About Iberia Visa Signature Card

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff Published on: Mar 27, 2018

The Iberia Visa Signature Card is an airline rewards card that Chase launched in March 2018, providing cardholders a 75,000-point sign-up bonus and yearly bonuses that reward big spenders.

The points you earn are known as “Avios” and can be redeemed for Iberia, British Airways and Air Lingus flights, to name a few.

Iberia is based in Spain but operates flights to and from the United States. The Iberia Visa Signature is the second foreign-airline branded card in the Chase line-up – the British Airways Visa Signature was the first.

Airline rewards credit cards have been around for a long time and, because of that, you have more than a dozen reputable cards you can choose from. What would make the Iberia Visa the right choice for you? How does it compare to all those other cards?

Those are questions we’ll answer in this review as we walk you through what the Iberia card offers, what its rates and fees are and how it compares to other airline rewards credit cards.

Once we address each of those topics, we’ll conclude with a section on the card’s general pros and cons, as well as who we think the card is good for.

What the Iberia Visa Signature Offers

This credit card is designed to benefit you more the more you spend. We’ll explain what that means as we work through each of the bonuses/rewards in this section.

Sign-Up Bonus: 75,000 Avios

Cardholders have the chance to earn 75,000 Avios through a two-tier spending incentive.

If you can spend $3,000 in the first three months of owning the card, you’ll get 50,000 Avios that will show up in your Avios account within eight weeks. If you don’t have an Avios account, you’ll get one when you sign up for the card.

Now, if you can spend $10,000 the first year you own the card, then you’ll earn another 25,000 Avios to bring your total to 75,000. In our opinion, this type of tiered bonus structure encourages people to use the card after the initial sign-up bonus.

Basically, Chase doesn’t want you to sign up for this card, get the sign-up bonus and then close the card.

In fact, the fine print for the Avios rewards programs says that Chase can forfeit all your points if they believe you’re “misusing” the rewards program “by repeatedly opening or otherwise maintaining credit card accounts for the purpose of generating rewards.”

Points on Purchases

In addition to the sign-up bonus we talked about in the previous section, you can earn Avios by using your card to make purchases.

You’ll earn three Avios for every dollar you spend within the Avios network: Iberia, British Airways, and Aer Lingus are three of the most well-known airlines in the network.

For all other purchases, you’ll earn one Avios per dollar you spend.

According to the card’s fine print, the points you earn will be deposited to your account at the end of each billing cycle, which means you’re getting your points every month.

Your points won’t expire as long as you don’t let a bill go more than 60 days late, you don’t use the card for fraudulent activity or, as we said a few seconds ago, the card is part of a pattern of taking advantage of rewards programs.

Based on the average spending numbers of an American household and assuming you take one Iberia flight a year, we believe that you can earn around 27,000 yearly Avios points.

Our research of Iberia’s booking portal shows that you can use your points for Iberia flights that depart to and from the U.S. but not within the U.S. With that in mind, a round-trip flight from New York to Barcelona will cost you around 42,000 points.

As you can see, the fact that you have to take international flights with Iberia drives up the cost of a flight and means that average spenders wouldn’t earn enough points on purchases to get at least one free flight a year.

This isn’t a rarity, though. Unless you can book one of the limited number of 12,500-point seats on United flights, the yearly points you earn through the United MileagePlus Explorer card (less than 40K) would not be enough to book a round-trip fare at the standard 50,000-point rate.

$1,000 Voucher

Now, while the points it takes to fly Iberia make it seem like you can’t get a free flight with the Avios you accrue from spending, there is another way to get a discounted flight.

If you can spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year, Iberia will give you a pair of $500 vouchers you can use to book a pair of seats on an Iberia flight.

Here are the basics of the voucher:

  • You have a year to use it
  • It’s delivered by email
  • You have to book two tickets to use it
  • Seats have to be same fare class
  • Traveling partner has to travel all legs of the flight

When you’re ready to use the voucher, you need to go to a special Iberia/Chase booking portal to use it. (At the time of publishing, the page was not working.)

That booking portal is also where you’ll get a 10% discount on your fare if you book with your Iberia Visa Signature.

A Quick Word About Visa Signature Benefits

Because this card is part of the Visa Signature program, you get a variety of insurance-style protections and reimbursements for purchases and travel. These benefits include car rental insurance, price protection, extended warranties and other perks.

All of these benefits are included in a guide you get when Chase sends you your Iberia card.

The Iberian Visa Signature’s Rates and Fees

A credit card’s rates and fees could end up costing you hundreds of dollars each year, which is why it’s important for you to know what they are before you sign up for the card. Here are the rates and fees for the Iberia Visa Signature:

  • APR on purchases and balance transfers: 17.24% to 24.24%
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Late/returned payment fee: $37
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Cash advance APR: 26.24%
  • Cash advance/balance transfer fee: 5%

The fees you see here are standard for Chase airline cards. You’ll see the same data for the United MileagePlus Explorer and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier.

The card’s APR is higher than what you’d get with one of the top-tier cash back credit cards and a lot of that has to do with the fact that Chase pays for the miles and bonuses they offer to their customers. APR and annual fees are two ways they can recoup some of that money.

How the Iberia Visa Signature Compares to Other Chase Airline Cards

As we mentioned before, Chase offers four airline rewards cards, including the Iberia Visa Signature. The following table shows how the cards’ rewards rates, interest rates, and fees compare:

Iberia Visa Southwest Premier British Airways Visa United MileagePlus Explorer
Sign-up bonus 75,000 50,000 75,000 40,000
Estimated yearly rewards 27,000 31,700 27,000 35,700
Best perk $1,000 voucher on $30K spending 6,000 anniversary points Companion fare 10,000 points on $25K spending
Annual fee $95 $99 $95 $0, then $95

As far as sign-up bonuses go, the Iberia and British Airways card lead the way. Based on what we’ve researched, we think these added points are necessary because cardholders will most likely use their points for international flights. These flights typically require more points than domestic flights with Southwest and United.

The Iberia and British Airways cards have the lowest yearly rewards. However, they make up for it with companion fares. The difference between the two airlines is that Iberia’s is a $500 credit per person on a two-person booking, while British Airways requires that you book a seat with points in order to get your companion seat for free.

As far as value goes, we found that even the cheapest Iberia international flights from the United States to Spain were around $800 and did not include meals or a free bag. If you used your $1,000 voucher for this flight, you’d still have to pay more than $600 for the two fares as well as any charges for food, drinks, and luggage.

While the British Airways card makes thing simpler by giving your companion a free seat, the card’s low rewards rate makes it hard to earn the points you’d need to pay for a rewards international flight.

As for using yearly rewards to get flights, Southwest is the best choice for domestic flights because you can book round-trip seats for, in some cases, less than 15,000 points. In most cases, though, you’ll be able to find seats for 20,000 points if you book early enough.

United’s cheap seats (12.5K points) tend to book quickly, so if you don’t snag one of those seats you’ll probably end up paying 50,000 points for one trip.

While that point total could be just as high as a rewards seat on Iberia and/or British Airways, you get perks that set it apart: priority boarding, one free checked bag, and two United Club airport lounge passes every year.

The Final Word: Pros, Cons and Who the Iberia Visa Signature Is Good For

Based on our research of this card and other cards, we believe the Iberia Visa’s strength lies in its first-year rewards and the ability to get a $1,000 voucher for two seats on an Iberia flight.

Your sign-up bonus and first-year spending rewards could eclipse 100,000 points, a total that’s enough, in some cases, to book two round-trip flights. Couple that with the voucher you could earn and you’re looking at tons of value.

The downside to the card is that international flights tend to cost more than domestic flights and, for this reason, those 100,000 points don’t go nearly as far as they would with Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program.

In our opinion, this card is best suited for someone who travels internationally at least once a year and will spend more than $30,000 a year on this card. If you can hit that yearly spending goal, you’ll get the $1,000 voucher as well as more than 30,000 yearly points.

» SEE ALSO: The Best Travel Credit Card of 2018

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