Ready to plan that 2021 trip to Europe? We’ve got just the ticket to do it in business class for the points you’d typically pay for economy.
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 sometimes four or more!) almost every single day from January into early May 2021 on the daily flights from Chicago and New York City (JFK) – as well as on the flight from Boston (BOS) that flies three times weekly.
And at just 34,000 Iberia Avios each way, you’re paying what most airlines charge to fly economy. This is truly one of the best deals in points and miles, and it’s wide-open.
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.
Thrifty Tip #1: If you don’t live in one of these cities, consider booking a positioning flight using cash – or miles – to get there and hop on your business class flight.
There’s equally fantastic award availability for the return journey from Madrid back to one of these three U.S. cities. That should make it easy to piece together round-trip business class flights to Europe next winter or spring for just 68,000 Iberia miles and about $160 to $180 in cash fees. While it’s never fun to pay cash fees, $160 is quite reasonable to fly business class – especially compared to the $1,300-plus in fees you’d pay by booking these flights through British Airways instead.
Thrifty Tip #2: Don’t have Iberia Avios? Don’t worry! You can transfer them from Chase Ultimate Rewards points or American Express Membership Rewards points. So long as both accounts are at least 90 days old, you can also transfer Avios between British Airways and Iberia.
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 68,000 miles round-trip, that’s impossible to beat.
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.
British Airways is an 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.
In some cases, you could book Iberia business class with American AAdvantage miles. But a one-way flight Iberia business class flight will always cost you 57,500 AAdvantage miles. You also can’t book flights out into February through American – its booking window only extends 330 days. So the only situation when it could make sense to book with American miles is when Iberia is charging peak rates, like flights in late December and early January.
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 early May.
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.
With a 60,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 in three months, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is almost 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.
Once you hit a 68,000-point balance, you can immediately transfer them over to Iberia and you’re ready to book your trip in business class.
Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
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 100,000-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, 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 to Europe in some serious style on the cheap. Iberia offers the cheapest way to fly business class to Europe. And this glut of award availability is an outstanding opportunity to make it happen for the winter or spring of 2021.