Why I Didn’t Jump On The Incredible Iberia Offer, And Why It Might Not Be Right For You

In case you missed it, there’s a pretty incredible deal to acquire airline miles really cheaply right now.  They’re from an airline you might be familiar with (Iberia) and they’re a “currency” you might be familiar with (Avios).  And, you can use them on an airline you’ve definitely heard of (American Airlines). 

What’s The Deal?

The first person I saw discussing the Iberia deal was my good friend Mommy Points. I’m not sure she was the first, and she’s definitely not the only one discussing it.  But, I’m not sure where it started. Summer has written about how you can get 90,000 Avios for about 3/10ths of a penny each. For perspective, these are worth about 1.5 cents each. Great deal, right?

And, if it’s a great deal, I remember the words of Ingy (Rick Ingersoll) who used to pen Frugal Travel Guy.  He would say, “If it’s good enough to do for you, it’s good enough to do for the whole family!”

Why I’m Not Playing 

Lots of people seem to be jumping on this one. And, 10 or 15 years ago I probably would have been all over it too. I’m currently on vacation with my family and I’m lucky enough to earn points via my “day job”. Even if I was home right now, I’d still be on the sidelines. Here’s why:

Iberia Can Be A Bit of A Pain: I’ve already seen reports on Twitter of Iberia’s website throwing errors. I’ve heard horror stories about their call centers. And, you’ve got to find availability. No guarantees those stars align. 

There’s Some Chance Iberia Doesn’t Honor This: You’re booking airline tickets that you don’t plan to use.  The plan is to no-show on these reservations. My light reading of the details seem to indicate you’ll be okay. But, what if they choose not to honor?  You can try calling customer service. That should be fun. If they say no, then what?  It’s probably not a great chance they renege, but do consider you may not get your Avios.  You’re spending real money to buy airline tickets you won’t use (a bit more than $300 if you max out the promo with the cheapest tickets).  That’s not chump change if you end up with nothing for it.

Where’s Your Focus?: Unless you’re really a nerd about miles and points, redeeming Avios through Iberia is going to take some work. You could also spend that time trying to maximize your existing spending or possibly applying for a new credit card. You could earn a good number of points that way, maybe more with some of the huge bonuses out there now. 

I’d argue that you may be better off focusing on less aspirational goals than hammering a bunch of Iberia reservations for you and your family. 

The Final Two Pennies 

If you’re a family who loves to travel, taking advantage of a promotion like this may be almost mandatory. There are plenty of folks telling you WHY you should jump on this. I just figured it’s worth looking at the other side. If you didn’t/don’t get in on this one, there will be other opportunities down the road. 

The promotion ends today.

Let me know if you jumped in or not!

The post Why I Didn’t Jump On The Incredible Iberia Offer, And Why It Might Not Be Right For You was published first on Pizza in Motion


  1. This offer was too fun to pass up. Takes me back to the old days of Grand Slam, mileage runs, coin hauling, Thai rice farmers and pudding cups. Thanks to Iberia for reviving those memories.

  2. agreed, not jumping on either. was really temped but just not worth the risk. already flying Iberia to Madrid this fall, so not sure I’d be able to use again to book by Dec when they expire.

  3. I created an Iberia Plus account on Friday. it was difficult as Iberia.com would not accept my passport number. I called their help center and it was predictable a run around. They told me to send an email but when I tried that, the email requires your account number. The issue was my inability to create an account number. So, a frustrating experience with Iberia.

    Eventually, I found a work around and bought 10 tickets from Santander to Madrid for $27 each. Im goint o try to book some business class between NYC and MAD. If there’s no space, I go between NYC and Washington every week so worst case I hope I can use the Avios to book shuttle tickets on AA for cheap. If the Avios don’t post, I will attempt a charge back on my Citi Prestige card. other than the time wasted with Iberia, $270 seemed like a reasonable bet.

  4. Never tempted. This is a perfect summary of my reasoning. I’m at the point where the hassle factors are not worth it to me. Who needs more stress?

  5. I believe you have to burn the points by December too. This was my issue and my vacation days are all committed for the year.

  6. Yes, passed on this as well. The risk just wasn’t worth it, and I agree that using those miles by December might not be easy, at least for me.

  7. Just to let you know: I took up the offer, managed to almost maximize it and it worked out extremely well (almost all of the short flights were changed in departure times and I could cancel for free but didn’t lose the miles), Combined with the $1000 companion pass from the Iberia card and the miles earned from it I got: 2 business class return tickets to Spain and an extra excursion to north Africa at a total cost of less than $250 and that includes the $95 fee for the card. Yes, there was some opportunity cost for the spend on the credit card, but my friend Simon helped me out with that.

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