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1 Day Left Until British Airways Avios Devaluation; Info On Changing Dates After 02/02 And On Transferring Points To Iberia Avios

Related posts:

-Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios

-Chase British Airways Visa: Earn up to 100,000 Avios for a limited time only! Earn 50K for spending $2K in 3 months, earn an additional 25K for spending another $8K in 12 months, and earn an additional 25K for spending another $10K in 12 months.
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Effective 02/02/16 at 5am EST British Airways is raising the cost of short-haul zone 1 flights between 1-650 miles in flight distance from 4.5K Avios to 7.5K in coach, from 9K Avios to 15K in business, and from 18K Avios to 30K in first.

This change is only for flights that are to, from, or within the United States. Short haul zone 1 flights like London-Milan, Iguazu Falls-Sao Paulo, Johannesburg-Victoria Falls, and Sydney-Melbourne remain 4.5K Avios in coach.

All other awards remain the same.

Still, with travel starting at 7.5K Avios with no close-in fees and just $5.60 in cancellation fees, Avios travel remains a bargain for domestic flights.

You can book a 9K round-trip award now and change the dates later without paying the additional 6K Avios. But BA charges $55/award for date changes and just charges the tax paid ($5.60/way for domestic flight) for cancellations, so if you need to change the date, that will eat up a lot of the savings. But if you might need to fly it’s worth hedging that bet for the cancellation penalty of $5.60 each way.

Note that for awards from Canada the taxes are about equal to the cancellation fee. In that case if you need to change your travel dates, you can spend $55 for a change fee when you do have dates and that will save you 6K Avios. You don’t forfeit the taxes paid on award changes.

The same story applies to 4.5K awards from Mexico or the Caribbean as well.

Normally I advise booking one-way with BA as it’s far cheaper to cancel a domestic flight than to change it and for several other reasons. But if you do plan on changing dates on an award instead of cancelling to beat the devaluation, be sure to book round-trip awards to limit your change fees.

Current BA award chart:

ZoneFlight DistanceCoachBusinessFirst
11-6504.5K9K18K
2651-1,1517.5K15K30K
31,152-2,00010K20K40K
42,001-3,00012.5K37.5K50K
53,001-4,00020K60K80K
64,001-5,50025K75K100K
75,501-6,50030K90K120K
86,501-7,00035K105K140K
97,001+50K150K200K

BA award chart effective 02/02/16:

ZoneFlight DistanceCoachBusinessFirst
1 (Flights that don't touch the USA)1-6504.5K9K18K
1 (Flights to, from, or within the USA)1-6507.5K15K30K
2651-1,1517.5K15K30K
31,152-2,00010K20K40K
42,001-3,00012.5K37.5K50K
53,001-4,00020K60K80K
64,001-5,50025K75K100K
75,501-6,50030K90K120K
86,501-7,00035K105K140K
97,001+50K150K200K

As you may recall from the “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios” post, you can also transfer British Airways Avios back and forth to Iberia Avios and Avios.com Avios. Each of those programs have different partner airlines and different award charts.

You can combine points via this link via the BA site. Sometimes that link doesn’t work so you can also try this link on the Iberia site to combine points.

There is no minimum transfer amount:

iberia5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are 2 caveats to combine points though:
1. Both accounts have to have been open for 90 days.
2. Both accounts must be active and received points. Transfers from AMEX or earning miles from other sources activate an account.

I’ve posted previously about Iberia Avios being a useful account to have, so hopefully you already have one from deals like this which gave free Iberia Avios.

If not you can open an Iberia account here.

If you want to fly on Iberia to places like Europe or Israel you can save a fortune in fuel surcharges by transferring BA Avios to Iberia and using them on Iberia flights.

Assuming that you have an Iberia account older than 90 days you’ll be able to transfer points from AMEX MR to Iberia and then to BA at parity.

Here is a look at Iberia’s award chart for travel on AA:

iberia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are at least 6 critical things to keep in mind. There may be more as personally I don’t have experience using Iberia Avios as of yet, so feel free to hit the comments.

1. While BA charges for each segment, Iberia charges for the total mileage of the trip.

BA’s zones are for each leg each way, while Iberia’s zones are for the sum total of all legs on a round-trip.

Let’s say I want to visit my in-laws in Kansas City (Oh stop that snickering!)

American doesn’t fly direct, so I’d have to connect in a hub like Chicago if I wanted to use Avios.

-Cleveland-Chicago is a 315 mile flight, therefore BA currently charges 4.5K Avios for it. That goes up to 7.5K for tickets booked after 02/01.
-Chicago-Kansas City is a 403 mile flight, therefore BA currently charges 4.5K Avios for it. That goes up to 7.5K for tickets booked after 02/01.
So the round-trip from Cleveland to Kansas City is currently 18K BA Avios, but will be going up to 30K after 02/01.

With Iberia the total flight distance is calculated without regard to the segments. So Cleveland-Chicago-Kansas City and back again is 1,436 flown miles, making it an Iberia Zone 3 award. That costs just 17K Avios round-trip.

What if I just want to go on my usual day trip to Chicago and hit up Milt’s, a ballgame, and some Shallot’s before flying home?

Cleveland-Chicago is a 315 mile flight, therefore BA currently charges 4.5K Avios for it. That goes up to 7.5K for tickets booked after 02/01. So the round-trip from Cleveland to Chicago is currently 9K BA Avios, but will be going up to 15K after 02/01.

With Iberia the total flight distance is calculated without regard to the segments. So Cleveland-Chicago and back again is 631 flown miles, making it an Iberia Zone 2 award. That costs 12K Avios round-trip.

2. Iberia’s cheapest award will be 4K cheaper than using BA.

Come 02/02 and you may want to book a flight from Detroit to Chicago with Iberia. At just 469 miles in round-trip distance, it falls within Iberia’s limited zone 1 award for travel up to 600 miles and costs just 11K Iberia Avios round-trip.

With BA that’s currently a 9K round-trip award, but it will be 15K effective 02/02.

-A round-trip flight from Detroit to St. Louis via Chicago is now 18K BA but will go up to 30K on 02/02. With Iberia that round-trip is just 12K Iberia Avios as the total flight distance falls into a zone 2 award.

-A round-trip from NYC to Toronto or Montreal is now 9K BA Avios in coach or 18K in business. That goes up to 15K in coach or 30K in business on 02/02. Those are Iberia Zone 2 awards costing 12K in coach or 24K in business.

Or maybe you won’t want to do that for the following 4 reasons:

3. Iberia only has round-trip partner awards. BA allows one-way awards.

4. Iberia doesn’t allow for changes or cancellations to partner awards. BA allows cancellation of domestic awards for just $5.60/one-way award up to 24 hours ahead of the flight time.

5. Iberia charges more tax for domestic flights than BA.

While BA charges $5.60 for domestic one-ways and $11.20 for domestic round-trips, Iberia charges $20.20 for domestic nonstop round-trips and $29.20 for domestic connecting round-trips.  It’s probably a mistake and/or illegal tax collection, but that’s what their system charges for now.

CLE-ORD-CLE on BA, now 9K+$11.20, soon to be 15K+$11.20:

iberia4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLE-ORD-CLE on Iberia, 12K+$20.20:

iberia3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLE-ORD-MCI-ORD-CLE on BA, now 18K+$11.20, soon to be 30K+$11.20:

iberia6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLE-ORD-MCI-ORD-CLE on Iberia, 17K+$29.20:

iberia2

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. AMEX transfers into BA Avios instantly, but transfers from AMEX into Iberia Avios can take a day or 2. Transfers between BA and Iberia are instant.

So there will be times in the future that I’ll use BA and there will be times in the future when I’ll use Iberia. Namely when I need to fly round-trip, when I’ll definitely take the trip, and when the mileage savings is large enough to make it worth the extra tax and make up for the lack of ability to cancel. When connecting the advantage for Iberia is going to be even bigger after 02/01.

Good thing you can transfer points back and forth as needed!

Want to earn Avios?

-You can also earn Avios directly with the Chase British Airways Visa Signature cardwhich is offering up to 100K Avios currently!

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from credit cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card or The Amex EveryDay Card.

The Preferred card awards 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, 3 points per dollar on Uber and gas, and 4.5 points per dollar on groceries if you make 30 transactions per month.

The EveryDay card awards 1.2 points per dollar everywhere and 2.4 points per dollar on Uber and groceries if you make 20 transactions per month.

You can also earn Membership Rewards points from consumer charge cards like the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express, and from business charge cards like the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Charge Card or The Business Platinum Card. 

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee and a limited time increased signup bonus. It earns a generous 1.3 points per dollar everywhere, but you’ll need any of the membership rewards cards listed above to transfer points from that card into airline miles.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX awards 25K signup points with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus. Transfers can take a few days.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred instantly at a 1:1 ratio into BA Avios from the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus credit cards.
Cards like Chase Freedom and Chase Ink Cash can’t directly transfer points into miles, you’ll have to transfer those points to a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus that belongs to an additional user before you can transfer those points to British Airways.

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41 Responses to “1 Day Left Until British Airways Avios Devaluation; Info On Changing Dates After 02/02 And On Transferring Points To Iberia Avios”

  1. Anonymous Says:
    1

    Are there any ways to earn points on Iberia or is the trick merely to transfer between BA and Iberia?

    ReplyReply
  2. Eh Says:
    2

    I don’t see how it makes more sense to pre-book a 9k round trip from Canada just because their Tax fee is equal to the change fee. Doesn’t that just mean I will pay 100$+ if I need to change the dates. ~50$ for the tax and 55$ for the change?

    ReplyReply
  3. Dan Says:
    3

    @Anonymous:
    There was an awesome bonus for AMEX transfers to Iberia last month that I posted.

    @Eh:
    You don’t forfeit the tax on changes, only on cancellations.

    ReplyReply
  4. Montreal-NYC Says:
    4

    Will a round trip to or from Montreal and NYC be changed to higher rates? question is if they count the minimum 7500 at the one way rate, or per trip?

    Also can you please explain more how I could change a ticket from montreal without loosing to much money, is the $55 change fee on top of the tax fee?

    ReplyReply
  5. Dan Says:
    5

    @Montreal-NYC:
    These questions are all answered in the post and previous comments.

    NYC-YUL will be 7.5K each way with BA or 12K round-trip with Iberia.

    Changes are a flat $55, you only forfeit taxes on cancellations, not on changes.

    ReplyReply
  6. Montreal-NYC Says:
    6

    @Dan: Thanks! (Sorry I didn’t refresh the page before positing my question.)

    ReplyReply
  7. Mari Says:
    7

    I’ve been trying for over three weeks to book a flight from LGA to PIT with Avios for March 27. There are no economy flights available. So I tried to book from other airports or to other airports. Nothing doing. Is it possible that BA will not allow people to book until after the devaluation? I typically book all of my son’s flights to and from yeshiva way in advance, and booked his flight to LGA three weeks ago, but was unable to book the return segment. Any ideas? Thanks

    ReplyReply
  8. Dan Says:
    8

    @Mari:
    BA doesn’t affect AA availability at all.

    You can book a first class award on that date for 18K. That’s going up to 30K post-deval.

    If coach opens up you can cancel that award for $5.60 and book a coach award for 4.5K before 2/2 or 7.5K after 2/2.

    ReplyReply
  9. Mendel Says:
    9

    thanks so much for the post! I finally got to understand the Iberia thing. Do you have a link to sign up for iberia in ENGLISH? The form is in Spanish

    ReplyReply
  10. Dan Says:
    10

    @Mendel:
    http://www.iberia.com/us/iberiaplus/register/

    ReplyReply
  11. Anonymous Says:
    11

    @Dan:
    Thank you. I figured it out myself, just thought maybe you wanted to change the link in the post

    ReplyReply
  12. Shimon Says:
    12

    Any tips how to get free points into Iberia account? I don’t have Amex only Chase points.

    ReplyReply
  13. dave Says:
    13

    MR transfer to Iberia is 1 for 1 ?

    ReplyReply
  14. tzvi s Says:
    14

    when does the 90 days start from when you open the iberia or from when you activate it?

    ReplyReply
  15. Duvid Says:
    15

    Could someone tell me how long u have to wait between chase Sapphire preferred to get signup bonus again

    ReplyReply
  16. iberia one way Says:
    16

    iberia ABSOLUTELY allows one way flights. i previously purchased 4 business class tickets tlv-mad-jfk 325,000 iberia avios plus taxes… i was also able to buy down the avios and pay more had i elected that option

    ReplyReply
  17. Dan Says:
    17

    @dave:
    It was 1:1.25 last month…

    @tzvi s:
    Activating.

    @Duvid:
    0 days.

    @iberia one way:
    From the post: “Iberia only has round-trip partner awards.”
    TLV-MAD-JFK is not a partner route.

    ReplyReply
  18. iberia one way Says:
    18

    @Dan: i had too much wine when i was reading… all those trip reports and pictures of food made me a little hungry and i guess a little incoherent 🙂

    ReplyReply
  19. Joshua Says:
    19

    British Airways Avios has an expiration policy after 3 years of no activity (whether earning or redeeming). What is the expiration policy for Iberia Avios?

    ReplyReply
  20. Ergel Says:
    20

    Still not following why you think it’s worth it to speculatively book for travel to/from Canada.
    If I need to change – it will cost me $55 to keep the ticket and save 3K Avios.
    If travel within the US – it will cost me $55 to keep the ticket and save 3K Avios.
    The only difference is that in the Canada scenario – I have already spent $56 on taxes and therefore it’s worth it to spend the $55 to keep the ticket as opposed to the US where I’ve only spent $5.60

    ReplyReply
  21. Dan Says:
    21

    @Joshua:
    Same.

    @Ergel:
    $55 saves 6K Avios on a round-trip. Not amazing, but not a bad strategy.

    ReplyReply
  22. Franz Says:
    22

    Just last while looking for awards on BA and IB I ran into the following problem. Trying to fly JFK to DUS/TXL on AB, no availability on BA but IB shows seats available for several of my dates but the fuel surcharges for 2 pax price out above 500 Euros. Is there any way to get this booked either through BA or IB with lower YQ. Thanks

    ReplyReply
  23. Dan Says:
    23

    @Franz:
    Does AA.com show the AB space?

    ReplyReply
  24. Shimon Says:
    24

    How do i get points into Iberia account without Amex card? Dan, you say that in order to do the transfer you need points in Iberia account. Tks

    ReplyReply
  25. Franz Says:
    25

    @Dan: No only Iberia

    ReplyReply
  26. Lakewooder Says:
    26

    Does Iberia fly to Newark? When using avios for a round trip from Canada to NY they only had aa to LGA or JFK. I know aero plan has to Newark but does Iberia?

    ReplyReply
  27. Sola Says:
    27

    How far out is a booking good for if I change it? For example, if I book on Feb 1 for sometime in March, and I decide to change it, when is the latest I can fly?

    ReplyReply
  28. aaron Says:
    28

    The logic in this post – that specifically canada is worth purchasing now – makes no sense. The only question here is, what is worth more to you 6k Avois or $55. If the answer is the Avois better to book now…

    ReplyReply
  29. Dov Says:
    29

    The saving of 6K avios is hardly justified with the $55 in fees

    I wouldn’t speculatively Book anything

    ReplyReply
  30. So sad Says:
    30

    Noooooooooo

    ReplyReply
  31. yupy Says:
    31

    If I understood correctly, a round trip lax-JFK with Iberia Avios would just be 28K in coach (less then 5k roundtrip) Vs 50K on AA?

    ReplyReply
  32. SAMIUDDIN SAMI Says:
    32

    I have 11k miles on BA Avios.

    I live in LAX.

    Home is Miami and New York.

    What should I do?

    Can I book some flights to SFO or PDX?

    ReplyReply
  33. andre Says:
    33

    Hello guys, thanks for the good info. Would AA allow a stopover on a one way flight on Cathaway Pacific?

    ReplyReply
  34. Sruly Says:
    34

    If i call up British airways do you think they would have more seats available?
    Cause right now online most of the flights only have first class available.

    ReplyReply
  35. Username Says:
    35

    flights booked today, but cancelled later…do you think we will be refunded 4.5k or 7.5k?

    ReplyReply
  36. Username Says:
    36

    Refunds at 4.5k

    ReplyReply
  37. question Says:
    37

    Can I book for someone else on Iberia site? A family sibling?

    ReplyReply
  38. Ely Says:
    38

    @dan: why when i search on iberia.com for a award ticket, does it tell that they have no flights , Cle- LGA.. what am i doing wrong?

    ReplyReply
  39. question2 Says:
    39

    iberia.com tells me that ther is no flights nyc-pit someone knows y??

    ReplyReply
  40. Bodiddely Says:
    40

    Iberia.com is also showing me no flights available when AA.com is showing MileSAAver availability on the dates/routes I am searching…

    ReplyReply
  41. Dan Says:
    41

    @Bodiddely:
    Call them.

    ReplyReply

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