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How (And Why) I Transfer All of My Amex Platinum Card’s Points to Iberia Avios

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Lori Zaino
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Lori Zaino

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Lori is an intrepid traveler who loves creating itineraries that exude “luxe on a budget.” She’s written for CNN, NBC, The Infatuation, and more, and loves to muse about points-fueled trips to Sri Lan...
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I greatly value the Membership Rewards points that I earn with The Platinum Card® from American Express.

In fact, one of the main reasons I still keep my Amex Platinum card, even though I live abroad, is because of these rewards. Even though I often miss out on some of the card’s benefits, like the monthly Uber credits (which can only be used in the U.S.) or the Equinox credit, I still keep the card year after year because Amex Membership Rewards points are so flexible.

With a number of transfer partners, it’s easy to find ways to utilize them for maximum value. However, I utilize my Amex Membership Rewards points for 1 sole program: Iberia Plus.

Why I Value Iberia Avios

One of the reasons I value Iberia Plus Avios so much is because I live in Madrid, Spain, and frequently fly the airline, both around Europe and to/from the U.S. But you don’t have to live in Spain to get a lot of value out of Avios.

Those living in the U.S. can use Iberia Avios to travel between the U.S. and Europe for next to nothing — and at much more affordable rates than many airlines that have switched to dynamic award pricing (read: U.S. airlines like Delta, United, and American).

You can also transfer Avios between a few different Oneworld airlines (under a few conditions), which gives them some added flexibility.

Iberia’s award chart is distance-based, has affordable rates in many instances (especially off-peak), and offers some impressive sweet spots, which I’ll discuss below. So, if you’re the only one who didn’t get to Europe this summer, there’s still time for that fall or spring travel adventure using your Iberia Avios.

How To Use Iberia Avios and Get Maximum Value

Iberia A350 EC NIG
Image Credit: Daniel Ross

Many people shy away from booking award tickets using foreign airlines, and it’s true — it’s not always as cut and dry as booking or flying with a U.S. air carrier. But these tips can help you figure out how to book tickets and get the most out of your Avios.

Book Direct Through Iberia

Iberia’s website is notoriously complicated for booking award travel. But with a little patience and persistence, you can power through the hassle. Although there are a few ways to search for flights using Avios, the best way is to make sure you’re logged into your Iberia Plus account, then use the Fly With Avios search tool.

Fly With Avios
A sample Avios search. Image Credit: Iberia

Follow the directions on the screen, and you’ll eventually get to a screen where you’ll see your options for booking a ticket. I highly recommend keeping the My Dates are Flexible” boxes checked so you can easily toggle between dates to see availability and Avios cost.

Iberia flexible view
Using the flexible view, you can see Avios rates and options for several days at once. Image Credit: Iberia
Hot Tip:

If the Iberia webpage is erroring out or things don’t seem to be working, don’t panic. Come back in a few hours or the next day. The airline’s website is often finicky, and the best way to deal with it is just to take a break and try again later.

Iberia’s Off-Peak Calendar Can Benefit U.S.-Based Travelers

The Spanish airline’s off-peak calendar aligns with the Spanish work and school holiday schedule. This means that U.S. travelers may be able to find off-peak deals during months like May, June, October, or November — even around Thanksgiving, which obviously isn’t a holiday in Spain.

Taking advantage of these off-peak moments, like traveling in June when U.S. kids are already out of school but Spanish schools are still in session, or taking a fall break around Thanksgiving, can make visiting Europe way more affordable.

Off peak Iberia calendar
Iberia’s off-peak calendar for the remainder of 2023. Image Credit: Iberia

Know Iberia’s Sweet Spots

Iberia has both off-peak and peak award redemption dates based on the distance you’re traveling. One of the most valuable is the Band 5 distance group, where you can fly long-haul in business class one-way for just 34,000 Avios.

Although many bloggers love to mention this sweet spot as the flight between New York (JFK) and Madrid (MAD), I find it most valuable that the flight between Chicago (ORD) and Madrid (MAD) is included in this distance band, as Chicago is significantly further away, but isn’t more expensive.

Iberia Off Peak Award Chart
Iberia’s off-peak award chart offers some deals, especially in the distance band 5. Image Credit: Iberia

Combine Sweet Spots With Off-Peak Dates

This particular sweet spot allows Midwesterners to fly nonstop, one-way to Europe for some of the lowest award rates out there — even on dates that may be peak in the U.S., such as Thanksgiving, when U.S. airlines’ dynamic pricing award rates may be double, triple, or even 4 times that amount.

Since I grew up in Chicago, I find this redemption particularly useful, as I’m able to bank my Avios and fly my family between Spain and the Windy City at least once per year. If, for some reason, I don’t have enough Avios to fly all of us in business both ways, I opt to fly economy to the U.S. and business on the way back to Spain, where having a lie-flat bed for an overnight flight really makes a difference.

With a difference of just 3,000 Avios for off-peak versus peak travel dates to book an economy Blue award (17,000 vs. 20,000), flying economy during peak dates using Avios doesn’t cost all that much more.

Iberia Peak Award Chart
Even Iberia’s peak rates can be a solid deal, especially during the summer when cash prices to Europe are outrageous. Image Credit: Iberia

However, you don’t have to be from Chicago or have your final destination be Madrid to take advantage of these award rates. Travelers can stay a night or day in Madrid, then either use Avios or cash to buy an affordable flight to another European hub like Rome, Paris, Vienna, or otherwise.

Hot Tip:

Don’t discount flying low-cost carriers in Europe once you’ve arrived in Europe. Most flights are short, under 2 or 3 hours, and you can get amazing deals on airlines like EasyJet or Ryanair. Just make sure to read all the fine print and luggage restrictions so you won’t end up paying additional fees.

Understand Iberia’s Strengths and Weaknesses

You can book Iberia Avios award tickets and get ready to fly with the airline by being aware of the benefits and drawbacks of the airline’s loyalty program.

Iberia’s Strengths

  • Affordable Award Rates: Fly between the U.S. and Europe with budget award rates, in many cases.
  • Upgraded Aircraft and Dining: Iberia has recently renovated some of its business class cabins, including redoing the menus and all the cuisine. The airline claims it uses fresh, seasonal products in its meals, with menus inspired by Spanish flavors.
  • Sleep in Lie-Flat Beds in Business on Larger Aircraft: The A330 and A350 aircraft feature comfortable and functional lie-flat beds in business class.

Iberia’s Weaknesses

  • Customer Service: You can often get a great deal on Iberia flights using Avios, but don’t expect the same treatment as you may get on other airlines, even in business class or if you have Oneworld elite status. Calling Iberia can be complicated, and customer service isn’t a strong point of the airline. Flight attendants and check-in staff usually don’t go above and beyond, so don’t expect exceptional service.
  • Business Class Isn’t Worth It on Short-Haul Aircraft: If you decide to fly the airline in and around Europe on an aircraft like the A321 or A320, business class has slightly more legroom and upgraded dining, but the seats are the same in economy, with the middle seat blocked.

Consider Getting the Amex Platinum Card — And Aim for a Higher Bonus

If you don’t currently hold the Amex Platinum card and you want to build a solid stash of Iberia Avios, consider getting this premium card — and strive for the highest welcome bonus possible.

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
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The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

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The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
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When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 125k (or 150k) points with the Amex Platinum. The current public offer is 80,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Regardless of the current public offer, it is highly recommended that you take a few minutes to check if you are eligible for a higher offer. You can look for a higher welcome offer if you follow our key tips, which include using the CardMatch tool, checking the website, or looking for targeted emails.

Once you get your Amex Platinum card, you can start bulking up those rewards and then transfer them to Iberia or other Amex transfer partners.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How To Transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Iberia Plus

For anyone who holds a card that earns American Express Membership Rewards, it’s easy to earn points on every purchase. However, since Amex points transfer 1:1 to Iberia, the more points you can earn, the better, so trying to spend in conjunction with your specific card’s bonus categories just means you’ll end up with more Iberia Avios.

Once you have a stash of points you want to transfer, complete the following steps:

  1. Login to your Amex account and head to Rewards and Benefits.
  2. Click on Earn and Redeem.
  3. Select Transfer Points from the drop-down menu (note that you’ll already need to have an Iberia Plus account set up through Iberia).
  4. Link your Iberia Plus account by inputting your loyalty membership number and name (it must match on both accounts).
  5. Enter the amount of points you want to transfer (in increments of 1,000).
Amex to Iberia Transfer
Transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Iberia Plus Avios. Image Credit: American Express

Transfers can be as low as 1,000 points and as high as 999,000 points. Amex says transfers can take up to 48 hours, but in my experience, points usually transfer much faster. You should get an email confirmation that you’ve initiated this transfer.

Finally, log into Iberia and confirm your Avios are there. Seeing the new Avios in your account may be instantaneous or take between 12 and 36 hours.

When To Transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Iberia Plus

You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Iberia Plus Avios anytime you want at a 1:1 ratio. However, I prefer to bulk up a stash of points, and then transfer them when American Express and Iberia offer a 30% transfer bonus (which occurs 1 to a few times per year). This means for every 1,000 Amex Membership Rewards points you transfer, you’ll earn 1,300 Iberia Avios under the offer at the time of writing.

This is a significant way to gain more value from your Amex points, especially if you’ve managed to build up a solid pile over a period of time. At this time, we aren’t sure when the next bonus period may be, so my plan is to spend and build through the holiday period and hopefully transfer points with a bonus in 2024.

Other Ways To Earn More Iberia Avios

While transferring Amex Membership Rewards is an easy and effective way to get Iberia Avios, U.S. residents also have several other options to earn Iberia Avios:

Transfer Iberia Avios From British Airways Avios (And Other Select Airlines)

It may be worth transferring Avios from British Airways to Iberia, as Iberia often charges fewer taxes and fees than British Airways. Avios can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio between Avios accounts. You can also transfer Avios from Aer Lingus and Qatar Airways to Iberia, and Finnair will adopt Avios in 2024.

Do read all the fine print before transferring because there are specific rules in place, such as needing to have both accounts open for at least 90 days before transferring, as well as other requirements.

Hot Tip:

British Airways also offers a Household Account where you can pool Avios from multiple family members. Learn more in our detailed guide to airlines and hotels that let you pool points and miles for free.

Transfer From Chase Ultimate Rewards, Bilt Rewards, or Marriott Bonvoy

Cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are excellent credit cards to get if you want to rack up Ultimate Rewards points and transfer them to Iberia. In fact, if you hold either of these cards right now and have a stash of points, Chase is running a transfer bonus where you can currently get 30% more Avios if you transfer before September 22, 2023.

Iberia Plus is also a transfer partner of Bilt Rewards (at a 1:1 ratio) and Marriott Bonvoy (at a 3:1 ratio).

Get the Iberia Visa Signature® Card

For those really dedicated to flying Iberia or who frequently travel between Spain and the U.S., consider getting the Iberia Visa Signature card. The card doesn’t have an extensive list of benefits, but you’ll earn 3 Avios for every dollar spent on Iberia, BA, and Aer Lingus purchases and a 10% discount on airfare booked through iberia.com/Chase10, along with a welcome offer when meeting the minimum spending requirement.

Fly Iberia

We’re going to state the obvious here: Earn more Iberia Avios by flying Iberia. Don’t forget to make sure your Iberia Plus loyalty program number is on your ticket. Always double-check your account a few days after flying to see if your Avios banked. If not, save your boarding pass in order to claim.

Credit Oneworld Partner Flights To Iberia

You can credit Oneworld partner flights, including American Airlines flights, to Iberia by adding your Iberia Plus number to your ticket. Save your boarding pass in case you don’t see the Avios so that you can claim them afterward.

Hot Tip:

Looking for more ways to earn Iberia Avios? From additional credit cards to hotel partners and more, you can earn Iberia Avios in a variety of ways.

Final Thoughts

American Express Membership Rewards is a valuable points currency with a number of transfer partners. But, I find transferring them to Iberia Plus one of the best ways to use them for maximum value. My preferred way to eventually spend them is to fly Iberia in business class between Europe and the U.S. for as few as 34,000 Avios.

If you’re looking for other ways to stock up on Iberia Avios besides transferring Amex Membership Rewards points earned from a card like the Amex Platinum card, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Bilt Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy points also transfer to Iberia Plus, and there are plenty of other ways to earn this lucrative points currency. Finally, make sure to keep an eye out for transfer bonuses so you can get as many points as possible on your transfers.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I transfer Amex points to Iberia Avios?

Yes, you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Iberia Plus Avios. You can also transfer Amex points to other transfer partners, including several different airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Is it worth transferring Amex points to Avios?

Yes, it’s definitely worth transferring Amex points to Avios. Some of the best award redemptions are available when using Iberia Avios to fly off-peak between the U.S. and Spain, especially routes between Chicago (ORD) or New York (JFK) and Madrid (MAD).

Do Iberia Avios expire?

Iberia Avios expire 36 months after your last transaction. Transactions include things like flying and crediting a flight to Iberia. You can see when your Avios will expire in your Iberia account, and the system alerts you 2 months in advance so you can complete a transaction and avoid losing your Avios.

How long does it take to transfer Amex Rewards to Iberia Avios?

Officially, American Express states it can take up to 48 hours. However, it may take significantly less time — it could be immediate or take just a day.

What is the best use of Amex points?

Amex points are best used by transferring them to airlines. Transferring Amex points to Iberia is one of the best ways to maximize their value, as you can get great award rates flying between Europe and the U.S. on the Spanish airline.

Lori Zaino's image

About Lori Zaino

Lori is an intrepid traveler who loves creating itineraries that exude “luxe on a budget.” She’s written for CNN, NBC, The Infatuation, and more, and loves to muse about points-fueled trips to Sri Lanka, Sicily, and Myanmar.

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