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If you’ve been following my blog over the summer, you are probably already well aware of the amazing 90,000 point promotion from Iberia. Ultimately, Iberia allowed you to earn 9,000 points for every one-way flight booked (up to 90,000 points earned). Not only that, they were saying you’d earn the points after you book, not after you fly and didn’t even have to take the flight. I booked 10 cheap one-way flights throughout Spain for about $27 each. Mr. Rebates was also offering money back if you booked through there shopping portal. Long story short, I earned 90,000 Iberia points for just $250, although it was a pain to get the points posted to my account. I know many folks are still having trouble as well.
Initially, when the promotion launched, Iberia stated that you COULD transfer your Iberia Avios points to your British Airways Avios account. Iberia and British Airways allow you to freely transfer points at a 1:1 ratio. However, when the points started to post, they quickly turned around and locked accounts from transferring and stated that points could not be transferred. Personally, I am okay with them not allowing you to transfer the points as this was a beyond extremely generous promotion to begin with, but I understand that companies should stick to their original rules.
Now, via Head for Points, Iberia has lifted those restrictions and is allowing folks to transfer their bonus points to their British Airways Avios account. This could be aligned to a big news article that was just published by The Mail on Sunday. Although, we have yet to see a formal announcement from Iberia on this change and the original promotion and T&C from Iberia now goes to a dead page.
Now, the one thing that is still unknown if you transfer your points from our Iberia account to your British Airways account is if your Iberia account will go into a negative balance with the amount of points transferred over on December 1st. Since the points have to be redeemed (not flown) by December 1st, they might be treated as “unspent”. And Iberia said that any miles not redeemed by December 1st will be removed from your Iberia account. Hopefully Iberia will clarify this for us, but I am not sure. For those who believe they’ll never use their Iberia account again, then this is no big deal. But for those who have points already in their Iberia account or plan to use their Iberia account again, this could be problematic. And opening up a new Iberia account as we have seen isn’t the easiest process.
Should You Transfer Your Points?
Even though you can transfer your points from your Iberia account to your British Airways account doesn’t necessarily mean you should do so! They both have extremely different redemption charts and depending on where you are flying to, one program could be better then the other. British Airways is segment based and Iberia is distance based. British Airways also charges hefty taxes/fees for flights that go through London. For example, if you are looking to fly to Madrid or other areas of Spain, keep the miles with Madrid. But let’s say you are looking to fly to Los Angeles across country. British Airways is a fixed 25,000 points roundtrip (non-stop) from Boston and New York. But if you are flying from New York you’ll only pay 23,000 points with Iberia but a whopping 40,000 points with from Boston! So before you transfer over, definitely figure out which currency is better for you. To check the best availability use the American Airlines site, both British Airways and Iberia have been pretty awful lately showing award availability and require a phone call.
Who Can Transfer Points?
While Iberia is allowing you to transfer your points, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are eligible to right now. Both your British Airways and Iberia accounts have to be open for at least 90 days to transfer points between the two programs. This has always been the case, so if you do not have a British Airways account, open one now! For those who recently opened up an Iberia account due to the promotion, you’ll have to wait a few more months to transfer your points.
I am personally waiting to receive some information from Iberia about this before moving any points around. My Iberia account is also new so I am not even eligible to transfer at this time.
Will you be transferring your points? How will this change how you redeem your points?