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 a 50% bonus on purchased Avios
Through Wednesday, April 24, 2019, Iberia Plus is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios.
British Airways offered up to a 50% bonus on purchased Avios in February, but this is an even better deal.
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.
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.
With this promotion you can purchase a maximum of 300,000 Avios (including the 100,000 Avios bonus) at a cost of 3,601EUR. That’s ~4,050USD at current exchange rates, which is a cost of ~1.35 cents (USD) per Avios.
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 processes points purchases directly, which means the purchase of Avios should qualify as airfare spend. Therefore you’ll want to consider using one of the following cards for your purchase, since they offer the following bonus miles for airfare spend:
|Card||Points earned on airfare spend|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi Prestige Card||5x ThankYou points per dollar spent|
|American Express® Gold Card||3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi Premier℠ Card||3x ThankYou points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
Since I value many of those points at 1.7 cents each, you can earn up to an 8.5% return thanks to being able to earn 5x points on some those cards for these purchases.
Put another way, some might view that as a further 8.5% discount, which would bring down the cost per acquired Avios to ~1.24.
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 1.35 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?