Ready to plan that 2021 return to Europe? We’ve got just the ticket to do it in business class for the points you’d typically pay for economy. And thanks to a new Chase transfer bonus, it’s cheaper than ever: Just 27,000 points each way!
We’ve found a great block of award availability to fly Iberia business class from the East Coast or Chicago-O’Hare to Madrid (MAD) in early 2021. And when we say great, we mean fantastic: You can currently book at least two seats (and often four!) most days from mid-September all the way through October 2021 on the daily flights from Chicago, New York City (JFK), and Boston (BOS).
Flights from Boston and Chicago are available several days a week, while New York City-JFK has nearly daily availability for at least two passengers. And there’s equally sterling availability on the return flights, too.
These awards typically start at 34,000 Iberia Avios each way, or 68,000 Avios roundtrip. That’s what most airlines charge for economy – it’s one of the best deals in points and miles. Focus on flights from Sept. 13 onward, as that’s when Iberia’s cheaper off-peak pricing takes effect.
But now it’s even cheaper if you’ve got a stash of Chase points, as you’ll get a 30% transfer bonus when sending Chase Ultimate Rewards to your Iberia account. That means you can book a one-way business class flight to Europe with just 27,000 Chase points, or make it a roundtrip using only 53,000 points plus $200 or less in fees. That is unbeatable.
Thrifty Tip #1: If you don’t live in Chicago, New York, or Boston, consider booking a positioning flight using cash – or miles – to get there and hop on your business class flight.
Not sold on traveling to Europe next year with the uncertainty of coronavirus? Iberia makes it cheap and easy to change plans. The airline charges a flat $40 fee to change the dates of your flight or cancel to get your miles back. So you could lock in a trip with this amazing glut of award space then reconsider later on if need be.
Booking with Iberia can sometimes be a bit of a pain, as its website is a bit wonky and its customer support call center in the U.S. is hit or miss. But at these prices, it’s worth some extra legwork.
Thrifty Tip #2: Can’t get your Iberia award to go through? Try again using a different internet browser. Keep reading for more instructions, or just read our complete guide to booking business class flights using Iberia Avios.
Iberia business class won’t win awards for the world’s best business class. But you’ll get a comfortable lie-flat bed for the seven-plus hour flight, and good meals … all for the typical price of flying economy. And at just 53,000 points for a round-trip, that’s unparalleled.
Read our full review of Iberia business class from Chicago to Madrid.
Flying out of Chicago or New York City, you’ll have access to American’s Flagship lounges, which are among the best business class lounges in the U.S. And Iberia has its own lovely lounge in Madrid for international business class departures.
How to Book
Iberia is a member of the Oneworld alliance, so there are a number of ways you could book.
One option is using American AAdvantage miles. But the airline charges 57,500 miles each way, so you’ll use up a bigger part of your balance. British Airways is another option, as these nonstop flights across the Atlantic would also cost 34,000 miles each way. But with atrocious cash fees on these bookings, forget about it.
So that leaves us with Iberia Avios: with low mileage rates and moderate fees, it’s easily the best option. Critically, you can book Iberia awards up to 361 days in advance – which brings us to all the way to the end of October. You can also find some decent award availability earlier in 2021 as well as through the summer – but those flights will likely price out much higher thanks to Iberia’s peak award pricing system.
Iberia’s site isn’t the easiest to navigate, but it’s worth the work.
You’ll want to scope out the award availability to ensure the dates you want to fly to or from Europe are still available – but with this much availability, that shouldn’t be a challenge. Head to Iberia.com and log in to your Iberia Plus account – or register if you don’t already have one.
From there, follow the link to Iberia’s award search tool. Other search platforms on Iberia’s site will not function correctly. Iberia doesn’t always play nice with airport codes, so you may want to type in the city name (“Chicago”) rather than ORD. And be sure you search for as many seats as you need and tick the “My dates are flexible” box.
Get a “restricted access” error? Iberia’s award search tool has a nasty habit of logging you out. Log back in and repeat the process – the second time should be the charm. Scroll through the dates and pick the nonstop Iberia business class flight that works!
How to Earn Iberia Avios to Fly Business Class
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never stepped foot on an Iberia plane. You can easily get the miles you need to fly business class.
That’s because you can transfer credit card points to Iberia from some of the biggest banks in points and miles: Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express, as well as Marriott Bonvoy points. With that many options, Iberia Avios are some of the easiest miles to earn in the world. You’ve got a lot of options to get to Spain in business class.
But given the 30% transfer bonus using Chase points to Iberia, British Airways, and Aer Lingus, it’s a no-brainer to use Chase in this scenario.
With a 60,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 in three months, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is more than enough to get you there and back in one fell swoop. You’ll earn at least 64,000 Chase points after hitting that minimum spend requirement. And with just a $95 annual fee, it’s an easy, approachable way to make it happen.
Or maybe you lucked out and snagged the best-ever 80,000-point bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card before it expired? Either way, find your flights, transfer your points over to Iberia, and you’re set.
Another great option is the Platinum Card from American Express. The Amex Platinum card is one of our absolute favorites, thanks to an unbeatable set of travel perks like lounge access, $200 in credits for both airline fees and Uber rides, and much more. With a $550 annual fee, it’s not for everyone – especially when travel is on pause for the near future.
But this card’s sign-up bonus can easily get you to Europe in business class. It starts with a 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in three months. But you may be able to get an outstanding 125,000-point bonus via the CardMatch tool.
Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express
Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer these points to your Iberia Plus account. In this case, these transfers can take anywhere from 12 to 48 hours.
One final, unique option is to transfer Avios from British Airways into your Iberia account. There are two important restrictions to keep in mind:
- Your Iberia account must be at least 90 days old
- And you must have had activity (earning Avios, redeeming Avios, or a points transfer) in your Iberia account within the last six months
If you can meet both criteria, head for britishairways.com and log into your BA account. Go to “Manage my account” and “Combine my Avios” to start the transfer. You can transfer as many – or as few – Avios between accounts as you’d like.
With this many opportunities to build up a stash of Iberia Avios and a nice transfer bonus from Chase, it shouldn’t be too hard to get the 68,000 you need for a round-trip flight to Europe in business class!
This is a great chance to book a trip next year to Europe in some serious style on the cheap. Iberia offers the cheapest way to fly business class to Europe.
With this glut of award availability combined with an amazing transfer bonus from Chase, it’s an outstanding opportunity to make it happen next fall.