How to ‘Activate’ Your Iberia Account for Free to Save on British Airways Fuel Surcharges

You can transfer British Airways points to Iberia, and that can be really useful because while they are owned by the same company and have access to the same award seats Iberia doesn’t add the same extortionate fuel surcharges to award tickets.

In order to transfer points into Iberia your account has to have been open 90 days and has to have had some activity (which is why I will post about a free 50 or 100 Iberia points here or there, though you can also transfer in 1000 points from American Express).

Iberia’s award availability especially on their East Coast – Madrid flights can be quite good though it goes in spurts.

And though British Airways and Iberia both devalued, there’s an oddity in the Iberia chart that remains.

With the Iberia award chart for 8 months of the year — during ‘off peak’ travel dates:

  • Boston and New York – Madrid costs 34,000 points each way in business class
  • Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami – Madrid costs 42,500 points each way in business class

Again, that’s without big fuel surcharges.

But how to save on these fuel surcharges, exactly?

  1. Sign up for an Iberia account.
  2. Earn some miles in that account.
  3. Transfer from British Airways to Iberia, and use your Iberia account to book Iberia flights instead.
  4. Profit.

The tricky part though is that you have to accumulate Iberia points in order to ‘activate’ your account. You can transfer some in from American Express Membership Rewards. Or you can just enter your account number here. (HT: Jon D.)

Wait for those points to post, and your Iberia account to have been open 90 days. Savings.

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. Same as before — only loads headers, with nowhere to enter your number. Tried Firefox and Chrome. Weird.

  2. I’m need to fly from Spain to LAX next year in mid-March, which I think is off peak. As of a couple weeks ago, I saw no flights from MAD-LAX in any class. I tried searching on BA and IB websites. Any tips?

  3. Awesome, hadn’t bothered signing up for an Iberia acct until now due to the hassle of getting points in there.

    Btw link didn’t work in Chrome but worked fine in IE.

  4. Hate to be dense, but where exactly on the BA site can you transfer Avios to an Iberia account?

  5. Gary,

    How does one do the transfer from BA to Iberia? Is there a link on the BA site to do the transfer? If so can please provide me with the link.


  6. The link didn’t work if I loaded it when already logged in to my Iberia account, but did work in an incognito window.

  7. “At this moment, our online services are not available as result of the high number of accesses. Please try again in a few minutes. We apologize for the inconvenience, thank you very much.”

  8. Finally got in to create an account. I’m trying to get two first class tickets from US east coast NYC-or BOS to London next Apr-May 2016. AA miles wants me to fly on BA but fuel charges are insane. So this looked like a good option where I could use my Amex miles on Iberia to fly those same BA flights that AA shows. Iberia however shows no availability for First and very limited Business class seats, but because I have no points in my account yet, it won’t even show me how much these flights would be. Is there anyway to see Iberia awards with out transferring miles to them? Or could you recommend another option to London with AA or Amex miles, I have just over 300K miles in both accounts.

  9. I believe the key to entering your account number for the free Avios is to NOT BE LOGGED in to your Iberia account.

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