In this post I wanted to review the Iberia Visa Signature® Card, which is one of Chase‘s less known travel rewards credit cards. I realized that I’ve never formally reviewed this card before, so that seems long overdue.
This card has only been in the US market for a couple of years. Since it’s a card that many people haven’t had before, I do think it should at least be on your radar, assuming you’re eligible.
Let’s talk about everything you need to know about this card.
Iberia Credit Card Basics For August 2020
The cards have a lot of overlapping benefits, with a key difference being that each card offers perks on the respective airline. Furthermore, while all three cards earn Avios, they each earn points in different “flavors” of the Avios currency.
Earn Up To 100K Iberia Plus Avios
The Iberia Visa Card offers a bonus of up to 100,000 Iberia Avios. That bonus is tiered, as follows:
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $3,000 within the first three months
- Earn an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after spending a total of $20,000 within the first year of account opening.
Personally I value Avios at ~1.3 cents each, so to me 100,000 Avios are worth ~$1,300.
Those 100,000 Avios don’t include the points you usually earn for spending, so that means:
- Spending $3,000 will earn you a total of 53,000 Avios, which is nearly 18 Avios per dollar spent
- Spending $20,000 will earn you a total of 120,000 Avios, so incrementally you’re earning nearly four Avios per dollar spent (for $17,000 of spending you’re earning an incremental 67,000 Avios)
Assuming you spend enough on credit cards to reach the $20,000 of spending, I think it’s absolutely worth it.
Earn 100,000 Iberia Plus Avios with the Iberia Card
Iberia Card $95 Annual Fee
The Iberia Visa Card has a $95 annual fee. This is not waived for the first year, and there’s no additional fee to add authorized users.
The welcome bonus on the Iberia Visa Card isn’t available to those who currently have the card, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months.
However, you are eligible for this card if you’ve had the British Airways Visa Card, so this is a great complement.
All Chase cards are also subjected to the 5/24 rule, whereby you likely won’t be approved if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. It’s also worth being aware of Chase’s other general policies on card approvals.
Earning Avios With The Iberia Credit Card
The Iberia Visa Card has no foreign transaction fees and offers contactless payment, but does the rewards structure actually warrant putting spending on the card? Generally I’d say no, but it does depend, as I’ll get into below.
3x Avios Per Dollar Spent On Flights
When paying with the Iberia Card you can earn 3x Avios per dollar spent on purchases with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL. This is a fairly good return on that spending, but there are other great credit cards for airfare purchases.
2x Avios Per Dollar Spent On Hotels
When paying with the Iberia Card you earn 2x Avios per dollar spent on hotel accommodations. This applies across all hotel groups. That’s better than nothing, but there are better credit cards for hotel purchases.
1x Avios Per Dollar Spent On Other Purchases
For everyday spending the Iberia Card offers 1x Avios per dollar spent, which isn’t much to get excited about, as there are better credit cards for everyday spending. The exception is if you’re trying to reach $30,000 of spending, for reasons I’ll get into below.
Redeem Avios for travel in Cathay Pacific business class
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The Iberia Card has no foreign transaction fees, so it’s potentially a great card to use for purchases abroad.
The Iberia Card features contactless pay technology. This means you can pay using your card without even swiping it whenever you see the contactless pay symbol (in the age of coronavirus, this is an especially valuable feature).
Iberia Credit Card Purchase Protection
The Iberia Visa Card offers some solid purchase protection, as do many Visa Signature products. As always, make sure you check your cardmember agreement for all of the details, since there are terms & conditions.
What should you expect?
Secondary Car Rental Coverage
The Iberia Card offers auto rental collision damage waiver coverage. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card.
Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the US and abroad. Do note that in the US the coverage is secondary to your personal insurance, though.
Purchase & Extended Warranty Protection
The Iberia Card offers some useful protection:
- Purchase protection on new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account
- Extended warranty protection, extending US manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less
Baggage Delay & Lost Luggage Reimbursement
The Iberia Card offers baggage protection:
- Baggage delay insurance reimburses you up to $100 per day for three days for essential purchases when your bag is delayed by over six hours
- Lost luggage reimbursement reimburses you for up to $3,000 per passenger when you or your immediate family members’ checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by an airline
Iberia Credit Card Benefits
In addition to the excellent welcome bonus, the main reason I would consider the Iberia Visa Card is because of the great perks that it offers. There are two main perks — one you get just for having the card, and the other you get by spending $30,000 on the card.
Here’s how those benefits work.
10% Discount On Iberia Flights
One of the best benefits of the Iberia Card is that it offers a 10% discount on Iberia flights. To take advantage of this, just book through iberia.com/chase10, and use your card to pay.
As far as the terms of this offer go:
- Travel can commence from any Iberia destination
- Discount is valid on the flight fare only, and not on taxes and fees
- Valid for travel on Iberia only, and not for travel on partner airlines
- The discount doesn’t apply to excess baggage fees, seat assignment fees, purchasing Avios, etc.
- Discount applies for up to nine passengers traveling on the same reservations
If you fly Iberia Airways with any frequency, this could cover the annual fee over and over.
Save on Iberia tickets with this awesome benefit
Iberia $1,000 Flight Discount Voucher
There’s one major incentive to spend money on this card — the Iberia Card offers a $1,000 flight discount voucher when you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year.
How does this discount voucher work?
- You earn the discount voucher based on spending $30,000 in a calendar year (eligible spending must post to billing cycle before December 31)
- You will receive the discount code by email within four to six weeks of the billing cycle where you complete eligible spending
- The discount voucher can be applied for a discount of $1,000 when purchasing two tickets for the same flight in the same class of service
- Cardmembers can only earn one voucher per calendar year
- You must redeem the discount at iberia.com/chase10
- Flights must be taken within 12 months of when the voucher was issued
- The primary cardmember must be one of the travelers, so the discount voucher is not transferable or extendable
If you fly Iberia with any frequency, this could absolutely be worth it:
- A $1,000 discount voucher on $30,000 of spending is the equivalent of 3.3% back, not even factoring in the minimum of one Avios per dollar spent that you earn, so this is potentially an exceptional return
- It’s especially worthwhile in the first year, when you’ll already spend $3,000-20,000 to complete the minimum spending requirement
The Iberia discount voucher could be extremely valuable
How To Redeem Iberia Avios
While a lot of people might be familiar with the British Airways Executive Club program, not as many people are probably familiar with the Iberia Plus program. What are the best uses of Iberia Plus Avios?
Transfer Iberia Avios To British Airways Avios
While there are some good uses of Iberia Avios, you can also transfer Avios between British Airways and Iberia, assuming you’ve had both accounts open for at least 90 days, and the accounts have some activity.
In other words, all the Avios you earn with this credit card could potentially be transferred to British Airways, which opens up a lot of great redemption opportunities.
How Should You Redeem Iberia Plus Avios?
Aside from the opportunities available through British Airways Executive Club, there are also some benefits to booking directly through Iberia Plus:
- When redeeming on Iberia, the carrier imposed surcharges are significantly lower through Iberia Plus than through other programs
- Iberia also has a distance based award chart (like British Airways), but the pricing often works out better for multi-segment itineraries
Redeem Avios for travel on American Airlines
Is The Iberia Credit Card Worth It?
The Iberia Visa Card has a great sign-up bonus, so this is a card that many people should consider. This can be worth it regardless of if you’re a big spender who can easily knock out the $20,000+ worth of spending, or if you just plan on qualifying for the 50,000 Avios after spending $3,000.
Personally, this isn’t a card I would use for everyday spending, since you can earn Iberia Plus Avios at a better rate with other American Express or Chase cards.
That being said, there’s potentially value to be had beyond the sign-up bonus:
- If you fly Iberia with any frequency, then the 10% discount should cover the annual fee over and over
- If you fly Iberia frequently then it’s almost certainly worth trying to spend $30,000 on the card per year, given the $1,000 Iberia discount voucher; that alone is the equivalent of 3.3% back, not factoring in the Avios you earn
Showdown: British Airways Visa Vs. Iberia Visa
- You are eligible for both of these cards, so you can pick up one if you’ve had the other (or just get them both if you’ve had neither)
- They have the same sign-up bonuses, annual fees, and spending bonus categories
- You can transfer Avios between British Airways and Iberia, so for all practical purposes the points currencies are the same
- The Iberia Card offers a 10% discount on Iberia flights, while the British Airways Card offers a 10% discount on British Airways flights
- The Iberia Card offers a $1,000 flight discount voucher after spending $30,000, while the British Airways Card offers a Travel Together Ticket after spending $30,000
- The British Airways Card offers an award surcharge rebate, which the Iberia Card doesn’t, though in fairness Iberia has significantly lower surcharges to begin with
Best Alternatives For Earning Iberia Points
- Both of these points currencies can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Iberia Plus
- Many American Express and Chase cards offer bonus categories that can earn you points at an accelerated rate
With that in mind, which cards should you consider? Here are some of my favorites:
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review) offers 3x points on dining and travel
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) offers 2x points on dining and travel
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) offers 1.5x points per dollar spent on everyday purchases
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent per cardmember year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
- The American Express® Green Card (review) offers 3x points on dining, travel, and transit
- The American Express® Gold Card (review) offers 4x at restaurants, 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 of spending per calendar year), and 3x points on airfare
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review) offers 2x points on the first $50,000 spent per calendar year
Iberia Credit Card Summary
The Iberia Credit Card may not have been on your radar, but it probably should be. The card has a great sign-up bonus, for small and big spenders alike. You’re eligible for the Iberia Card even if you’ve had the British Airways Card before.
On top of that, the card can be worth holding onto long term if you fly Iberia with any frequency — the 10% discount on Iberia tickets is an awesome perk, and it can be worth spending $30,000 on the card per year to receive a $1,000 Iberia flight discount voucher.
While there are lots of great uses of Iberia Plus Avios, when it comes to earning them I’d personally prefer to do so through Amex or Chase, given the greater flexibility that offers. That assumes you’re not spending towards the $30,000 requirement to earn the flight discount voucher.