Iberia Airlines, based in Madrid, is the airline of Spain and a member of the Oneworld alliance. With extensive networks in Europe, Latin America and a few destinations in North Africa, there’s a good chance this airline will fit into your travel plans at some point.
Iberia’s frequent flyer program, Iberia Plus, enables you to collect points from multiple partners and redeem them for flights and other benefits. Here’s what point collectors need to know about flying Iberia.
About Iberia Airlines
Since Iberia has limited routes to the US, you may not be too familiar with this airline.
Tariff types: Iberia offers long-haul flights with special cabins for Business Class, which it calls Business Plus, as well as premium economy and economy cabins. On the short and medium-haul flights there is instead the regular business class (an economy class seat with the middle seat blocked) plus economy. There are no aircraft with first-class service.
Main routes in the USA: While Iberia doesn’t have many flights to the US, it flies to a few major airports from which you can get to and from your desired destination. With a clear focus on the east coast, it serves New York, Miami, Boston, Chicago, and San Juan in Puerto Rico. It only flies to Los Angeles on the west coast.
Points currency and loyalty program: As with British Airways, the points collected in the Iberia Plus frequent flyer program are referred to as Avios, as both airlines belong to the same parent company. However, these Avios are separate and do not count towards Avios that you may already have in your British Airways account, even though they are transferable between accounts.
How to earn Iberia Plus Avios
Earn by flying
Avios earned by flying are based on a combination of the distance flown and the class of service as follows:
For every mile flown in Economy, you will receive between 0.25 and 1 Avios.
Earn 1.5 Avios per mile when you fly on an airport classified as Limited Business.
With Flexible Business Tickets you receive 2.5 Avios per flight mile.
Earn by spending credit cards
3 Avios for every dollar spent on Iberia purchases.
2 Avios per dollar spent on accommodations booked directly at the hotel.
All other purchases earn 1 Avios for every dollar spent.
Nerdy tip: Chase is currently offering a promotion where you can earn 5 Avios per dollar for Iberia purchases and 3 per dollar for hotel purchases for the first 12 months.
The current sign-up bonus for this card is: Earn 100,000 Avios after spending $ 5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.
Earn through bank transfer
Transfer of Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Iberia is one of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards® transfer partners. You can transfer your points to Iberia Plus in an almost instantaneous 1: 1 ratio. Check the transfer bonuses as Chase rotates bonus partner transfers regularly – in fact, there was an offer for 30% bonus on transfers for Iberia at the end of 2020.
Transfer of AmEx Membership Rewards
American Express Membership Rewards can also be transferred to Iberia Plus Avios at a 1: 1 ratio. Make sure you don’t book your flights right away as the Membership Rewards program estimates the transfer time to be four working days. AmEx offers some promotional bonuses for transferring to partners. So check regularly whether you can get an even better value.
Transfer by British Airways
You can transfer Avios from your British Airways account to your Iberia Plus at a 1: 1 ratio; the transfer is virtually instant unless you have problems with your account. There are some prerequisites for this, e.g. B. Both accounts must be open for at least 90 days. If you are considering this transfer for a future trip, we encourage you to open the accounts so that you can meet these criteria in due course.
Other ways to earn
Shopping online. The Iberia Plus Store shopping portal allows you to accumulate Avios on all qualifying purchases you make online, provided you start your purchase through the portal.
Book food in Spain. If you are planning to visit Spain, there is an opportunity to earn bonus Avios for every restaurant reservation for two or more people, but this is only available at selected restaurants in Spain.
Buy Avios. You can also buy Avios on the Iberia website with a maximum of 200,000 Avios per transaction per year. Iberia publishes its price lists on This website.
Ways to redeem Iberia Avios
For Iberia flights
Iberia Plus uses a distance-based chart for redemptions and uses a price calendar for peak and off-peak times. The longer the flight route, the more Avios you will need to book this award flight. In addition, if it falls on more desirable dates or not, the price will be lower or higher depending on the date.
You will often find that the more expensive dates coincide with holidays and special events like Christmas, New Years and the entire summer season.
Nerdy tip: Since this is a Spanish airline, there are certain US holidays that are considered low season. You can benefit from lower prices if you plan your trip around Memorial Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Thanksgiving, for example.
For partner award flights
Iberia is a member of Oneworld alliance, and as such, it works with a wide variety of airlines.
The company also works with the non-alliance airlines Vueling, Level, Interjet, Binter, LATAM and Avianca.
Get an upgrade
You can use Avios to upgrade tickets purchased on qualifying economy class fares to the business class cabin. There is no way to do this online so be ready to do it over the phone. Prices vary depending on the type of ticket and route.
Have more flexibility
Avios & Money is an option that allows you to offset the cost of a ticket by redeeming some of your Avios for payment. This is usually not a huge conversion for your Avios as you will usually get better value booking an award ticket directly, but it is an option.
Iberia Plus elite status
Iberia divides the elite levels of the loyalty program into the following six levels, each offering different benefits.
Classic: This is a kind of participation price – you get this status simply by registering. There are no benefits other than being able to collect Avios and get priority over other non-members on waiting lists at the airport.
Silver: You reach this level when you have collected 1,100 elite points or flown 25 segments. As a benefit, you will receive 25% more Avios for every mile flown, priority boarding and an additional checked bag. This level corresponds to the Oneworld Ruby status.
Gold: This level requires 2,250 elite points or 50 flown segments. Your bonus earnings increase up to 50% and you get access to all Iberia lounges at airports as well as priority for boarding and check-in in group 1. This status corresponds to Sapphire in the Oneworld program.
Platinum: You can achieve this status with 12,500 elite points in two years or with 6,250 in one year. You also collect 100% of the miles you have flown, receive two upgrades to Business Class when you buy an economy ticket with a flexible tariff and can give someone gold status for one year. This level corresponds to the Oneworld Emerald status.
Infinite: Accessible as soon as you have earned 125,000 Lifetime Elite Points since opening your account and receive Infinite status and its lifetime benefits. These benefits include two free upgrades per year and the opportunity to give away the gold status. Infinite is essentially lifetime Platinum status with no need to re-qualify every year. This also translates into lifelong Oneworld Emerald.
Infinite prime number: You can reach this highest level with Iberia Plus when you have collected 200,000 lifelong elite points. This corresponds to an improved lifelong platinum status. You can earn gold status two instead of one and earn four business class upgrades instead of two. No differences at this level on the Oneworld levels; this is still associated with emerald.
The qualification requirements do not run on a calendar year basis. Instead, Iberia starts counting on April 1st and ends on March 31st of the following year.
What Else You Need to Know
Less fuel surcharges
Compared to partner British Airways, redemptions on Iberia flights typically require much lower fuel surcharges, which will save you some money. In addition, some award prices for similar routes and partner flights on Iberia are significantly cheaper than British Airways. Take a look around and take advantage of the option to transfer between Avios accounts.
There are a few quirks with booking Iberia Plus award flights that are not as beneficial. When booking flights that include Oneworld partner segments, no changes can be made afterwards – so make sure your itinerary is solid before making the purchase.
Even more delicious snacks
If you like to try local dishes before arriving at your destination, Iberia has many Spanish-inspired menu options on board, along with an excellent selection of typical Spanish liquors such as pacharán, several whiskey and brandy options, and muscatel and cava.
When you fly with Iberia Airlines
While Iberia may not be the best option for achieving and achieving elite status for US based passengers, redeeming points can be great value. Easily earning points through credit card transfers and even British Airways transfers is well worth considering this program to see how you can benefit from it in the future.
With its extensive network in Europe and long haul connections around the world, the chances are good that Iberia and its partners will get you where you want to go.
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