Often buying points can represent a great value, especially for first and business class award redemptions, where redeeming miles represents a disproportionately good value.
So for those who like to buy miles, another airline has just rolled out a promotion on purchased miles, and it’s potentially a very good deal.
Iberia Offering 50% Bonus On Purchased Avios
Through Friday, December, 20, 2019, Iberia Plus is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios.
Ordinarily you can purchase at most 100,000 Avios (pre-bonus) per calendar year, though during this promotion Iberia has increased the cap to 200,000 Avios, meaning that you could purchase up to 300,000 Avios, including the 50% bonus (typically they raise the cap whenever they offer this promotion).
The bonus applies as long as you purchase at least 2,000 Avios in one transaction. However, the cost per purchased Avios does vary based on how many you buy, and you’ll get a lower cost per Avios if you buy more.
The Trick To Getting The Best Price On Avios
Now, there’s a trick to getting the best price. This is that you want the purchase to be priced in EUR rather than USD.
For example, if you buy 300,000 Avios (including the bonus) in USD you’d pay $5,523.
Meanwhile if you purchased 300,000 Avios (pre-bonus) in EUR you’d pay €3,601, which is ~$3,990. That’s a huge difference.
That means you could buy Avios for as little as ~1.33 cents (USD) per Avios.
So, how can you make sure you’re charged in EUR rather than USD? You just have to make sure that at the top of Iberia’s website you select the Spanish site rather than the US site (you can still use English as the language).
This shouldn’t violate any rules since you’re not claiming your account is registered there, or anything, but rather are just using that site. It should work just fine with a US credit card as well.
Personally I value Avios at 1.3 cents each, though there are ways to get outsized value thanks to their distance based award chart. I’d say this could represent a very good deal.
With Which Credit Card Should You Buy Avios?
Iberia points purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spend.
Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach a minimum spend, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending. Ordinarily I’d say the best cards for everyday spending are the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi® Double Cash Card (review), but those have foreign transaction fees, so I wouldn’t recommend using them if you’re paying in EUR.
You Can Transfer Iberia Avios To British Airways
While there are some good uses of Iberia Avios, you can also transfer Avios between British Airways and Iberia, assuming you’ve had both accounts open for at least 90 days, and the accounts have some activity. So potentially this is a good opportunity to buy British Airways Avios at a discount as well (though just make sure you’re aware of the restrictions on transfers).
For more on ideas for redeeming Avios, see this post.
There Are Other Ways To Earn Avios
While I think there’s a lot of value to be had with Avios, do keep in mind that there are quite a few ways to earn Avios with US credit cards. Iberia Plus is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Usually I wouldn’t speculatively recommend buying points, though a 50% bonus on purchased Iberia Avios is a solid deal, as you’re paying as little as 1.33 US cents per Avios. That’s a really good price.
There are some unique uses of Iberia Avios, or alternatively you can transfer them to British Airways, assuming you’ve had both accounts open for at least 90 days.
Do you plan on purchasing Iberia Avios with a 50% bonus?