • shd says:

    Maybe they simply wanted to do a global stress-test of their IT infrastructure and booking systems and some genius came up with this promo as the cheapest way to do it? 😉

  • Czechoslovakia says:

    Hmmm, I’ll take a punt on this. But surely it would be easier, quicker and more profitable all round if Iberia just offered to sell 90,000 avois for, say, 300 EUR?

    • Sam G says:

      I really think someone messed up and it was supposed to be a very generous 9k bonus avios per FLOWN leg over the winter…..that would kind of make sense for me – maybe would have attracted a few crazy people to shuttle around Spain for a day or two and their load factor would have been bumped up / few BoB sandwiches sold but it would have been at a much more managable scale and the main outcome would have been locking in those who were going to fly anyway

      • BJ says:

        If so, Iberia could have pulled the promotion two days ago but they didn’t, and still have not done so despite seeing what has happened. I think it is wrong to take Iberia for fools. It now seems they have their own agenda, I just hope they are nog playing HFP readers for fools in the process.

  • Phillip says:

    Given that it will be clear who booked flights to get this promotion and that in many cases, it seems that people just booked the same route over a number of days, I think Iberia will have quite a clear idea of where they can oversell even more. Somehow I don’t think there will be planes that will be empty just because of this promo. I’d be more concerned about all these people trying to book award seats and what that will do to availability.

    What are the numbers in terms of long haul award seats available per day?

  • Simon says:

    I bagged six flights yesterday for just over £140, Santander to Madrid being the standout as Rob says. However I intend to use these for two business class returns London to Madrid next year so should be able to book these in ten days when the avios show.

    Not sure I’d be confident looking to beat the system by not using the avios for flights before 1 Dec as per the promotion, through a transfer to BA.

    But it does sound too good to be true and I only followed through after Rob’s excellent article yesterday so another great piece of info and advice from Rob. Thanks.

  • AJE says:

    I’m not an avios-er typically and very unfamiliar with the programme. Can anyone give me a couple of examples of what 90k will get me First/Business-wise? Just want to know if it’s worthwhile for me personally. Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Simon says:

      I have a specific need so booked six flights for 54,000 avios which effectively gets me two business class return flights London to Madrid, which I needed anyway. The cash price for these flights is showing as over £400 each, so a great deal, even with the taxes to pay on the avios booking.

  • Douglas Soper says:

    I struggle to find my way around the iberia plus site. Is it possible to use the avios to purchase wine via the iberia website and if so is it sensible?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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