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 45% bonus on purchased Avios
Through Friday, November 6, 2020, Iberia Plus is offering up to a 45% bonus on purchased Avios. The promotion is tiered, and you get a bigger bonus the more Avios you buy, as follows:
- Buy 2,000+ Avios, get a 20% bonus
- Buy 20,000+ Avios, get a 30% bonus
- Buy40,000+ Avios, get a 35% bonus
- Buy 100,000+ Avios, get a 45% bonus
In the past you could purchase at most 100,000 Avios (pre-bonus) per calendar year, though that limit was recently increased, and you can now purchase up to 200,000 Avios. This means that through this promotion you could purchase up to 290,000 Avios, including the 45% 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.
While this could represent a good deal, I’d note we’ve seen better deals in the past. Typically when Iberia offers a bonus on purchased Avios:
- It’s a 50% bonus, rather than a 45% bonus
- You get the maximum bonus by buying at least 2,000 Avios, while now you need to purchase at least 100,000 Avios to get the biggest bonus
The trick to getting the best price on Avios
There’s a trick to getting the best price — you want the purchase to be priced in EUR rather than USD.
For example, if you buy 290,000 Avios (including the bonus) in USD you’d pay $5,523.
Meanwhile, if you purchased 290,000 Avios in EUR you’d pay €3,601, which is ~$4,272. That’s a huge difference.
That means you could buy Avios for as little as ~1.47 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, and all of them offer huge welcome bonuses of up to 100K Avios, plus lots of great long-term benefits:
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card (review)
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card (review)
- Iberia Visa Signature® Card (review)
Iberia Plus is offering a 45% bonus on purchased Avios, which has the potential to represent a solid deal. You could be purchasing Avios for as little as 1.47 cents each, which is a solid price. However, I’d note that we’ve seen some 50% bonuses in the past.
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 45% bonus?