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Purchasing airline miles or hotel points generally isn’t a great value, but that all changes when a lucrative bonus is announced. Spanish airline Iberia just announced one such promotion; now through December 31, you can get up to 50% bonus points when purchasing Avios. And unlike many other similar promotions, there’s no need to buy a large amount to get this sweet bonus. You’ll get a 50% bonus even when buying just 2,000 Avios.
If you maximize this promotion, you can purchase Avios at just 1.36 cents each. That’s less than TPG’s valuation, which pegs Avios at 1.5 cents each, making this promotion certainly worth a look if you know how to utilize the Iberia Plus or British Airways Executive Club programs. For those that need a refresher, here’s some of our tips on how to maximize Iberia Avios and — since you can transfer Iberia Avios to BA Avios at 1:1 — how to maximize British Airways Avios.
Here’s one example I stumbled across just recently: American Airlines award flights for 17,000 Avios per person for an itinerary for which AA was simultaneously charging 80,000 AAdvantage miles:
Iberia awards on American Airlines flights start at just 11,000 Avios round-trip plus around $20 in taxes. At the maximized 1.36 cents per Avios purchase rate, that means that you can score short-haul American Airlines awards for as little as $170 including taxes and fees. Longer trips of up to 2,000 total flight miles cost 17,000 Avios. Those Avios would cost $231 at the 1.36 cents purchase rate.
TPG Senior Editor Nick Ewen recently got some incredible value from his Iberia for a round-trip flight from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Charlotte (CLT), redeeming 17,000 Avios + $18.70.
That exact same flight would’ve set him back over $700 out-of-pocket!
Another great use of Avios is flying in Iberia business class across the Atlantic. Flights on off-peak dates start at 68,000 Avios round-trip plus around $200 in taxes in fees from gateways in the Northeast. At 1.36 cents each, those Avios would cost $925 — bringing the total cost to roughly $1,135 for a transatlantic round-trip in business class.
Even if you aren’t buying at the optimal rate, you can still get a great deal. If you already have or can transfer some Avios, you can buy 67,500 Avios for exactly $959. Adding in the taxes and fees, that brings the total cost to $1,169 round-trip.
Details of This Promotion
The regular price for buying Iberia Avios starts as high as 2.7 Euro cents per point, which is currently 3.06 US cents per Avios. But, you can drop that price to as low as 1.2 Euro cents per point (~1.36 US cents) with this promotion. While you’ll get the 50% bonus at any purchase level, the purchase rate varies depending on how many Avios you buy.
To save you the math, here are all of your options for buying Avios with this promotion:
|Bonus Avios||Total Avios||Cost
How to Buy Iberia Avios
To take advantage of the promotion, follow these steps:
- Log into your Iberia Plus account.
- At the top of the webpage, select “Buying or transferring Avios” through the Iberia Plus menu. You can also try this link.
- Select Purchase next to “All Iberia Plus customers.”
- Select the number of Avios you’d like to buy.
- Add your credit card details.
- Review the information, check the box to agree to the Terms and Conditions and click Pay Now to finalize the purchase.
There’s a standard limit of 100,000 purchased Avios per calendar year, per account. However, this limit is being elevated to a maximum of 200,000 Avios per calendar year for this promotion.
Which Credit Card to Use
First, as the purchase currency is Euros, it’s important that you choose a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. Since this transaction is processed by Points.com, these purchases likely will not code as travel. So, you won’t get 3x points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Citi Premier Card. However, there is one exception: we’ve noticed that the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has earned 3x points per dollar spent on Points.com. If you don’t have that card yet, you’ll want to use the best non-bonus category credit card for your situation.
Other Avios Purchase Promotions
This promotion is occurring at the same time as another Iberia buy Avios promotion. Currently, you can buy Avios packages through Groupon. While there was an opportunity to score Avios at just 0.97 cents each, the cheapest package sold out and the shopping portal bonus has returned to normal levels. Nevertheless, you can still purchase Avios for as little as 1.37 US cents each rate after portal bonuses:
- 4,000 Avios + 108 bonus Avios for 54 euros (~$61, or 1.49 cents each)
- 8,000 Avios + 198 bonus Avios for 99 euros (~$112, or 1.37 cents each)
- 15,000 Avios + 378 bonus Avios for 189 euros (~$215, or 1.40 cents each)
- 20,000 Avios + 498 bonus Avios for 249 euros (~$283, or 1.38 cents each)
- 35,000 Avios + 878 bonus Avios for 439 euros (~$498, or 1.39 cents each)
Alternatives to Buying Avios
Iberia Plus is a partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1) and American Express Membership Rewards (1:1). In TPG testing, Chase points transfer to Iberia Avios instantly but Amex points take about 48 hours arrive, so be sure to factor in that timeline if you’re trying to transfer Amex points directly to Iberia Plus for an award ticket.
However, if you have a British Airways account that’s been open for at least 90 days, you can transfer Amex points to British Airways Avios instantaneously (1:1) and then transfer BA Avios to Iberia Avios (also 1:1). In addition to the 90-day rule, you need to make sure your personal information is listed identically in both carriers’ systems before you’re allowed to transfer between accounts. Your birth date, email address and name all have to match exactly before the transfer can occur.
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards