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Iberia’s current Avios sale has only been running for a little under two weeks but tomorrow is the last day to take part and, assuming you’re happy to book flights for travel between now and the end of 3Q 2021, this is a sale that is probably worth considering. The cost per mile is good, award availability is (unsurprisingly) very good, and with Iberia offering a number of low-surcharge award options there could be some nice deals to be had here.
Latest Iberia Plus Avios Sale
- Promotion valid through 6 November 2020 (TOMORROW!)
- The Purchaser can purchase a maximum of 200,000 Avios in any one calendar year.
- Only Euros and US Dollars are accepted as payment currency.
- A maximum of 200,000 Avios can be purchased in a single calendar year.
- Purchased Avios are not refundable once confirmed.
Full terms and conditions are on the promotion page.
- Buy 2,000 – 15,000 Avios and get a 20% Bonus
- Buy 20,000 – 35,000 Avios and get a 30% Bonus
- Buy 40,000 – 90,000 Avios and get a 35% Bonus
- Buy 100,000 – 200,000 Avios and get a 45% Bonus
There are two key things to know here:
- Even though you’ll earn a 45% bonus by purchasing as few as 100,000 Avios, the cost of each Avios will still decrease the more you buy
- Buying Iberia Avios in dollars (e.g. through the US website) is more expensive than buying Avios in Euros (e.g. through Iberia’s European website) but because there are no restrictions on who can use the European/Spanish websites, everyone should be able to make the most of the cheaper Euro pricing.
Here’s an example to show what I mean:
Buying a total of 290,000 Avios (including bonus) through the Iberia USA website would cost a total of $5,523.
Buying the same number of Avios through Iberia’s Spanish portal would cost €3,601 or approximately $4,254. That’s over $1,200 cheaper.
$4,254 for 290,000 Avios works out to a cost/Avios of ~1.47 cents
Why Iberia Plus?
I’ve mentioned Iberia Plus before as it’s a loyalty program to which everyone who collects Avios should belong, and there are 3 main reasons for this:
- Lower fees added to reward flights booked using Iberia Plus Avios (compared to British Airways)
- Fewer Avios needed on some long haul routes when compared to the British Airways Executive Club
- Different peak and off-peak seasons to British Airways Executive Club
What all this means is that Avios in an Iberia Plus account can often be put to better use than a similar number of Avios in a British Airways Executive Club account.
Is This Sale A Good Deal?
During off-peak season you can book an Iberia Plus Business Class redemptions for travel from the US to Europe from 42,500 Avios one-way or 85,000 Avios roundtrip (total taxes shouldn’t exceed ~$230).
If you’re using Avios bought in this sale to book this award, that’s can be a very good deal as, at 1.47 cents/Avios, an off-peak Miami – Madrid roundtrip Business Class redemption would cost approximately $1,480 including all taxes and fees. You’re unlikely to find many Business Class non-stop cash fares on full-service carriers that can compete with that price.
If you’re originating in Europe there are some similarly great deals to be had…like this one to Rio:
Once again a roundtrip fare will cost 85,000 Avios and the surcharges you can expect to pay shouldn’t exceed $200 (which is what I paid when I traveled on this itinerary last year). 85,000 Avios at ~1.47 cents each would cost ~$1,250 so the whole roundtrip Business Class flight including taxes would cost no more than $1,450.
The further you fly the less amazing the deal becomes as the number of Avios required for the redemption increases disproportionately to the cash price you’d have to pay for the same flights…but there are still other good deals to be had if you put in a bit of time to find them.
Short-haul routes can be where Avios really shine – especially at 1.47 cents each and especially on traditionally expensive routes.
Very short routes (600 miles each way or under) cost 15,000 Avios roundtrip and, at 1.47 cents/Avios that comes to approximately $220…and that’s a lot less than you’ll often have to pay for routes like Dallas – Austin or New York – Washington D.C.
Don’t Use The Wrong Credit Card
Iberia Avios sales are processed by Points.com so that eliminates the scope to earn a travel/flight/airline bonus by using a credit card that offers bonus points for shopping in one of those categories…but that doesn’t mean that you should simply use whatever credit card you feel like using. The cheapest Iberia Avios are available for purchases made in Euros so make sure you don’t use a credit card that charges foreign transaction fees.
This would be a very good opportunity to boost your spending towards a welcome bonus on a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees (like the Amex Gold Card which is currently offering a 60,000 point welcome bonus) or to boost your earnings of a currency that you particularly like. I, for example, would probably use my Chase Sapphire Reserve Card if I was to buy Avios as I can never have too many Ultimate Rewards points (despite the fact that I would only earn 1 point/dollar).
Whichever card works best for you is the best card to use…just make sure it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
As usual, it’s all about the math (and, thanks to Covid, also about which countries will allow you to visit!).
If you fly a lot of short-haul flights that are often expensively priced then buying Avios at 1.47 cents each can be a very good deal. If you can find Business Class award availability across the Atlantic (preferably in Iberia’s off-peak season) then buying miles in this promotion can be an excellent deal.
The best way forward is to work out on which routes you’re likely to use Avios, check out how many Avios you’ll need, check to make sure you’re actually allowed to visit your chosen destination, and then check how easy it is to find award space. If things line up then it’s probably safe to buy in this promotion and you’re probably getting a very good deal…otherwise, just move on.