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Based in Madrid, Iberia Airlines is a member of the Oneworld Alliance and also maintains non-alliance airline partnerships. This means that Iberia Plus loyalty program members can use their points — which are called Avios — to book flights on around 20 airline partners.
When you book with Iberia Avios, some flights will get you more value per point than others. Let's take a look at some of the best uses of Iberia Avios and how you can collect the Avios needed to book these sweet spots.
Smart ways to leverage Iberia and Iberia partners for awards
1. Off-peak business class from the U.S. to Europe on Iberia
If you travel during off-peak dates, you can fly in Iberia business class between the U.S. and Spain for as few as 34,000 Avios one-way. That's one of the cheapest business-class awards to Europe.
To score this rate, you need to fly during off-peak dates on a route under 4,000 miles. That's far enough to cover Iberia routes such as:
Boston to Madrid or Barcelona.
New York-JFK to Madrid or Barcelona.
Washington-Dulles to Madrid.
There's one notable exception to this sub-4,000-mile requirement. Travelers can fly on the 4,202-mile route between Chicago and Madrid for 34,000 Avios each way during off-peak dates.
Longer one-way Iberia business class flights — such as Dallas/Fort Worth or Los Angeles to Spain — cost 42,500 Avios during off-peak dates.
2. U.S. East Coast to Europe on American Airlines
While it's not as great of a deal as flying off-peak dates on Iberia, travelers can get a deal when using Iberia Avios to fly American Airlines flights to Europe. All American Airlines flights between 3,001 and 4,000 miles in distance cost just:
20,750 Avios in economy.
41,250 Avios in premium economy.
62,000 Avios in business class.
That can be ideal for shorter nonstop flights from the U.S. east coast to Europe such as:
Dublin from Philadelphia, Charlotte or Chicago-O’Hare.
Paris from New York-JFK or Philadelphia.
London from New York-JFK, Philadelphia, Boston, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte or Chicago-O’Hare.
Madrid from New York-JFK or Philadelphia.
3. U.S. to South America on American Airlines, LATAM or Avianca
Shorter flights from the U.S. to South America can also offer great deals when booked with Iberia Avios. That’s because Iberia’s distance-based pricing can offer better deals on these short flights than American Airlines’ dynamic pricing system.
For example, fly American Airlines or non-alliance partner LATAM on the sub-2,000-mile routes from Miami to Bogota, Cali, Medellín or Quito for just 11,000 Avios each way in economy or 22,000 Avios each way in business class.
» Learn more: The best airline award sweet spots
4. U.S. to Mexico or the Caribbean on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines
Another sweet spot is flying short-haul flights within North America on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines. A particular sweet spot are flights to Mexico or the Caribbean between 651 and 1,151 miles in distance for 9,000 Avios each way.
Here again, travelers benefit from Iberia's distance-based award chart as compared with region-based award charts.
Examples of this include flights on American Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth or Los Angeles to San José del Cabo for just 9,000 Avios each way.
Or fly from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for 9,000 Avios each way on Alaska Airlines. But unfortunately, it seems you may need to call Iberia to book Alaska routes.
Even flights between 1,151 and 2,000 miles in distance can be a good deal at 11,00 Avios each way in economy — or 22,000 Avios in business class. That's far enough to cover routes to Cancun from:
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
The longer the distance of your flight to Mexico or the Caribbean, the less competitive using Avios becomes. But keep the flight under 2,000 miles, and the amount you save using Avios can be significant.
» Learn more: How to fly to the Caribbean for just 7,500 points
5. U.S. West Coast to Hawaii on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines
You can also use Iberia's distance-based award chart to your advantage to book American Airlines or Alaska Airlines flights from the U.S. West Coast to Hawaii. Flights under 3,000 miles cost just 13,000 Avios each way in economy.
That's far enough to reach Hawaii from the following American Airlines and Alaska Airlines gateways:
Just 13,000 Avios is an incredible deal for flights to Hawaii — especially those that can stretch up to seven hours long.
Learn more: The best award flights to Hawaii
6. U.S. to Morocco on Royal Air Maroc
Royal Air Maroc is a Oneworld Alliance member based in Morocco that flies to Casablanca from Miami, New York-JFK and Washington-Dulles. Of these, the routes from New York and Washington, D.C., fall into the 3,001-4,000-mile distance band. That means you can book flights from the U.S. to Africa for just 20,750 Avios in economy or 62,000 Avios in business class.
Unfortunately, Iberia's online award search engine is buggy when it comes to Royal Air Maroc. Your best option to book may be to call Iberia Plus at 800-772-4642.
If you have AAdvantage miles, you can come out slightly ahead by booking business class awards through American Airlines. American Airlines awards to Morocco cost just 57,500 AAdvantage miles each way in business class. Plus, you can connect domestically within the U.S. at no additional cost.
Collecting Iberia Avios
Iberia Avios can be earned in several ways — including flying on Iberia or its partners, credit card spending and converting points from transferable point programs.
U.S.-based travelers can use the Iberia Visa Signature® Card to earn Iberia Avios. Eligible new cardholders: Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, you'll earn:
3x Avios on Iberia, British Airways and Aer Lingus flight purchases.
2x Avios on hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel.
1x Avios on all other purchases.
Cardholders also get a 10% discount on eligible Iberia airfares.
Points can also be transferred to Iberia Avios from the following programs:
Basics of Iberia award charts
Iberia uses a distance-based award chart — rather than a region-based chart many travelers may be used to. That means the price of an award flight is based on the distance of the flight. We suggest using the Great Circle Mapper to calculate the distance of the flight you want to take, then look up the number of miles required on the respective Iberia award chart.
Iberia Plus generally isn't a good option for booking award trips that require a connection. That's because Iberia charges for each flight segment.
Say you're looking to fly from Atlanta to Denver via Chicago on Iberia's partner, American Airlines. Iberia awards will separately price the award cost of a flight from Atlanta to Chicago and the price of a flight from Chicago to Denver. You'll need to pay for the combined award cost.
However, it's not all bad news. Iberia previously required that travelers book round-trip awards on partners. But that changed in May 2021. Now, travelers can book one-way award flights using Iberia Avios.
If you're looking for Iberia Avios sweet spots ...
To find the best uses of Iberia Avios, take advantage of the program’s distance-based award prices.
That means you may find great value for your Avios when traveling relatively short distances between the U.S. and regions like Europe, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and even Africa.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card