Iberia Plus Loyalty Program Review

Iberia Plus Loyalty Program Review

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Iberia Airlines Summary Table

Branded and Partnered Credit Cards

The most efficient way for someone to earn Iberia Avios is through credit card spending with transferable points.

Iberia refers to its airline miles as Avios, so when you see Avios referenced through this post, just know that Avios is the airline currency Iberia uses.

Iberia does have an appealing credit card that offers you the ability to earn 3 Avios on purchases with Iberia, British Airways, and Aer Lingus and to earn 1 Avios on all other purchases. However, the earn rates from Amex, Chase, and Marriott will yield a better return over the long run.

Iberia Visa Signature® Credit Card

Chase is the co-branded partner with Iberia on its Iberia Visa Signature® card. This partnership really packs a punch.

The Iberia Visa Signature® card earns 3 Avios points for every $1 spent on Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL purchases. For all other purchases, the card earns 1 Avios point for every $1 spent.

In order to unlock the larger welcome bonus tiers, a sizable portion of your spend will need to diverted to this card.

Given that a sizable spending amount would be needed to maximize your benefits with the Iberia, other card options may be a better fit.

American Express Credit Cards

American Express allows you to earn Avios via a Membership Rewards points transfer. As an Iberia Plus member, you can reduce the cost of Iberia flights by as much as 50% when booking directly with Iberia using your Avios.

A big benefit of being an American Express cardholder is that Amex partners with many valuable airlines, many of which regularly offer bonus miles when transferring Amex points to airline partners. This allows you flexibility when trying to redeem an award flight since you have multiple airlines to choose from.

With that said, here are the personal and business credit cards that will put you on the path to your next award flight:

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $2,700+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a HUGE welcome bonus of up to 100,000 points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 after you spend an additional $15,000, on purchases within the first 3 months.

We get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks.

This is the best business card for lounge access as you'll get into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a simple card that earns you 2x points on any business purchase, up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). That makes for an easy 100,000 points per year! The card has no annual fee. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

Chase Credit Cards

Chase and Amex constantly compete for the top transferable point program spot. Both programs offer both a ton of different credit card products and valuable airline and hotel partners.

With respect to the Iberia Plus program, Iberia is one of Chase Ultimate Rewards’ airline partners. This means that if you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer those points directly to Iberia. The point transfers are 1:1, so 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point is equal to 1 Iberia Avios (mile).

The reason that this partnership is valuable is because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are much easier to earn versus earning Avios with your Iberia Visa Signature® credit card spend.

The Ultimate Rewards program is unique, relative to Amex, in that Hyatt is a hotel partner. As many people know, this partnership leads to receiving a ton of value with Chase points.

All in all, Chase is a solid program that rewards members who know the program’s best transfer partners.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card which has a 60,000 point bonus (highest ever) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

This sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia. The bonus alone could get you multiple round-trip flights or hotel stays.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - Consider this premium card if you want to get into a lot of airport lounges. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $450 annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you a $150 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Easy earning at 1.5% on all purchases. Just know that you won't get any travel benefits or the ability to earn bonus points with this card.

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card - This is our #1 recommended business card and comes with a whopping 80,000 sign up bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (flights, hotels etc). Also, if you pay for your cell phone bill with this card, you can get up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year.
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card - earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. In addition, get up to 5% cash back on a range of business expenses such as office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services. This is one of the best no annual fee business cards.

Marriott Credit Cards

The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program has seen quite a few changes recently, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest with the program.

Marriott Bonvoy has 40+ airline transfer partners in all, which is staggering compared to Chase and Amex.

However, what is important to note and what can be frustrating, not all transfer times are created equal. What this means is that when you transfer Marriott points to one its airline partners, the time it take for the points to leave your Marriott account and show up in your airline loyalty account is not the same.

In some cases, the transfer times to airlines are 1 day (Flying Blue). In other case, the transfer times to airlines take 10 days (Asiana Airlines).

One benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy program is the bonus structure.

For every 60,000 Marriott points that are transferred to an airline partner, you’ll receive a 5,000-point bonus in the form of airline miles. Since most of the Marriott to airline transfer ratios are 3:1, this means that  60,000 Marriott points become 25,000 Avios with the 5,000-point bonus (60,000 / 3 = 20,000 + 5,000 = 25,000).

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

Other Hotel Partner Credit Cards

If you’re not a Marriott Bonvoy member, you may be interested in transferring your points from other hotel programs like Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt. 

Unfortunately, other hotel loyalty programs might not offer as good of a transfer ratio as the one listed above through Marriott. This means that when transferring hotel points into airline miles, you won’t be getting as many miles as you could with other programs or other transfer avenues.

We would recommend transferring other hotel program points to Iberia if you’re topping off your Iberia Plus account for an award flight. Otherwise, you’ll find better ways to use your Hilton Honors or World of Hyatt points in other ways.

Iberia Airlines Overview

Iberia Airlines is the flagship airline carrier of Spain that operates out of its hub at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas airport (MAD). Flyers can book flights out of MAD to destinations across Europe and the world, including a handful of non-stop flights to the United States.

The airline is a Oneworld™ alliance member joining the likes of American Airlines and Cathay Pacific. With Iberia’s Oneworld membership, frequent flyers with miles earned on Iberia can redeem them not only for Iberia flights, but also for flights on airlines across the alliance.

Iberia Plus is the airline’s frequent flyer program offering its members value when flying Iberia or a Oneworld partner airline flight. Iberia Plus members are awarded elite status based on the number of Elite Points or Routes (segments) flown between April 1 and March 31 of the following year.

Elite Points are calculated in two ways:

1) the fare class and route flown on Iberia flights, or

2) the distance of the flight on a partner airline.

In addition to the Elite Points awarded for flying, members also earn Avios, which can be redeemed for award flights and upgrades. Additionally Avios can be redeemed for hotel stays, car rentals, and experiences.

Bottom Line: Iberia is a well-rounded program that U.S. travelers, particularly those with Oneworld status, are able to take advantage of. 

Joining Iberia Plus

If you’re interested in joining Iberia Plus, membership is free and you can set up your Iberia Plus account by filling out this application. Iberia Plus members have the ability to earn and redeem Avios in the Iberia Plus frequent flyer program.

How to Sign Into Your Iberia Plus Account

Enter your Iberia Plus Number and Pin that you provided in your application to access your account.

Iberia Login
The Iberia login screen. Image courtesy of iberia.com

Hot Tip: Iberia provides anyone access to its award charts, but you’ll need to login to your account to search for award space. 

Viewing Your Avios Account Activity

Follow these easy steps to check out the mileage activity in your account:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Click your name in the top right corner
  3. Click “Your Avios”

Points Expiration

If no account activity exists for 36 months, the Avios will expire.

Iberia Plus Program

Iberia Plus Elite Status

Iberia Plus Status Levels
Image courtesy of Iberia.com

Iberia Plus

There are three elite tiers in the Iberia Plus frequent flyer program.

Members who move to higher elite tiers unlock additional benefits such as lounge access, higher mileage earn rates, and fast-track security status.

When reviewing the benefits within each tier below, it’s important to note that higher elite tiers include all of the benefits of the preceding elite tier:

Silver: The lowest elite tier that comes with these perks:

  • 25% bonus Avios
  • Excess baggage allowance
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority waitlist
  • Continuation of status while on maternity leave
  • Oneworld Ruby

Gold: Iberia’s middle elite tier that provides members the following benefits:

  • 50% bonus Avios
  • Iberia VIP lounge access
  • Free parking service at Madrid and Barcelona airports
  • Excess baggage allowance
  • Guaranteed economy seat on any Iberia or Iberia marketed flight
  • VIP Lounge access at Madrid-Barajas airport if your flight is longer than 4 hours
  • Oneworld Sapphire

Platinum: The highest elite tier offering members these perks:

  • 100% bonus Avios
  • Two upgrades to Iberia Business Class
  • Limo for transfers between the airport and Barcelona, Madrid, Chile, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Sao Paulo
  • Automatic credit of up to 22,500 Avios to be used towards award flights
  • Iberia VIP Lounge access
  • Excess baggage allowance
  • Gift of Platinum status for a friend
  • Oneworld Emerald

Oneworld status (Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald) is a separate status in addition to your Iberia elite status.

With Oneworld status, members will be have a number of benefits such as Oneworld lounge access, priority check-in, and fast track at select security lanes when flying on a Oneworld Alliance member flight.

A full list of program benefits can be found on the Iberia Plus program page.

Bottom Line: Iberia has unique elite benefits for its members, in particular, for those who earn Platinum status. 

Value of Iberia Plus Elite Status

100% bonus Avios, two Iberia Business Class upgrades, limo transfers, a 22,500 Avios credit, and Iberia VIP Lounge access are all valuable perks at the highest Iberia Plus elite tier.

Gold has a couple of benefits to evaluate, but it’s most important to ask yourself if the benefits offered at each elite tier are valuable to you. If you decide to earn elite status, try to earn Platinum as the benefits at this level give you the most in returned value.

Bottom Line: Bonus Avios, upgrades, bonus Avios, and Iberia VIP lounge access are the benefits to expect if you are able to earn elite status in the Iberia Plus program. 

Earning Iberia Plus Elite Status

iberia elite status qualification
The qualification requirements for Iberia elite status. Image courtesy of iberia.com

Iberia elite status is earned by the number of routes (segments) flown or the number of Elite Points earned. The number of Elite Points earned is driven by the route when flying on Iberia or the distance flown when flying a partner airline.

Platinum status is shown as 6,250 Elite Points, but in reality, a member needs 12,500 to qualify. Each subsequent year would require 6,250 Elite Points.

Unlike other programs, unfortunately, you’re not able to earn Iberia Plus Elite Points through Amex, Chase, or Marriott credit card spend.

Bottom Line: The only way to obtain Iberia elite status is to fly on Iberia Airlines or on partner airline flight. 

How to Earn Iberia Avios

By partnering with Amex, Chase, and Marriott, Iberia Plus members have more than one way to earn Avios.

While members can transfer points from these programs directly to Iberia Plus, it’s important to note that Chase is the only partner where the point transfer is instant. Amex and Marriott are not instant, 6 days in the case of Marriott, so keep that in mind when planning your award redemption.

Earning Avios Through Flying

Flying Iberia Airlines or another partner airline is straightforward when it comes to earning Avios. The number of Avios you earn depends on the flight distance and the class of the ticket that you book. Iberia has a full list of earning rates to determine that amount of Avios earned with each partner airline.

Elite status members also earn bonus Avios. The amount of bonus Avios is determined by multiplying the bonus percentage by the flight distance or a 500-mile minimum for short flights.

Oneworld member airlines
Oneworld member airlines. Image courtesy of oneworld.com.

For partner airline flights, make sure the partner flight is an Iberia-marketed flight or you will not earn Iberia Avios. All of the partner accrual rates can be found on the partner airline page.

In addition to the Oneworld alliance, Iberia has separate partnerships with Vueling, Level, Interjet, Royal Air Maroc, AirItaly, Binter, and Avianca.

Head to the partner airline page to see the full list of Iberia’s partnerships.

Earn Avios With Credit Cards

Iberia’s partnerships with Amex, Chase, and Marriott provide a number of ways to earn Avios with your credit card spend.

With Amex and Chase, evaluate all of the personal and business credit cards that earn Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards points respectively.

If you sign up for Marriott credit cards, remember that you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred to an airline partner like Iberia.

Earning Bonus Avios in Other Ways

Avios can be earned in other ways to that do not involve flying or credit card spend.

Check out the Iberia FacebookTwitter, and discount vouchers page for additional places to earn Iberia Avios.

Lastly, car rental and hotel partners have opportunities for members to earn Avios with every rental and hotel stay.

Hot Tip: If you add your airline loyalty program to other services, you typically won’t also earn status points with these franchises. For example, this partnership acts as a sort of alliance between the airline and car rental agency.

How to Redeem Iberia Plus Avios

Redeeming Iberia Avios for award flights yields the best value, but as is the case with most airlines there are many ways to redeem Avios.

Iberia is unique in that the airline offers peak and off-peak pricing, so take advantage of the lower mileage dates.

Off-peak dates include the 2nd half of January, all of February, 28 days in March, half of April, 29 days in May, half of June, half of September, 29 days of October, 26 days of November, and 12 days of December. The number of Avios required is determined by the distance, fare class, and date of the flight.

iberia off-peak award chart
Iberia’s off-peak award chart where the sweet spots lie. Image courtesy of iberia.com

With a handle on the Iberia award chart, check out what Iberia partner airline charts have to offer.

As previously noted, each airline has its own award chart when you are using Iberia Avios to fly on that airline. For example, the American Airlines award chart shown below is the award chart that you’ll reference when you are using Iberia Avios to fly on an American Airlines flight. You can fly on an American Airlines flight using Iberia Avios because American Airlines and Iberia are airline partners.

iberia american airlines award chart
The American Airlines award chart has sweet spots too! Image courtesy of iberia.com

Another Iberia airline partner is Royal Air Maroc. The Royal Air Maroc award chart is shown below. If you are looking to fly on a Royal Air Maroc flight, you will reference the chart below. The reason that you can fly on a Royal Air Maroc flight using your Iberia Avios is because Royal Air Maroc and Iberia are airline partners.

iberia royal air maroc award chart
Consider using the Royal Air Maroc award chart for a flight to Morocco. Image courtesy of iberia.com

Diving deeper into the redemption side, let’s look at a couple of sweet spots. A sweet spot means that the number of Avios required for the referenced flight is likely the lowest number of miles required to fly when compared to all of your other point redemption options.

  • 68,000 Avios round-trip Iberia business class to Europe
  • 100,000 Avios round-trip Royal Air Maroc business class to Morocco

Hot Tip: We have an entire post on the best ways to redeem Iberia Avios if you’re interested in seeing all of the redemption opportunities with Iberia Avios. 

Oneworld™ Alliance and Other Partner Awards

Determining the amount of Avios required for Oneworld and partner airline flights is easy with Iberia Airlines since all of its award charts in the same place. Save this partner airline page to use as a reference guide when booking Iberia partner flights using Avios.

Booking Online

For Oneworld partner flights, use British Airways and Qantas to search for award availability. Neither site is perfect, but a combination of the two will ensure you can see the award space you’re looking for. Iberia shows award flights for some partners, like American Airlines, but not all partners like Royal Air Maroc.

If an award seat on a partner award flight isn’t shown, you’ll have to search for space elsewhere and call Iberia at 800-772-4642 to book the flight.

Keep these general rules in mind when searching for award flights:

  • Search the British Airways and Qantas websites for Oneworld flights
  • Search the Delta and Flying Blue (Air France or KLM) websites for SkyTeam flights
  • Search the United and Aeroplan websites for Star Alliance flights

Hot Tip: Use Expert Flyer if the Iberia website will not show award space for the flight you are looking to book. 

Featured Image: Courtesy of Shutterstock

FAQ

What is the Iberia Plus program? Is it worth it? What are the benefits?

Iberia Plus is the frequent flyer program of Iberia Airlines. It’s free to join and allows members to earn Avios and elite status, as well as use Avios for an award flight.

Iberia Plus members are awarded elite status based on the number of Elite Points or Routes flown between April 1 and March 31 of the following year.

Joining airlines like British Airways and Japan Airlines, Iberia is a Oneworld alliance member. Iberia’s Oneworld membership means that Iberia Avios can be used to fly not only on Iberia, but on partner airline flights as well.

What other programs partner with Iberia Plus? Can I transfer Avios to them?

Iberia Plus provides members with an opportunity to earn Avios in a variety of ways.

Car rentals, credit card spending, and hotels are the ways to earn Iberia Avios that do not involve flying.

Award flights, hotels, car rentals, and experiences are available for members looking to redeem Avios.

While transferring Iberia Avios to an airline partner is not allowed, members can redeem Avios for Iberia or partner airline flights. What this means is that you can’t transfer your Iberia Avios to an airline partner like American Airlines. No airline will allow you to transfer its own airline miles to another airline. You must use those airline miles (i.e. Iberia Avios) only with that airline. However, you can use your Iberia Avios to book an Iberia flight or a partner airline flight like American Airlines.

What is the Iberia Plus login?

Head to this page to login to your Iberia Plus account.

Where can I sign up for Iberia Plus?

Check out the application page to sign up for a free Iberia Plus account.

What is my Iberia Plus number?

You can find your Iberia Plus number by signing into your account, looking on your membership card, or through a variety of marketing emails they send you.

If you can’t find it there, try using the “forgot my password” tool to reset your account so you can get in. Alternatively, try calling the customer service desk at 1-800-772-4642
8:00- 24:00 Lt. 7 days a week.

When do Avios post in my Iberia Plus account?

Iberia Avios should post in your account within 7 days after your date of travel.

When do Iberia Plus Avios expire?

If no account activity exists for 36 months, the Avios will expire.

When does Iberia Plus status expire?

Silver and Gold status are valid for 12 months. Platinum status is valid for 24 months when the member accrues 6,250 Elite Points.

Is there a Iberia credit card?

Yes! Chase offers the Iberia Visa Signature® Credit Card. This card earns you Avios with every purchase:

  • 3 Avios points for every $1 spent on Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL purchases
  • 1 Avios point for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Can you hold an award flight with Iberia?

Unfortunately, Iberia Airlines doesn’t allow Iberia Plus members to put a hold on an award ticket.

Michael McHugh

About Michael McHugh

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn't travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since. Michael first caught wind of the points and miles game in 2014 while at a bar in Washington, DC where the conversation amongst friends was quickly derailed because of an alert on a friend's phone about a mistake fare.  That's where the love affair with points and miles began.

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