American Express Membership Rewards 20% Transfer Bonus to Iberia

Sep 19, 2011

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Iberia and British Airways are the main Oneworld transfer partners of the American Express Membership Rewards program. British Airways recently ran a 50% transfer bonus, which provided exceptional value based on the routes you wanted to redeem, since British Airways charges hefty fuel surcharges on their flights to Europe.

Iberia also charges big fuel surcharges on some international flights (like British Airways and Qantas), but generally doesn’t for their own or coach flights. Their online engine isn’t perfect (it doesn’t include a lot of Oneworld partners like Cathay Pacific), but it is pretty quick and accurately prices Iberia, British Airways, American, Qantas and Lan itineraries.

Their award charts are a bit confusing because some are based on distance and some on region. Click here to see their Iberia award chart.

Overall, there are definitely some deals with this 20% bonus.I recommend playing around with some sample flights and doing the math on your own. To convert the amount of Iberia points into the amount of American Express points you’d need to transfer during this promotion simply divide the Iberia points require by 120 (with no transfer bonus you’d use 100) and then multiply that number by 1,400.

Click here to get your own Iberia Plus account. Note: The program will be rolled into the new Avios program as of November 16, 2011 so keep that in mind before transferring any points – I highly recommend using them before the new program starts.

Here are some sample itineraries:

Iberia JFK-Madrid saver award for 3,150 points (36,750 Amex) and $62
British Airways First JFK-London 9,500 points (110,000 Amex) versus 150,000 British Airways and similar fees
Miami to Madrid in business class for 6,300 points (73,500 Amex) and only $58 in fees vs 100,000 on both BA and AA
Miami to Lima in business class for 6,300 points (73,500 Amex) and $90 in fees vs 80,000 BA or 60,000 AA
Iberia Madrid to Amsterdam for 1,300 points (15,166 Amex) vs 20,000 AA ... these flights are often very expensive due to few low cost carriers, so they can be great values
American Airlines JFK-Toronto for 1,600 points (18,666 Amex) vs 25,000 AA/BA
Qantas Sydney to Los Angeles for 5,500 points (64,166 Amex) and $645 in fees vs 90,000 BA and 75,000 AA

Overall, there are definitely some deals to be had. Iberia is very flexible with award holds, so it shouldn’t be an issue finding an award and putting it on hold for several days while your Amex points transfer (it usually takes about 2 days). I wrote about my experience redeeming an Iberia award earlier this year – I ended up calling the call center in Madrid several times, but if you have a simple itinerary, it may be bookable at

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