Use Iberia Avios to Book American Airlines Award Flights for Less
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A few days ago I wrote a bit about using Iberia Avios to fly from certain cities in the US to Madrid in business class for as low as 25,500 Iberia Avios + taxes/fees via a promotion that is going on through April 11th. That deal is related to flying Iberia operated flights, but Iberia Avios can be used very wisely to fly on partner airlines, such as American Airlines, much closer to home.
Use Iberia Avios to Book American Airlines Award Flights
If you aren’t familiar with Iberia Avios, they are pretty similar to British Airways Avios, if that helps give some context. Like British Airways, Iberia also utilizes Avios and a distance based award chart, however unlike the British Airways Avios chart, the Iberia chart calculates the distance based on the sum of all flights instead of essentially pricing each segment individually. This can be very beneficial if you don’t live in a hub city for American, and thus have to connect to get almost anywhere.
Iberia Avios awards start at 11,000 Avios per round trip for very short trips of up to 600 total miles such as Houston – Dallas – Houston. Prices only go up slightly to 12,000 Avios for round trips totaling 601 – 1,000 miles such as Miami – Grand Cayman – Miami.
For 17,000 total Iberia Avios you can fly up to 2,000 total miles such as Houston – Dallas – Vail/Eagle – Dallas – Houston….which I’ll add is a total steal at that price! For 23,000 Avios you can fly up to 4,000 total miles, which would be something like Charlotte – Aruba – Charlotte.
How to Book Iberia Award Flights on American Airlines
You can book these awards online, though I don’t love the Iberia website and I think it is easier to find what you want at the saver level on the American Airlines website first then come over to Iberia to hope it duplicates what the American site displayed. As shown below you will simply look for Blue Class (economy) award availability on the American operated flights you desire. Iberia does not charge a close-in booking fee, but they also do not refund your Avios if you cancel a partner award, so buyer beware. Iberia does not permit one-way awards on partner airlines like American.
It is possible to transfer your British Airways Avios to Iberia Avios, but both accounts have to be at least 90 days old and have some activity in them such as a transfer from a credit card program like Amex Membership Rewards. Because of the 90 day requirement, I strongly encourage you to open an Iberia account account now, even if you aren’t sure if you will need it in the future in case you want to move some of your British Airways Avios into Iberia as British Airways has more transfer partners than Iberia.
Maximizing mileage redemptions is the harder part of the earning and burning equation, so being able to book round trip awards on American Airlines starting at just 11,000 Iberia Avios is absolutely an award chart sweet spot you want to file away in case you need it at some point. You are dependent upon saver level American Airlines award availability to book with Iberia Avios, but when you can find that availability and the flights you need are short to mid-range distance flight that requires connections, Iberia may end up having the most favorable award chart…even if they don’t have the most favorable cancellation penalties.
Do you ever use Iberia Avios to book American Airlines award flights?
Welcome to The Points Guy!
One of the biggest benefits that this card offers is a Travel Together ticket (good for two years) that can be earned as part of the welcome bonus after you spend $20,000 and then annually after you spend $30,000 in a calendar year. You'll earn 5 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia purchases, 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations purchased directly with the hotel, and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
- Plus earn a Travel Together Ticket after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 5 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 3 Avios.
- Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 2 Avios. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
- Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
- Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
- Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It's fast, easy and secure!