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Limited time: Book lie-flat business class to Madrid for 17,000 Avios

Aug. 24, 2020
5 min read
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Editor's Note

This promotion is only valid for residents of the U.S. and Spain.

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

Want to fly to Europe in a lie-flat business class seat for just 17,000 points plus less than $100 in taxes and fees? Or, how about economy awards for the family from just 8,500 miles per ticket (also with sub-$100 taxes/fees)? This is not the stuff of mileage make-believe. These are real award prices available for a limited time thanks to a 50% discount on Iberia flights to Madrid made by Aug. 30, 2020.

Here's a closer look at the promotion.

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Booking Iberia awards for 50% off

(Photo by Lori Zaino / The Points Guy)

As highlighted by One Mile at a Time, the 50% discount drops the price of Iberia awards from New York, Boston or Chicago to Madrid on off-peak dates to 17,000 Avios in business and 8,500 Avios in economy. class. This discount is available for flights set to depart between Sept. 1, 2020 and March 15, 2021.

In addition to New York, Chicago and Boston, Iberia also operates flights to Madrid from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami. Departing from those cities will cost additional points (21,250 each way) due to Iberia's distance-based award chart. Regardless, it's still an excellent deal for transatlantic business class.

Note that the prices quoted above are for off-peak travel dates which you can find on the Iberia website. 2021 dates have yet to be officially announced, but they're bookable online and largely match Iberia's 2020 dates. Many of these dates have three or more seats available in business class.

One last thing: Iberia's website shows traditional off-peak pricing when you search for awards. However, the 50% discount will appear when you select the cabin you'd like to fly. You'll be shown the amount of Avios you need to purchase if you don't have enough to book.

Iberia 50% Pricing
(Image courtesy of Iberia)

The "Avios and Money" option can be a good deal here too. You can use just 3,400 Avios and $344.34 to book a one-way business class ticket from New York-JFK to Madrid, which is an excellent deal when compared to buying a cash ticket. Do the math and find which works best for your wallet.

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Should I book a discounted award now?

(Photo by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy)

As of this writing, Americans are still barred from entering Europe due to the coronavirus outbreak. Unless you have dual European citizenship, we only recommend booking these tickets for early 2021. Even then, there's still no guarantee that the EU will allow Americans to enter, so you assume some risk when speculatively booking these flights.

A quick word of warning: Iberia's call center isn't the best. I've personally experienced long hold times and massive delays in point refunds. You may also be charged a cancellation fee if you need to book, so book these discounted tickets at your own risk.

Transfer Points to Iberia

To boost your Iberia account balance, you can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Iberia are usually instant, while it can take 48 hours from Amex Membership Rewards.

Membership Rewards points can be earned from credit cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express or American Express® Gold Card. On the other hand, you can earn Ultimate Rewards with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Booking awards using Avios via Iberia can result in paying significantly fewer fees and surcharges than booking via British Airways. It's possible to transfer your Avios from British Airways to Iberia, but there are some caveats to that process. Namely, both accounts have to be at least 90 days old and have had recent points activity.

This British Airways to Iberia transfer option also gives you a work-around to the 48-hour delay when transferring points from Membership Rewards to Iberia. Amex points transfer instantaneously to British Airways Avios, and you can transfer points from British Airways to Iberia instantly.

Bottom Line

Paying just 17,000 points plus less than $100 in taxes and fees to cross the Atlantic in a lie-flat business-class seat is an excellent deal. This is exactly the kind of deal that makes it feasible to book a family to Europe on the cheap. While the promotion runs until Aug.30, we recommend booking sooner rather than later. Award availability — especially in business class — may be booked up pretty quickly.

Additional reporting by Summer Hull

Featured image by (Photo by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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