Can I transfer Avios from Iberia to BA?
A number of savvy Avios collectors will have jumped on Iberia’s promotion over the summer to collect a bonus of 9,000 Avios per flight. At the time it was unclear whether these points would be transferable to British Airways. Fortunately it was later confirmed that you could use the bonus points with BA and transfer Iberia Avios to BA for free.
The system has a couple of quirks. We had a couple of comments from people having difficulties trying to transfer Iberia Avios to British Airways so we thought a quick guide to transferring Iberia Avios to British Airways may be handy.
I would however highlight that this may not be the best use of your Iberia Avios points and I’ll sum up why later in this guide.
Let's break this post down...
Iberia Avios Transfer to British Airways
Before we dive into this guide to transferring Avios points from Iberia to BA, there are a couple of important things you should know.
Firstly your Iberia Plus account must have been active for 90 days before you can move Avios points out of it.
Secondly, following the introduction of a new security protocol in 2017, your personal information on both accounts now has to be completely identical. This is one of the firsts things to check if you’re finding yourself having problems. To make matters worse, because Spanish surnames are set out differently from those in the UK, when you sign up to Iberia Plus you have to state your first name, last name and second-last name. Do not put your middle name as the second-last name as this will throw up a problem with the system and cannot be corrected online.
Guide – Transfer Iberia Avios to BA
The page to transfer Avios points from Iberia to BA is slightly hidden on the Iberia website. Start by logging into your account, hovering over the Iberia Plus tab and clicking on the buying or transferring Avios link.
On the following page (Buy, give away or transfer Avios) scroll down to the bottom where you’ll be given the option to transfer Iberia Avios to British Airways – NO it’s not the transfer box but the small red writing underneath!! I’ve highlighted this in green for clarity.
Then click the combine my Avios on the following page:
Select British Airways and log in to your British Airways Executive account.
Finally you’ll need to select that you want to transfer Avios from Iberia Plus to British Airways and confirm the number of Avios you’d like to move across.
All there is to do now is review the transfer of Iberia Avios to BA and confirm. Remember, your personal information needs to be identical and your accounts need to be over 90-days old to be able to carry out an Iberia Avios transfer.
Why You May Not Want to Transfer Iberia Avios to British Airways!
Back in the summer I wrote about a number of ‘under the radar’ Avios points hacks which included using 3 quirks that exist in Iberia Plus to fly further for less. So before you transfer Avios points from Iberia to BA you may want to see if any of these would work for you…
Iberia Plus redemptions that use less Avios points than BA
With the Iberia Plus awards chart differing from BA there can be some interesting arbitrage opportunities. Below is an off-peak comparison between BA and Iberia.
I’ve highlighted in red the section of the table which is particularly interesting. A flight from say Madrid to New York is 3,579 miles and as such would be Zone 5. Booking a return flight with British Airways would set you back 100,000 Avios points whereas with Iberia Plus would only require 68,000 Avios.
Now if you have the 2-4-1 voucher (read why this is the most valuable credit card bonus currently available) from the BA Premium Card and were planning on travelling with someone else you’d be best to use BA.
Save money on taxes
If you’re prepared to start your journey in Spain it’s possible to significantly reduce taxes. Even with a return repositioning flight to Madrid requiring 13,000 Avios and £35 in taxes, that earlier Business-Class flight from London to New York (this time via Madrid) would require 81,000 Avios points compared to 100,000. What’s better is the total taxes would be reduced from a staggering £651.61 per person to just £198.10 (including the taxes for the positioning flight).
The final benefit is that as the Spanish have different school holiday to the UK, there is usually better availability with Iberia Plus. In addition, peak times vary so there’s the potential to reduce the number of required Avios points further.
Summary – Transfer Iberia Avios to BA
As we’ve seen above, if your details match up correctly and you’ve held your account for over 90 days it’s relatively easy to transfer points between Iberia and British Airways. That said, lower taxes, cheaper Avios Business-Class flights and better availability by flying with Iberia may mean you are better off not transferring Iberia Avios to BA. Conversely, if you have a BA 2-4-1 voucher from the BA Premium card and plan on using this then a transfer to British Airways would likely make sense.
You can combine the BA Premium Card (which comes with an increased sign-up bonus of 26,000 compared to 25,000 if you use this link and scroll down to the correct card) with the (free for the first year) American Express Gold Card (which also comes with an increased sign-up bonus of 12,000 Avios compared to 10,000 if you use this link). Combining the two sign-up bonuses would provide 38,000 which would essentially be doubled with the 2-4-1 voucher. Read my recent first class review where I give a step-by-step guide to earning enough points for a First-Class flight using both the BA Premium (reviewed here) and Amex Gold Card (reviewed here).
Recent changes to American Express rules now mean that to qualify for the sign up bonus on certain cards you cannot have held a personal American Express in the last 24 months. Fortunately you can still sign up and benefit from the bonus of the Premium Plus card if you hold a Gold Card. The same is not true in reverse. If you already hold a Premium Plus card you will not qualify for the sign up bonus on the Gold card. As such always sign up to the Gold Card first and then the Premium Plus card second – learn more about the sign up bonus restrictions and our suggested strategy here.
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