Sweet Spot Sunday: How to fly Business Class to Israel for only 55,250 points

Iberia is Spain’s flagship airline and has a very valuable loyalty program, called Iberia Plus.

One of the program’s best sweet spots is the ability to fly between the East Coast and Israel:

  • 28,000 Iberia Avios in economy class.
  • 55,250 Iberia Avios in business class.

For perspective, here’s what other airlines (usually) charge to get from the US to Israel:

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  • American Airlines: 40,000 miles in economy, 70,000 miles in business class.
  • Delta: Starts at 37,500 miles in economy and 130,000 miles in business class on partner airlines.
  • United Airlines: 42,500 miles in economy and 75,000 miles in business class.

Of course, compared to other airlines, Iberia doesn’t offer many open award seats for these low prices. But if you can plan your vacation around Iberia’s offerings, you can easily save 30,000 miles round trip.

Let’s take a look at this great deal.

Why is it special?

Robert Smith/MI News/Nurphoto/Getty Images

TPG reviews estimate that Avios are worth an average of 1.5 cents each. But you’re sure to get even more value when you book Iberia Business Class.

Here’s a quick look at award prices for a round-trip flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in early March. As you can see, the flights cost 110,500 Avios and an annoying $366 in taxes and fees.


However, the same exact flights cost $4,528 in cash. That means you’re getting more than 3.76 cents of value per point — 2.5 times the amount estimated at TPG rates.


As you can see above, the Iberia website allows you to pay between cash and Avios if you want to stretch your rewards. The more cash you pay, the more valuable your points will be back to you. For example, on the flight above, you can pay:

  • 93,900 Avios, worth 4.09 cents per point.
  • 55,300 Avios, worth 5.73 cents per point.
  • 22,100 Avios, worth 11.28 cents per point.

Related: Use Iberia Avios to make your own cheap business class flights to Europe

How to get this prize

Christian Kramer/The Points Man

Step 1. Search for award flights

To search for award flights on Iberia, you must first log into your account. You can then enter your flight dates and desired airports.

There are a couple of bits of information you should know before you start your search:

  1. These super low fares are only valid for flights from the following East Coast cities:
  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).
  • New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
  • Washington DC Dulles International Airport (IAD).
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD).
  1. These prices are for peak days only. You can find Iberia’s off-peak dates here (it’s off-peak most of the year).

Step 2. Find flights operated by Iberia

Thanks to the airline’s partnerships with British Airways, American Airlines, Royal Jordanian and other Oneworld airlines, Iberia usually offers great award flights. However, if you fly Iberia for the entire trip, you will only get the lowest price. Be sure to search for routes that operate in Iberia and book those.


Step 3. Choose your cabinet

Again, you get the best music for your Avios when you book business class. But 28,000 Avios for a one-way trip to Middle Eastern economy is a serious bargain. If you choose to fly economy, be sure to choose “blue class” for all legs of your trip to get the cheapest fare.


Related: See TPG fly all 3 Iberia cabins on the same flight

How to get points for this award

John Gribbin for the points man

There are a few ways to easily earn Iberia Avios points.

Perhaps the most obvious way is to open up Iberia Visa Signature® Card. This card comes with a sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 Avios:

  • 75,000 Avios after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • An additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 in the first 12 months of account opening.

You can also transfer Avios from British Airways and Aer Lingus to Iberia. Every airline has a Chase credit card similar to the Iberia Visa Signature Card.

In addition, Qatar Airways Privilege Club is a Citi ThankYou points transfer partner. The program uses Avios as loyalty currency, so if you have ThankYou points you can transfer them to Qatar and then to Iberia.

You can transfer Qatar Airways Avios to Iberia by first transferring them to British Airways. This opens up the ability to convert Capital One miles to Iberia Avios as British Airways is Capital One’s transfer partner. In other words, you can open the following cards to quickly collect Iberia Avios:

Finally, Iberia is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards (1:1) and Chase Altitude Rewards (1:1). By unlocking you can get these points:

Related: How (and why) you should earn transferable points

at last

You can fly from the US to Israel for as little as 28,000 Iberia Avios in economy and 55,250 Iberia Avios in business class. It’s a long way for relatively few points.

However, you will have to fly from select East Coast cities on off-peak days. And to get the best price, you should fly on Iberia-operated flights that connect via Madrid. If that’s not a big deal for you, this is a great deal.

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