Iberia is the flag airline of Spain and it has a seriously valuable loyalty program, dubbed Iberia Plus.
One of the program’s best sweet spots is the ability to fly between the East Coast and Israel for as little as:
28,000 Iberia Avios in economy class.
55,250 Iberia Avios in business class.
For perspective, here’s what other airlines (usually) charge to reach Israel from the U.S.:
American Airlines: 40,000 miles in economy, 70,000 miles in business class.
Delta: Starting at 37,500 miles in economy and 130,000 miles in business class on partner airlines.
United Airlines: 42,500 miles in economy and 75,000 miles in business class.
Granted, Iberia doesn’t offer as many open award seats for these low prices when compared to other airlines. But if you can plan your vacation around Iberia’s availability, you could easily save 30,000 miles round trip.
Let’s take a look at this excellent deal.
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Why it’s special
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TPG valuations estimate that Avios are worth 1.5 cents each, on average. But when you book Iberia business class, you’re sure to get exponentially more value than that.
Here’s a quick look at the award price of a round-trip flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in early March. As you can see, the flights will cost 110,500 Avios and an annoying $366 in taxes and fees.
However, the same exact flights would cost $4,528 in cash. That means you’re getting a value of more than 3.76 cents per point — 2.5 times the amount estimated by TPG valuations.
As you can see above, Iberia’s website allows you to split your payment between cash and Avios if you’d like to stretch your rewards. The more your payment favors cash, the more value your points will return to you. For example, with the above flight, you can pay:
93,900 Avios, giving you a value of 4.09 cents per point.
55,300 Avios, giving you a value of 5.73 cents per point.
22,100 Avios, giving you a value of 11.28 cents per point.
Related: Use Iberia Avios to manufacture your own cheap business-class fares to Europe
How to book this award
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Step 1. Search for award flights
To search for award flights with Iberia, you’ll first have to log into your account. You can then enter your flight dates and desired airports.
There are two bits of information you need to know before you begin searching:
These super low prices are only valid for flights from the following East Coast cities:
Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS).
New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).
Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD).
These prices are for off-peak dates only. You can find Iberia’s off-peak dates here (most of the year is off-peak).
Step 2. Find Iberia-operated flights
Iberia usually offers a pretty decent inventory of award flights thanks to the airline’s partnerships with British Airways, American Airlines, Royal Jordanian and other Oneworld airlines. However, you’ll only get the lowest price if you fly on Iberia for the entire trip. Be sure to find Iberia-operated routes and book those.
Step 3. Select your cabin
Again, you’ll get the best bang for your Avios when you book business class. But 28,000 Avios one-way in economy to the Middle East is a serious bargain, too. If you choose to fly economy, be sure you’ve selected “Blue Class” for all legs of your trip to get the cheapest price.
Related: Watch TPG fly all 3 Iberia cabins on the same flight
How to earn points for this award
JOHN GRIBBEN FOR THE POINTS GUY
There are a handful of ways to easily earn Iberia Avios points.
Perhaps the most obvious way is to open the Iberia Visa Signature® Card. This card comes with a sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 Avios:
75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
An additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 in the first 12 months of account opening.
You can transfer Avios from British Airways and Aer Lingus to Iberia as well. Each airline has its own cobranded Chase credit card with a similar offer to the Iberia Visa Signature Card.
Further, Qatar Airways Privilege Club is a Citi ThankYou points transfer partner. The program also uses Avios as its loyalty currency, so if you have ThankYou points, you can transfer them to Qatar and then on to Iberia.
You can even transfer Qatar Airways Avios to Iberia by first transferring them to British Airways. This unlocks the ability to convert Capital One miles to Iberia Avios, as British Airways is a Capital One transfer partner. In other words, you can open the following cards to amass Iberia Avios quickly:
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
Citi Premier® Card: Earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Finally, Iberia is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards (1:1) and Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1). You can earn these points by opening:
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months of cardmembership.
American Express® Gold Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months of cardmembership.
Related: How (and why) you should earn transferable points
You can fly to Israel from the U.S. for as little as 28,000 Iberia Avios in economy and 55,250 Iberia Avios in business class. That’s a lot of distance for relatively few points.
However, you’ll have to fly from select East Coast cities during off-peak dates. And to get the best price, you’ll also have to fly on Iberia-operated flights, which connect through Madrid. If that’s no big deal for you, this is an excellent deal.
Featured photo by Kolderal/Getty Images.