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You may have up to 90,000 Iberia Avios to spend today. If you took part in the 9,000 bonus Avios per flight promotion this summer, those Avios expire on December 1, 2018 if not booked for something by then.
I’ve not seen any official statement of the exact time zone and time that these will expire. Book early.
You can book as far out as their booking calendar allows. To be extra safe, book awards for travel prior to the date of all those flights you booked to earn the Avios.
The terms prohibit transfer to British Airways / avios.com. The Avios actually can be transferred and there are differing theories about what will happen to accounts that have transferred the Avios out. Will the Iberia account go to a negative balance? Will there be a mechanism to claw them back from BA / avios/com? We don’t know.
I am impressed Iberia lived up to its end of the deal so I think it sporting to honor that in return. How to spend 90,000 Iberia Avios in a hurry?
The Link to Use
The Iberia site has its issues. The error screen is copyright 2013 and you can end up in various loops seeing it.
Use this link to log-in and go direct to flight award searches. It even works on mobile.
Transferring in Avios to Top Up for an Award
- From British Airways Executive Club / Avios.com (if you can get them to work)
- From Chase Ultimate Rewards
- From American Express Membership Rewards (24-48 hours)
Booking for Others
All of the Iberia Plus awards I’ve tested have been easy to book for people other than the account holder.
For flights you enter the information to add the person as an Iberia Plus Beneficiary and specify your relationship to them. ‘Other’ is an option and is instantly added for booking.
To be extra safe I made sure the beneficiaries already has Iberia Plus accounts that I included in beneficiary registration.
No Household Accounts
Sorry, Iberia does not have household accounts.
Iberia / LEVEL / British Airways flights
Iberia, LEVEL, and British Airways flights are the most flexible to book in that they allow one-way bookings.
Both have peak and off-peak charts, with different respective dates, where flights are discounted.
Note that while Avios prices are often similar between Iberia Plus and British Airways Executive Club, the cash surcharges can vary widely, and not always in Iberia’s favor. Several domestic Spanish flights I took had slightly higher cash components when booking with Iberia Plus.
You can book online.
Partner Airline Flights
Iberia Plus partner airline flights is a huge subject with award charts by airline. Consult a guide online. Here are some quick tips:
- A number of airline partners are online, though not all
- Alaska Airlines is NOT a partner (if searching aa.com for award availability, watch out for Alaska flights)
- Pricing is distance-based though not additive segment by segment like BA (example: booking Seattle-Puerto Vallarta on AA is cheaper to connect in Phoenix than Dallas or Miami)
- Round-trip required
- Mixed cabins allowed, select from the search results
- Co-terminals allowed (example: I had Seattle to Washington National, Baltimore to Seattle)
- No changes or redeposits
Hotel Awards, Cars, Travel Experiences
You can redeem Avios for hotel nights, cars, and travel experiences. The rates may not be the greatest in other circumstances. When you’ve got Avios to burn, these are fast and easy. Treat it as permission to try a non-points hotel.
The travel experiences seem to be add-ons to hotel or car bookings rather than something you can book independently.
1. Hotel bookings are available for all Avios or Avios&Money to top off a booking. Avios&Money can seem best when you are close to enough Avios for an award and they only add $65. The charges quickly skyrocket when needing more Avios.
2. Be very specific in your search. Don’t just enter airport codes. When looking at Maui, searching OGG Airport gets 3 properties:
Searching Wailea you get 5 results, including the Grand Wailea A Waldorf Astoria that coincidentally for a date I was searching is 89,200 Avios. Remeber, you paid around $300 for those 90,000 Avios.
3. Prices listed are for the base room. When you select a hotel, premium rooms may be available for a higher price.
4. Rooms are supposedly fully prepaid including and taxes or (resort) fees, unless otherwise noted.
5. Do not expect to get an hotel program elite status benefit. It is always worth inquiring at the hotel.
6. The website says rooms are nonrefundable. My booking terms were actually these, showing the equivalent cash rates the hotel is paying. In this scenario it is not likely you will get your Avios back anyway, because of the promotion.
How We Used 90,000 x 4 = 360,000 Avios
Based in Seattle, we used for three trips to New York JFK on American for 64,000 business.
Same pricing also got us one Seattle to Washington, DC via Chicago for in business (this one I topped off my account with BA Avios)
Same pricing also got us Seattle to Puerto Vallarta via Phoenix, one in business, one in economy, with a 2,000 Avios top-up. 64,000 + 28,000 = 92,000.
The last 26,000 each in two accounts we redeemed for a Four Seasons hotel for an off-season weekend getaway.