Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Why are British Airways Singapore redemptions pricier via Iberia – and are there others?

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An interesting quirk with the Iberia Avios redemption chart was picked up in this thread on Flyertalk.  For some reason Singapore, when flying BA, is in a more expensive redemption zone than it is when booked via British Airways Executive Club.

This isn’t meant to happen.

When you book a British Airways flight using Iberia Plus Avios – as many HfP readers may be doing if they earned 90,000 Avios via the recent Iberia promotion – it prices off the same chart as BA flights booked on ba.com.  It also uses the same peak and off-peak dates.

In simple terms, for long-haul flights the Avios and taxes required for a BA redemption should be identical whether you book via Iberia Plus or BA Executive Club.

On short haul, Iberia Plus asks for more in taxes because Reward Flight Saver does not apply.

Here is an example of what happens with Singapore.  Here is a First Class reward flight booked via British Airways Executive Club, as 280,000 Avios (Zone 8). Click to enlarge:

…. and here is EXACTLY the same flight booked via Iberia Plus, showing a cost of 400,000 Avios (Zone 9):

This is almost certainly an error.  It isn’t as if this is a destination where BA cheats with the distances – Cape Town, for example, should be in Zone 7 but British Airways puts it in the cheaper Zone 6.  Iberia agrees and treats Cape Town as Zone 6.

However, I’m interested to know if there are any other destinations where Iberia is charging a different Avios rate to British Airways.  It would obviously be preferable if Iberia was cheaper.  Let us know if you find any.


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 (95)

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

  • Sam says:

    Yes having checked with Iberia Plus over the phone they confirmed that a HKG-TYO business class return costs 45000 avios (and with higher tax) compared to the normal 40000 avios. This flight cannot be booked on Iberia so I had no choice but to move these avios to my BA account.

  • Adam says:

    ICN-LHR prices more expensively on Iberia by about ~15,000 Avios one way.

  • the real harry1 says:

    O/T IB 90K – reports over on FT that you can now price up/ & book partner flights using your promo points – this was widely reported as not working yesterday & some were blaming the new look IB portal. Some were blaming IB ring-fencing the 90K promo points, making them only bookable on IB metal (which didn’t seem that likely to me but got me a tad concerned).

    Using the old IB portal, ie the flight search box you get when you log in, I just priced up some dummy flights in Europe from LHR and also LHR-New York, and could successfully price up BA and AA flights alongside IB.

    Not that I pressed the ‘buy’ button.

    • Sam G says:

      Hi Harry – can you describe how you are accessing the “old portal”

      Was your account an existing account or a new one ? My existing account works fine, but I just checked my partners new account and I still get an error on pricing BA flights

      • the real harry1 says:

        log in
        use flight search box on left, input flight
        click ‘using Avios’
        click search
        takes you to another search box with same search details you just input
        click search again

        • Sam G says:

          That’s the same one I’ve been using (I’d already been bypassing their awful new big button thing – there is a link to this “old” booking portal from that too) – that’s where you get the error – when I click “view” on the flight to see the price on the new account I get – “An error has occurred. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask you to please try again after a few minutes. If the error persists please contact us.”

          Calling in eventually managed to get something booked though

    • Tracy says:

      Sorry but I am a bit late with the questions about the promo, been on holiday for 2 weeks and missed all the chat. Anyone still waiting on bonus avios posting? I received mine ok but OH has received nothing for flights on same booking, no flights showing in his IB account and can’t add his iberia plus number to any of the bookings….phoned the customer service number who told me to contact the clasica email address. One flight is in 6 days time…..

      • Sam G says:

        Add the IB FQ number via BA Manage my booking (not sure if you actually have to do this but I did just to be sure) and then send the email confirmations to clasica with a copy of the passport – responses are quick now

        • Tracy says:

          OH has had no requests to send passport or email confirmations, his account is over a year old….

        • Tracy says:

          Just tried to add his IB number to the booking via BA and got the message “Sorry, we are unable to find this Executive Club number for passenger ………. . Please enter a valid Executive Club or Avios Programme membership number.
          This is very strange as we can log into his IB account but can’t add an Iberia plus number to any bookings……

        • the real harry1 says:

          @Tracy – do you mean your OH was on the same booking as you to get 9000 points each? No problem, that works (2 people on same booking to get 2x 9000 points). BIG IF – IF you included his IB FF ID number at the time of booking.

          If you didn’t include his IB number at the time of booking, OH won’t get any points.

      • the real harry1 says:

        No points awarded yet is quite commonly reported elsewhere, but it seems that they are getting (finally) awarded right now – for new a/cs as well. Advice would be to wait & see. Or you could pro-actively email IB CS with scans of booking confirmations & OH passport, the address to send them is on the Flyertalk IB 90K threads.

        How do you mean one flight is in 6 days’ time? That you (Tracy) have booked a reward flight but that OH hasn’t? That doesn’t sound a likely scenario, ie the 6 days’ time bit, so presumably you mean something else?

        • Tracy says:

          @the real harry1, I made 6 bookings for 2 people on the same booking, myself and OH and put both my IB number and his IB number in the booking. The email confirmations have both IB numbers. However, I have received my bonus avios but he has not received his. These bookings are showing in my IB account but not in his and I cannot add his IB to the bookings. One of the bookings is due to fly 25th July 2018, we are both on the booking.
          Separately, I booked a flight for just me, I have received avios etc. I booked a flight for just OH, he received an email confirmation with his IB number included, this is the only flight showing in his account but it has no IB plus number attached to it and I cannot add it…..very peculiar as it is in his account

        • the real harry1 says:

          Then you have no real problem in anticipating all the bonus Avios for OH. I’d just wait & see as people ARE getting their points, just slowly. If (say) 2 weeks went by with no points, you might want to chase it up as I mentioned above.

          Getting OH’s IB number on the 25th July flight. You can do this at check in. Or try now using the Finnair or Royal Jordanian MMB sites. Or ring up IB CS. Or you can get them retrospectively if all else fails.

        • Matthew says:

          I have received mine this week. I have a new account and was asked to send in passport details and flight confirmations. Interestingly enough only 7 of the 10 bookings had my IB number stored on them online despite being logged in when making all of them.

          On Tuesday I received 63000 avios, I assume for the 7 with the IB number. I was going to send an email chasing for the other 27000 but they appeared in my account yesterday. Seems like they are just working through a rather large back log.

      • Kevin H says:

        @Tracy
        I would take trh1’s suggestion and be proactive here.
        We had exactly this scenario and emailed a copy of the passport and the bookings in question with a note to say that you have your AVIOS and he does not – despite being on the same booking (and with both IB account numbers showing).
        The missing AVIOS were added yesterday – just a few days after the (latest) email I sent, as above.
        Good luck!

  • James says:

    OT: Need some wise advice please. I have been tasked to book 5 seats for family to Australia for next January 2019. Having seen on this blog how many times people get ex EU cheap business class tickets I would love to surprise them with this option or the very least find premium economy at a reasonable price so I have a few questions please, which I will number to make it quick to reply thanks
    1] – Is there a certain time of the year these ex EU seats become available?
    2] – I have looked at flying Norwegian premium economy to Singapore coming in at £1,100 return and then Scoot biz (premium economy) from Singapore to Sydney allowing them a day there each way coming in at £672 so £1,772 in total. Do these two airlines specifically Norwegian ever discount PE and if so is there a certain time of year to expect this?
    3] – Am I taking a huge risk waiting for sales in September to book if both options above fail. I can currently book economy from Belfast to Sydney return for £935 and PE for £1,900 (on one ticket with eithad or BA). Ex Dublin is surprisingly £500 more expensive. Is this good value or should I hold out to sale in September?

    • Andy E says:

      No answers but I didn’t think Etihad did PE
      If you don’t go business ex-EU, With the prices that close for the PE option I’d go BA: easier transfer, likely better service than Scoot Biz and of course the Avios

    • Sam G says:

      I live in Singapore and have to say I (quite suprisingly) haven’t seen the Norwegian premium product discounted all that much – especially on the overnight/weekend type flights that I would be looking at. January is a busy time for Asia travel so I wouldn’t expect much discounting but nor will prices really change that much until quite near the time so I wouldn’t be in too much of a rush

      Have you checked ex-Oslo ? I saw some pretty good prices from there recently to Aus on Singapore airlines business class

      That said I recently got my dad booked STN-DXB-SIN – PER-DXB-STN for 600 quid on Emirates which is as good a Y product as you’ll get and for him he wouldn’t be fussed with the hassle!

    • Tas says:

      James – have you checked Google flights? I’m not sure of your dates but prices are around £1200 for PE and from £1700 In business starting from Paris, Stockholm, Oslo etc viewing the whole month on Google with various outbound options. Melbourne is sometimes cheaper than Sydney and an easy hop on Qantas via Avios.

      • James says:

        Thanks for everyone’s comments. Tas could I be doing something wrong with google flights ? Or is there a secret method of using it to find those £1200 and £1700 flights you mentioned. For the life of me I cannot find anything close to those prices. Dates are very flexible the only stipulation is going out in January and staying mind 22 days up to 25 thanks again for your help ????

        • Tas says:

          Are you using the whole month view when you click on the date? Cheapest days out in business are 30/31 Dec if you have any flexibility. That was Etihad from Stockholm to Melbourne for £1700 in business https://goo.gl/flights/mfoyV
          I could also see Etihad in economy from Manchester for £800 from 1 Jan.
          Premium economy was on Vietnam airlines from Paris for £1200-£1400 early Jan or Stockholm on Singapore Airlines from 15 Jan.
          Hope that helps.

        • Tas says:

          Alternatively you could use the BA Amsterdam to Bangkok in business for £1286 offer as a starting point. Or there is a Paris to Kuala Lumpur flight in premium for £880 on BA. Malaysian airlines frequently have cheap business deals from KUL to Perth for £400-£650 return. Plus there are lots of Avios options using Cathay, JAL and Malaysian as well as on the BA Singapore to Sydney leg.

    • Michael C says:

      Hey James – with BA, you may well be able to stop off in SIN if that’s something your family might enjoy.

    • Alan says:

      If you can push the budget a bit more from £1,900 then BA routinely have Club World available from Oslo to Sydney (via LHR and SIN) at around £2,500 – been like that for a few years

  • TripRep says:

    Telegraph mentioned BA yesterday, now the World’s 31st favourite airline (that’s an improvement)

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/skytrax-2018-airline-awards/

  • Darran says:

    I was pleasantly surprised when booking MAD-LAX to find that Iberia have brought LA into zone 6, the same as BA from LHR despite it being in zone 7 distance wise from MAD.

    • Marcw says:

      Has been like that since the route started. Bizarrely, SF is in a higher band, although the distance from/to Madrid is shorter.

  • Chris says:

    Not sure iof anyone has any thoughts on the below:

    The flights I am looking at are the same amounf ot Avios (HKG – LHR 90k Avios), but for some reason the ‘taxes’ total 262.50 EUR through IB, but only 33.50 GBP through B.A. I thought Airlines weren’t allowed to charge YQ/Carrier surcharges out of HKG??

    Thanks, C

    • Choons says:

      It might be an IT thing, so you may have to phone to book it, or maybe it only comes down at the final payment stage. You could of course book it and then try to reclaim the funds, but good luck with that!

      Has anyone found a way to book ‘experiences’ with avios on the Iberia site? I just get cars and hotels.

  • Josh says:

    Off topic, but I haven’t seen a bits in a couple of days;

    I’m flying from Heathrow terminal 3 with Sri Lankan Airlines on Monday evening (9:30) and am trying to figure out how early I can show up and check in for a bit of lounge hopping, anyone got any ideas?

    Thanks

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

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