Has the Iberia Plus Promotion Messed Up the “Conventional Wisdom” Regarding Avios?

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I suspect that many readers are now enjoying an additional 90,000 Avios in their Iberia Plus account. Or even better… have already spent some or all of those Avios on a long-haul reward in Iberia’s decent Business Class.

One of the reasons that this promotion was so attractive is the fact that many Avios collectors place an estimated value of 1p on Avios. So, when offered the opportunity to spend £200-300 (on the 10 cheapest flights they could find) and receive 90,000 Avios, many people jumped to the immediate conclusion that this promotion would offer a bargain. And they were right, now that the promotion has been honoured (for most)…

But now come the consequences… Has our entire concept of the value of Avios been screwed up? Here’s what I mean…

Since I had some leftover bonus Avios (after booking a long-haul reward in Business Class), I looked for rewards between London and Madrid. Here’s the result of a random search…

Perhaps it’s just me… but I IMMEDIATELY looked down the Avios & Money list and saw 5,200 Avios + £84.06. An extra £40 to save 7,800 Avios? But of course!! That works out to 0.51p per Avios. A “no brainer” as the Americans like to say…

But hang on a second… I just “bought” 90,000 Avios for roughly 0.25-0.3p apiece. Why am I now so attracted to a price of 0.51p? Especially since not only did I just receive 90,000 bonus Avios, but I also have a very healthy balance of Avios due to the Groupon promotions, etc.

Shouldn’t I be spending Avios as fast as I can? Rather than hoarding them via Avios & Money redemptions? Especially since I’d be one of the first to suggest that a devaluation often goes hand-in-hand with an excess of miles or points in the system. This is a question I’ve been asking myself these last few days…

Once we get closer to the 1 December deadline for spending these bonus Avios, I am sure that Insideflyer UK will publish several posts offering alternative reward options, options that will probably come nowhere near a value of 1p per Avios. And with Combine my Avios frozen, it might not be possible to spend these Avios with a 2-4-1 voucher or on short-haul Reward Flight Savers for the entire family, limiting the other redemption options that help support a value of 1p…

But perhaps there’s no need to wait until November to adjust conventional wisdom. Are Avios now not really worth 1p? Or at least shouldn’t we be far more willing to spend them at valuations lower than 1p? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section…

Comments

  1. Russell Wilson says

    I agree, it’s going to take a little while to get our heads around this. I’ve just bought return tickets for myself and wife to Rio in business class currently priced just over £4000. I’m looking at it as a unique offer and just enjoying it 🙂

    There is an alternative though, I don’t know if it’s worth ‘laundering’ these points by doing cash and point runs so you’d end up with tier points and clean avios. You’d lose a fair few granted but it may be worth it for some who want to transfer them to BA to top up an account perhaps for the 2-4-1.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I’m sure that Part Pay With Avios will be a very legitimate way for people to spend their Avios in October / November if award availability dries up. I’ll have to look at how it prices on some of the Spanish TP runs.

  2. Tilly71 says

    Widely reported over on FT that lots of new IB accounts are having trouble getting the avios owed or emails received cancelling flights and no avios awarded.
    This promo was always going to have a “sting in the tail” for some.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I find it hard to sympathise actually. Brand new accounts. Booking flights they won’t actually use. Full refunds offered so nobody ends up out of pocket.

      I’m sure I’ll eventually write a “lessons learnt” post about this aspect of the promo though…

  3. James says

    Are transfer really frozen ? Seems rather harsh as I’m sure plenty of people (myself included) have Avios in their Iberia account which has nothing to do with this promo.

    • Adam says

      Looks like it at present. It appears you could transfer points up to a certain time on Thursday then they stopped it.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I imagine it’s an IT nightmare to distinguish between “bonus Avios” and pre-existing Avios. And I have a great deal of sympathy for Iberia Plus not wanting to allow people to send their bonus Avios over to BAEC.

      I zeroed out my IB+ balance before the promo Avios arrived, just so that on 1 December there should be nothing left to inadvertently expire.

  4. Stuart says

    CMA isn’t frozen…made a non bonus avios transfer from IB > Avios > BA a few days ago and was instant.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Thanks. I thought I had made it clear in the other post that non-participants in the promo should be having no problems with CMA, but all data points are welcome 🙂

  5. Tilly71 says

    The guy who opened an account under his dogs name and sent in its passport details strangely didn’t get his bonus avios under “inconsistencies”, what a shocker, some people….😤

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