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Through December 31, 2018, you can book a one-way in Iberia economy to Madrid from either New York, Chicago, or Boston for 8,500 Iberia Avios + $75 to $85 out of pocket, or a roundtrip between those US cities and the land of jamón and tapas for 17,000 Avios + $185 to $200 out of pocket. That’s 50% off the standard price.

If you don't like gazpacho, it's not likely we'd be friends.
If you don’t like gazpacho, it’s not likely we’d be friends. At least not while in Madrid.

All the photos in this post are mine, taken on a trip to Madrid last year. I used a fantastic Avios sweet spot between Brazil and Spain to get there for 42,500 points + $35 in taxes (no fuel surcharges departing Brazil) in Iberia Business Class.

Stipulations of the Sale

  • Travel must be between New York, Chicago, or Boston and Madrid
  • Discount applies for travel dates between January 14, 2019 and March 31, 2019
  • Discount applies on both one-ways and round trips
  • Must book by December 31, 2018

Searching & Booking

Search on Iberia’s website for award space. I recommend searching specifically from this page–pictured below–for best results (hat tip to Tiffany from One Mile at a Time).

Once you’re all logged in and have filled in the search box, the results should reflect the 50% discount as long as you’re searching during the sale period (January 14 to March 31).

Iberia does collect fuel surcharges, but they’re more reasonable than those collected by British Airways. And for a mileage price that cheap, it could very well be worth it. Out of pocket fees will be a little more expensive on the return ($110 to $120) as opposed to the outbound ($75 to $85), assuming the US is your home.

Flying out of or back to New York or Boston will run you $75 in taxes/fees on the outbound and $110 on the return.

Temple of Debod in Madrid, Photo by Sarah Page Maxwell
Temple of Debod in Madrid

Which Points Transfer to Iberia

All of the following point currencies can be transferred to Iberia:

  • Ultimate Rewards, at a rate of 1:1. Average transfer time is instant.
  • Membership Rewards, at a rate of 1:1. Average transfer time is 2 days.
  • Marriott Rewards also transfer to Iberia, but the Points Guy just did a test and it took 28 days (!!) for them to transfer. Yikes.

If you have purely British Airways Avios from a card like the Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card, then you can transfer your BA Avios over to an Iberia account as long as…

  • Your Iberia account is at least 90 days old
  • You Iberia Plus account has had at least 1 Avios in it at some point.
  • Your name, email address, and date of birth must match exactly between British Airways and Iberia accounts.

If you don’t have a British Airways account, open one now, and if you don’t have an Iberia account, open one now, to start the 90 day clock for future times when you want to transfer between accounts.

Is it a good deal?

If you were looking to book this same Iberia award space (for travel in the off season) with American miles, it would cost 45,000 of them to do so. In general roundtrip mileage prices in the offseason range from 40k to 60k roundtrip between the US and Europe, so yes, this is a very good mileage price.

From a Cash Perspective

Airfare to Europe is extremely competitive, so don’t get excited about this and forget to check the cash price. But if you can’t find a ticket for under $500 roundtrip, then this deal is better.

And don’t forget that those dirt cheap fares on low-cost carriers like Norwegian are great if  you barely need anything, but if you want to check a bag, the price of that kind of tickets is going to jump fast. Factor in the additional cost of luggage. These Iberia tickets gets you a free checked bag.

Bottom Line

This Avios sale is a great way to get between the US and Europe on a budget. Start in Madrid and take a train or cheap flight elsewhere to get the biggest bang for your buck. You have until the end of the month to book Iberia Avios awards for just 8,500 Avios one-way or 17,000 roundtrip, plus taxes and some reasonable fuel surcharges, for travel mid January through the end of March. The deal’s good from New York, Boston, and Chicago.

Hat tip Frequent Miler

Want access to Avios for sales like this in the future? They typically run sales to Europe in either economy or Business this time of year. Check out my Top 10 Travel Credit Card List to see which cards have the best offers right now to jump start your balances. Almost all the cards on that list earn points that transfer to Avios.