Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Easy (and cheap) Avios point redemptions to Washington DC on new Iberia flights

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If you’ve ever looked at Iberia‘s international flight network you may have been struck by how odd it is.  Case in point: there are no nonstop flights between the Spanish capital and Washington DC whilst it seems to serve every corner of Latin and South America.

Interestingly, Iberia did serve Washington DC from Madrid until 2010, just before it merged into IAG with British Airways.

Iberia launching Washington DC

Iberia is now re-launching Washington DC, almost a decade since the last flight.

The route begins on 1st May 2020, five times a week. The timings are as follows:

IB6131 departs Madrid at 3:50pm and arrives in DC at 6:55pm

IB6132 departs DC at 8:30pm and arrives at 10:15am the next day.

The flight is to be operated by an A330-300 with 29 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration (pictured). You can see our review of the Iberia business class product on an A330 here. It is a good product in an alternating arrangement that lets you choose between a more private or more open seat.

There is very good Avios redemption availability

Redemption availability on this new route is very good which is unsurprising since it has just been launched.

A business class return costs 68,000 Avios off-peak, as you can see from Iberia’s own reward chart. Peak dates will cost 100,000 Avios return.

Yes, just 68,000 Avios return for Business Class.   Why does Iberia charge substantially fewer Avios for flights from Madrid to the US East Coast, compared to what BA charges from London?  We don’t know!

Bear in mind that Iberia also has a slightly different peak and off-peak table versus British Airways, which you can see on the Iberia website here.

Don’t forget that taxes and carrier surcharges are significantly less than British Airways, so a redemption is considerably cheaper than with BA.  However, YOU MUST BOOK ON THE IBERIA SITE TO GET THE LOWER TAXES.

Here is proof.  Madrid to Washington DC booked on iberia.com, with tax of £157:

Iberia low tax

Madrid to Washington DC booked on ba.com (exactly the same flight) for £385:

BA Avios pricing on Iberia

You save £228 per person by booking on the Iberia website using Iberia Plus Avios.

In order to get your Avios into Iberia Plus from British Airways Executive Club, you will need an Iberia Plus account which can be opened quickly at iberia.com.  To do the transfer, your account will also need to fulfil the following two conditions:

your Iberia Plus account must be 90 days

your Iberia Plus account must have ‘earned’ 1 Avios – the easiest way to do this is to transfer in some Amex Membership Rewards points or credit a flight, hotel stay or car hire

You can then use ‘Combine My Avios’ on ba.com to move your points to Iberia Plus.  If you get an error message, the workaround is to move your points from ba.com to avios.com and then from avios.com to iberia.com – this will work 95% of the time.  In order to log in at avios.com, you will need to open a free account at Aer Lingus Aer Club or Vueling Club.

And don’t forget Guayaquil

In June we reported that Iberia was also launching a direct flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador, which is a great place to start if you want to fly to the Galapagos.

The route starts next month on 13th December, operating three times a week. A redemption in Business Class is 102,000 Avios off-peak or 150,000 Avios peak, return. You can book now on the Iberia website.

If you want to learn more about how to redeem Avios points via Iberia Plus, to save a fortune on taxes and charges, take a look at this article in our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

Nectar American Express

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

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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.

Do you have a small business? Until 20th May 2021, you can receive a special sign-up bonus worth 29,900 Avios with the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa credit card. This offer is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to learn more.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(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 (127)

  • Alan says:

    Booked my outbound EDI – KUL in Business using the 241 voucher and will add the return later this month.

    Can someone confirm my numbers for the taxes/fees?

    It looks to me like taxes/fees for 2 pax on a business return are £1389.62.

    Booking it as two one-ways, it looks like £873.70 outbound and then £569.72 inbound, so a total of £1443.42.

    Any better way of checking this than dummy bookings?

    Based on those numbers, I’m best getting on the phone at midnight GMT T-355 rather than booking the return online and then calling the next say to get them to link it to the 241 booking?

    • BJ says:

      Looks about right, you would have made substantial saving exINV.

      • BJ says:

        But if you are within 24h you could call and have them change the domestic sector for free.

        • Alan says:

          Thanks for helping me sense check it.

          I did consider going from INV but decided that I couldn’t be bothered with the additional hassle.

      • Jon says:

        Not sure- just had a look at NYC off peak and the tax saving was ~£130 per person. £663 vs £537.

        • Rob says:

          …. which is what you’d expect, as that is the APD. It’s really not worth it in my opinion given the cost of getting to Inverness and the risk of misconnects.

          That said, when the airport hotel opens next month we’ll go and see for ourselves.

    • Callum says:

      I always check the taxes using ITA Matrix. Way faster and much more flexible (i.e. you can often price open jaw tickets etc.)

  • BJ says:

    O/T: A possible 500 Nectar points on any spend at Vodafone. Cheapest thing I saw was a basic phone at £6. Might be worth bagging if anybody needs one of those. I doubt a free sim will do it as this wouldn’t credit Nectar accounts.

    • Shoestring says:

      100 free N when you install the Notifier https://www.nectar.com/nectar-notifier

      then uninstall it a few days later

      • Harry T says:

        @Shoestring can you add it to multiple different browsers and get the 100 again?

        • Shoestring says:

          no, you get this to tick, sure to be a one-off
          [Thank you for installing
          Enter the last 11 digits of your Nectar card number to activate and receive 100 points
          etc]

          but I’m getting it for my wife in a different browser

          • EwanG says:

            I’ve had this previously, for an earlier iteration of it. We are talking a few years ago though!

  • Murray says:

    OT – When will the next Amex Travel offer likely come out (i.e. £50 off a £200 spend, £200 off a £600 spend or £400 off a £1000 spend)? Last years’ expired in November and yet here we are in mid November with no offer as of yet. Anyone have any ideas or is it not being offered this year?

  • KBuffett says:

    Do Marriott allow lounge access to Titanium members if booked through Expedia?

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