From September 15 – October 15, 2011, you can get a 20% bonus on all transfers from American Express Membership Rewards to the Iberia Plus Points program. With this bonus, for every 1,400 Membership Reward points you transfer you will receive 120 Ibieria Plus Points.
Iberia is part of the Onewold Alliance Program, but has a very different redemption method then most other airlines. Mileage redemption is based on distance instead of a fixed amount. You can view the awards chart here. Essentially, with this promotion an economy class fare from North American to Spain will run you only 41,533 Membership Reward points. However, since you can only transfer in increments of 1,400 points, you would actually have to transfer over 42,000 points. These flights in economy go for 3,560 Iberia Plus points.
Iberia is also a great option when you are flying within Europe. There is a three tier system depending on where you are flying to and from within Europe.
- Mainland and Balearic Islands – Europe I = 1,120 Iberia Plus points
- Mainland and Balearic Islands – Europe II = 1,460 Iberia Plus points
- Mainland and Balearic Islands – Europe III = 2,020 Iberia Plus points
Based on this interactive map, you can figure out the exact number of points needed from one destination to another across the world.
Additionally, through the end of October, Iberia is running a promotion where you can fly on the following routes in Europe at a discount:
- From 450 points for roundtrip flights between:
- Bilbao, La Coruña and Santiago de Compostela
- Oviedo and Malaga, Alicante, Seville and Valencia
- La Coruna and Valencia
- From 750 points for roundtrip flights between:
- Barcelona and Marseille or Nice
- Madrid and Marseille or Nice
- From 1350 points for roundtrip flights between:
- Madrid and Vienna.
From what I have heard, the taxes and fees on Iberia redemptions can be a little bit higher than US based airlines. This is definitely something to look into when you are thinking about redeeming a flight. Outrageous taxes and fees might not make the redemption worth it and you might be better off with a US based airline.
Earlier this week I posted on all the airlines that currently partner with American Express. In my opinion, the airline transfers give you the best value with American Express.