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Every now and then frequent flyer promotions come along that are seemingly too good to be true. That usually means one of three things. Either, they are indeed too good to be true and they will implode on anyone attempting to take advantage. Or, they are only good if you go in quickly before the company offering the deal realizes just how good the offer really was and changes it. You may then be left to have to fight tooth and nail to have the original terms honored. The final option is the rarest of the three, and it is that the promotion is just really as good as stated, the company knows full well what they are offering, and everything works out fine.
With that in mind, yesterday the Frequent Miler shared an Iberia Avios promotion valid for up to 90,000 bonus Avios that seemed like it was going to fall into one of the first two categories. I didn’t write about it then until I had more information because busy parents just don’t have time for big risks and potential headaches that can come with promotions that go belly-up.
Earn up to 90,000 bonus Iberia Avios with a limited-time promotion
However, Iberia has confirmed via email that the promotion is correct as interpreted. You really can earn 9,000 bonus Iberia Avios per booking, up to 90,000 total bonus Avios. While the bonus miles are taken back if you refund your booking, if you ultimately just ‘miss’ your flight for some reason or another, you keep the Avios. This means that Iberia Plus frequent flyer members can find the cheapest flights operated by Iberia, Iberia Express, or Iberia Regional Air Nostrum, book by June 24, 2018, and get 9,000 bonus Avios deposited into your account within 10 days of purchase.
The promotion is available when the tickets are bought on iberia.com in the following countries: Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Russia, United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Mexico and USA, regardless of the origin of the flight.
Terms and conditions
Special offer of an extra 9,000 Avios for each ticket purchased between 21 and 24 June 2018 (maximum of 90,000 promotional Avios per member) on iberia.com for a flight operated by Iberia, Iberia Express or Air Nostrum. The Avios will be added within 10 days of the purchase to the Iberia Plus account of all customers identified as members of the Iberia Plus programme during the purchase process.
If the customer requests a refund, either because it is permitted by the fare or for any other reason, the promotional Avios will be withdrawn from their account. The extra promotional Avios not redeemed by 1 December 2018 will be withdrawn from the customer’s account. The redemption terms and conditions are subject to the general terms and conditions of the Iberia Plus programme.
For example, if a customer purchases tickets on Iberia.com for three people to fly from Seville to Madrid and two of the people are identified as Iberia Plus members during the purchase process, 9,000 Avios will be credited to both of these people within 10 days of the purchase. These two people must have redeemed at least 9,000 Avios by 1 December 2018, or this same amount of Avios will be withdrawn from their account.
Find the least expensive Iberia flights
To find the least expensive eligible flights, I went to Google Flights, selected Explore Destinations out of Madrid, limited the airline to just ‘OneWorld’ options so I wasn’t seeing the low-cost carriers like RyanAir, and then looked for the cheapest destinations on various dates. I believe there were some $19 Iberia fares until this promo started to blow up overnight. The cheapest bookable options I personally found today were around $34 – $35 each way.
The Iberia flight I booked for $34.12 will earn me 9,000 bonus Avios that came at a cost of $0.00379 per Avios. That is a little over 1/3 of a penny each, which is a number I am more than comfortable with given how I usually redeem Avios. I can use these points to fly round trip from Houston – Vail in economy on American Airlines for 17,000 Iberia Avios, assuming American releases saver award space. If all goes well, at this price per Avios, the award will cost me about $65 plus taxes and fees.
Some of the least expensive Iberia destinations out of Madrid that I found today were:
- Santiago de Compostela Airport SCQ
- Seville Airport SVQ
- Palma de Mallorca Airport PMI
- That said, you may do better than me in terms of finding cheap flights, so start digging around for low prices on Iberia, Iberia Express, and Iberia Regional Air Nostrum!
Update: Thanks to a Mommy Points’ reader who pointed out that Santander – Madrid is pricing at around $27 in February and March.
Risks for the Iberia 90,000 bonus Avios promotion
Some caveats to be aware of largely center around how incredibly buggy the Iberia website can be. Theoretically, when it comes time to redeem your Avios, you can book awards on partner American Airlines starting at 11,000 Avios per round trip. I’ve also seen lie-flat business class Iberia awards from the United States to Madrid start as low as 25,500 Avios + taxes each way. I’ve successfully made award bookings in the Iberia program in the past, however, I’ve also had plenty of situations when the website just doesn’t work. It times out. It freezes. It locks me out. It won’t let me do more than a handful of searches. It says my password is wrong. The list goes on and on. When it works, I am thrilled. When it doesn’t, I’m not surprised.
If you don’t want to mess with all that, you can transfer your Iberia Avios to British Airways if your accounts both meet some criteria in terms of how long they have been open and whether you have earned any points. However, the British Airways site is also buggy when it comes to booking awards, especially on partners such as American Airlines. I suppose it is also possible there will be some restriction on transferring out these bonus Avios, though I haven’t seen that written anywhere.
Update: Looks like these Avios may not be eligible for transfer to British Airways under the usual terms as per a statement given to Loyalty Lobby.
I’m already in for one purchase via this promo, but I don’t recommend it for everyone even though the math is fantastic. After just one purchase I’ve been locked out and my account insists my password is wrong (it’s not). I’m not sure if I will be able to make additional purchases before the promo ends on June 24, 2018, simply because the website is very unreliable.
However, if you are comfortable with the tech bugs and can make the website work long enough to make some purchases, this promotion is fantastic. There are risks with everything, but I’m willing to take a few risks at a price of about 1/3 a cent per Avios. Just remember, the bonus Avios you earn must be used by December 1, 2018.
If you want to simply go in small on the promotion to mitigate your risks, just purchase two one-way tickets to earn 18,000 total bonus Avios. You will then have enough Avios for a round trip journey on American Airlines of 2,000 total miles or less for under $70 spent. I put my purchase on our Platinum Card® from American Express so that I earned 5x Membership Reward points on the airfare purchase. I don’t normally use this card for our flights as I have better built-in travel protections on other cards, but in this case, I didn’t care that about travel protections.
Anyone else pricing out a few Iberia flights by June 24, 2018?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.