It’s now been exactly three months since Iberia rolled out their infamous 90,000 Avios promotion for simply booking a bunch of cheap one way tickets that don’t even have to be flown.
Those Iberia Plus members who opened their account back then just for this purpose have now reached the required account age (3 months) to initiate ‘Combine My Avios’ and transfer the points out to BA Executive Club.
The Iberia Plus / Avios promotion which we have covered here extensively came with the caveat that all Avios from the account have to be redeemed for awards by December 1st 2018 and that a transfer of Avios wouldn’t be possible.
It has however been at least technically possible to complete the transfer short after the miles got credited to the customers account. Nobody knows what is going to happen to the accounts who did transfer out the miles after December 1st 2018. One possibility would be that the account goes into negative, another that nothing will happen at all or that Iberia Plus and BA Executive Club are going to communicate and move balances back.
In any case the technical possibility is there to do it. While I have personally used up my Iberia Plus points for a Business Class redemption flight in December but I want to remind readers who still have leftover Iberia points that it might be indeed an option to look into.
There are a few ground rules for moving points through the “Combine my Avios” function:
- The account needs to be ‘activated’ with at least one earning transaction. As I was already concerned about this for the initial promotion I transferred 1 (one) SPG point to the account back in June which also triggered the 200 Welcome Points.
- The customer data of IB & BA (email, address, name) must match to a 100% degree.
- If your BA account is part of a household account it’s not possible to receive miles.
Something that confused me at first was that when you go to the Iberia website and select the ‘combine my Avios’ function you can only receive points from BA but not transfer them out. In order to transfer from Iberia Plus to British Airways Executive Club you must go to the BA website:
It then prompts you to login to your corresponding program from which you want to move the miles into the BAEC account.
If your accounts match you can then select the desired amount of points you wish to move on the next screen. The transfer is instantaneous and the miles are visible in the BA account immediately, ready to be used.
In case you want to read up on the Iberia Promotion saga here are previous articles that we have published about this offer:
- Iberia Promo Alert: up to 90k Extra Avios for Tickets Purchased on Iberia.com
- Statement From Iberia Plus Regarding The 90,000 Bonus Avios Promo
- Just Purchased 10 Iberia Tickets – Anyone Else?
- LAST CALL: Iberia Plus 90,000 Bonus Avios Booking Deadline Today! (June 24, 2018)
- Iberia Plus 90,000 Bonus Avios Promo Drama In The Making?
- Iberia Plus Limiting/Canceling New Accounts That Purchased Promo Tickets?
- Statement From Iberia Plus Regarding Blocked Accounts & Possible Workaround For Some
- Iberia Plus Ticket Purchase Avios Posted!
- Two Iberia Emails: Congratulating For 90,000 Avios & Asking For Official Identification
- The Iberia Promotion Saga (Drama Really) Continues: Now Customers Are Being Notified About ‘Inconsistencies’ With NO MILES But Refunds Offered
- And The Next Round: More Denials & Lies From IBERIA Concerning The 90,000 Miles Offer
Should you do this transfer despite the T&C saying no?
Good question and to be honest there is no definitive answer to that. It’s hard to predict if Iberia has any recourse of getting the miles back from BA (it’s pretty much the same company after all) or if they have any desire to police this. A negative account balance would probably not be of too much concern for most people. You have to make this pick yourself and be aware there is some residue of risk doing this.
Unless you really don’t know what to do with the Iberia Plus miles I’d probably rather be safe than sorry at a later point. BA Avios can be used in a more universal way than IB as you can book pretty much any flight one way including the oneWorld partner carriers. Iberia doesn’t offer this and their website is pretty much garbage.
On the other hand I found the Iberia miles to be quite useful as the price for my MAD-PVG ticket was very low (59,500 miles + US$110 in Business Class) and one can argue their new Business Class product is miles (all pun intended) better than anything BA has to offer at this point.