Often buying points can represent a great value, especially for first and business class award redemptions, where redeeming miles represents a disproportionately good deal.
For those who like to buy miles, another airline has just rolled out a promotion on purchased miles, and it’s potentially a good deal.
Iberia offering 50% bonus on purchased Avios
Through Monday, March 1, 2021, Iberia Plus is offering up to a 50% bonus on purchased Avios.
With this promotion you can receive a 50% bonus if you purchase anywhere between 2,000 and 200,000 Avios in one transaction (with 200,000 also being the limit on how many Avios you can buy in a calendar year, pre-bonus).
With Iberia Plus the cost per purchased Avios varies based on how many you buy, and you’ll get a lower cost per Avios if you buy more. A 50% bonus is in line with the best offers we see from Iberia Plus on purchasing Avios.
The trick to getting the best price on Avios
There’s a trick to getting the best price when buying Iberia Avios — 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 in EUR you’d pay €3,601, which is ~$4,343. That’s a huge difference.
That means you could buy Avios for as little as ~1.45 cents (USD) each.
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 the distance-based award chart. I’d say this could represent a solid 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 spending.
Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach a minimum spending, 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. Therefore this is potentially 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.
Other great 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.
On top of that, there are three credit cards issued in the US that earn Avios:
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card (review)
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card (review)
- Iberia Visa Signature® Card (review)
Iberia Plus is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios, which has the potential to represent a solid deal. You could be purchasing Avios for as little as 1.45 cents each, which is potentially attractive.
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?
(Tip of the hat to YHBU)