Iberia Devalues Avios Award Chart, Is British Airways Next?

Aug 25, 2014

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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. 

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