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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Citi Prestige Card
On Tuesday, Iberia launched a special promotion that’s an absolute steal — by using Iberia Avios, you can fly from the US to Spain in the airline’s lie-flat business class seats for less than the price of a normal economy award ticket.
Thanks to this new promotion, award tickets between Spain and the Americas and between Spain and Asia are eligible for a 25% discount if you fly between October 1 and December 15. That means a ticket in business class is going for as little as 25,500 miles one-way or 51,000 miles round-trip (plus taxes and fees) on flights between Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD) or New York (JFK) and Madrid (MAD). Economy awards are 12,750 miles one-way or 25,500 round-trip (plus taxes and fees) on the same routes, while flights on other routes will be a bit higher.
Here are some samples of what you can book during this sale:
New York (JFK) to Madrid (MAD) for 25,500 Avios + $90 one-way in business on October 24:
New York (JFK) to Madrid (MAD) for 12,750 Avios + $78 one-way in economy on October 24:
New York (JFK) to Madrid (MAD) for 51,000 Avios + $218 round-trip in business on October 24-November 6:
Though you have to book these through Iberia, you can search for award availability via American’s website since Iberia’s can be slow. Plug in your desired dates on aa.com, pull up the calendar view and then check the nonstop only option. Some of the award space shown will be on AA flights — click through on each date to see which airline’s flights are available — but there’s decent Iberia space as well. Flights will have to be at the MileSAAver level to get the discounted price through Iberia.
One of the great parts about the Iberia Avios program is that it partners with three major flexible point programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and the Starwood Preferred Guest program. Transfers from Chase to Iberia are usually instant, while it takes 48 hours from Amex and at least a day via SPG. You can also transfer British Airways Avios to Iberia Avios, but both of your accounts need to have been open for at least 90 days and have some previous activity (i.e.: points being earned, redeemed, etc.)
Membership Rewards points can be earned from credit cards like the Platinum Card from American Express while you can accumulate Ultimate Rewards with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
You’ll have to pay taxes and fees on these flights, but those are quite reasonable considering how few miles you’d be using. Make sure you pay with a card like Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige, which both offer great trip insurance. Alternately, if you pay using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you should receive 5x points on the taxes and fees.
Last year TPG Contributor Eric Rosen reviewed Iberia’s business class on the A340-600 between JFK and Madrid and wrote that “the seats were comfortable for working, eating and sleeping, and I managed to get as much rest as possible. The entertainment system was quite good and easy to use and the service was charming.”
Tickets must be purchased by March 18, although we recommend booking sooner as award availability could dry up quickly. Round-trip flights are currently going for $2,665 on the New York-Madrid route, so with the discount you’re getting an astounding 5.2 cents per Avios in value. And remember that Iberia also plans on flying its new A350 to New York starting this August.
Featured image of Iberia’s business class on its A340-600 by Eric Rosen / The Points Guy.
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