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There are a couple of excellent deals that will expire in just a few days. Let’s get to them.
Iberia 25% off awards
If you book your award ticket through Iberia between now and February 14th, you’ll get 25% off normal mileage requirements. You can see full details here If you are not familiar with Iberia Avios program, read my post on it. Be aware, they have just adopted a new award chart, see details on The Points Guy blog.
What you need to know:
1) The discount is valid on certain Iberia routes. US cities that are included in this promo are: New York, Chicago, Boston and Miami. The first three are in Band 5, Miami is in Band 6.
2) The discount is valid on economy (blue class is the cheapest) as well as business award flights.
3) You have to fly between February 8th and 14th June 2017, except April. That means you can fly when kids are out of school for the summer.
4) In order to get the lowest pricing, you have to book a non-stop flight. Iberia charges per segment, so more connections=more Avios.
5) If you have existing Avios in British Airways account AND your Iberia account has been opened for at least 90 days, you can instantly transfer BA Avios to Iberia for free.
- Log in to your account on ba.com
- Click on “Executive club”
- Select ‘Manage My Account’ on the left
- Click on ‘Combine My Avios’
- Select Iberia Plus as the transfer program
6) If you don’t have British Airways Avios or Iberia account, your only way to get the needed points instantly is via transfer from Amex Membership Rewards. The ratio is 250 MR points to 200 Avios.
There are some good deals to be had. Here is an example of one-way economy flight form Miami to Madrid at the beginning of June:
As you can see, fuel surcharges are relatively low. And here is the price from Boston, New York or Chicago:
You may want to splurge on premium economy, which is not that much more than regular economy seat. You’ll get more room and a more pleasant flight. Here is the price from New York:
Of course, revenue fares to Spain have been very low lately, so that’s something to consider. Still, this is a pretty good deal for a non-stop flight. But there is a possibility to get a spectacular deal. If you are fortunate, you may be able to snag a business class seat for only 25,500 Avios one-way from New York, Chicago or Boston. I had a hard time finding any business-class availability and I doubt the situation will improve. But maybe you’ll get lucky.
This deal will expire on February 15th, though it should come around later this year. Here is the page with all the details. A week in a condo resort near Disney for $249? Yes please! A huge caveat and a deal-breaker for some: you have to purchase 3 vouchers, so your upfront investment will total around $767 (with fee). But read on.
I have never personally used these certificates, but Dia at Thedealmommy blog has had nothing but good experience with them. I highly recommend you read her post Skyauction: How I get $35/night condo rentals anywhere in the world! A nice thing is that you can check availability here before purchasing the vouchers. Some details directly from the website:
How do I book my vacation?
Reservations are booked on-line and are confirmed instantly! You will be given instructions on how to book after you complete your purchase.
When can I travel?
Reservations must be made within 1 Year of the date of purchase.
Reservations may be made up to 1 Year in advance of your stay.
Availability is updated daily.
Once certificates are issued they are non-refundable.
Please be sure to check availability prior to completing the purchase as not all dates are available.
Expiration dates cannot be extended.
Some resorts charge additional fees at check-in. These fees are disclosed when searching availability prior to making reservations.
Resale of these items is strictly forbidden either privately or through any other website. The issuer reserves the right to deny acceptance without recourse of any items deemed to have been obtained in a manner contrary to our terms of sale and any person found to engage in this practice will be refused the right to purchase further items of this type.
Anytime within the following date(s):
One Time Processing Fee: $20
So, you will have close to two years to use the vouchers. That being said, I recommend you only consider this purchase if you can redeem at least two certificates right now. That way, if you end up losing the third one, the price will be $383 per week, which is still excellent. Obviously, don’t expect to reserve a two-bedroom condo over Christmas near Disney World for this price. You are paying for excess inventory, aka you are going to a place where few want to go during that particular season.
I checked some random dates in March and had a hard time finding anything in Orlando or on the beach in Daytona. But if you can go in April or May, you should be able to snag something in those areas. Yes, you can potentially stay at a beachfront 1-bedroom condo for only $249 for the whole week, cleaning fees included. Many units give an option to upgrade to 2-bedroom for only $100 per week, which is extremely cheap. But once again, the price varies.
You can reserve 11 months before your check-in date, so Christmas season is already loaded. But like I said, you will have to be extremely flexible in order to find something decent. Be aware that some units charge a supplement during holidays and high season, but the price is clearly stated upfront. All things considered, you will probably come out ahead compared to what a cramped room will cost in many tourist areas (via cash or points.)
Bottom line: this is a potentially hot deal for families who value condo-type setup, and who have flexibility on dates and destinations. The more flexible you are, the better chance you’ll have at scoring a bargain. The charge should code as travel, and you may be able to offset the cost with sign-up bonus from a card like Barclaycard Arrival Plus.
SkyAuction deal is not for everyone. In fact, I decided to pass on it. Why? We mostly travel during peak season and holidays and very often stay in a hotel for two nights at a time. I did check various options, but none fit in with my existing plans. Plus, I don’t like the idea of prepaying vacations (the rate is non-refundable) because I value flexibility. But your travel pattern may differ from mine.
Have a good weekend!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.