Milecards

Advertiser Disclosure

Iberia Avios Cheat Sheet – The Best Uses of Your Iberia Avios

by on Fri December 8, 2017 • 4 Comments
Google+TwitterFacebookEmailLinkedIn

iberia-700px-wide

Iberia’s frequent flyer program shares many similarities with British Airways’ program, even calling their miles the same thing: Avios! While there are quite a few similarities between the programs, there are a handful of differences. Overall, Iberia’s program is a little more complicated, but can offer value better than British Airways in some cases. Read on to find out what you need to know about Iberia Avios.

What airlines can you book with Iberia miles?

You can book all oneworld carriers with Iberia miles, plus other non-alliance partners. These are all of the airlines you can book with Iberia miles:

RegionAirlineWhere to Search for SpaceFuel Surcharges
AfricaRoyal Air MarocCallLow
AsiaCathay PacificIberia.comTo/From Hong Kong - No, Connection flights - Yes
AsiaJapan AirlinesBritishAirways.com/Alaskaairlines.comTo/From Japan - No, Connection flights - Yes
AsiaMalaysia AirlinesBritishAirways.comYes
AsiaSri LankanIberia.comLow
EuropeBinter CanariasIberia.comYes
EuropeBritish AirwaysIberia.comYes
EuropeFinnarIberia.comLow
EuropeIberiaIberia.comLow
EuropeLevelIberia.comLow
EuropeMeridianaCallYes
EuropeS7Iberia.comYes
EuropeVuelingIberia.comYes
Latin AmericaAviancaUnited.comNo
Latin AmericaInterjetIberia.comNo
Latin AmericaLATAMIberia.comNo
Middle EastQatarIberia.comYes
Middle EastRoyal JordanianIberia.comYes
North AmericaAmerican AirlinesIberia.comWithin North America - No
PacificQantasIberia.comYes

Iberia doesn’t restrict the flights that can be booked with oneworld partners, but there are restrictions on the flights that can be booked with non-alliance partners. As a general rule, the flight needs to either originate or terminate in Spain or needs to be booked in conjunction with an Iberia flight. For example, Interjet flights can be booked within Mexico, but only in combination with a flight operated by Iberia. This rule applies to flights on Vueling, Level, Binter Canarias, Meridiana, Royal Air Maroc, Avianca (TACA), and Interjet.

Where to search for awards

Iberia’s award search engine shows availability for American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, and most other oneworld partners. Some of the non-alliance partners can also be search for through Iberia.

The following partners cannot be booked online:

  • Japan Airlines
  • Meridiana
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • TACA (Avianca)

When awards aren’t bookable online, you will have to call Iberia at 1-800-772-4642 to book the award. Usually there is a phone booking fee, but in the case of partners that can’t be booked online the fee is waived. Keep in mind when you get ready to call Iberia that hold times tend to be rather long. Some people report having better luck with calling the Spanish call center instead.

If you want to verify award space before you call, you can do so for Japan Airlines and Malaysia Airlines on BritishAirways.com. Avianca/TACA award space can be searched for on United.com.

Award charts: How much do awards cost?

Iberia offers an award calculator so you can easily determine the price of your award.

Award charts are also available for each airline partner. In order to access these award charts, you need to first login to your Iberia Avios account and then you can view the award charts here.

Peak/Off-Peak dates change every year. You can view of peak/off-peak dates on Iberia’s site here.

The charts are also available below:

Iberia – Peak Season

Distance BandBlue ClassFull Fare EconomyPremium EconomyBusiness
1 (0-650)5,0007,500N/A10,000
2 (651-1,150)8,25012,500N/A16,500
3 (1,151-2,000)11,00016,500N/A22,000
4 (2,001-3,000)12,50018,750N/A31,250
5 (3,001-4,000)20,00030,000/28,00035,00050,000
6 (4,001-5,500)25,00037,500/35,00043,75062,500
7 (5,501-6,500)30,00045,000/42,00052,50075,000
8 (6,501-7,000)35,00052,500/49,00061,25087,500
9 (Over 7,000)50,00075,000/70,00087,500125,000
Exceptions
Madrid-Barcelona ShuttleN/A4,500N/A9,000
Madrid-London7,50011,250N/A15,000

Iberia – Off-Peak Season

Distance BandBlue ClassFull Fare EconomyPremium EconomyBusiness
1 (0-650)4,5006,750N/A9,000
2 (651-1,150)7,50011,250N/A15,000
3 (1,151-2,000)10,00015,000N/A20,000
4 (2,001-3,000)11,00016,000N/A21,250
5 (3,001-4,000)17,00025,500/22,00025,50034,000
6 (4,001-5,500)21,25032,000/27,75031,75042,500
7 (5,501-6,500)25,50038,250/33,25038,25051,000
8 (6,501-7,000)29,75044,650/38,75044,25059,500
9 (Over 7,000)42,50063,750/55,25063,75085,000
Exceptions
Madrid-Barcelona ShuttleN/A4,500N/A9,000
Madrid-London6,5009,750N/A12,750

Iberia Express/Iberia Regional Air Nostrum – Peak Season

Distance BandBlue ClassFull Fare EconomyBusiness
1 (0-650)5,0007,50010,000
2 (651-1,150)8,25012,50016,500
3 (1,151-2,000)11,00016,50022,000
4 (2,001-3,000)12,50018,75031,250
Exceptions
Madrid-London7,50011,25015,000

Iberia Express/Iberia Regional Air Nostrum – Off-Peak Season

Distance BandBlue ClassFull Fare EconomyBusiness
1 (0-650)4,5006,7509,000
2 (651-1,150)7,50011,25015,000
3 (1,151-2,000)10,00015,00020,000
4 (2,001-3,000)11,00016,00021,250
Exceptions
Madrid-London6,5009,75012,750

British Airways – Peak Season

Distance BandEconomyWorld Traveller PlusBusiness ClassFirst Class
1 (0-650)4,5006,7509,00018,000
2 (651-1,150)7,50011,25015,00030,000
3 (1,151-2,000)10,00015,00020,00040,000
4 (2,001-3,000)12,50025,00037,50050,000
5 (3,001-4,000)20,00040,00060,00080,000
6 (4,001-5,500)25,00050,00075,000100,000
7 (5,501-6,500)30,00060,00090,000120,000
8 (6,501-7,000)35,00070,000105,000140,000
9 (Over 7,000)50,000100,000150,000200,000

British Airways – Off-Peak Season

Distance BandEconomyWorld Traveler PlusBusiness ClassFirst Class
1 (0-650)4,0005,7507,75015,500
2 (651-1,150)6,5009,50012,75025,500
3 (1,151-2,000)8,50012,75017,00034,000
4 (2,001-3,000)10,00020,00031,25042,500
5 (3,001-4,000)13,00026,00050,00068,000
6 (4,001-5,500)16,25032,50062,50085,000
7 (5,501-6,500)19,50039,00075,000102,000
8 (6,501-7,000)22,75045,50087,500119,000
9 (Over 7,000)32,50065,000125,000170,000

Vueling

Distance BandPeak Season Vueling ClassOff-Peak Season Vueling Class
1 (0-650)5,0004,500
2 (651-1,150)8,2507,500
3 (1,151-2,000)11,00010,000
4 (2,001-3,000)12,50011,000

LEVEL – Peak Season

Distance BandBlue ClassFull Fare EconomyPremium Economy
6 (4,001-5,500)25,00035,00043,750
7 (5,501-6,500)30,00042,00052,500

LEVEL – Off-Peak Season

Distance BandBlue ClassFull Fare EconomyPremium Economy
6 (4,001-5,500)21,25027,75031,750
7 (5,501-6,500)25,50033,25038,250

Oneworld/Cathay Pacific/Dragon Air/Finnair/Japan Airlines/LATAM/Qantas/Qatar/Royal Jordanian/S7/Sri Lankan Airlines/TACA/Avianca/Royal Air Maroc/American Airlines

Distance in milesEconomyFull Fare EconomyBusinessFirst
1-60011,00019,25022,00033,000
601-1,00012,00021,00024,00036,000
1,001-2,00017,00029,75034,00051,000
2,001-4,00023,00040,25046,00069,000
4,001-5,00028,00053,00064,00096,000
5,001-8,00042,00081,500100,000150,000
8,001-12,40065,000123,750150,000225,000
12,401-14,00075,000143,750175,000262,500
14,001-18,000100,000200,000250,000375,000
18,001-25,000120,000225,000270,000405,000
25,001-30,000132,000244,000290,000435,000
30,001-35,000143,000265,750315,000472,500
35,001-40,000166,000299,500350,000525,000
40,001-50,000190,000332,500380,000570,000

Malaysia Airlines

Distance in milesEconomyFull Fare EconomyBusiness
1-60011,00019,25022,000
601-1,00012,00021,00024,000
1,001-2,00017,00029,75034,000
2,001-4,00023,00040,25046,000
4,001-5,00028,00053,00064,000
5,001-8,00042,00081,500100,000
8,001-12,40065,000123,750150,000
12,401-14,00075,000143,750175,000
14,001-18,000100,000200,000250,000
18,001-25,000120,000225,000270,000
25,001-30,000132,000244,000290,000
30,001-35,000143,000265,750315,000
35,001-40,000166,000299,500350,000
40,001-50,000190,000332,500380,000

Binter Canarias

Distance in milesEconomyFull Fare EconomyBusiness
1-60011,00016,50022,000
601-1,00012,00018,00024,000
1,001-2,00017,00025,50034,000
2,001-4,00023,00034,50046,000

Meridiana

Distance BandBlue ClassBusiness
1 (0-650)5,00010,000
2 (651-1,150)8,25016,500
3 (1,151-2,000)11,00022,000
4 (2,001-3,000)12,50031,250
5 (3,001-4,000)20,00050,000
6 (4,001-5,500)25,00062,500
7 (5,501-6,500)30,00075,000
8 (6,501-7,000)35,00087,500
9 (Over 7,000)50,000125,000

Interjet

Distance Band/SeasonAzulTurista CompletaBusiness
1 (1-650) - Domestic Flights7,500N/AN/A
2 (651-1,150)12,500N/AN/A
3 (1,151-2,000)16,500N/AN/A
6 (4,001-5,500) - Peak Season25,00037,50062,500
6 (4,001-5,500) - Off-Peak Season21,25032,50042,500

You have to pay close attention to which award chart you are using with Ibera. For example, you can’t book an award with multiple partners at the single-partner rate.

For oneworld itineraries, you can mix partners and the award price is based on the total distance traveled. This can be an advantage compared with British Airways Avios, where each flight segment is billed on its own.

Fuel surcharges and how to avoid them

Unfortunately, Iberia does pass on fuel surcharges. But with the recent bankruptcy of Air Berlin, there are few ways to avoid paying fuel surcharges on transatlantic flights.

The airlines with the lowest fuel surcharges are Finnair, Iberia (when booked using Iberia Avios), and Level. British Airways has the highest fuel surcharges so it is best to avoid flying them, especially on long haul routes.

Your best bet is to use Iberia Avios for flights with low or no fuel surcharges. These include flights from Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific, and to or from Japan on Japan Airlines. JAL flights that connect through Japan en route to another destination incur considerable surcharges, so you’ll want to avoid these even if it means breaking your itinerary up into multiple one-way tickets.

You also won’t be charged fuel surcharges if you redeem Iberia Avios for flights within North America on American Airlines and on flights operated by LAN or Avianca. LAN and Avianca don’t have fuel surcharges at all.

Award change and booking fees

Iberia’s change and booking fees are fairly straightforward. You will pay $40 or EUR 25 for all changes. The currency you will pay in will depend on the call center and the booking currency used. For example, if you call the U.S. call center, you will pay the fee in dollars, but if you call the Spanish call center, you will pay the fee in euros.

There’s no fee to change full economy awards, because these awards are fully flexible.

Options when you can’t find award space

If you can’t find award space online, your best bet to call to see if there is partner availability that isn’t showing up online. If you still aren’t coming up with anything, you may want to consider booking a cash ticket, or booking with a different kind of miles.

Best award values: where to get the most from your miles

In general, the best award values with Iberia Avios are the off-peak flights on Iberia.

  • East Coast U.S. to Madrid in Iberia Business

    Image:Stefan Krasowski/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Image:Stefan Krasowski/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    The best sweet spot available is flights between the East Coast (Miami, New York JFK, Boston) and Madrid all pricing in Band 5 at 34,000 miles each way in business class. Chicago is extra special because it prices as a Band 5 flight even though it should be in Band 6 – meaning you can score a business class flight from Chicago to Madrid for that same 34,000 Avios each way! This is incredibly low, considering that most airlines charge 30,000 miles to fly each was in economy class.

  • West Coast U.S. to Madrid in Level Economy or Premium Economy
    level-interior-cabin-700px
    Economy class on Level from the West Coast to Madrid for as few as 21,250 miles each way. The flight from Oakland to Barcelona on Level costs EUR 88 in taxes and fuel surcharges. The cash cost for this flight starts at about $515, offering about one cent per Avios point in value.  Keep in mind that you also will not get a checked bag for free when booking an economy award with Level and there’s no mileage difference when comparing the same distance flight between Level and Iberia. Level also offers a flight from Los Angeles to Barcelona.That same Level flight in Premium Economy costs 31,750 each way with an included checked bag. Taxes and fees are only marginally higher. Booking a cash Premium Economy flight with Level starts at about $1,500 round trip, offering a much higher value of 2.1 cents per Avios point.

    Of course, if flight prices are higher than the lowest available price, it’s an even better opportunity to use your Avios whether it be in Economy or Premium Economy class.

Making Stopovers

If you want to make stopovers in various places, Iberia Avios can be a great option – we’ll elaborate more on this later. Iberia charges for flights based on the total distance flown, so connections don’t cost more. Keep in mind that this won’t work with airlines that require round-trip bookings.

Upgrades: How much do they cost?

Like the cost of award flights, the cost of upgrade depends on the airline you are flying, class of service, season, and distance band. As a general rule, using miles to upgrade isn’t the best use. It’s more valuable to redeem miles flat out for premium economy or business class if that is the class of service you are interested in flying. However, if you have extra Iberia Avios or have already purchased a ticket before thinking about upgrading, it is an option. Compared with other airlines, Iberia offers slightly more competitive upgrade with miles prices.

Iberia – Peak Season

Distance BandFrom Economy to Premium EconomyFrom Premium Economy to BusinessFrom Economy to Business Class
1 (0-650)N/AN/A5,000
2 (651-1,150)N/AN/A8,250
3 (1,151-2,000)N/AN/A11,000
4 (2,001-3,000)N/AN/A18,750
5 (3,001-4,000)15,00015,00030,000
6 (4,001-5,500)18,75018,75037,500
7 (5,501-6,500)22,50022,50045,000
8 (6,501-7,000)26,25026,25052,500
9 (Over 7,000)37,50037,50075,000
Exceptions
Madrid-LondonN/AN/A7,500

Iberia – Off-Peak Season

Distance BandFrom Economy to Premium EconomyFrom Premium Economy to BusinessFrom Economy to Business Class
1 (0-650)N/AN/A4,500
2 (651-1,150)N/AN/A7,500
3 (1,151-2,000)N/AN/A10,000
4 (2,001-3,000)N/AN/A10,250
5 (3,001-4,000)8,5008,50017,000
6 (4,001-5,500)10,50010,50021,250
7 (5,501-6,500)12,75012,75025,500
8 (6,501-7,000)14,50014,50029,750
9 (Over 7,000)21,25021,25042,500
Exceptions
Madrid-LondonN/AN/A6,250

Iberia Express/Iberia Regional Air Nostrum

Distance BandPeak Season Single Class UpgradeOff-Peak Season Single Class Upgrade
1 (0-650)5,0004,500
2 (651-1,150)8,2507,500
3 (1,151-2,000)11,00010,000
4 (2,001-3,000)18,75010,250
Exceptions
Madrid-London7,5006,250

LEVEL

Distance BandPeak Season Single Class UpgradeOff-Peak Season Single Class Upgrade
6 (4,001-5,500)18,75010,500
7 (5,501-6,500)22,50012,750

Stopover options

Iberia doesn’t allow stopovers on regular bookings. However, since itineraries are priced based on the distance flown, you can get a stopover for little cost depending on the distance band that your flights are in. This is only possible on partners that allow one-way bookings.

For example, if you were flying from New York JFK to Rome through Madrid on Iberia, normally you would pay 25,000 miles during peak season. If instead, you wanted to break up your journey and make a stop for a couple of days in Madrid, you would need to book this as two separate tickets. One would be from New York JFK to Madrid and the other would be from Madrid to Rome. The two tickets purchased separately would cost 28,250. You would only be paying a premium of 3,250 Avios in order to stop in Madrid. While this isn’t a free stopover, it is a very low-cost stopover.

Routing rules: how to piece together awards across continents

You can only combine Iberia flights with the flights of a partner program when a codeshare flight exists. This makes piecing together long itineraries very difficult. The best way to verify if an itinerary can be booked with Iberia Avios is to simply run the award search on Iberia’s website.

Holding awards: how to put on hold without paying

It is technically possible to put awards on hold with Iberia, but in practice it will take a very cooperative phone agent to put an award on hold. If absolutely need to put an award on hold, it is very likely that you will need to hang up and call again many times in order to be connected with an agent that is willing to place the hold for you.

Alternative miles to book Iberia flights

If you want to book and Iberia flight but don’t have Iberia Avios, you’re not out of luck. You can use the miles of any oneworld member, like American Airlines or British Airways, to book flights on Iberia. Additionally, it is possible to use Avianca LifeMiles to book flights on Iberia, but only for flights within Europe and from Central or South America to Europe.

Depending on where you are flying from and to, using one airline’s miles may be a better choice than another’s. For example, if you don’t have Iberia Avios but want to book a short flight on Iberia, using British Airways Avios is a great alternative. If you are interested in booking a longer flight, like from the U.S. to Europe, American Airlines miles are likely to be your best bet.

Credit cards that earn Iberia Avios

Iberia Avios aren’t the easiest to earn in the United States, but you can earn them indirectly through transfer partners at a 1:1 ratio to Iberia in 1-2 days.

Hotel points that you can convert to Iberia miles

It’s possible to convert both   to Iberia. SPG points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. If you transfer in increments of 20,000 SPG points, you will be given a 5,000 miles bonus. This makes the effective transfer ratio 1:1.25. Transferring SPG points to airline miles is one of the best uses of SPG points, especially if you can take advantage of the 5,000 mile bonus by transferring increments of 20,000 SPG points. However, we don’t recommend transferring your SPG points to Iberia or to any other airline speculatively. Your points are more valuable as SPG points because they still have the flexibility to be transferred. After you transfer the SPG points, it is not possible to transfer them back.

Marriott points transfer to Iberia at a ratio of 5:1. It’s also possible (and generally more valuable) to redeem for a Marriott Hotel + Air Package. Hotel + Air packages offer a seven night stay certificate plus airline miles. These redemptions start at 200,000 Marriott points (Hotel + Air Package 1)

Transferring miles to someone else

If you want to transfer Avios to someone else, keep in mind that Avios can only be transferred online. You can transfer up to 144,000 Avios per calendar year. These limits apply to both the person who issues the Avios and the person who receives them. The maximum amount of Avios per transfer is 24,000, and the cost is between EUR 30 and EUR 160 depending on the amount. Instead of transferring miles, you can simply book a flight for someone else using your Iberia Avios.

Can I transfer my British Airways Avios to Iberia?

In fact, you can, but there are a few requirements. First, you must have both a British Airways account and an Iberia account. Before you are able to transfer your British Airways Avios, you will need to have some sort of mileage activity on your Iberia account. This could be earning miles from a flight, earning miles from a credit card, transferring hotel points, or anything else that earns you Avios with Iberia. After that qualifying activity is on your account, you will be able to freely transfer Avios between British Airways and Iberia.

Expiring miles: how to avoid losing them

In order to keep your Iberia Avios from expiring, you need to earn or redeem Avios at least once every 36 months. Note that transferring miles into your account will not extend the expiration date, so you will need to fly a oneworld alliance member or other Iberia partner and credit your flight to Iberia if you have miles you want to keep from expiring. Better yet? Make sure you are using all of your miles at least every 36 months and never transfer more than you need from Starwood Preferred Guest® or other partners.

 

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee

Yes

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

Still confused? Have a question?

Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.

"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

4 thoughts on Iberia Avios Cheat Sheet – The Best Uses of Your Iberia Avios

  1. Bob

    I see domestic award flights on AA and also the same flights on BA’s site but not on Iberia. As a matter of fact, I cannot find any domestic award availability on the Iberia site. I have 1500 miles in my Iberia account. Do I need to have the full amount for the award in the account for it to show up?

    Reply
  2. GB

    Great article. One other interesting difference I have found between the Iberia and British Air programs is how they price infants on award tickets. I believe British charges just 10% of the mileage cost where Iberia charges 10% of the retail ticket price in cash.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X
MileCards.com Email Alerts
Hear about new offers and tips