Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

You now pay the same taxes on Iberia Avios flights whether you book via BA or Iberia

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I don’t know when this happened, given that no-one has been booking Iberia redemption flights for much of the past two years, but there has been a big improvement.

Historically, taxes and charges were substantially lower when you booked Iberia Avios flights via iberia.com.

This was great if you were in the know, but a bit unfair if you weren’t. Even if you were in the know, you still had to open an Iberia Plus account, ‘activate’ it by earning an Avios or waiting 90 days, transfer your Avios across from British Airways Executive Club via the error-prone ‘Combine My Avios’ tool and then – if you had to make changes – try to get hold of someone at Iberia.

Those days seem to be over, thank goodness.

Iberia Avios

Taxes and charges now seem to be equalised between bookings on ba.com via British Airways Executive Club and iberia.com via Iberia Plus.

In fact, ba.com can actually be cheaper.

Let’s look at Business Class

Here is an example. Look at a return business class flight from Madrid to New York.

Via iberia.com:

Via ba.com:

The taxes are charges are the same at £212 return (yes, £212 return – over £600 cheaper than booking London to New York on BA where the taxes are now £800+).

You will also notice that, off peak, Madrid to New York in Business Class is only 68,000 Avios return. This compares with 100,000 Avios on an off-peak BA flight.

This is due to a quirk in the Iberia Avios redemption chart for Zone 5 redemptions, which covers the US East Coast:

To add extra complication, Iberia has different peak and off-peak dates to British Airways. You can see the 2022 and 2023 off-peak and peak Avios dates in this article. Importantly, even if you book on ba.com, Iberia flights stil price off the Iberia peak and off-peak timetable and off the Iberia price chart.

Premium Economy flights are even a little cheaper via ba.com

Oddly, given how many years we have been advising readers to book Iberia flights on iberia.com due to lower charges, Premium Economy flights – at least to New York – are now a little cheaper with BA.

Take a look here at iberia.com:

…. and here at ba.com:

You save £17 when booking via British Airways Executive Club.

Economy flights may still be cheaper via Iberia

When booking Economy tickets on Iberia using Avios, you should still take a look at iberia.com.

Iberia offers two types of Avios redemption in Economy – ‘Blue Class’ and ‘Economy Class’. Both book into the same seat with the same fare rules. This means that you will often find that iberia.com is still showing availability when ba.com is not.

With this one exception though, the good news is that it appears you no longer need to navigate Iberia Plus, iberia.com and – if you need to make changes – the Iberia call centre in order to cash in on the excellent value offered by Iberia redemptions with Avios.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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 with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

30,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

Comments (64)

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

  • Definitas says:

    Does anyone have experience of flying into Madrid in IB and transferring to BA for an onwards flight to LHR. Is a 3 hour period between landing and departure sufficent?

    • Stuart says:

      I’ve done it in a lot less than three hours. It can be a bit of a pain, if you have to collect bags etc, but doable!

  • Brian says:

    It’s not just IB, EIs taxes and fees are lower too. Although still lower if you can get avios.com to work. Which is essentially unusable to all but the most determined.

    If this is the quality of IT the IAGBS / AGL units put out, it’s a miracle BA’s systems are only as bad as they are.

  • The Original Nick says:

    I flew Business Class MAD-HAV February 2020 return saving plenty in taxes. I love a night in Madrid. I’m doing the same in 4 weeks but to JFK.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Iberia is the only airline I have flown on where I ended up going online to buy the wine I had been served, it was so good!

    (Romate Old and Plus Pedro Ximenez sherry)

    I did like the Veuve Cliquot vintage Rose on Thai, but then I have had that many times before.

  • NAS says:

    Not rewards based but LHR-LAX was about 35% cheaper booking via Iberia vs BA

  • ADS says:

    “Iberia Call Centre” are words to strike fear into any english speaker !

    I once asked to be transferred to another operator since I couldn’t understand what the staff member was saying … and they refused !

  • indiacpapa says:

    Maybe this was just a glitch as I just priced up a reward flight PTY-MAD, 125k points plus €294 on IB site or 125k + £524 on BA….

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

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