Deal of the Year 90,000 Iberia Points Now Transferrable to British Airways – With a Catch

Oh the drama! First Iberia offered up to 90,000 points at a cost of around $300 for booking flights you never even need to take. That’s because the points were supposed to post right away, and expire if unused December 1, while flights could even be for next year.

Iberia started freezing accounts that took advantage of the promotion and coming up with reasons not to honor the deal for some members. However they honored the deal for most people and even have been unlocking some accounts and continuing to post bonus points.

When I originally wrote about the deal I said “You may not be able to transfer these points from Iberia to British Airways without restriction.” That’s because the offer terms said,

If the customers transfer these Avios to their BA Executive Club account, they will have a negative balance in the Iberia Plus programme, as those Avios wouldn’t have been spent by the date mentioned above.

And indeed when the points posted there seemed to be a restriction that prevented members from moving the points. Normally your Iberia account needs to be open 90 days in order to make a transfer. However even for long-time accounts this restriction appeared to be in place.

In fact that’s fine, Iberia Avios are often more useful than British Airways Avios. For instance, you can book awards on Iberia for a lot fewer miles and without big fuel surcharges. However some people wanted to combine their points (realizing they could move points back later, and transfer into either account from Chase or American Express).

One Mile at a Time pointed out that the restriction appeared to be lifted. Raffles says this is Iberia getting out ahead of a story coming out in Sunday’s edition of The Mail in the U.K.

So if you want to move your Iberia Avios to British Airways you can do so. However there’s a catch. Just as the original offer terms noted your Iberia balance will see a negative 90,000 in December. That’s because the points will appear to have been unused, will expire, and 90,000 points will get deducted at that time.

The Head for Points blog suggests “You may not care about that. You may care.”

  • If you still have Iberia Avios in your account, in other words if you carry an Iberia balance, you’re going to lose points from that balance.

  • If you don’t carry points with Iberia but decide to transfer points into your Iberia account in the future you’re going to start off negative 90,000. So transfers in just reduce your negative balance.

  • You don’t have about negative balances if you either (1) don’t plan on using Iberia again in the future, or (2) are able to abandon the existing account and create a new one later (but this is not without risk).

At the end of the day this offer was way too good to be true, it’s being honored, but they’re not going to be even more generous than they had promised.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Iberia still hasn’t credited my 90,000. I did not do anything wrong – they are just a crappy airline with horrible customer service and impossible IT.

  2. @rjb I tried to contact them twice as the website was very unreliable. Phone agents are unresponsive and incomprehensive and was disconnected twice after 10 minutes of given the run-around. Tweeted to Iberia and received the following answer 3 days later:

    Hello Kalboz, For further details you should contact the Iberia plus Center directly from Spain at 901 201 214 (24h from Monday to Sunday), from outside Spain at +34 917742607 you can try from Skype. Regards

  3. A word of caution. A negative balance may catch up with you when IB+ and BAEC migrate to a common Avios platform.

  4. I think they have been very fair and I would not try to take advantage of their generosity. In went for, and promptly got, 72,000 miles and I am grateful. No intention of getting more than I deserve.

  5. Gary any idea why some of us can only transfer one way, BA to IB? Even if we have had an IB account with prior activity / not new?

  6. Is there an easier way to contact them than using their USA number (800-772-4642)? I’ve reached out to them via twitter and was told to contact this number but all it ever does is ring and get disconnected (I’ve tried for over a week now)?

  7. @UA-NYC, if you have a BA household account, you can’t transfer into BA. If that is the case, you need to remove the members in the household account, make the transfer, then you can add them back again.

  8. I’m still a bit confused about what will happen with the IB+ account if the Avios are transferred to BA , AND redeemed prior to 1 Dec 18. Will the IB+ account still go 90,000 points negative resulting in an Avios debt or will the migration to BA satisfy them? Will the points transferred to BA some how be tagged in the system as expiring on 1 Dec 18? If the points are tagged, how do we ensure that redemptions made before 1 Dec 18 are using the Avios with the short fuse?

  9. hi Balis i also cant seem to get a answer as to how they will now if you have used them or not , did you found out if they are tagged?

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