A Cheap Mileage Run for 18 Months of Oneworld Sapphire or 30 Months of Emerald

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By most accounts, air travel isn’t particularly enjoyable at the moment. As a result, spending your summer holidays mileage running for status might not appeal. But if British Airways’ recent status extension didn’t actually work out for you, then you might be interested in this promotion from Iberia Plus.

If you BOOK a flight on Iberia (or Iberia Express / Air Nostrum) between now and 15 July, 2020

For TRAVEL between 1 July and 31 August 2020.

You can receive:

  • Quadruple Elite Points for flights between Spain and Europe, North Africa and Middle East
  • Double Elite Points for other Iberia destinations

To be clear, you must book on Iberia “metal” using an Iberia flight code (usually IB3XXX or IB6XXX). No codeshares, etc.  The bonus Elite Points will only arrive during September 2020.

What are Elite Points?

Elite Points are what Iberia Plus uses to determine elite status. Every Iberia member has a status qualification year that runs from 1 April until 31 March of the following year.

If you earn 2,250 Elite Points during that period – i.e. before 31 March 2021 for the current cycle – you will be immediately upgraded to “Gold” status valid until 31 March 2022, which is equivalent to Oneworld Sapphire / BA Silver.

If you earn 6,250 Elite Points before 31 March 2021, you will be upgraded to “Platinum”, which is equivalent to Oneworld Emerald / BA Gold.  Moreover, Platinum status is valid for 2 years! As a result, you would be Platinum until 31 March 2023!

How Many Elite Points Do I Earn?


For the purposes of this 4x promotion, you almost certainly want to aim for “Reduced Business” fares between Spain and Europe III.  Europe III is a strange mix of countries, but it includes relatively closer (and therefore cheaper) countries such as Germany and Switzerland.

A discounted Business Class fare between Madrid and Geneva for example, will earn you 225 x 4 = 900 Elite Points  EACH WAY.

How Much Might This Cost Me?

It is relatively easy to find Business Class fares between Madrid and Switzerland for less than £300 return if you spend a night or two in Switzerland.

It’s also possible to find similar fares when starting in Switzerland.

Mileage Run Ideas…

A simple return between Spain and Switzerland in Business Class would earn you 1,800 Elite Points, not far away from the 2,250 Elite Points needed for Oneworld Sapphire.  The cheapest Economy fares between the United Kingdom and Madrid (on Iberia) earn 35 Elite Points each way. Thanks to this promotion, you could earn 4 x 35 x 2 = 280 Elite Points by positioning to Madrid on a cheap Iberia flight. You would still be a bit short, but I’m sure that you could think of ways to pick up the missing Elite Points…

If you wanted to aim for those 2+ years of Platinum status, you would need to fly between Madrid and Switzerland 3 times. Perhaps you could nest a Geneva – Madrid – Geneva booking inside of a Madrid – Geneva – Madrid booking. Those 6 flights would earn you 5,400 Elite Points. Take your positioning flights from the UK to Madrid in Business Class and you would earn 115 x 4 Elite Points each way… for 920 Elite Points that would take you over the 6,250 Elite Point requirement for Platinum status.

The Bottom Line

With travel at a standstill, it might seem premature to be mileage running for status. But if you want to earn Oneworld Emerald status, you could manage it with 8 short-haul flights and a budget of £1,500 or less. You can rarely beat that with BA Executive Club…

Of course, before you book you’ll want to double check to see whether you are allowed to enter both Spain and Switzerland, and that your preferred hotels are actually open for business (my favourite Madrid Airport hotels aren’t!).

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