Has IAG Suspended “Combine My Avios” Due to the Iberia Plus Promotion?

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Some participants in the recent Iberia Plus promotion have no intention of spending their Avios via Iberia Plus. Instead, they hope to transfer their 90,000 Avios to British Airways Executive Club and effectively abandon their Iberia Plus account once 90,000 Avios “expire” in December, leaving a negative balance.

Personally, I believe that this is a risky travel hack. If your bank accidentally credited your current account with £1 million, would you transfer it to a savings account at the same bank? That would be laughably easy to trace and recover. Would you spend some of it? Perhaps… but surely with the expectation that the bank might ask for their million back!

I believe that analogy is valid for Iberia Plus and British Airways Executive Club. After all, they are part of the same IAG holding company. If any human decides to audit those Iberia Plus accounts whose balance has gone negative, he or she will know exactly where the Avios were sent to. If Iberia Plus asks for their Avios back from British Airways and the Avios aren’t there any more… are you willing to pay for them? Or to be banned from both Iberia Plus and BAEC?

Regardless, several people have tried it out and reported that the Combine My Avios functionality has been suspended. If you try to send your bonus Avios from Iberia Plus to British Airways Executive or Avios.com (i.e. Aer Lingus AerClub or Vueling Club), your transaction will fail.

However, some industrious (although potentially short-sighted) Flyertalk members have found a loophole.

It appears that Combine My Avios is CAPPED at the number of Avios in your Iberia Plus account BEFORE the bonus Avios were credited. However you can repeat the transaction as many times as you like, but only to the fixed cap amount. Here are a few examples of what that should entail…

Example 1 – Brand New Iberia Plus Account with Zero Avios Pre-Promo

Since you didn’t have any Avios previously, you cannot use Combine My Avios (potentially until 1 December).

Example 2 – Pre-existing Iberia Plus Account but Zeroed Out Pre-Promo

This is my situation. I cannot move any Avios from Iberia Plus to Executive Club. Again I might be stuck in this situation until December, even if I subsequently earn Avios with Iberia Plus from car rentals, local partners, etc.

Example 3 – Iberia Plus Account with 500 Avios Pre-Promo

With lots of patience (or some fancy internet scripting), you can transfer Avios in chunks of 500 Avios.

Example 4 – Iberia Plus Account with 100,000+ Avios Pre-Promo

It should be possible to transfer all of your Avios to BAEC or Avios.com simply by breaking up the transaction into two smaller pieces.

Example 5 – Skipped the Iberia Plus Promo

Combine my Avios should be working as normal…

Crowd-sourced information is only as good as the data points offered by readers. So please leave a comment below if your experience has been different. And let us know if you’ve also had difficulties moving Avios from BA to Iberia – and how you managed to get it to work…

Comments

  1. Tilly71 says

    Some reports on FT that people have successfully moved points out of IB to Avios and no mention of needing to have a bulk of existing of points already there to match individual transfer amounts like others have stated is a work around.

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