Amex Avios 40% Bonus Sweet Spot: US to Spain in Business From 49,000 Points Round-Trip

Sep 17, 2018

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Citi Prestige Card

This weekend, American Express launched a 40% bonus when transferring Membership Rewards points to either British Airways Executive Club or Iberia Avios.

While we dove into how to book an economy award to Ireland for just 10,000 Amex points one-way, there’s another great way you can maximize this promotion. Iberia has fantastic award rates for business class flights during its off-peak dates when flying between a handful of its destinations in the US.

You can fly from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS) or Chicago (ORD) to Madrid (MAD) for just 34,000 Iberia Avios one-way or 68,000 round-trip. With the current transfer bonus, you’d only need to transfer 49,000 Amex points to Iberia for a round-trip flight on the listed routes. That’s an absolutely incredible deal and will value your Amex points at about 6 cents apiece on Iberia’s cheapest dates (where cash prices are about $2,800 round-trip).

We reviewed Iberia’s A340-600 last year and it received solid marks for its comfortable lie-flat seats and friendly service. The carrier recently launched service between New York and Madrid on its brand new A350. Even better, Iberia charges very reasonable taxes and fees for a business class flight — on average you’ll pay about $220 for a round-trip itinerary.

Just note that these off-peak prices only apply when flying on Iberia metal and specifically between New York, Boston and Chicago to Madrid. However, you can pay a bit more on off-peak dates from Iberia’s other destinations like Miami (MIA), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). It’ll run you 84,000 Iberia Avios round-trip, or just 60,000 Amex points with the transfer bonus.

I found a solid amount of availability on off-peak dates from both New York and Chicago, but nothing from Boston. Just remember that award availability can disappear (and reappear) quickly. You can use American’s award calendar to search for available dates quickly by filtering for non-stop only flights and clicking on the “Business/First MileSAAver” button.

It can take up to 48 hours for points to transfer from Amex to Iberia, so beware that your preferred award may not be there when your points are in your account. You can see Iberia’s off-peak calendar here.

Airlines: Iberia
Cost: 49,000 Amex Membership Rewards points/68,000 Iberia Avios + ~ $220 in taxes and fees round-trip in business
Travel Dates: September 2018 through June 2019, transfer Amex points by November 15
Pay Taxes and Fees With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Premier CardChase Sapphire Reserve,  Citi Prestige (3x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
Booking Link: Iberia

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

New York Kennedy (JFK) to Madrid (MAD) for 49,000 Amex/68,000 Avios + $210 round-trip nonstop in business:

Chicago (ORD) to Madrid (MAD) for 49,000 Amex/68,000 Avios +$232 round-trip nonstop in business:

Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire ReserveCiti Premier, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

You can earn American Express Membership Rewards through these cards (in addition to others):

H/T: Chris Jensen

Featured image by Getty Images

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
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