Get A 25% (Or 56%) Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into Avios; Here’s What You Need To Know Before Using Iberia To Cushion The Avios Devaluation!

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Update 12/31: This transfer bonus ends today!

Update, 12/15: The glitch has been corrected to the proper 1:1 transfer ratio, congrats those who got in while it was live!

Update, 12/07: After reading several DDF reports of people who received 313 Iberia Avios for a 250 point Membership Rewards transfer last Wednesday and Friday (an effective 56.5% bonus from the regular 200 Avios they would get) I sent over 1,000 points on Saturday night and now have 1,250 Avios in my account!

These points can now be freely transferred and redeemed on Iberia.com, BA.com, or Avios.com, depending on the best usage for the flight I need!

Although this is advertised as a 25% bonus, that’s actually an effective 56.25% bonus from the 800 Avios that I would normally receive with the 1K:800 ratio for Avios transfers that went into place in October.

It appears that the 25% bonus is being applied twice, once for what should be 800 Avios to become 1,000 Avios and then again for another 250 points on top of that.

Points in my Iberia account:

ib1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote from AMEX showing that I should have received 1,000 Avios for the transfer after the 25% bonus:

ib3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMEX statement showing 1,000 points redeemed:

ib2

 

 

 

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Originally posted on 12/02:

Related:
-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.
———————————————————————————–

Get A 25% Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into Avios

On 10/01 the transfer rate from AMEX MR points into Avios went from 1:1 to 250:200.

Some bloggers postulated that it would also mean the end of AMEX MR bonuses to Avios.

At the time I wrote that “I do still think we’ll still see bonus promotions in the future, but a 25% bonus will only bring the transfer back to parity.”

And that’s exactly what this new bonus does, it brings the ratio back to 1:1. The bonus is valid through 12/31.

With a catch. The bonus is only available for transfers into Iberia Avios.

As you may recall from the “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios” post, you can 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.

Or via this link on the Iberia site.

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 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.

Of course it’s worth noting that effective 02/02 BA is eliminating 4.5K awards for flights that touch the USA and making the minimum award 7.5K for those flights.

While we’re on the topic though, let’s take a look at Iberia’s award chart for travel on AA:

iberia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s BA’s award chart for all airlines:

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

 

There are at least 6 several 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.

BAs 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. Without knowing about Iberia someone might use 37.5K AMEX points for 30K Avios to book that award (though I sure hope not!) With Iberia just 12K AMEX points will be sufficient for the round-trip.

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.

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.

HT: tjak, via DDF

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80 Comments on "Get A 25% (Or 56%) Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into Avios; Here’s What You Need To Know Before Using Iberia To Cushion The Avios Devaluation!"

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Baruch

Avios are practically worthless for me. I recently transfared a huge sum from amex to avios to get the 40% bonus, and whenever I’m looking for domestic flights, they have no availability on AA. I’ve even looked as far as 2 months ahead, but almost no availability to such destinations as LA and Chicago. Very disappointing. And for international flights they’re worthless due to the high fuel surcharges.

Dan

@Baruch:
If you’re searching BA.com you’re doing it wrong.

You need to be searching AA.com and then calling the BA call center in Singapore to book if the flight isn’t showing up on BA.com

More info:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/59617

Joe

How much will be the tax from Canada ?

Sol

Does it transfer instantly?
Can you book for a friend on my Iberia ?
What’s their cancellation policy?

Thanks for this update.

Avi

Dan is it still accurate that any saaver availability on AA is bookable through avios? because I have seen saaver availability this week and it didn’t show up on ba.com and I called British to book it and they did not see those availabilities

Dan

@Joe:
Which route?
You can check yourself on Iberia.com, no need for sufficient miles to search, just need to be logged in.

@Sol:
AMEX-Iberia takes a day or 2.
Iberia-BA and back is instant.

I’ve added this to the post, thanks.

You should be able to book for anyone.

Cancel policy is in the post.

@Avi:
You need to call the BA call center in Singapore. In can take a couple HUCAs, but they will get it done.
More info:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/59617

Dan

@Joe:
Just checked NYC-YYZ.
12K+$58.24 round-trip.

gingy

You mentioned Milt’s in your post. I checked their website. It says they donate 100% of the profits to charity. What’s that all about?

Dan

@gingy:
Pretty much exactly that, the owner is a successful businessman and opened up Milt’s with goals other than profit in mind.

But the best news is that they’ve finally added their off-the-menu rib sandwich onto the regular menu. In the past it required some serious string pulling to get it.
It’s one of their best dishes IMHO.

thingy

So a roundtrip NYC-Toronto will be 11k with Iberia instead of 14k with BA comes February?

Ikey

@Dan: Since when did Milt’s add the rib sandwich to their regular menu. I was there on November 15 and did not see it on the menu.

Joe

@dan
So the tax to canada will be similar as ba charges now

Dan

@thingy:
12K instead of 15K.

@Ikey:
Yesterday 😀

@Joe:
BA is $51.31 round-trip.
Iberia is $58.24 round-trip.

Alex

Just to clarify, the reason you are mainly discussing transferring from Amex to BA is because Amex no longer usually offers 1:1 transfers to BA. However this post is actually pertinent to transfers from Chase UR to BA which always offers 1:1, and will also be affected by the devaluation on 2/1

Dan

@Alex:
Yes, it’s pertinent to AMEX and Chase or anyone who uses Avios.
The reason for the AMEX focus is due to the 25% bonus this month to Iberia.

mordy

@Dan would i be eligible for the 100k bonus on the Chase British Airways Visa if I closed mine about 8 months ago?

Dan

@mordy:
Officially it’s 24 months from when you last got the bonus. Nothing to do with when it was closed.
Though people have reported getting it even sooner than that.

mordy

@Dan does the same apply to other cards? Is it always from when you got the bonus last as opposed to when you closed the card?

Moe

“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.”

I think you meant to finish your think there with “That would be 9K Avios round trip.” Correct? Or I’m misunderstanding this?

Bob

When redeeming Iberia avios for full fare economy, does that mean I will have access to any open economy seat on the plane?

a yid

@ Dan I tought you wrote in a post lately that BA fixed their problems and now all available AA trips show up?
Also if you do need to check on AA I recall it’s only the none stops that are avail. for BA avios is that correct?

Jonah

What are the chances for a 1 to 1.4 like this time last year?

dave

Really the bonus is not to avios only to Iberia, right?

Shmuli

@dan in the long run (as in after the bonus), there isn’t really a disadvantage of amex not transferring instantly to Iberia, being that I can transfer to BA and then to Iberia both instantly, correct?
And, for the same price, during the bonus, if I can wait a day or two, I won’t be loosing by switching to Iberia although I’m booking on BA being that I can transfer at a 1:1 ratio from Iberia to BA, correct?
Btw thanks for all the posts they’re truly amazing and helpful!!

sammy boy

do you have to log in to iberia first?
im keep getting.

Combine my Avios was unsuccessful
Combine my Avios is not available at the moment. Please try again later

Dan

@mordy:
Depends on the bank and card.

@Moe:
Yup.

@Bob:
Nope.

@a yid:
BA has issues again.
And BA can book anything, but BA.com mostly just shows nonstops.

@Jonah:
Close to nil.

@dave:
You can transfer from Iberia Avios to BA Avios.

@Shmuli:
Correct for both.

Vivek

Hey Dan,

All your posts are really helpful. Just one question, how is the availability of award seats in Iberia’s website? Do we have to call their Singapore call center just like we do for BA in case it is not shown on BA.com?

Dan

@Vivek:
Appears to be better than BA.com

SamKey

A. BA account does not need to be open for 90 days.
B. You can book OW partner award
C. They do charge per leg

Dan

@SamKey:
Why so stingy with the explanations? We don’t charge by the word.

A. Is that true for transfers in either direction.
B. Assuming over the phone? Is there a one-way chart?
C. No, they don’t. Go search online and look at the AA partner chart in this post. Nothing I search for charged by the leg.

CtownBin

I don’t have an Iberia account yet- though I’m definitely going to open one right now. Of course, the 90 days won’t be up until after this bonus is over. However- does this mean that I can transfer my MR into Iberia Avios now, then wait until March, and THEN transfer them all into BA Avios?
Also- does anyone know if Iberia allows booking flights for others with the same ease that BA does? Thanks!!

SamKey

@Dan:
A. Yes
B. C. Seems I am mistaken I thought you were referring to all partners not just AA. I’ve priced out international AA not domestic I’ll get back to you when I go over my notes

Maury

Transfering points back and forth between accounts is not available. I have been trying since last night and I get a message that its not available.

Terry Lefkowitz

having trouble changing freq flyer info from BA Avios to AA. Using Finnair but keep getting error msg. Any suggestions, TIA

David W

I tried calling Singapore to get a flight that was available on the AA sight for miles and they told me the only flights available were the ones on the BA site. Is there something I am missing?

Thanks

David

Denis

Can I transfer AA miles to BA Avios?

yankel

i booked iberia avios one way from tlv-mad-jfk 4 tickets in business class in july. i transferred from chase instantly to ba and then instantly to iberia.
on a side note, iberia customer service is by far the worst. they didnt have the kosher meals on board in business class from mad to jfk so i filed a complaint through their online system and it took them almost four months to get back to me… and then they lied and said my original flight was cancelled which is why they werent able to get kosher on the next flight. very difficult to reach and no one competent to talk to… i HUCA at least 15 times…
aircraft was amazing… very spacious lie flat business on the new aircraft which i was surprised to see being flown from tlv-mad as well because originally it wasnt supposed to…

Dan

@CtownBin:
Yes to all.

@Maury:
Have your accounts been active for 90 days?

@Terry Lefkowitz:
Try RJ.com or AA.com?

@David W:
HUCA. It works. I’ve done dozens of times.

@Denis:
No.

@yankel:
I’m aware that one-ways are allowed on Iberia.
The question is about partners.

Michael

@Dan how long does transfer to Iberia take I transferred yesterday and as of now they still have not hit.

Dan

@Michael:
1-2 days.

Michael

Thanks

Jason

Hi Dan – I was considering transferring 40k Amex MR points to Iberia, in order to take advantage of this 25% bonus. My fiancee and I are looking to head back to Maui in 3/2016, and this would really help out.

My question is, do you think this is something I should jump on, or do you think more Amex MR/BA transfer bonuses will be coming in the near future?

Thanks for all you do!!

Abe M

What is HUCA ? And how does it work

srully

That means if I tranfer over 9,000 points from MR to iberia and get the 56% bonus it comes out that 11,250 I got for only 9,000MR and that would even out the difference in the devaluation from ba …besides there will be 7$ more than ba since iberia its 58.24 for a round trip ..and 11k avois, what u will get is 250avios for the transfer after have 11k for ur flight so its 250avios gaining and loosing 7$ (I don’t know why ur comments back to joe u wrote 12k to go from NYC to YYZ (pearson intl airport) its under 600miles so that would be only 11k and tax …58.24$ …thanks dan

YM

@Maury
if you have household acct its not available

chana k

@Abe M: Hang Up, Call Again = HUCA

Yanky

@Dan
I have 100k Amex MR points for an account I am closing. Is this transfer the best return now?

Mendel

how do I link my Iberia Plus account to my Membership Rewards account?

AMEX says that it has to be done directly through Iberia. But I can’t find the link on Iberia’s website.

Brian

The transfer to Iberia 2 weeks ago was only 1K:800, so this is definitely more recent.

yosel

to transfer from Iberia to BA avios, do both accounts have to have the exact same name?

coralsnake

@Mendel: It’s done on Amexs site. Log into membershiprewards.com. Click on travel>transfer. Then click on Iberia. There will be a link there to link your Iberia Avios account.

Mendel

@Mendel: Forget it. My mistake (clicked “enroll” instead of “link”)

Celso

Dan,
Do you know what would be the best miles program if I flight often from São Paulo (GRU) to NYC? It was Advantage, but next year it will change..United and Delta is also 30K minimum. I checked Avios, I could book for 25K American flights, but I am not sure if there will be a devaluation also…..would you have an answer?
Thanks!

Dan

@Jason:
Where are you flying from?
I don’t foresee a better Avios bonus than this in the future.

@srully:
The 600 miles is round-trip distance, hence 12K.

@Celso:
That award won’t be changing. The only thing changing is the 4.5K award for travel to/from/within the US.

Nick

Incredibly helpful. Thank you so much. As a side note, I wonder if you would consider providing an occasional ALPHABETIZED listing of all AMEX offers so that we can better sort them out and take advantage. I have added over 50 that are currently active. Yet they are grouped on the AMEX site by expiration. It would be better to see all of these lined up alphabetically. Thanks.

smurf

sounds like they are using the same calculator they used last time they ran the bonus.

Karen

My Iberai account has been open since 9/14. However, it has no points in it. My Avios account has 150K Avios and my Amex MR account has 90K. How many BA Avios do I need to transfer into Iberia plus in order to get this deal? Once the Iberia Avios account has those Avios, when can I exchange the Amex points ?

Dave

I have 100K+ MR. I need 25K Avios for a flight, but I’m wondering if I should empty my entire MR account into Iberia. My Iberia account is already linked to BA. So far I did a small test transfer to see if the 25% x2 bonus still applies. Does anybody think it’ll work today but die in 2 days? Maybe just transfer everything now. I don’t have plans to transfer MR to any other airline, but things can change.

Dave

Do you guys think this will last until 12/31? Trying to decide if I should transfer everything now or do a little at a time to make sure 25% x2 bonus still applies

Jason

@Dan – I’m flying San Diego, so I think I’ll transfer the 40k points, so that my fiancee and I can have 2 RT tickets from San Diego to Maui… Thoughts?

Burryhood

Are there any current Iberia bonus points available?

JOEB1

what stops them from pulling back mistake points?

username

Thanks!

@JOEB1:
If you move them out of Iberia, I would think that you’re safe.

JJ

08/12/15 Promotion 25% Transfer Mrb Amex Avios Finance 32,313
08/12/15 Transferring Your American Express Membership Rewards Avios Finance 129,250

Beautiful! I hope they don’t try to pull these back! I can’t transfer them to BA Avios as I just made the Iberia account. Do you guys think they will take them back?

Ryan

The combine avios option is not working for me. I keep getting this error message – Combine my Avios is not available at the moment. Please try again later.

Is anyone else seeing that?

Meir

@ryan
yes Im getting the same message. Any ideas ppl?

Dan

@Ryan:
@Meir:
Are you trying on the BA site or IB site?
Try on the other one yet?

Meir

@Dan
I used your link in the post.
Cant seem to find the option on the iberia site… do you where it is?

Meir
Ryan

Great find… It worked for me!

Chanan

I get “Which way do you want to move Avios?
You can only move Avios from British Airways to Iberia Plus – you cannot move your Avios back again.” anyone else get that? Anyway around that? Tried both links up top.

Dan

@Chanan:
Has your Iberia account been open for 90 days?

Shimbo

I transferred on 12/13, points hit my iberia accoutn today at 1:1. Seems the extra bonus is dead.

Tesh

Dan,

In your opinion what is the best way to spend AMEX rewards points? I usually travel from Boston so does it make sense for me to convert them to Avios points? Or are there better options out there.

true

i transfered on 12/15 and only got 1:1. seems that the extra bonus is dead

DZ the Telzer

Dan in order to be able to transfer from my BA to my Iberia, I have to make one transaction, I transfered 250 points from my Amex, would that be good enough or do i need to transfer 1,000

Dan

@DZ the Telzer:
250 is fine.

Stephen

Both links don’t allow to me to transfer
Iberia site says I can’t transfer at this time
Ba site allows me to click “combine” but nothing happens after

zow

@Stephen:
I’m hitting a wall on both sites, too.
Seems buggy.
Maybe they’re already ringing in the secular new year and no one is monitoring the sites for functionality? 🙂

srully

Is it ok to give my passport info on iberia when signing up to make an account ?

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