One upside from the long Avios IT migration and subsequent downtime in November is that the long-running problems with ‘Combine My Avios’ seem to have been fixed.
It is now possible to move Avios from British Airways Executive Club to Iberia Plus, or vice versa, in one transaction. This means:
- you no longer need to use avios.com as an intermediary
- there are no longer any issues if you have a BA Household Account
To be fair, some people – those not in household accounts – never had many problems moving Avios directly between BA and Iberia, although the process often threw up IT errors. For everyone else, life is now a bit easier.
How to move Avios from Iberia to British Airways
I tried the process from inside Iberia Plus and it worked fine.
You need to visit the ‘Combine My Avios’ page of Iberia Plus which is here.
Alternatively you can select the ‘Buying or transferring Avios’ option in the main Iberia website menu navigation, and click the link at the bottom:
When in ‘Combine My Avios’, all you need to do is fill in your British Airways Executive Club number and password and the number of Avios you want to move.
You then get this:
…. and the transaction completes immediately.
If it still doesn’t work, the chances are that there is a mismatch between your British Airways and Iberia accounts. A common reason is that, when you opened your Iberia account, you filled in the ‘Surname’ and ‘Second surname (optional)’ boxes incorrectly.
Why would you want to move Avios between British Airways and Iberia?
On the face of it, you might be struggling to think of reasons why you may want to move Avios between BA and Iberia, given that you can book Iberia flights on ba.com anyway.
Here are some good reasons:
- Taxes on Iberia redemptions are far lower when you book the flight via Iberia Plus rather than BA Executive Club. Madrid to New York in Business Class, for example, has £205 of taxes and charges when booked via Iberia Plus but £379 when booked via the BA website. (What happens to the extra £175? BA pockets it.)
- Iberia makes additional Economy redemption seats available to its own members. These seats are not visible via ba.com. Even better, these additional seats, known as ‘Blue Class’, require fewer Avios than standard Economy redemption seats.
- Some partners have a better deal with Iberia Plus than British Airways Executive Club. Transfers from the Accor Live Limitless hotel scheme, for example, are 1:1 into Iberia Plus but 2:1 into British Airways Executive Club.
- Iberia still has some exclusive partnerships, eg NH Hotels. If you are visiting mainland Spain, the Cabify taxi app lets you earn Avios and has a decent 400 Avios bonus for your first ride.
It’s also worth remembering that some Avios redemptions require fewer points via Iberia Plus. Madrid to New York in Business Class, off peak, is 68,000 Avios vs 100,000 Avios for a BA flight from London to New York. You get this pricing irrespective of whether you book your Iberia flight via iberia.com or ba.com – but, as per my first point above, you’ll get ripped off on the taxes and charges if you use BA.
For clarity, transfers are free, instantaneous and can be done unlimited times in both directions. There is no reason to keep a balance in both programmes.