How to Earn Elite Status with Iberia Plus

Iberia Plus is likely to be most useful to InsideFlyer readers as a way of redeeming your Avios on cheap Business Class reward flights to Madrid and beyond. But it might also be worth considering whether Iberia Plus is a viable option for earning (and retaining) elite status. Today I will write about HOW to earn elite status with Iberia Plus, and in a future post I will explain WHY you might want to consider it…

Qualification Period

The qualification period for Iberia Plus status runs from April 1st until March 31st of the following year.

This is different from the calendar year basis used by the major American airlines. You might also be aware of the fact that each member of British Airways Executive Club has their own personal qualification period. So it might take a bit of adjusting to get used to Iberia’s qualification period.

How do I Qualify for Elite Status with Iberia Plus?

Iberia Plus uses something called “Elite Points” to determine elite status qualification. In order to earn elite status, you must accumulate:

  • 6,250 Elite Points for Platino status (Oneworld Emerald)
  • 2,250 Elite Points for Oro status (Oneworld Sapphire)
  • 1,100 Elite Points for Plata status (Oneworld Ruby)

How Many Elite Points Will I Earn?

If you are flying on Iberia, you earn Elite Points based on the regions you are flying to/from.  If you are flying on a Oneworld partner airline, you earn Elite Points based on the distance and cabin flown.

Iberia Elite Point Chart


Which Countries are in Which Regions?

Oneworld Elite Point Chart

Does Every American Airlines First Class Flight Earn First Class Elite Points?

Not really… even though domestic flights within the United States are marketed as having a First Class cabin, you need to check the fare code carefully, as only “F” and “A” count…

Because it isn’t obvious, I will point out that Premium Economy flights earn Elite Points based on the “Full Economy” column shown above. And nearly all Economy fares are considered to be “Discounted Economy”.

What About LEVEL?

LEVEL is often confused with Iberia itself, as the low cost carrier operates flights using an IB flight code, usually IB26xx. Although you earn fewer Elite Points when flying with LEVEL, Iberia Plus is also the ONLY way to earn miles / elite status credit for LEVEL flights.

And Vueling?

Again, it is easy to become confused when booking Vueling flights. Even though you might book an Iberia codeshare flight, you can ONLY earn miles / elite status credit for Vueling flights if you credit them to an Iberia Plus account.

The Iberia website is not particularly helpful when it comes to Vueling flights. You will earn a limited number of Elite Points for “Basic Economy” flights. You can earn a few more Elite Points by booking other Vueling fares such as “Classic” or “Optima”.

Conclusion

Today’s post is intended as a reference. Although other frequent flyer programs also have confusing methods of earning elite status, few have so many different charts for determining your progress…

In a future post, I will discuss WHY you might want to consider Iberia Plus if you are interested in elite status with a Oneworld airline.

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