As you may have heard, Iberia Airlines recently offered a promotion where they were awarding 9,000 bonus points for every ticket purchased up to 90,000 points. These points were awarded regardless of the amount spent on the flight or if the flight is taken. This included $35 domestic trips that didn't need to be flown. In other words, one could conceivably spend ~$300 and get 90,000 points.
However, the points need to be redeemed by Dec 1.
This deal was too insane for me not to take advantage of it. However, my grand plan of getting the entire family yet another set of round trip tickets to Europe did not go as planned.
Jeff's points didn't go through due to a glitch and I didn't get a chance to purchase the full amount to max out my account because of the time difference (I forgot that Spain was +6 hours and by the time I came back to finish what I started, the promo had ended).
Long story short, I spent about $330 and ended up with a total of 63,500 points.
With the deadline to use them looming, I had to figure out how to make this random amount of points work for us. Luckily, we already had a trip to Spain booked but not planned out. The only things in motion were our one-way tickets from Seville to Madrid (bought during the promotion because they were cheap and we would actually use them).
I set to work using the 63K points to subsidize the rest of our trip. And boy, did that $330 go far though I fully acknowledge that I probably did not optimize the points.
But my redemption plan was as follows:
1) Tickets for 3 + infant from Barcelona to Seville = 15,000 points + $105
Because I'm Game of Thrones obsessed, I wanted to make sure we included this destination. Hello Dorne!!! But getting there from Barcelona was expensive or time intensive. We could either train for 5 hours+ and spend $360 or spend 1 hour flying and spend $105. Seemed like a good use of points.
I actually was not sure what I was going to do with the rest of the points. Knowing we needed housing, I googled "spend iberia avois on hotels" and sure enough, Iberia has a portal similar to the Chase and Capital One portals! Wow! I had no idea because I could not find it on their horrible website.
So the remainder of the points were spent covering housing.
2) A central hotel in Seville for 4 nights = ~30,000 points + $105
3) Hotel in Madrid near airport for last night = ~18,000 points + $5 (because I was short about 100 points).
This seemed like a great way to use the rest of the points so we would not have spend a lot out of pocket. And so our trip to Spain is now planned out and was heavily subsidized by airline and credit card points (here is a link for our go-to Chase Sapphire Reserve).
We will be in Spain for about 2 weeks and $1413 covered all major expenses of the trip.
- 3 round trip tickets to Spain (non-stop in to Barcelona and out from Madrid to/from JFK)
- 3 tickets from Barcelona to Seville
- 3 tickets from Seville to Madrid
- Housing in Seville
- Housing in Madrid
- Barcelona housing is covered via home exchange (free)
Our tickets to Spain were mostly paid for by the Capital One Venture promotion of 50,000 points after $3K spent. They are still offering this deal. Jeff actually got a direct mail promotion of 70,000 points after $5K spent. We did that too and those points will subsidize our next trip.
I spent a lot of time booking things that should be easy but were not - like buying tickets for my family (Uuuug beneficiary and companion booking??). Side rant - you can't actually add a "beneficiary" at the time of checking out. You need to do it separately. I wish I could tell you where on Iberia's website to do that but I just googled it and Google led me to the right page. Then you add the person and have to go through booking the tickets again.
All in all, the Iberia interface was HORRIBLE and I NEVER want to use them again but hey, all that pain was worth it. And now we are super pumped about the trip.