Oh the drama! First Iberia offered up to 90,000 points at a cost of around $300 for booking flights you never even need to take. That’s because the points were supposed to post right away, and expire if unused December 1, while flights could even be for next year.
Iberia started freezing accounts that took advantage of the promotion and coming up with reasons not to honor the deal for some members. However they honored the deal for most people and even have been unlocking some accounts and continuing to post bonus points.
When I originally wrote about the deal I said “You may not be able to transfer these points from Iberia to British Airways without restriction.” That’s because the offer terms said,
If the customers transfer these Avios to their BA Executive Club account, they will have a negative balance in the Iberia Plus programme, as those Avios wouldn’t have been spent by the date mentioned above.
And indeed when the points posted there seemed to be a restriction that prevented members from moving the points. Normally your Iberia account needs to be open 90 days in order to make a transfer. However even for long-time accounts this restriction appeared to be in place.
In fact that’s fine, Iberia Avios are often more useful than British Airways Avios. For instance, you can book awards on Iberia for a lot fewer miles and without big fuel surcharges. However some people wanted to combine their points (realizing they could move points back later, and transfer into either account from Chase or American Express).
So if you want to move your Iberia Avios to British Airways you can do so. However there’s a catch. Just as the original offer terms noted your Iberia balance will see a negative 90,000 in December. That’s because the points will appear to have been unused, will expire, and 90,000 points will get deducted at that time.
The Head for Points blog suggests “You may not care about that. You may care.”
- If you still have Iberia Avios in your account, in other words if you carry an Iberia balance, you’re going to lose points from that balance.
- If you don’t carry points with Iberia but decide to transfer points into your Iberia account in the future you’re going to start off negative 90,000. So transfers in just reduce your negative balance.
- You don’t have about negative balances if you either (1) don’t plan on using Iberia again in the future, or (2) are able to abandon the existing account and create a new one later (but this is not without risk).
At the end of the day this offer was way too good to be true, it’s being honored, but they’re not going to be even more generous than they had promised.