A few weeks ago, there was an incredible award sale with the Spanish airline, Iberia. You could book a one-way ticket to/from Madrid, Spain on Iberia for 10,000 Avios in economy or 20,000 Avios in business class. That’s smoking. Jordan and I were able to hop on this deal, but it took some work.
As you can see, Iberia has Avios miles just like British Airways. And guess what? They can be combined. But before you start celebrating, there are a few hoops you’ll need to jump through in order to combine your Avios.
1. Your Iberia Plus account must be open for at least 90 days
2. Your Iberia Plus account must have some activity
As I’ve written before, using Avios on Iberia flights can be a great deal (look above) because the fuel surcharges are low.
Here are tips that you need to know so you can have your Iberia Plus account ready the next time they have an award sale or you want to make your way over to Spain. Enjoy.
Signing up for Iberia
This is the easy part – so easy a noob could do it. Just go to the Iberia website and sign up for their Plus loyalty program. Oh, make sure you change the language to english, unless you’re fluent in Spanish.
Remember your Iberia Plus account must be active for at least 3 months before you can combine Avios from British Airways.
Not only does your Iberia account have to be open for 3 months; you must show some activity before you’re able to combine your Avios between Iberia and British Airways. So many rules.
When the most recent award sale became available, I already had my Iberia account open for well over 3 months but I didn’t have any activity. What was I to do? I went to the Iberia site and purchased the smallest increment of Iberia Avios I could, which was 2,000 Avios miles. 2,000 Iberia Avios miles cost me 54 euro, and it took a nerve-racking 24 hours for my Avios to show up. But they eventually did, and I was then able to combine my Avios and book the business class award tickets.
Another cheaper way to activate your Iberia account is to transfer in some American Express Membership Reward points.
For some odd reason, during the weekend of the sale, the option to transfer Membership Rewards points to Iberia online wasn’t available. You had to call in and it took around 24 hours for the points to post in Iberia Plus.
An even better way was when there was a Facebook promotion that let you earn 15 Iberia Avios, but that has died. Sad face.
Combining British Airways & Iberia Avios on the British Airways website
Ok, now that your Iberia Plus account has been open for over 3 months and there has been some activity, you’re ready to combine your Avios. Here’s how you can combine Avios on the British Airways site.
Log in to British Airways Executive Club
Click on Combine my Avios.
Scroll down the page and click the red “Combine my Avios” again, and from there you will be on the page where you can complete the transfer by adding your Iberia Plus credentials.
Next, choose how many Avios you would like to combine.
After selecting how many Avios, you will confirm your transfer.
After that, you’re golden. The Avios miles will instantly be in your Iberia account. I like instant. You will receive a confirmation email confirming your transfer, of course.
You can only make transfers between “your” accounts, meaning the names, birth dates, and addresses should match on both accounts. If you have a British Airways household account, the Avios must be in your personal BA account to be transferred to your Iberia account.
Combining British Airways & Iberia Avios on the Iberia website
Unfortunately, the option to combine Avios wasn’t initially available on the British Airways site when I was trying to combine my Avios. Imagine that. The British Airways site was being buggy. The good thing is that you can combine Avios from the Iberia site too, so I did. Here’s how.
Log into your Iberia Plus account & click My Avios.
Then scroll down and click Buying or Transferring Avios.
Scroll down and you can see the link hidden at the very bottom of the page where you can combine your Avios miles.
From there, you can follow the same steps mentioned above from the British Airways site. Input your British Airways creds – Combine – Review – Confirm.
The Value of Earning Avios
The value with transferring Avios from British Airways to Iberia Plus for flights on Iberia can be tremendous. Jordan and I are flying business class from Madrid to Chicago for only 20,000 points each. That’s crazy.
But beyond the award fare sales Iberia will have, they also charge less fuel surcharges than British Airways for longer international flights. That means it cheaper to book Iberia flights through Iberia’s website than on the British Airways site. Check out this Noobtastic post for example.
Since I’m going to be in Madrid, I was looking into some award flights to hop around to Rome, Barcelona, and Milan. And Iberia delivers again as an option. Check out this fare for Madrid to Milan.
Boom. That’s a nice price for an international short hop. So don’t forget to check Iberia’s site when you’re abroad and looking for some cheap flights.
My love for Avios goes way deeper than Iberia, so I think they should be a part of everyone’s award plan. Here are a few of my other posts with the cray cray value of Avios.
- 50,000 round-trip flights in business class to Dublin
- Short domestic hops on AA
- Air Berlin redemptions
- Getting to Hawaii cheaply
Another reason I love British Airways Avios is because they’re just so darn easy to accumulate. First, there’s the Chase co-branded British Airways Visa Signature® Card, which earn 1.25 per $1 spent, is a chip & sign card, and has no foreign transaction fees. There’s often a spending tier bonus on the card that can sometimes reward you with another 50k Avios (beyond the sign-up bonus) if you spend $20,000. Currently, that offer is not live.
And since British Airways is a transfer partner of the Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards programs, you can easily top off your accounts if you hold the Ink Plus® Business Card , Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Ink Bold® Business Charge Card. All the offers on the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards are solid and worth looking into. The personal American Express Premier, Business Gold, and personal Platinum cards that earn Membership Rewards points are great rewards cards too, but I would check the CARDMATCHTM tool to see if you’re eligible for one of the 50,000 – 100,000 offers.
Sign up and activate your Iberia account today! Don’t wait, because in three months there may be another award fare sale and I wouldn’t want you to miss out. Plus, you may have a hankering for Spain and Iberia can be a very affordable way to make your way over there.
And start stock piling those Avios, so you have them ready to burn when the time is right.
I hope this helps and don’t hesitate to email or comment below if you have any questions.
(Disclaimer: You can support the site by applying for the rewards cards mentioned in this post. Thanks for the support if you do! Of course, don’t apply for any cards if your credit isn’t in good condition or you can’t manage your spending.)
— Geoff Whitmore