I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
Chase extended its deal to issue the British Airways Visa Signature® Card in 2015. That card has a great signup bonus, lets you take 10% off the cost of many British Airways tickets, and having had 5 or more new cards in the last 24 months isn’t disqualifying for new applicants.
British Airways is owned by IAG, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Vueling. In November Chase brought on Iberia and Aer Lingus, which share Avios as a currency, as Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.
So in addition to transferring points 1:1 from Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card to British Airways, points now transfer 1:1 to Iberia and Aer Lingus as well.
Iberia Business Class
Iberia is great because — although accounts that have been open 90 days and have had some activity can move between Avios programs already — you can circumvent the active accounts requirement and go straight to the Spanish carrier’s program. And that lets you redeem for Iberia flights for far fewer miles, and without huge fuel surcharges.
Despite this deepening relationship with IAG I wasn’t expecting news that Chase would issue an Iberia credit card in the United States. (HT: IadisGr8, I don’t have a referral link for this card, information about the product is neither provided nor reviewed by its issuer.)
The card itself is very similar to the BA product except that it offers a “discount voucher of $1,000 to use toward two tickets on the same flight for each year you make purchases of $30,000 on your card” rather than a companion award ticket.
I say I’m surprised because I’d expect the market for Iberia branding in the U.S. to be far more limited than, say, British Airways. Perhaps Chase views them as strong in key markets and demographics even if it’s not a national play.
I also wonder how long this will last as a standalone product given IAG has said they’re working to integrate across the various Avios programs though of course like many IT projects it hasn’t delivered as-projected.
Of course most will want to continue to spend on Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card because those cards will (1) earn more points, with category bonuses that ramp up earning beyond one point per dollar and (2) offer the flexibility to transfer to other programs too or spend the points directly for travel rather than limiting points use to Iberia’s own program.