How to book Iberia flights to Spain (and beyond) using Avios


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Booking Iberia-operated flights from the United States to Europe using Avios is one of the great sweet spots in the points and miles game, thanks to the combination of low Avios and minimal fees and taxes required.

And thankfully, even if you’ve never paid for a flight on Iberia or haven’t even signed up for its loyalty program, these awards may be within your grasp — thanks to the power of transferable currencies.

Iberia (and British Airways, its fellow Avios-accruing partner) are 1:1 transfer partners of major credit card programs — including American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards.

In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about booking Iberia flights using Avios.

Overview of Iberia flights from the US

Let’s start by looking at where you can depart. At the time of writing, Iberia operates to Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) from the following U.S. airports on a year-round basis:

  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)

It also operates seasonal flights during the summer from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD). Both of these routes will temporarily cease at the end of October 2023 — before restarting again in early April 2024.

If you aren’t able to catch a flight from one of these gateways, you could potentially add a connecting domestic flight on American Airlines. However, as we’ll explain below, this will increase the number of Avios you need to redeem.

Related: 7 things that surprised me on my 1st premium economy flight on Iberia

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Avios award rates on Iberia

Iberia-operated award flights can easily be booked online using Avios in either Iberia’s own program or through British Airways Executive Club. Both of them use a distance-based formula for calculating the award rates, and regardless of the program you use, you’ll need the following Avios for one-way, nonstop flights:

Zone Distance (miles) Off-peak economy Peak economy Off-peak premium economy Peak premium economy Off-peak business class Peak business class
1 0-650 4,500 5,000 9,000 10,000
2 651-1,150 7,500 8,250 15,000 16,500
3 1,151-2,000 10,000 11,000 20,000 22,000
4 2,001-3,000 11,000 12,500 21,250 31,250
5 3,001-4,000 17,000 20,000 25,500 35,000 34,000 50,000
6 4,001-5,500 21,250 25,000 31,750 43,750 42,500 62,500
7 5,501-6,500 25,500 30,000 38,250 52,500 51,000 75,000
8 6,501-7,000 29,750 35,000 44,250 61,250 59,500 87,500
9 7,000-plus 42,500 50,000 63,750 87,500 85,000 125,000

However, it’s worth noting that the actual distances don’t always match, and there’s even some variation that can’t be explained by the above charts.

Here’s how nonstop flights from the U.S. should fall into these zones:

  • Zone 5: From Boston, New York, Washington and Puerto Rico to Madrid
  • Zone 6: From Chicago, Miami and Dallas-Fort Worth to Madrid
  • Zone 7: From Los Angeles and San Francisco to Madrid

However, Chicago flights typically price at Zone 5 rates, while those departing Los Angeles price at Zone 6 rates.

And then there are anomalies like this result — with an economy award rate (28,000) that doesn’t correspond to any published price on the above chart.


Nevertheless, the chart means you should be able to book off-peak, business-class flights to Madrid from any Iberia gateway in the U.S. for no more than 51,000 Avios each way, which is an excellent deal.

For comparison’s sake, American Airlines’ AAdvantage program charges 57,500 miles from anywhere in North America to anywhere in Europe. For flights to Madrid on Iberia, it is a better deal in all situations except for peak flights from Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Iberia Plus and British Airways Executive Club use this same pricing for Iberia-operated flights, so you can book through either and move Avios between the programs easily in any direction at a 1:1 rate.

The Executive Club platform is more user-friendly than Iberia Plus, and BA’s customer service tends to be better than Iberia’s, so you may wish to focus on booking through Executive Club, though you should be able to fairly easily book all of the itineraries mentioned here online through either program.

Depending on your routing and date, we have found slight differences in the fees and taxes calculated by each program, though they are not large amounts.

Just be aware that BA’s search results often prioritizes British Airways-operated flights via London. It also imposes significant fuel surcharges, so if you plan to travel to Madrid, it’s a much better deal if you can find availability on a nonstop Iberia flight.

Related: Dynamic pricing vs. fuel surcharges — which is the lesser of 2 evils for your next redemption?

Adding a connection increases the number of Avios

As noted previously, the above award charts apply to nonstop, one-way flights from the U.S. to Madrid. When you continue beyond Madrid as a single redemption on Iberia (or add a domestic connection on American), the flights will be priced individually.

For example, flying from New York to Madrid in premium economy and on to Spain’s Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) in economy will price as a Zone 5 premium economy redemption plus a Zone 1 economy redemption. Looking at the same flights booked via BA’s Executive Club, or Iberia Plus, BA prices correctly at 30,000 Avios, with Iberia for an unknown reason coming in at slightly more in both Avios and taxes, so it would be a better deal to book through British Airways.

Looking at another connection itinerary between Chicago and Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) in Italy, all in economy, this should price as Zone 5 plus Zone 2, so 24,500 Avios in total, off-peak. Both programs allow you to pay fewer Avios and more cash, and at the lower Avios amounts, the pricing matches the two programs.

At the higher end, however, again, British Airways is pricing correctly while Iberia Plus charges slightly more Avios and higher fees and taxes.

If you have transferable credit card points and are looking at connecting itineraries in premium cabins, consider redeeming AAdvantage miles and their zone-based redemptions instead of Avios, as that may be a better deal, especially if you are planning to travel at peak dates.

Iberia also flies to a handful of destinations in North Africa, particularly Morocco.

Related: 4 versions of Avios: When to use Aer Lingus, Qatar Airways, Iberia and British Airways

How to earn Avios


As noted above, it’s very easy to earn Avios for U.S. travelers. Besides crediting paid flights on Oneworld airlines to either British Airways or Iberia, you can also leverage many top travel rewards cards.

Earn Avios on cobranded credit cards

Chase issues three Avios credit cards in the U.S. — one each for Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia. These cards are each offering bonuses that could net you 75,000 Avios — here’s a look:

Earning Avios with transferable-points cards

You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points, Bilt Rewards points, Capital One miles and Chase Ultimate Rewards points to at least one Avios-earning carrier. From there, it’s easy to combine your Avios in the program of your choosing. And since you can also transfer Citi ThankYou points to Qatar Airways, you can also leverage those rewards to book Iberia award flights.

These points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, and transfers should process immediately. Here are some of our favorite cards:

Bottom line

Redeeming Avios for transatlantic Iberia flights, especially in premium cabins, is one of the very best ways to use them. Just 34,000 Avios for a one-way, business-class flight to Europe (with minimal surcharges) is incredible value.

However, the Iberia Plus website can be a little unpredictable, both in how user-friendly it is and the pricing it shows.

It’s worth checking both BA’s Executive Club and Iberia Plus to see which has the best price, especially if you are connecting beyond Madrid. Our searches have found Executive Club prices slightly cheaper and the platform much easier to use.

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