Wide Open Transatlantic Business Class Awards From Just 49,000 Points Roundtrip

Iberia business class awards are wide open for two passengers between New York JFK and Madrid. There’s quite a bit of space in November and December, but things really open up for January and February 2023.

Chase and American Express transfer directly to Iberia. However if you have American Express points you don’t want to do this, you’d want to take advantage of the 40% transfer bonus currently available to British Airways and then – as long as you have a pre-existing Iberia account with some activity, even just a points transfer – transfer to Iberia to book the flight through them.

That’s because Iberia doesn’t add significant fuel surcharges and will cost just 68,000 Avios roundtrip. With the 40% transfer bonus that means spending just 49,000 Membership Rewards points roundtrip.

Capital One transfers to British Airways as well, and Citi transfers to Qatar, either of which provide the opportunity to transfer to an active Iberia account and would let you redeem at 68,000 points roundtrip. In order to transfer points your Iberia account must have been active for at least 3 months and have earned points.

The value in this opportunity,

  • Expect to pay ~ $175 in taxes and fees roundtrip via Iberia versus $1400 via British Airways
  • 68,000 miles roundtrip – let alone 49,000 Membership Rewards – is an incredible price, compare to 140,000 as a rough average from many programs and even thee amazing 88,000 miles roundtrip that ANA charges for transatlatnic business class coems with fuel surcharges on most partners.

This is an obvious win for New Yorkers, who can easily take advantage of these flights to Madrid. (Once in Europe getting around is easy, and Avios are great for short haul redemptions.) This isn’t peak season, to be sure, though I tend to prefer visiting Europe when there aren’t myriad American teenagers roaming around (or German package tourists). For those in other cities it’s a good enough deal that some will find it useful to position to and from New York to take advantage of it.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. So I have both an Iberia and BA account that have been opened for more than 90 days. However I have no Iberia activity. So could I transfer 1,000 Amex points to Iberia and than transfer 100k amex points to BA (should equal 140k avios) then transfer those to Iberia. Basically will the 1k points I transfer from Amex to Iberia count as activity or does it have to be earned a different way?

  2. Re-read and I see this so I think what I said above should work: “as long as you have a pre-existing Iberia account with some activity, even just a points transfer”

  3. Same question as John H.
    I have Iberia account for a while however, no transactions in it since opening it several years ago. Can I make this deal happen???

  4. Cheapest I can find on Iberia.com is around 84K Avios r/t from NYC. 50K NYC=> MAD and then 35K MAD => NYC. No R/T price quoted in Avios. Clicking on the “Show Monthly Prices” just results in a hung session. Where else can I look for free ?

  5. You know when your gf gives you this look, like she wants to have fun.. then you find out it’s her excitement to read a book.. u just did that to me..

  6. I booked lax-mad on Iberia business for 42,500 avios in early November, a couple of months ago. One way using Iberia avios.

  7. Iberia is the worst business class I ever experienced, no “one of”. So expect being treated like shit onboard.

  8. Gary, just FYI – Last time I flew IB NYC -MAD and stayed in the southern end, I thought the seats were really tight in business class. So I bought a tape measure and checked it. The actual cloth seat in J class at the front of the seat was 17″, roughly the size of most economy seats.

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