Best Ways to Redeem Iberia Plus Avios

There are several great ways to spend your Iberia Avios. You could fly business class from Chicago to Madrid from only 34,000 Avios one-way.

You could also fly on short roundtrip flights on American Airlines and other OneWorld airlines starting at only 11,000 Avios for economy class.

We will show you in this post the airlines you can fly, how much it will cost, our favorite sweet spots, and things you need to know before you book your award trip.

Earning Iberia Avios

There several great ways to collect Iberia Avios including points transfer partners and credit cards. 

Transfer Partners

American Express Membership Rewards– You can transfer American Express points instantly to Iberia at a ratio of 1 point to 1 Avio. Plus, American Express has usually offered at least one transfer bonus each year to Iberia.

Chase Ultimate Rewards– You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points instantly to Iberia at a ratio of 1 point to 1 Avio.

Marriot Bonvoy– You can transfer Marriot Bonvoy points at a rate of 3 Marriott points to 1 Avio. Plus, if you get a bonus for transferring in increments of 60,000 Marriott points, which equals 25,000 Avios.

Accor Hotels ALL– You can transfer “All” rewards points at a 1 to 1 ratio to Iberia.

HSBC Rewards– You can transfer HSBC Rewards at a 1 to 1 ratio to Iberia.

Best Western– You can transfer 5,000 Best Western rewards points to 1,000 Avios.

Avios Credit Cards

You can earn Avios with three Chase credit cards: 

The Aer Lingus and British Airways cards would earn Avios for those programs, but you can transfer Avios between all three Avios programs if (1) both accounts have been open for 90 days, (2) each account has earned at least one Avio, and (3) the account names match.

Airlines You Can Fly Using Iberia Avios

You can book flights using Avios on one of Iberia’s OneWorld Alliance partners.

All of the below partners can be booked on Iberia.com except Japan Airlines and Malaysia Airlines, which can be booked by calling 1-800-772-4642.

oneworld 2 OneWorld Alliance Airlines
American Airlines American Airlines British Airways 1 British Airways
Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific Finnair logo Finnair
Iberia logo 1 Iberia Japan Airlines Japan Airlines
Malaysia Airlines logo Malaysia Airlines Qantas Logo Qantas
Qatar Airways logo Qatar Airways Royal Air Maroc Royal Air Maroc
Royal Jordanian Royal Jordanian S7 Airlines S7 Airlines
Sri Lankan Airlines logo SriLankan Airlines

You can also redeem Avios on Iberia’s partner airlines.

Iberia logo 1 Iberia's Other Airline Partners
Avianca Avianca Binter Airlines Binter
Interjet Interjet Level Airlines LEVEL
Vueling Airlines Vueling

Award Charts: How Many Avios it Will Cost

Iberia has several different distance-based award charts below, which means the further you fly, the more Avios is required.

Calculating the price of an award can be complicated because Iberia has several award charts and each has its own quirks, which we detail below.

Below is the award chart for OneWorld Airlines and Avianca. For this chart, only round-trip awards are allowed.

Peak and Off-Peak Dates do not apply to this chart, and the distance is calculated in miles for the entire trip.

Below is the award chart for Iberia flights on “Off-Peak” dates.

Iberia Avios Off-Peak Award Chart

Below is Iberia’s Peak Award Chart.

Iberia Peak Dates Award Chart

Iberia’s 2020 Calendar “Peak” Dates are:

  • January 1-13
  • April 2-3
  • April 8-13
  • April 30-May 1
  • May 3
  • May 14-15
  • May 17
  • June 10-11
  • June 14
  • June 19-September 13
  • October 8-9
  • October 12
  • October 22-23
  • October 30-November 2
  • December 4-5
  • December 8
  • December 16-20
  • December 23-31

The peak dates for 2021 have not been announced yet.

Iberia’s distance-based award chart classifies award levels based on “bands.” Below are examples of the “band” levels from Madrid.

For U.S. travelers, Band 5 is a sweet spot of Boston, Chicago, New York City, and San Juan (Puerto Rico).

Band 1: Alicante, Almeria, Asturias, Badajoz, Barcelona, Bilbao, Granada-Jaen, Ibiza, Jerez, La Coruña, Logroño, Málaga, Melilla, Menorca, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Pamplona, Salamanca, San Sebastián, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Valencia, Valladolid, Vigo, Algiers, Bordeaux, Casablanca, Geneva, Lisbon, Lourdes, Lyon, Marseilles, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Oporto, Oran, Perpignan, Rennes, Tangier, and Toulouse.

Band 2: Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Tenerife, Marrakech, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Birmingham, Catania, Cork, Dublin, Dubrovnik, Dusseldorf, Munich, Strasbourg, Florence, Frankfurt, Funchal, Genoa, Glasgow, Hamburg, London, Malta, Manchester, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Paris, Prague, Rome, Turin, Venice, Vienna, Zagreb, and Zurich.

Band 3: Athens, Bucharest, Budapest, Krakow, Copenhagen, Corfu, Istanbul, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Heraklion, Mykonos, Moscow, Oslo, Reykjavik, St. Petersburg, Warsaw, and Dakar.

Band 4: Cairo, Lagos, Malabo, and Tel Aviv.

Band 5: Boston, Chicago, Luanda, New York, and San Juan (Puerto Rico). 

Band 6: Bogota, Caracas, Cali, San Salvador, Guatemala, Guayaquil, Johannesburg, Havana, Lima, Los Angeles, Medellin, Mexico City, Miami, Panama, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, San Jose (Costa Rica), Santo Domingo, and Sao Paulo.

Band 7: Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Santiago (Chile).

Band 8: Tokyo and Shanghai.

You can also use Iberia’s Avios to upgrade your economy ticket.

However, an upgrade to the Business class is available from the Full Economy (fares Y, B, and H) and Premium Economy (W) classes.

You can also use Iberia’s Avios to upgrade your economy ticket.

However, an upgrade to the Business class is available from the Full Economy (fares Y, B and H) and Premium Economy (W) classes.

British Airways 2020 Peak Dates are:

  • January: 1-6.
  • February: 14-17 and 21-24.
  • March: 27-31.
  • April: 1-14 and 16-19.
  • May: 22-31.
  • June: None.
  • July: 4-6 and 8-31.
  • August: 1-10, 13-17, and 19-31.
  • September: 1-6.
  • October: 10, 11, 16-19, and 23-26.
  • November: None.
  • December: 12-14, and 17-31.

Below is Iberia’s British Airways award chart.

British Airways Iberia Award Chart

LEVEL is Iberia’s ultra-low-cost carrier that flies from Barcelona and operates long-haul flights to North and South America.

LEVEL’s flights are fairly cheap, so it is not recommended to use Avios to book LEVEL.

However, you may want to consider using Avios to upgrade from a cheap economy ticket to premium economy for 10,500 to 12,750 Avios during off-peak times.

Level Airlines- Iberia Award Chart

This award chart only applies to domestic flights within Mexico that connect to Iberia’s Madrid to Mexico City flight. 

Vueling is an ultra-low-cost European airline that is owned by IAG, the parent company of Iberia.

We do not recommend using Avios on Vueling since their flights are already very cheap.

Binter operates flights to the Spanish islands.

 

OneWorld Alliance Awards

  • Iberia calculates the price based on roundtrip distance of the entire trip.
  • You can calculate your distance by plugging in your routing to this calculator. For example, if you were flying roundtrip from Los Angeles to New York on American Airlines, you might enter LAX-JFK-LAX or if a connecting flight, LAX-DFW-JFK-ORD-LAX.
  • If you are flying on Iberia plus another OneWorld Airline, you would use the OneWorld award chart.
Iberia, British Airways, and All Other Awards
  • Iberia prices these awards based upon the distance of each segment.
  • For example, if you were flying New York-JFK to Barcelona in business class it would cost 34,000 Avios for the New York to Madrid flight and 9,000 Avios for the Madrid to Barcelona flight. 
  • For direct flights to Madrid on Iberia, click on the Iberia “Bands” link below since there are some exceptions to the distance rule. For example, Chicago should be in Band 6 based on the distance of 4,202 miles but is classified in Band 5 (flights between 3,000-4,000 miles). 

Mixed Cabins– Iberia also allows you to save Avios by flying in a mixed cabin (e.g., economy for one segment and business for one segment). Iberia prices these awards based on the weighted average of the total distance. 

Peak Dates– Flights on Iberia and British Airways are also subject to Peak dates, which requires 40-50% more Avios. You can find those dates below for each airline. 

Best Ways to Use Iberia Avios

There are several great ways to use Iberia’s Avios. Below are some of my favorites.

1. Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Juan to Madrid

My favorite use of Avios is flying Iberia business class during the “off-peak” time to Madrid from Boston, Chicago, New York, or San Juan for only 34,000 Avios one-way or 68,000 Avios round-trip.

Most other airlines charge around 70,000 miles one-way, so you can book a round-trip flight for the same cost as a one-way flight!

Taxes and fees are a reasonable $95 for the U.S. to Madrid flight and $129 from Madrid to the U.S. flight.

2. Short Round-Trip Flights on American Airlines and OneWorld

It only costs 11,000 Avios for round-trip flights on OneWorld airlines for flight under 600 miles, and 12,000 Avios for flights between 601 and 1,000 miles.

I frequently use this sweet spot to fly from Lexington (KY) to my family in Charlotte (NC).

By car, the round-trip drive is over 800 miles and takes 13 hours due to the mountains. But by air, it is a very quick 45-minute flight.

American Airlines prices this short flight (and many other short flights) for around $300-500, so being able to redeem 11,000 Avios for it is a great deal. 

This other good thing about this sweet spot is that, unlike British Airways’ Avios, the entire trip is priced as a whole rather than individual segments.

Thus, I could fly Lexington-Charlotte-Raleigh for 12,000 Iberia Avios round-trip, whereas it would cost 30,000 British Airways Avios due to the connection in Charlotte (7,500 * 4 segments).

Pro Tip: Sometimes Iberia’s award search does not match the “Saver” award space on AA.com. If this happens, perform an Avios search on BritishAirways.com. If the flight shows that it is available, give Iberia a call at 1-800-772-4642 to book the flight.

3. Los Angeles and "Band 6" Cities to Madrid

The cities in “Band 6” including Los Angeles are also a great deal to book for only 42,500 Avios one-way in Iberia business class during the off-peak time.

On an Avios per hour basis, this award is better than 34,000 business class sweet spot. From Los Angeles, you would spend only about 3,500 Avios per hour versus 3,700 Avios per hour from Chicago (12 hours versus 9 hours flight time).

The “Band 6” cities are: Bogota, Caracas, Cali, San Salvador, Guatemala, Guayaquil, Johannesburg, Havana, Lima, Los Angeles, Medellin, Mexico City, Miami, Panama, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, San Jose (Costa Rica), Santo Domingo, and Sao Paulo.

4. New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco in Lie-Flat Business

You can also book American Airlines’ lie-flat transcontinental business class for only 64,000 Avios.

You can book the same flight with American Airlines miles for 65,000 points, but if you transfer American Express Membership Rewards during a 40% transfer bonus, these routes can be a good value at only 45,714 American Express points.

5. Upgrade to Premium Economy on LEVEL

You can also your Iberia Avios to upgrade from economy to premium economy on Iberia’s ultra-low-cost carrier LEVEL Airlines, who operates out of Barcelona.  

An upgrade on the San Francisco to Barcelona route would cost you 12,750 Avios one-way, which is a pretty good deal considering there is about a $400 difference one-way between economy and premium economy.

A couple of benefits of Premium Economy are:

  • A seat with 37 inches of legroom with more recline and an adjustable footrest.
  • Two free checked bags plus one carry on.
  • A 3-course meal, drinks, and a lighter meal before arrival.
Level Airlines Premium Economy

6. Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Santiago to Madrid

These three cities are in Band 7, which can be booked during the off-peak time for only 51,000 Avios each way for business class.

Other Things to Know About Iberia Avios

There are a few other things you should know about Iberia Avios.

You can transfer Avios to British Airways and Aer Lingus.

Iberia is part of the International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns British Airways and Aer Lingus. This shared ownership allows you to transfer Avios between the programs if you meet a few requirements:

  • Both accounts must be open for a minimum of 90 days.
  • You have at least one Avios-earning transaction in your Iberia account.
  • Your name, birth date, and email on both accounts are exactly the same.

American Express Membership Rewards Offers Transfer Bonuses to Iberia.

Over the past few years, American Express has consistently offered at least one transfer bonus per year. 

The bonus is around 40%, which means some of Iberia’s sweet spots a steal:

  • 24,285 Membership Rewards for one-way business class from Chicago/New York to Madrid.
  • 7,857 Membership Rewards for roundtrip flights under 600 miles on OneWorld Airlines.
The Verdict

Iberia Avios offers great value, but the sweet spots are limited to  business or premium economy flights on Iberia to/from Madrid, or short economy class flights on OneWorld airlines.

I would love to know what trip you book using Iberia Avios. Just send me an email.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of great ways to use Iberia Avios including:

  • 34,000 Avios for one-way business class from East Coast to Madrid.
  • Short flights on American Airlines and OneWorld partners.
  • 42,500 Avios for one-way business class from Los Angeles and other cities to Madrid.

Yes after 36 months of account inactivity of either earning or spending at least one Avio.

Not exactly. You can transfer your Avios between the programs, but each program has both strengths and weaknesses.

 

Iberia's Avios are great for business class on their flights or short OneWorld flights.

 

British Airways' Avios are great for short and direct economy flights.

Iberia releases award seats 361 days in advance. However, if you are using Iberia's Avios to book a partner airline, you will have to wait until that airline opens up their award space to book the award.

 

For example, American Airlines opens award space 331 days before departure, which means you won't be able to use Iberia Avios to book American Airlines until 331 days before departure.

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