Fly to Europe in Lie-Flat Business Class for 34,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points – Here’s How I Did It

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Fly to Europe in Lie-Flat Business Class for 34,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points – Here’s How I Did It

Joseph HostetlerFly to Europe in Lie-Flat Business Class for 34,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points – Here’s How I Did ItMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Iberia, you guys.  I’m convinced it’s one of the absolute best airline programs out there.

They’ve got great award prices for domestic flights and fabulous award prices to Europe.  There are some tricks you need to keep in mind when you’re booking, but I’ll touch on those later.

I’ve only recently come to the realization that Iberia should be shown more love.  I’ve used their points a few times, and I already know the airline will be a frequent destination for my Chase Ultimate Rewards points (transferring them to Iberia is effortless, after all).

With Iberia, I booked a lie-flat Business Class seat across the Atlantic for the equivalent of 34,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  I’ll show you how you can do it, too.

Use Iberia Avios Points to Fly to Spain for MAD Cheap

The Cheapest Award Flights to Europe With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Is Through Iberia

Iberia is a member of Oneworld, so its partners are airlines like American Airlines, British Airways, and Qatar Airways.  Because you can use Iberia Avios points to fly on their partners, Iberia comes in very handy for domestic flights on American Airlines flights.

The best part is that booking an award ticket on American Airlines through Iberia often cost LESS than American Airlines charges!

For example, I flew from Cincinnati to Oklahoma City for 17,000 Iberia Avios points.  That same trip would have cost 25,000+ miles with American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines.  Even Southwest tickets aren’t that low!

Iberia has a distance-based award chart.  The farther you fly, the more miles it will cost you.  Here’s the award chart for reserving American Airlines flights with Iberia Avios points.

If You’re Flying Under 4,000 Miles, Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Might Best Serve You If You Transfer Them to Iberia!

Quirk #1 – You Must Buy Round-Trip Flights When You Book With American Airlines

When you’re booking partner airlines through Iberia, you’ll need to book round-trip flights (the exception is British Airways).  If you choose one-way on the Iberia site, you will find NO availability.

When you’re looking at the above award chart, you’ll need to figure out how far you’ll fly to determine the price.  I find Great Circle Mapper to be the easiest tool to do this.

For example, I can fly from Cincinnati to Chicago round-trip for just 11,000 Iberia Avios points.  Because it’s a nonstop flight that only totals 528 miles.  But a round-trip flight to Wichita would cost 23,000 Iberia Avios points if I have to route through Dallas.  Because my total trip is farther than 2,000 miles.

Iberia Usually Gives Multiple Route Options, so You Can Choose the Shortest One

Note:   If you are booking Iberia flights (NOT partner airlines), you can book one-way flights.

Quirk #2 – Peak and Off-Peak Travel Dates

Some airlines charge extra miles for dates that are more desirable for travel.  Iberia is one of those airlines.

They publish a super easy to read calendar of all the days you’ll be charged more miles.  Dates in red are peak (more expensive) travel days.

Iberia’s Peak Award Calendar – Red Is Bad

Note:   You dont’t have to worry about peak dates if you’re booking a domestic award flight.

Summer vacation, Labor Day weekend, Christmas, and New Year are all in red.  Everything else is a good deal.

In fact, booking a transatlantic flight to Madrid on Iberia is quite possibly the cheapest way to get to Europe, so long as you fly from one of the cities Iberia serves.  Check it out!

Even If You Live in Los Angeles, You Can Reach Europe for Cheap!

If you depart from these cities, here’s what you’ll pay for off-peak award flights to Madrid:

  • Boston, Chicago, New York – 17,000 points in coach, 34,000 points in Business Class
  • Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco – 21,250 points in coach, 42,000 points in Business Class

Even if you don’t live near one of these cities, it could be worth flying there just for these inexpensive award seats.  34,000 points for a Business Class flight to Europe??  That’s WAY cheaper than other airlines:

  • American Airlines charges 57,500 miles one-way in Business Class to Europe
  • United Airlines charges 60,000 miles one-way in Business Class to Europe
  • Delta (usually) charges 70,000 miles one-way in Business Class to Europe

So the trade-off for Iberia’s cheap awards is that you have to fly nonstop on Iberia to Madrid from either Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, or San Francisco.  With the other airlines, you can fly from just about anywhere to just about anywhere.

For me, Iberia is a no-brainer.  I can fly to cities like Boston and Chicago for very little (often ~5,000 points one-way with Southwest).  And once I get to Madrid, I can hop to the cities I actually want to see for practically nothing with cheap European airlines.  For example, a flight from Madrid to Paris can cost as little as $80 round-trip.

I Reserved a Transatlantic Business Class Flight for 34,000 Iberia Avios points

I had a ton of Iberia Avios points that were set to expire last week, and I chose to reserve a transatlantic one-way Business Class seat for 34,000 points each.

To get the cheapest award prices on Iberia, you’ll want to look for available seats at the very top of the results page.  This is where the nonstop flights live.  If it’s not nonstop, it’s going to cost more than 17,000 points in coach or 34,000 points in Business Class.

Available Business Class Seats Were Scarce – Selection Will Be Much Better in a Couple Months

I didn’t have a trip planned, so I decided to reserve flights from Madrid to Boston for late September 2019.  That way I have time to figure something out!  And if it turns out that travel date or route is no good, Iberia charges just $40 to change an award ticket’s date or destination.

My Flight Came to 34,000 and $120 in Taxes

The exact seat I reserved costs ~$5,500 on Google Flights (though you can get it for WAY less if you’re willing to forego the nonstop flight and hurdle a 12-hour overnight connection).

I have yet to book a flight to Europe, but I think I’ll hold off for a few months to see if any amazing sale pops up (if you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll tell you when we find crazy cheap fares to Europe).  Otherwise, I’ll just book an award flight to a city I want to visit, and then hop to Madrid on a budget European airline for a few bucks to catch my Business Class ride back to the US.

Earning Iberia Avios Points Is SO EASY

Fortunately, Iberia Avios points are just about the easiest points to earn.  Here’s how to get them:

You can head to our Hot Deals page to earn hundreds of thousands of these points with very little effort, just by earning big credit card bonuses.

Bottom Line

Iberia is the best way to reach Europe with miles & points, in my opinion.  34,000 Iberia Avios points for a one-way Business Class flight across the Atlantic is tough to beat.  Other airlines like Delta and United Airlines charge 30,000 miles just for a one-way coach seat to Europe!

It looks like there aren’t many available Business Class award seats at the moment (though it’s certainly possible to find them if you have the patience).  But even if you find none, you can book one-way coach seats for as little as 17,000 miles one-way.  That’s a steal, folks.

For example, you’ll have more than enough points for 2 round-trip coach flights from the East Coast to Madrid simply by opening the Ink Business Preferred and earning its welcome bonus!

Let me know what you think of Iberia.  Is there a better deal out there?

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Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Hi there, thanks for the info on Iberia. I’ve never used tried that airlines but its award program sounds so lucrative! I have a ton of AA points and I plan to travel to Europe this summer. Could you advise if I could use my AA advantage points to travel via Iberia airlines? Intend to travel to London from US (Orlando/New York) and Madrid/Rome to Beijing/China or simply back to the US. Any advice?

Thanks, Eve

Author

Hi Eve!! You can use American Airlines miles to fly on Iberia, but you will be subject to the American Airlines award chart. AKA, you can’t book 34,000 mile one-way Business Class class seats with American Airlines miles. You’ll only get the low prices when you book with Iberia Avios points.

Since you have American Airlines miles, you can check out this post to see what kind of prices to expect for your upcoming adventures.

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/aa-award-chart/

And, Iberia does not charge any fuel surcharges for these award flights to/from Europe?

Author

That’s right, it’s nothing like its conniving sister, British Airways.

I sent my son one way on BA economy from TLV to Denver via LHR for 26k Iberian Avios.

It’s a very good program.

Author

Wow, that is a heck of a deal. TLV is a destination I frequented more often. I’ll be remembering that route for the future.

I just flew IB Chicago to Madrid with a connection to Vienna in business using points. I really wasn’t impressed, perhaps I am upset simply because I couldn’t sleep at all. The offering from Chicago has a ~4:00pm departure that results in landing in Madrid around midnight Chicago time, so I was just starting to get tired towards the end of the flight. The Madrid airport is very interesting. My first impression was that it was very simple and interesting, but it was a LOT of walking. Connecting from the remote terminal to the main terminal was like walking 2 miles and taking a train in the midst of 200 other people.

Iberia didn’t add my redress numbers to our reservations despite me manually entering them, so I didn’t receive TSA benefits in Chicago. I had to basically strip down for a full search at the Iberia-specific security screening in Chicago.

I think IB business is a good option for a cheap day-time flight, but I just wasn’t very satisfied with the flight I had.

Author

Thanks for this report, I’ve also had issues with Iberia not adding my Trusted Traveler Number, and they were unable to grant me TSA Pre. I thought ht was just an isolated incident but maybe clerical issues like that occur often.

Yes! Thank you. I still need to send you guys my success story of getting 2 Iberia round trips for just 1 credit card sign up bonus!

Author

Give it to us, Kyle!! We’ll help you make your friends jealous. Did you open the Ink Business Preferred?