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Back in June, Iberia ran easily one of the best promotions of the year. With every flight booked, you’d earn 9,000 bonus Iberia Avios points, up to 90,000 points per account. The best part of the deal was that the points were awarded regardless of whether or not you took the flight – so I found the cheapest possible flights within Spain and spend $270ish total for all 10 flights booked. And since I used the Mr. Rebates cash back portal, I ended up with another $30 back – so my out of pocket cost was $240 for 90,000 points. A rate where I’d definitely purchase miles! FYI: This promotion is no longer available.
While there were definitely some issues along the way, my points did post in July. Although I know some folks did not have the easiest time getting their points to post and still might not have received the points. When the points posted, it was also clear that you could NOT transfer the points earned into your British Airways Avios account. While Iberia and British Airways are two different airlines, they both earn you “Avios” currency and you are always able to transfer points from one account to another at a 1:1 ratio. The programs have a different redemption chart so sometimes you are better off redeeming points from one program over the other depending on the route you are looking to fly. Definitely a disappointment for some, but the terms of the promotion were all over the place from the start, so definitely not a surprise.
But then later in July, the flood gates opened and points could then be transferred freely from Iberia Avios accounts to British Airways Avios accounts. The one problem at that time is that to be allowed to transfer points between the two accounts, you need to have your accounts open for 90 days. Many people opened up an Iberia Avvios account at the start of the promotion, so at sometime between June 21 and June 24. That meant points could not be transferred until late September, which is NOW!
One Thing to Know…
Iberia initially stated that you’d have to redeem the earned points by December 1st or they’d be removed from your account. If you transfer your points over to British Airways, Iberia may or may not know whether or not these points were redeemed and there is the possibility that your Iberia account will go into a negative balance. We will not know exactly how this works unfortunately until December. Unless we are able to get some clarification from Iberia, but that is highly unlikely. If you’ll never use your Iberia account again, then this shouldn’t be a 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, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should do so! As I mentioned earlier, 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 Iberia. 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.
Will you be transferring your points? How are you redeeming your 90,000 Iberia Avios accounts?