So, How Can You Use Those 90,000 Iberia Avios?

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Earlier I wrote about the incredible promotion where Iberia is offering 9,000 bonus Avios for every booking you make by June 24, 2018. Given that Iberia sells tickets starting at just ~$30 one-way, and given that they post the Avios within 10 days of when you book (rather than within 10 days of when you fly), this is an opportunity to buy 90,000 Avios for ~$300. That’s insane.

The catch is that the Avios have to be redeemed by December 1, 2018 (though I imagine flights could be on subsequent dates). Furthermore, it looks like you won’t be able to convert those Iberia Avios into British Airways Avios.

While many people are familiar with the British Airways Executive Club program, in this post I just wanted to briefly look at some of the redemption opportunities if booking through the Iberia Plus program, for anyone thinking of taking advantage of this promotion. I’m intentionally keeping this post short since I want to get it published ASAP while this deal is still alive, so people can decide whether they want to take advantage of this.

You can find all the Iberia Plus award pricing on this page. The charts vary by partner, though on the most basic level, here are Iberia’s peak and off-peak redemption rates:

Then here’s their distance based chart for travel on oneworld partners:

This is based on the cumulative distance of segments on an itinerary. Some partner airlines require roundtrip travel, while other partners allow one-way travel. Iberia does impose surcharges on many redemptions, which typically match what you’d pay on a revenue ticket. For travel on Iberia metal, surcharges are significantly lower, though.

Furthermore, there are no surcharges for travel on American within the US. So while there are lots of niche ways to use these miles, personally I suspect I’ll use my miles in one of two ways.

One idea is that 96,000 Avios will get you a roundtrip ticket in American’s A321 first class between Los Angeles and New York.

The total taxes and fees are 17.46EUR.

So you could spend about $300 to purchase these tickets and you’d get 90,000 Avios, and then you can transfer over another 6,000 Avios from Ultimate Rewards. For around $300 roundtrip plus 6,000 additional points, you’d get this solid first class product with American’s excellent Flagship First Dining on both ends.

That’s less than you’d usually pay for an economy ticket on the route. While award availability on this route isn’t as good as it used to be, that’s still an incredible deal.

Furthermore, this can be a great way to get cheap domestic redemptions on American. The most useful Iberia Plus redemption rates are probably the following ranges:

  • 1,001-2,000 flown miles for 17,000 Avios
  • 2,001-4,000 flown miles for 23,000 Avios
  • 4,001-5,000 flown miles for 28,000 Avios

All of these could be excellent deals using this promotion.

And of course there are all kinds of other great deals with Avios, but these are just a few of the most useful from a US-centric perspective, for those who want to avoid carrier imposed surcharges.

To take advantage of this promo, remember that you need to purchase your tickets on iberia.com before June 24th, and include your IberiaPlus number in the booking.

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Comments

  1. If you want to fly within Spain using Avios the best way to redeem Avios is to purchase a Puente Aéreo ticket to fly BCN-MAD (or viceversa) by just 4500 Avios. The special feature of this ticket is that you can use it within one year from when you buy it and you just have to show up at the airport check in desk and see if there is any seat available. The normal price of this ticket in economy is 230€ per leg.

  2. @ Lucky — whenever you have more time, would appreciate if you could do a post with more sweet spot examples for most of us who are not LA or NYC based and don’t live in a destination served by Iberia. Thank you!

  3. how about booking a CX (ow company) ticket using IB points? I search, no result. Not by web, by phone? thanks

  4. @ jeadong — Yeah, that’s odd. I think space should be showing on their website, but for whatever reason it’s not. Maybe it’s bookable by phone, or it’s just a temporary outage?

  5. Ivan – sweet spots for small markets include expensive short haul flights with a stopover. Can be as low as 11k roundtrip plus taxes.

  6. Today is the CX award chart change day and all availability for partner seems to have been withdrawn.

  7. So, is there anything wrong with having a negative points balance (if we transferred the points to BA) if we don’t use Iberia’s program ever again? Are there any consequences to that?

  8. From Tiffanys article “Iberia only allows round-trip itineraries on American”… I’m presuming that has changed?

  9. I don’t use Iberia to beek on partners because the points are non refundable / you can’t get them back even with a fee. Beware.

  10. Something’s up!
    Absolutely no availability shown for Qantas either while BA/Qantas website shows availability.

  11. I’d also be interested in learning more about the question @Cullan asked

    Also, would be great to learn more about suggested/best uses for this 90k Avios for non-US/non-Spain based people like me (managed to get the 90k Avios for ~€240)

  12. Searching for any flight within the US I get “We regret to inform you that there are no connecting flights between the cities selected.” Even looking for that same JFK to LAX flight on the same day I get the same error. I am just searching for a normal cash fare on https://www.iberia.com/us/. What am I doing wrong here?

  13. Every time I search for anything US to US for a cash fare on Iberia’s site I get “We regret to inform you that there are no connecting flights between the cities selected.” As the result. Is there some trick to seeing the codeshare flights for American Airlines?

  14. Lucky, NYC-LAX falls in the 5,000-8,000 mile bracket. Should it be 150,000 Avios return in First Class?

  15. @ RG — JFK-LAX is 2,475 miles in each direction, so it’s under 5,000 miles roundtrip. That screenshot above showing pricing of 96,000 Avios is correct.

  16. @Lucky – is that screenshot from the results page of a search on Iberia? I’m looking at multiple dates for a simple LAX-NYC flight for which I see nonstop saver availability on AA.com (I mean, I even see the same availability on BA.com, and we all know the issues they’ve had showing AA availability), but a search on Iberia for use with Avios returns “No availability has been found for the selected journey” no matter what…

  17. Is this def real and can you use the avios on the AA site? Looking up dummy flights from CPT to NYC says nothing available, but OneWorld site shows plenty. Looking for guidance before I buy.

  18. So MIA-LAX with the A321 is just over the 5,000 miles so it would be 100,000 avios in business. Is there a way to use the 90,000 avios and pay the difference. Would that make sense and how much would it cost? Ugh wish it was the 96,000 in First…only a couple miles!

  19. @lucky for oneworld partners you mentioned the trip can be one-way or round trip. But reading previous articles and even doing random online searches on iberia site, it seems like one ways are ONLY allowed on iberia or ba flights. Partners like qatar/cathay and others must be roundtrip. If you search one way (ex jfk-doh), the site wont even show you their flights as being bookable. But when you change the search to roundtrip, the flights magically appear.

  20. @Dave, not only that but the fact that the Avios are readily refundable when used for Iberia flights if plans change, but not for partner flights, is another pertinent consideration. It is often hard for this website to think outside the business class box though.

    As an aside, I have a hunch Iberia sees a cash infusion here, and is counting on a lot of Avios not being redeemed, or being redeemed in less than optimal ways due to the December deadline and uncertain seat availability.

  21. Site keeps going down. Tweet not answered. Fares shows in calendar go up when clicked on. Credit cards issued outside of Spain incur a 1 or 2% surcharge. This is getting to be more trouble than it’s worth.

  22. Hi Lucky, thanks for this article. I was able to grab 10 ow flights between SDR-MAD in Jan/Feb 2019 for EUR240.

    It looks like the IB Avios search site is having major problems at the moment, for all the reasons other people have commented.

    One thing you mention above is that some partner airlines only allow roundtrip bookings – can you elaborate on which ones require roundtrip / allow one-way bookings? I’ve done quite a bit of searching and having difficulty finding this information.

    Thanks

  23. Are AA Hawaii flights bookable with Avios? Maui(OGG) isn’t listed as a destination on the iberia site.

  24. @lucky – to circumvent the dec 2018 deadline to use Avios, will it be possible to book far out a US to Madrid flight on Iberia and then incur a $40 date change fee sometime in 2019 when the plans firm up? I suppose it shouldn’t involve crediting Avios back to account but rather changing a ticketed reservation.

  25. Possible to transfer to BA? I am wiling to abandon my IB account. Redemption fee for flight from/within Asia on OW with IB redemtion is just ridiculous and not to mention horrible availability!

  26. Hi Lucky, can i book flights for other persons (Friends and Family) with the 90.000 Avios from this offer? For

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