How to get two free flights with Avios (airmiles)
Getting free flights is easier than you think. Take a look at our guide and soon you’ll be jetting off to discover a new city.
In this article we just cover Iberia which is part of the Oneworld airline alliance. Other member airlines include British Airways, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and more. For anyone living in Spain, it should be relatively easy to get two free flights (excluding air passenger duty) with Iberia, just follow these steps.
Step 1: Sign up for an Iberia Plus account
You’ll need to have an account with Iberia Plus to get your membership number and card. Although you’ll be provided with your account number immediately, you’ll also receive a physical card by post. Remember to get your partner to sign up too so they can have their own account.
Step 2: Request an Iberia Credit Card
You’ll need to have a regular income (wage or pension) for your application to be approved. Choose from either a Classic or Icon credit card and request an additional card for your partner.
- Classic: Sign-up bonus of 4500 Avios after spending 1500€ during the first 6 months. Extra 4000 Avios with a 200€ spend on the additional card. Avios are awarded at a rate of 1 Avios per 5€ spend when you use the card.
- Icon: Receive the same sign-up bonuses for the main and additional card. Avios are awarded at a rate of 1 Avios per 2€ spend.
Both cards come with additional perks, such as a 10% discount on Iberia flights. The Icon card also upgrades your Iberia Plus account to Silver. See more perks online at Iberiacards. One valuable perk for Icon card holders is an additional free checked suitcase on Iberia flights.
Important! Both cards are free the first year but come with a hefty fee if you renew: 45€ for Classic and 90€ for Icon. However, renewing the Icon card provides an extra 4000 Avios. The fee may, or may not, be worth paying to have access to all the other perks: you decide!
Step 3: Request an American Express charge card
All Amex cards earn 1 Membership Rewards (MR) point per 1€ spend. MR points can be exchanged for a variety of airline programmes, hotel nights and more. In the case of Iberia Plus the exchange rate is 1:1. Amex normally holds a promo once or twice a year where you’ll get an extra 20% Avios if you exchange your MR points.
- Classic: Sign-up bonus of 4500 MR points with a 600€ spend in the first 3 months.
- Gold: Sign-up bonus of 20,000 MR points with a 2000€ spend in the first 4 months. This card is only available if you have a minimum annual income of 25,000€.
Once again both cards are free the first year but renewing them comes at a price. Additional perks can be found online.
Step 4: Repeat
If the additional card holder has their own income, they can also request the cards in their name and include an additional card for another family member.
Step 5: Recommend
Recommend a friend! Both Iberia Cards and Amex offer additional Avios when you recommend a friend who is accepted.
Step 6: Double-dip
Iberia has an online store where you can earn extra Avios just by doing your online shopping via their links. Stores include El Corte Ingles, Fnac, Apple, Douglas and even TelePizza. Just log in to your Iberia Plus account then go to ibplustore.iberia.com.
Examples of how many Avios you can earn per euro spent include:
- Douglas: 10 Avios
- Fnac, Apple & El Corte Ingles: 4 Avios
- Kiehl’s: 12 Avios
- H&M: 8 Avios
For example, if you spend 100€ at El Corte Ingles you’d get 400 Avios.
Double-dip and pay for your purchase with your Iberia credit card or Amex in order to get even more Avios.
The Iberia Plus Store will credit the Avios to your account after 5 to 6 weeks in case you decide to return any items.
Bear in mind that the number of Avios offered per store may change at any time. You must be logged in to your Iberia Plus account and click on the links provided at the Iberia Plus Store; if your purchase isn’t tracked correctly you won’t have the Avios credited to your account.
Step 7: Choose your free flights
Without spending more than you would normally, you should have enough Avios for two free flights within six months. For Group 2 flights (651-1150km) you’d need:
- Low season: 7500 Avios per flight for Azul tariffs
- High season: 8250 Avios per flight for Azul tariffs
Group 2 for flights from Madrid covers nearly 40 destinations including Dubrovnik, Prague, Funchal and Marrakech. From other Spanish airports you’d need to check the destinations included.
Group 1 flights require less Avios and cover shorter distances in Spain and France. However you could also get to Tangier from Madrid for 9000 Avios return in low season.
Remember that the number of seats available to book with Avios are limited by flight. You can book up to 10 or 11 months in advance when there’s more chance that you’ll be able to find availability.
Before you go ahead and book, make sure you can’t get a cheap flight with a low-cost carrier. It makes little sense to use your Avios for a flight on a route that costs 25€ with Ryanair or Easyjet. Your Avios won’t expire for 36 months, so you have plenty of time to use them.
As we move towards a cash free world, paying by card for everything is becoming the norm, however you should make your cards work for you. If your current credit card doesn’t come with perks and you’re also paying an annual fee, it might be time to change.
Remember that credit cards come with a high interest rate. Always pay off in full at the end of the month otherwise the free flights aren’t really free. Also if you want to avoid paying the renewal fee, put a date in your diary to cancel one month before the first year ends.
Avios can be easily transferred between Iberia Plus and British Airways Executive Club, however taxes for flights that leave the UK are higher than equivalent flights from Spain. Before you move your Avios over, compare the final cost first.