Through June 24, 2022, Iberia Plus loyalty members can buy Avios with a 50% bonus. If maximized, U.S. accountholders can buy Avios for as little as 1.84¢ per Avios. Meanwhile, members based in Europe can pay as little as 1.2 Euro cents (US 1.26¢) per Avios.

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A Note on Buying Points

With all of the current financial uncertainty, now is not the best time to be speculatively buying miles or planning travel. In fact, we never recommend buying miles speculatively. Programs can devalue at any time, long-term travel plans can change, and the last thing anybody needs is a substantial investment in a currency they can’t use. 

That said, there are a few circumstances where buying points could represent terrific value, especially when they’re on sale. If you only need a few more points to complete a redemption, buying points can be the simplest and fastest way. Moreover, if you’re considering paying a cash rate for a premium class product or a particularly expensive route, it may be possible to save considerably by buying the points necessary for an award redemption instead. In either case, it’s best to have a plan before making a purchase.

Key Terms

  • Promotion valid on Avios purchases made through June 24, 2022
  • Buy at least 2,000 Avios to receive the maximum 50% bonus
  • Iberia loyalty members may purchase a maximum of 150,000 Avios (225,000 with the bonus) per calendar year
  • Purchased Avios are non-refundable
  • Avios purchases are processed in Euros, Great British Pounds, or U.S. Dollars — depending on the registered country of the Iberia Plus account.
  • You cannot purchase Avios if your current balance is 0 miles, so you may have to transfer some Chase Ultimate Rewards (transfers are immediate)

You’ll get the best price per mile when you buy 100,000 or more (before the bonus).

If You Can, Buy Iberia Avios in Euros

The rate for buying Iberia Avios depends on which country your Iberia Plus account is registered. And unfortunately, Iberia charges a steep premium for buying Avios in U.S. dollars vs. Euros. Compare these two charts:

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Let’s compare the prices for purchasing 150,000 Avios. On the chart priced in Euros, 150,000 Avios costs €2,705. At the current exchange rate of €1 = $1.05, you might expect the price in dollars to be around $2,842. Yet, the dollar menu lists the price as $4,149—representing a 46% premium for the same amount of Avios.

Members used to be able to trick Iberia into changing the currency to Euros by simply changing your region preference to Europe:

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However, Iberia has closed this loophole. Now: “the transaction currency will be pre-determined based on the registered country of the Iberia Plus account.” With that said, Iberia doesn’t ask for proof of residency when changing the address on your account…

At current exchange rates, buying Iberia Avios in Euros costs as little as 1.26 US cents per Avios.

When Does Buying Iberia Avios Make Sense?

Iberia’s Avios program is full of value to be had as long as you know where to look. Some of our favorite uses for Avios are on off-peak Iberia flights in business class across the Atlantic and short-haul flights on AA. Let’s take a look at some of these sweets spots to see if you can save money by buying Avios instead of paying a cash rate.

Chicago — Madrid in Iberia Business Class (off-peak)

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  • Mileage Rate: 68,000 Avios + $308.31 round-trip
  • Cash Price: $3,045 round-trip
  • Redemption Rate: 4.02 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.26¢ each): $857 each way
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.84¢ each): $1,254 each way

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Charlotte — Grand Cayman in American Airlines Economy

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  • Mileage Rate: 18,000 Avios + $131 round-trip
  • Cash Price: $654 round-trip
  • Redemption Rate: 2.9 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.26¢ each): $113 each way
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.84¢ each): $166 each way

 

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Los Angeles — Vancouver in American Airlines Business Class

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  • Mileage Rate: 18,000 Avios + $59 round-trip
  • Cash Price: $885 round-trip
  • Redemption Rate: 2.5 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.26¢ each): $113 each way
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.84¢ each): $166 each way

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Maximizing Your Purchase

Points.com processes purchases of Iberia Avios. Therefore, the purchase won’t qualify for any applicable travel category bonus offered on some credit cards. With that in mind, we typically recommend making purchases like this with a great ‘everyday spending’ credit card.

However, there is a caveat in this case. Since the transaction has to be made in Euros to achieve the best value, these Avios purchases will likely process as a foreign transaction. To make the most of an Avios purchase while avoiding a foreign transaction fee, some of the best credit cards to use include:

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
  • Discover it® Miles

Other Ways to Earn Iberia Avios

One of the easiest (and cheapest) ways of topping off your balance is by transferring points from partners. For Iberia, it’s particularly easy to accumulate Avios as it’s a transfer partner with three of the five major currencies, including:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards Points — 1:1 transfer ratio (transfers process immediately)
  • Amex Membership Rewards Points — 1:1 transfer ratio (transfers process immediately)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Points — 3:1 transfer ratio, with a 5,000 Avios bonus for transfer 60,000 points (transfers typically take one to two days)

Iberia also partners with British Airways and Aer Lingus—the other two airlines under the AIG umbrella that also utilize the Avios currency. Thanks to this partnership, members of any of these programs can transfer Avios to the others freely, provided their account is old enough and the personal information matches.

This partnership can be particularly useful if there’s a transfer bonus to British Airways or Aer Lingus. Members can take advantage of the transfer bonus, and then move the Avios to Iberia.

Finally, you can earn Iberia Avios through a co-branded credit card sign-up bonus. Chase partners with all three of the IAG partners, and—since Avios can be transferred interchangeably—you can utilize any of them to earn a respectable amount of Iberia Avios:

  • Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card
  • British Airways Visa Signature® Card
  • Iberia Visa Signature® Card
British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Annual Fee$95
Welcome BonusEarn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Bottom Line

Iberia’s program has its quirks, for sure, but it also presents several distinctive sweet spots. While we never recommend buying miles speculatively, a 50% bonus provides numerous scenarios where it’s possible to come out ahead. Just make sure you have a plan.

Are you buying Iberia Avios with a 50% bonus?

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