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Iberia reverts to pre-devaluation prices for off-peak awards from Chicago, Los Angeles

July 08, 2021
6 min read
Iberia reverts to pre-devaluation prices for off-peak awards from Chicago, Los Angeles
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This May, we reported that Iberia Plus corrected prices for flights from Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) and Los Angeles (LAX) to Madrid (MAD). Iberia was previously pricing awards one category below its distance-based award chart.

Now, it looks like Iberia backtracked on its decision and again lowered prices to pre-correction rates.

Iberia off-peak awards from Chicago to Madrid again cost 34,000 Iberia Avios one-way in business class, down from 42,500 Avios. Likewise, awards from Los Angeles to Madrid cost 42,500 Avios in business class instead of 51,000 Avios.

Economy and premium economy awards were lowered to historical prices. Chicago to Madrid can now be booked for as low as 17,000 Avios in economy and 25,500 Avios in premium economy on off-peak dates, compared to 21,250 Avios and 31,750 Avios, respectively. Further, Los Angeles to Madrid prices at 21,250 Avios and 31,750 Avios in economy and premium economy, respectively, as opposed to 25,500 Avios and 38,250 Avios.

Let's take a closer look at these changes.

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Iberia lowers off-peak award prices for some cities

(Photo by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy)

As discussed, Iberia historically priced off-peak awards from Chicago and Los Angeles to Madrid lower than its published award chart. For reference, here's a look at Iberia's distance-based award chart for off-peak awards:

Distance (miles)Off-peak economyPeak economyOff-peak premium economyPeak premium economyOff-peak business classPeak business class
0 - 6504,5005,000--9,00010,000
651 - 1,1507,5008,250--15,00016,500
1,151 - 2,00010,00011,000--20,00022,000
2,001 - 3,00011,00012,500--21,25031,250
3,001 - 4,00017,00020,00025,50035,00034,00050,000
4,001 - 5,50021,25025,00031,75043,75042,50062,500
5,501 - 6,50025,50030,00038,25052,50051,00075,000
6,501 - 7,00029,75035,00044,25061,25059,50087,500
7,000+42,50050,00063,75087,50085,000125,000

Now, flights are pricing out at the pre-devaluation rate. Here's an example of an off-peak flight from Chicago to Madrid this December. The flight is 4,202 miles long annd should theoretically still cost 42,500 Avios per Iberia's award chart. However, it's pricing out at 34,000 Avios.

(Screenshot courtesy of Iberia.com)

Likewise, here's an example of a flight from Los Angeles to Madrid pricing at 42,500 Avios one-way in Feb 2022. This flight is 5,845 miles long, so it should cost 51,000 Avios per Iberia's award chart.

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(Screenshot courtesy of Iberia.com)

The airline also corrected the price of flights from Mexico City (MEX) and other cities in Central and South America this May. These are also back to their pre-correction prices. Madrid to Mexico City shot up to 51,000 Avios in May but has since reverted to 42,500 Avios.

(Screenshot courtesy of Iberia.com)

This change is no mistake either. Iberia's award "band" definition states that flights to/from Chicago, Los Angeles and Mexico City to/from Madrid are again in bands 5 and 6, respectively.

(Screenshot courtesy of Iberia.com)

TPG has confirmed this pricing change across multiple off-peak dates. Awards previously pricing higher are once again at their old rates for the rest of 2021 and 2022.

Related: The cheapest ways to book a trip to Spain with points and miles

Bottom line

It's great to see Iberia backtrack on its decision to raise the cost of off-peak prices from Madrid to Chicago, Los Angeles and others. This change reopens a massive sweet spot for American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points. We're hopeful that these prices stick and are not corrected again in the future.

Feature photo by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy

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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  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
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  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees