As regular readers will know, through partnerships such as oneworld and Star Alliance it’s possible to redeem certain frequent-flyer air miles with a variety of different airlines. However very few of these airlines will allow you to actually transfer points between these frequent-flyer programmes. One exception is British Airways and Iberia using the ‘Combine my Avios’ website function.
British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus share the same frequent-flyer currency – Avios. With the 3 airlines being owned by IAG, you’d expect to be able to move points between the three airlines. Unfortunately, whilst Aer Lingus adopted the Avios currency some 2 years ago it’s currently only possible to move Avios points between Iberia and British Airways using the feature ‘Combine my Avios’.
The Benefits of Using BA Combine My Avios?
As I set out in my recent Iberia guide there are a number of reasons why you’d potentially want to either move or combine Avios into one frequent-flyer account. Let’s take a look at the reasons why.
- As you can see from the chart below, redeeming Avios points with Iberia can save a considerable number of points during off-peak periods. These savings are particularly prevalent in long-haul Business Class. A flight from Madrid to New York would be classified as Zone 5. Booking a return flight with British Airways would require 100,000 Avios whereas booking through Iberia Plus would only use 68,000 Avios.
- What makes flying with Iberia even more attractive is the significantly reduced taxes. Even if you allowed for the 13,000 Avios and £35 of taxes for a return flight to Madrid, the overall cost and taxes for an Iberia Madrid flight would be 81,000 Avios and £198.10. This compares to a staggering 100,000 Avios and £651.61 for a return flight with British Airways. Worth considering on your next flight from London to NYC!
- BA/Iberia have different off-peak dates. As such you can redeem off-peak flights during UK school holidays if you’re prepared to fly via Madrid. Similarly with different school holidays there’s significantly more availability during peak BA times.
- The final reason you may want to combine Avios is due to the generous promotions run by Iberia. Last year Iberia offered a deal of 9,000 extra Avios per flight (enough for a return BA redemption) and as such many people ended up with a significant number of points in their Iberia Plus accounts. Being able to move these back to the BA Executive Club account has been a great way to redeem European short-haul flights.
To Combine Avios – What You Should Know
Ok, so there are a couple of key points to realise when using the Combine my Avios function on either the BA or Iberia website.
The first is that your details need to be identical on both your Iberia Plus account and British Airways Executive Club. Be careful here as Spanish surnames can be set out differently with your first name, last name and second-last name. For most, the second-last name should be left blank.
The second point is that your Iberia Plus account needs to be open for at least 90 days for you to be able to combine Avios accounts.
BA Combine My Avios – How to Use
I’ve prepared a step-by-step guide to using the ‘Combine my Avios’ function on the BA website.
Start by logging into your BA Executive Club account and go to the Manage My Account page. In the table on the left-hand side simply head to the ‘Combine my Avios’ page – also found here.
You’ll then be asked to enter your details for your Iberia Plus account.
The following page displays your balances for both accounts. It’s at this point you can decide whether to transfer Avios from Iberia Plus to your BAEC account or the other way round. You can push or pull Avios between the two accounts, which allows you to do everything from your British Airways Executive Club account. Once you’ve confirmed the amounts you’d like to transfer you’ll receive an email confirming that the transfer has been successful.
Why am I receiving the error message ‘sorry you are not eligible to combine your Avios’?
If you see the error message below, the likelihood is that your Iberia account is less than 90-days old. If however your account is over 90 days and you’re still seeing this message, some readers have reported that if they logged out and then tried again about 30 minutes later, the Combine my Avios function miraculously worked fine again. Must be some sort of glitch with the system!
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