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.

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

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.

  • Michael says:

    Is it possible to reserve a seat on Iberia website if a BA Silver card holder?
    Is it possible to take a hold bag even with basic hand baggage only fare? [I’m almost certain yes]

  • the real harry1 says:

    Oh dear (HT Prospero FT)
    ‘It is worth noting that when IB Plus and BA Executive Club eventually migrate to the common Avios platform, the balances belonging to an individual’s IB Plus and BAEC accounts will be merged into a single balance. Once the migration is complete, members will be able redeem from and add credit to their single Avios “bank account” from both or any one of the programmes they belong to. However, IB Plus and BAEC will continue as two very distinct programmes.

    I chatted to BA’s Global Executive Club Proposition Manager earlier this month about the migration who indicated the migration is still in the middle distance’

    • the real harry1 says:

      I think I can easily redeem about 120K points before Dec 1st deadline

      I might have to sort out a jaunt to Salamanca to spend the rest in 2019, my daughter studies Spanish so I might enrol her on an intensive Spanish course – which would be great fun for the both of us

    • Rob says:

      That’s because the IT is a joke. This has been on the way for at least 2 years though and we have discussed it on here. What is interesting is, assuming people move their IB Avios to BA, whether that creates a fixed link in the system which means that any negative balance in IB will eventually catch up with you.

      • Michael says:

        I’d be surprised if they ever manage this migration successfully in the “middle distance”.
        The IT integration are incredibly costly, given how poorly the platforms integrate today and thinking about the recent disaster that is the Aer Lingus Aer Club launch (which is STILL causing headaches for all involved including customers missing Avios for flights taken on Aer Lingus and partner airlines in particular), we might all be safe enough to transfer straight from IB to BA and worry about the implications much further down the road.
        Mind you, some of the Iberia redemption options seem quite attractive and more competitive than BA (ignoring BA 241 voucher).

        • the real harry1 says:

          But there are ways around that – you don’t have to find a new platform. Eg you could just use the BAEC platform and make IB use that.

          A bit like one bank taking over another and saying to the smaller bank: from now on, your customers will use our platform. And shifting their customers over.

          You don’t have to do a TSB! ie they were forced to find a new platform as Lloyds said they couldn’t carry on using the Lloyds platform.

      • shd says:

        You can have multiple BAEC accounts, and you can get away with it for a while. I know someone in our family who does just this …

        Perhaps setting up a 2nd BAEC account, moving IB Avios across, but booking for a 3rd party from that BAEC account (ie NOT giving BAEC the excuse to track you down as having dupe accounts once they have access to your passenger data….)?

  • Rob says:

    OW redemptions via IB must be booked as return flights. Is that the issue?

  • Dave says:

    Have these Avios credited yet for most people? I bought a week ago now, but have nada in my account.

  • Bruce says:

    No credit yet. Fingers crossed.

  • FlyTheFriendlySkies says:

    I would actually expect the points to credit from Friday July 6th, that being the 10th working day following the end of the promo on Sunday June 24th…

  • Paul says:

    Well I’ve just gotten an e-mail from BA welcoming me to the BAE Club with a new account number. WTF, I only logged in yesterday to my actual BAEC account to transfer Avios (I have my eyes on my prize at IB+ and I’m ready to pounce!).

    What’s all this then, I’ll have to ring them and calling BA is an agony second only to waxing my bum crack.

    • Paul says:

      Ignore that, it’s just the Avios site itself merging into BAEC. They’ve merged the two accounts, but none of that was clear from the e-mail. (anyway, blah, blah!)

  • Jimbob says:

    It appears all new Iberia plus accounts have been blocked pending ID checks, if this applies to you (like me), it might be wise to get the id forms to them as soon as possible, as I suspect there will be a large queue!

    To check if your account has been blocked, attempt to sign in, if no joy, then ask for a pin reset, this will lead you to the page saying account blocked, and allow you to submit your id info.

    • EvilGazebo says:

      Yep, this happened to me before the promo on my existing account open for years (but might have been me actually messing up the login too many times).

      But it’s now happened on my wife’s account which was opened specifically to take advantage of the promo. And it’s definitely not down to user error this time……

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.