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Iberia just joined the growing collection of loyalty programs selling miles at excellent rates. Through March 1, 2021, loyalty members can buy Avios with a 50% bonus. If maximized, this translates into paying as little as 1.5¢ per mile. But, you'll need to know a little trick to get this rate.
A Note on Buying Points
With all of the current financial uncertainty, now is not the best time to be speculatively buying miles or planning travel. In fact, we never recommend buying miles speculatively. Programs can devalue at any time, long-term travel plans can change, and the last thing anybody needs is a substantial investment in a currency they can't use.
That said, there are a few circumstances where buying points could represent terrific value, especially when they're on sale. If you only need a few more points to complete a redemption, buying points can be the simplest and fastest way. Moreover, if you're considering paying a cash rate for a premium class product or a particularly expensive route, it may be possible to save considerably by buying the points necessary for an award redemption instead. In either case, it's best to have a plan before making a purchase.
- Promotion valid on Avios purchases made now through March 1, 2021
- Buy at least 2,000 Avios to receive the maximum 50% bonus
- Iberia loyalty members may purchase a maximum of 200,000 Avios (300,000 with the bonus) per calendar year
- Purchased Avios are non-refundable
- Avios purchases can only be processed in Euros or U.S. Dollars
You'll get the best price per mile when you buy 100,000 or more.
Always Buy Iberia Avios in Euros
If you're accessing Iberia's website from the United States, chances are the prices displayed are in U.S. dollars. Unfortunately, Iberia charges a steep premium for buying Avios in dollars. Compare these two charts:
Let's compare the prices for purchasing 200,000 Avios. On the chart priced in Euros, 200,000 Avios costs €3,601. At the current exchange rate of €1 = $1.21, you might expect the price in dollars to be around $4,375. Yet, the dollar menu lists the price as $5,523—representing over a 26% premium for the same amount of Avios.
Thankfully, switching the currency is pretty straightforward. Simply scroll up to the header of the website, and change your region preference to España. You can leave your language preference as English if you prefer.
Keep in mind that Iberia's website can be a little quirky. You may have to navigate to another page first before you can switch regions.
When Does Buying Iberia Avios Make Sense?
Iberia's Avios program is full of value to be had as long as you know where to look. Some of our favorite uses for Avios are on off-peak Iberia flights in business class across the Atlantic, round trip short-haul flights on AA, and cheap connecting flights to the Caribbean. Let's take a look at some of these sweets spots to see if you can save money by buying Avios instead of paying a cash rate.
*Keep in mind that due to COVID-19, cash fares are now exceptionally low. Naturally, this affects (lowers) the cent per point value we would typically see with the following award examples.
Chicago — Madrid in Iberia Business Class (off-peak)
- Mileage Rate: 68,000 Avios + $240.84 round-trip
- Cash Price: $1,912 round-trip
- Redemption Rate: 2.45 cents per mile
- Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.5¢ each): $1,020 round-trip
Los Angeles — Denver in American Airlines Economy
- Mileage Rate: 17,000 Avios + $11.20 round-trip
- Cash Price: $295 round-trip
- Redemption Rate: 1.67 cents per mile
- Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.5¢ each): $255 round-trip
Charlotte — Georgetown, The Bahamas in American Airlines Business Class
- Mileage Rate: 34,000 Avios + $132.99 round-trip
- Cash Price: $690 round-trip
- Redemption Rate: 1.64 cents per mile
- Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.5¢ each): $510 round-trip
Maximizing Your Purchase
Points.com processes purchases of Iberia Avios. Therefore, the purchase won't qualify for any applicable travel category bonus offered on some credit cards. With that in mind, we typically recommend making purchases like this with a great ‘everyday spending' credit card.
However, there is a caveat in this case. Since the transaction has to be made in Euros to achieve the best value, these Avios purchases will likely process as a foreign transaction. To make the most of an Avios purchase while avoiding a foreign transaction fee, some of the best credit cards to use include:
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
- Discover it® Miles
Other Ways to Earn Iberia Avios
One of the easiest (and cheapest) ways of topping off your balance is by transferring points from partners. For Iberia, it's particularly easy to accumulate Avios as it's a transfer partner with three of the five major currencies, including:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Points — 1:1 transfer ratio (transfers process immediately)
- Amex Membership Rewards Points — 1:1 transfer ratio (transfers process immediately)
- Marriott Bonvoy Points — 3:1 transfer ratio, with a 5,000 Avios bonus for transfer 60,000 points (transfers typically take one to two days)
Iberia also partners with British Airways and Aer Lingus—the other two airlines under the AIG umbrella that also utilize the Avios currency. Thanks to this partnership, members of any of these programs can transfer Avios to the others freely, provided their account is old enough and the personal information matches.
This partnership can be particularly useful if there's a transfer bonus to British Airways or Aer Lingus. Members can take advantage of the transfer bonus, and then move the Avios to Iberia.
Finally, you can earn Iberia Avios through a co-branded credit card sign-up bonus. Chase partners with all three of the IAG partners, and—since Avios can be transferred interchangeably—you can utilize any of them to earn a respectable amount of Iberia Avios:
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
- Plus earn a Travel Together Ticket after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 5 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 3 Avios.
- Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 2 Avios. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
- Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
- Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
- Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It's fast, easy and secure!
- 3X Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL
- 2X Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations
- 1X Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Iberia's program has its quirks, for sure, but it also presents several distinctive sweet spots. While we never recommend buying miles speculatively, a 50% bonus provides numerous scenarios where it's possible to come out ahead. Just make sure you have a plan.
Are you buying Iberia Avios with a 50% bonus?
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