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Iberia Devalues Avios Award Chart, Is British Airways Next?

by on August 25, 2014 · 38 comments

in Avios, British Airways, Iberia, Oneworld

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Iberia Airlines recently devalued its award chart, greatly increasing the number of Avios one needs for Oneworld partner redemptions. Since Iberia and British Airways are both owned by the International Airlines Group, it’s not unrealistic to think that a similar change could be coming to British Airways with regard to redeeming on their partner airlines.

Here’s a look at the award chart for redeeming Iberia Avios for British Airways flights, which is currently the same as the British Airways Avios chart to redeem on their own metal.

Iberia redemption chart

Redemption Chart: Using Iberia Avios for British Airways

Here’s the new redemption chart for using Iberia Avios for Oneworld partners. These prices are for round-trip flights, but some of them are over a 200% increase from before. Short distance awards used to be 9,000 Avios round-trip, but are now 19,500 Avios round-trip.

iberia redemption 2

Redemption Chart: Using Iberia Avios for Oneworld partners.

One of the best redemptions using British Airways is for short-haul flights. For instance, you can fly New York (JFK)- Toronto (YYZ)  for only 4,500 Avios each way since the trip is under 650 miles; that’s a great deal considering those flights can run upwards of $300 normally.

Using British Airways Avios for New York-Toronto is still only 4,500 avios each eay.

Using British Airways Avios for New York-Toronto is still only 4,500 Avios each way.

However if you were to use Iberia Avios now to redeem for this same route from New York (JFK)- Toronto (YYZ), it would now be  24,000 Avios, since the flights are operated by Oneworld partner American Airlines, and thus correspond to the mileage requirements of the new chart.

Redeeming Iberia Avios for JFK-Toronto is now 24,000 avios round-trip.

Redeeming Iberia Avios for JFK-Toronto is now 24,000 Avios round-trip.

Another sneaky devaluation within the chart is that the distances for Oneworld awards have decreased compared to the Iberia chart. For instance, the shortest distance awards on Iberia flights are from 0-650 miles, whereas the shortest award category for Oneworld partner redemptions is now only up to 600 miles.

Book Now Or…
With this recent devaluation, transferring your British Airways Avios to Iberia Avios may not make sense anymore. I would encourage anyone who has British Airways Avios in their account to use them if you have travel in mind, not only because points inevitably do devalue over time, but also because I wouldn’t be surprised if British Airways was to follow suit.

British Airways is a transfer partner of three out of four of the main transferable points programs: Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. They’ve run some pretty lucrative credit card sign-up bonuses in the past (such as 100,000 bonus Avios) as well as some nice transfer bonuses from American Express. The Avios program hasn’t changed since it launched, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see a devaluation soon (although I certainly hope there isn’t one). When it comes to my valuation of miles and points, this news will negatively impact the value of British Airways Avios for next month.

Do you plan on redeeming your British Airways Avios in light of an imminent devaluation, or do you think we won’t necessarily see any changes to the British Airways award chat? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • G

    And it will destroy the value of AMEX Membership Rewards.

  • pcg

    All official rumblings that I’ve read indicate that this isn’t in store for BA Avios, but I’m having a difficult time imagining a scenario in which it doesn’t happen. After all, if BA Avios stays put, how utterly useless do Iberia Avios become?

    The only thing I could think of was that the new chart is roundtrip *and could be starting point to destination only, and not per-segment*. Consider LAX-MIA-MAD (6,766 miles each way/70,000 Avios RT) versus LAX-MAD (theoretically, under the new system, 5,845 miles each way/60,000 Avios RT): that’s better under the new chart. And it’s possible that they want to offer two different aspect to traveling—the old chart favors certain things while the new one favors others. (Yeah, right, they’re just looking out for the little guy. :-P)

    But the clearest response to this chart is that the 4,500 sweet spot is on the chopping block, and only time will tell if BA brings down the axe. It would be a colossal shame if they do.

  • Blake

    Any guesses of how long we have before BA ? I have a ton of Membership Rewards I was planning to transfer to British Airways to book west coast trips to Hawaii. Transfer and book now or wait and see, then transfer to skymiles (barf) if things go as expected according to this article. This royally stinks.

  • Blake

    Oh, and will these changes be effective immediately when announced or will we have some time to still book at the old redemption level?

  • Joe

    Yeah, I really think Amex needs to bring in new transfer partners, it would be nice to get Hyatt on board

  • Joe

    Quick question on the Chase Avios bonus. we hit the bonus about 1 week ago. We asked them to expedite the statement closing date to the 28th of Aug instead of the 3rd of sept. They said it was done. When does the Chase Avios 50k pts typically hit? thx.

  • JOe

    also does anyone know how fast Chase UR xfer to BA Avios is? is it instant? How about Amex membership rewards. I’ve done xfers to other airlines in the past.. but never BA Avios. thx in advance.

  • thepointsguy

    Chase to British Airways is usually instant!

  • thepointsguy

    Hopefully they would give warning, but they could be instant.

  • Evilnfs

    I have Canadian AmEx, the transfer takes two days from AmEx MR to BA Avios.

  • jasmine

    all the more reason to switch to a fixed value flexable credit card for domestic airline service like venture or arrivial.

  • thepointsguy

    An Amex to British Airways transfer bonus would be nice!

  • http://aaadventurephoto.com/ Alan

    Hyatt would be a great addition.

  • http://aaadventurephoto.com/ Alan

    That would seriously suck for me. I live in DFW so AA is my airline of choice, but most of my bookings are done through BA Avios.

  • http://aaadventurephoto.com/ Alan

    Agreed.

  • scott

    Am trying to book an award ticket but keep getting a message that their system is unavailable.

  • PatMcPSU

    Let’s be honest, the existing chart was unsustainable. I felt guilty with each short-haul Avios redemption that I made. We should be happy that it ever existed.

  • G

    I’ve been saying that for months but the powers that be don’t seem to listen to me! Although now I’m wondering whether it would be beneficial. For job reasons, I’m about to have to take a hiatus from traveling for the next few months. I’m sitting on quite a few Avios and was planning on using a lot of them on short haul flights in about 6 months. Not good if they end up being severely devalued. I guess I should start getting myself familiar with Krisflyer and Flying Blue? Maybe we will get a monster transfer bonus to Flying Blue coupled with some extremely fortuitous “promo” awards…

  • G

    I would like to see a better transfer value to SPG–but even 1 SPG : 2 MR would not be a good transfer option. For everyday spend, you might as well just get an SPG card, get 1 point per dollar spent, and pay the lower annual fee. You only come out ahead on MR on groceries and gas (if you hit the 30 transactions per month) on the Amex Everyday preferred and only with airfare on the Gold (I don’t know the benefits from the higher Amex cards off the top of my head)–unless you hit the yearly spending, then the calculations get harder. On everything else you would be getting less than 1 SPG for your transfer. You would need closer to a 1:1 transfer of MR to SPG before the calculus starts to change.

  • Joe

    i’m reading that iberios had this chart for 3 years?

  • http://aaadventurephoto.com/ Alan

    What’s the advantage of waiting if you already know you’re going? Point values aside, seat availability will only go down with time. So why not book ASAP?

  • Blake

    Don’t know when exactly I’m going. I WAS waiting on a potential Mem Rewards to Avois transfer bonus since I have flexibility. I don’t know what would be a worse feeling… transferring all my mem rewards points and booking now, only to see that no changes are made and a transfer bonus comes along OR not doing anything right away and watching Avois devaluation come to pass.

  • http://aaadventurephoto.com/ Alan

    Ah! Well that makes more sense. Hmmm… I don’t know! We don’t have any major travel plans for another 12 months so I’ll be sitting on mine, regardless.

  • Brian C. Lee

    How would it do that? There are other MR partners besides BA. Flying Blue, Aeroplan, VS, ANA, CX, SQ, etc.

  • jasmine

    got to go with the fixed value cards

  • Blake

    Exactly what I’m reading. I think that that’s happened here is that a blogger with a voice (not sure who) finally ran across this and posted it. Now everyone is panicking. I hate the fact that this has been publicly brought to light. But then there’s this – https://twitter.com/British_Airways/status/503893907118501889

  • Bryan

    @Joe….correct and Gary has already clarified. My concern is that so many bloggers simply followed his lead without doing their own research.

    http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2014/08/25/iberia-made-us-believe-devalued/#comments

  • Bryan

    Best post so far on this. Obviously a fact checker.

    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/50351

  • KHALID

    If British Airways change their chart , then people will shift to Emirates , especially on Asia routes . because there will be no reason to fly on scrap aircrafts

  • DavidLAX

    Whats makes you think this is in fact a devaluation on IB Avois?

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  • Lively

    Avios: The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

  • Joey

    LOL, you hit it on the nail Lively!!!!

  • Brian C. Lee

    Hyatt will never happen, their credit card is issued by Chase, and Chase doesn’t like it’s co-branded credit card programs to have deals with non-Chase issuers.

    BA seems to be an exception, but I assume that’s because their financial considerations are somewhat different being a non-US airline.

  • Joe

    Hey I got my first Chase BA Statement 8/28 – my statement date was 8/27. It says i have 53k pts – 3k from spend and 50k bonus. I don’t see any points in my avios. (I had my statement date pushed forward from 9/3 to 8/27). In my experience my United pts post the same date as the statement date. What’s people’s experience with Avios — when should I expect to see the pts hit my BA Avios acct? THANKS ALL!.

  • gigi lum

    Has Iberia raised their fuel surcharges? I just tried to book SAN-CLT-BOS-MAD-ORY-MAD-MIA-CLT-SAN in business and was quoted $1050.63 per person in taxes and fees. I just came back from a trip to on Iberia with a pretty similar itinerary LAX-STL-ORD-MAD-ORY-MAD-LAX and was charged less than $200 per person. Is this a glitch or do I need to cross Iberia off my list??? Say it ain’t so…

  • William William

    So did Iberia give any notice period under which one could still book awards at the old rates?

  • Steve

    Bizarrely, this would benefit me. I use Avios to fly Aer Lingus from Chicago to Dublin. It falls into the 3001-4001 category on BA so 40k return.

    The new 2000-4000 category would mean this was 36k return. Not many silver linings with this devaluation, but that’s one anyway.

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