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 (June 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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

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

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points 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 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.

  • Alan says:

    Definitely been an interesting promo, didn’t jump on it myself – travel plans already made for rest of the year and would have ended up having to spend them on poorer value redemptions, taking an extra trip I wasn’t planning due to the expiry restrictions.

    • Tom1 says:

      Alan the avios only have to be redeemed by December 1st – I think Iberia confirmed that the reward flights can be after this date. So start planning for 2019. There’s still time 😉

  • VP says:

    Very good analysis Rob. While all blogs are hysterical over the deal no one breaks it down like you do. Iberia giving up 5m to bump load factor by 1% for Q3,Q1. Also, No one focused on downsides of booking via Iberia like you have done. Its hard to lose money on this deal due to ability to book hotels with avios unless ofcourse Iberia drastically increases the avios required. In any case, good quality analysis and business insights is what separates HFP from the rest of the blogs who just keep using “crazy”, “insane” ,”promo of the year/decade” without really breaking down the potential downsides for the user and what the deal means commercially for Iberia. Keep it up Rob.

  • Margaret says:

    Only certain countries are included in this offer, with a limited time to use the avios which have been made rapidly available. My guess is that they will up availability dramatically on certain transatlantic and European routes which involve a rival airline (like, but not necessarily Norwegian? ) to affect their income. If Lufthansa are now rivals looking to buy Norwegian, how would Norwegian losing many hundreds of thousands of sales be damaged? Why exclude counties like Ireland and Canada? They will certainly oversell the Ibera Express flights where lots of tickets were bought, and remained IMO unusually cheap despite hundreds of thousands of tickets sold. Telling people early on that not flying is okay would help with this to work as it pushes everyone into the cheapest options they create.

  • vol says:

    How long do the points take to post?

  • PB says:

    How do you think this will affect redemption availability over the next year?
    That’s a lot of people who’ll now have 90k to spend…

  • Margaret says:

    Remember that 90000 avios can buy FOUR transatlantic econony seats and up to TWENTY European ones! It’s not one or two business class tickets for everyone. Also unspent ‘change’ will be clawed back in December, reducing their outlay. I also wonder if all those people planning on moving to BAEC will be able to do so.

    • the real harry1 says:

      I don’t see why they’ll change CMA – people who don’t redeem on IB metal will be left with -90,000 in the IB a/c, I guess you can sort of live with that 🙂

      It makes the points about £225/ 90,000 = 0.25p, which is great but not exactly free

      • Yuff says:

        I think it’s a great deal if it works, I would not have opened a new account to buy flights as opening both our IB accounts a while ago proved problematic. As for using the points in Iberia….I have been using Iberia more recently, when BAEC had no availability, and have booked 3 business class flights via Madrid recently, 2 for Tuesday to utilise the lie flat bed in business 😉
        Points cost 0.2p which is ok seeing as there is a scarcity of Clubcard deals these days.

  • Ian says:

    Is anyone else having problems logging into the Iberia site? I don’t even want to book any flights! But each time I try to login I get the following:

    “The combination of the number of Iberia Plus card and the password that you have entered is not correct. Please check the Iberia Plus entered and reenter the right password. (I599)”

  • Paul says:

    Do you have to book via that special offer page or just on iberia.com?

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