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Business Class is on a different level of travel than coach. You’ll often receive things like free alcohol, food on-demand, a seat that converts into a bed, and sometimes even jammies!
And most importantly, tons of room. No elbows cockfighting over an armrest. No engaging your legs the whole flight to keep your knees from touching someone else.
If ever we spot a Business Class fare across the Atlantic for $650 one-way, that’s a big deal. And you better believe we’ll tell you about it. Those fancy seats usually cost thousands. Even a transcontinental Business Class flight for less than $500 is amazing.
But did you know you can get these prices from several US cities by spending a few thousand points you probably already have??
Here’s how you can use several different kinds of miles & points to create your own deep Business Class discount. Practically whenever you want!
The Key Is Iberia Avios Points
I recently earned 90,000 Iberia Avios points for ~$270 with last month’s unbelievable Iberia promotion. Since then, I’ve been fiddling with the Iberia site, planning fun trips that I don’t have time to take.
I’ve never taken a hard look at Iberia’s program, though I knew it was similar to British Airways. The farther you fly, the more miles it will cost you. But there are some differences.
For example you can’t book one-way award flights on partner airlines with Iberia Avios points. And the price of the award varies depending on the total distance of all flight segments, whereas British Airways charges based on the distance of each segment. As an example, coach award flights on oneworld partner airlines cost:
- 11,000 Iberia Avios points for round-trip flights under 600 miles
- 12,000 Iberia Avios points for round-trip flights between 601 and 1,000 miles
- 17,000 Iberia Avios points for round-trip flights between 1,001 and 2,000 miles
- 23,000 Iberia Avios points for round-trip flights between 2,001 and 4,000 miles
Iberia has different award charts (peak & off-peak) for flights on their own planes and for partner airlines. And some Iberia Business Class awards can be an AMAZING deal! For example, a one-way Business Class flight between Chicago and Madrid on Iberia costs 34,000 Iberia Avios points during off-peak dates. You’ll find off-peak dates for well over half the year.
The cheapest Business Class flight I could find with any airline for this route was $2,052 one-way. That means you’ll get a value of ~6 cents per point ($2,052 cash price / 34,000 points). That’s great!
Other airlines charge much more for a transatlantic Business Class award seat. For example, American Airlines charges 57,500 miles one-way, and United Airlines charges 60,000 United Airlines miles one-way.
But the screaming deal here is using Iberia Avios points with the “Avios & Money” payment option.
Use Avios & Money to Receive Insane Value for Your Points
If I select the previous Chicago to Madrid Business Class flight, I’m given the option to use a combination of points and cash.
The flight comes with ~$99 in fees, so I’ll be paying that even if I use 34,000 points. But you can drastically reduce the amount of points you spend by mixing your points payment with cash. As you can see, by paying an extra $540, I can save 27,200 points.
All-in, I’d pay ~$640 and 6,800 Iberia Avios points for a one-way Business Class ticket. Because this route costs $2,000+, that means I’m getting a value of 20 cents per point ($2,000 ticket price – $640 in cash = $1,360 / 6,800 points)!
Or, if we’re being technical, I’m getting a value of ~93 cents per point. Because the cash price of this exact same seat costs $6,965 ($6,965 ticket price – ~$640 in cash = ~$6,325 / 6,800 points).
I certainly wouldn’t claim that I received a value of 93 cents per point, because no maniac would pay nearly $7,000 for a one-way Business Class flight.
In theory, I could use the 90,000 Iberia Avios points I received from the promotion for 13 one-way Business Class flights (90,000 total points / 6,800 points per flight). I’d pay ~$8,320 out of pocket (13 flights X ~$640 per flight). But I’d get $26,000 in value (13 flights X $2,000 average ticket cost). Or $90,000+, if we’re being technical (13 flights X $6,965 cost of the exact same seat). 😉
Important Things to Remember
Note that Iberia charges by the distance you fly. So other areas will cost more or less than the instance above, depending on your route.
And above all else, stay away from British Airways operated flights. British Airways passes along exorbitant taxes and fees for flights across the Atlantic. You could pay well over $500 just in fees alone!
The best way I’m seeing to keep your points and money cost low is to look for non-stop flights on Iberia to their hub in Madrid. You can do that from the following cities (off-peak one-way prices included):
- Boston – 34,000 points in Business Class (as little as 6,800 points and $626)
- Chicago – 34,000 points in Business Class (as little as 6,800 points and $640)
- Los Angeles – 42,500 points in Business Class (as little as 8,500 points and $780)
- Miami – 42,500 – points in Business Class (as little as 8,500 points and $780)
- New York – 34,000 points in Business Class (as little as 6,800 points and $626)
Even if you’re not interested in Madrid, this is a great way to cross the ocean in luxury. A ~$640 Business Class flight to Europe is stellar. And receiving such a discount costs very few points.
Once you’re in Europe, you can use budget airlines to inexpensively reach the cities you want to see.
How to Get Iberia Avios Points
There are tons of ways to earn Iberia Avios points:
- You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to Iberia at a 1:1 ratio
- You can transfer British Airways Avios points and Aer Lingus Avios points to Iberia at a 1:1 ratio
- You can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Iberia at a 1:1 ratio
- Beginning August 2018, you can transfer Marriott points to Iberia at a 3:1 ratio. Plus, you’ll get 5,000 bonus Iberia Avios points for every increment of 60,000 Marriott points you transfer!
Check out our Hot Deals page to earn hundreds of thousands of these points with very little effort by opening credit cards!
You can use Iberia Avios points for Big Travel with Small Money. Or you can use a combination of Iberia Avios points and cash to get HUGE travel for a moderate amount of money.
If you want to fly Business Class for cheap, just transfer a few thousand points to Iberia and choose the Avios & Money option. You can view it as purchasing a coach ticket and using very few miles for a Business Class upgrade.
As long as you’re not on a flight operated by British Airways, you should get astronomical value for your points! I’ll be getting a value of 20 cents per point with this method!