Like I wrote about last week, at one point in my miles and points career I applied for cards I didn’t need. That was all well and good when we didn’t have kids and could fly off to Europe for the weekend. It’s less ideal now that our time is limited. One thing I wish I had seen during my “Phase 3” heyday were more reasons not to apply for the shiniest new credit cards out there. So I’ve written this post about reasons to avoid the Chase Iberia credit card with that in mind. If you’re looking for reasons to talk yourself out of this card, this post is for you!
Now let me get this out up front: this is a perfectly good card and will fit a lot of people’s situations. However, every single review you read of a new credit card spends 90% or more of its time talking about what’s good about the card. This post will spend 90% of the time highlighting what’s not so good about the card, but let me get the other 10% out of the way. 50,000 Avios can be very useful to families who live in cities that have good AA space, transferring to British Airways is useful if not cumbersome, and the card not being subject to 5/24 is great.
Alright, let’s get to the reasons why I’m avoiding the Chase Iberia credit card. You can also consider these reasons to be wary of the hype.
1. It’s not really a 75,000 Avios sign up bonus
The first thing I think consumers should be aware of is the advertisement of the sign up bonus being 75,000 Avios rings a bit false to me. You earn 50,000 Avios after $3K in spending, and the other 25,000 after $7K in spending. If you have reliable MS or reselling methods, that 75K might be worth it. But if you’re a bit more average, like myself, 25K for 7K of spending isn’t amazing. I’d rather do 7K spending with my Chase Ink at office supply stores and earn 35K Ultimate Rewards.
Here’s the tricky thing that I need to remind myself. Even though I know I probably wouldn’t earn the 75K total if I applied for this card, just seeing it advertised as 75K has a subtle effect on how I view the card. I know better, but advertisements, which I’d is how I’d characterize 80% of the Chase Iberia credit card posts out there, have one job, and that’s to psychologically fool people into buying products. So I personally need to mentally adjust when I’m reading the hype, and I think others should do the same.
Just remember the opportunity cost of spending an extra $7000 to earn that extra 25K Iberia Avios. It definitely will be worth it to some, but not all. But it’s really a 50K sign up bonus with a 25K spending bonus. At least that’s how I identify it.
2. Avios (both Iberia and British Airways iterations) can be difficult to use in your situation
I used to love British Airways Avios. Even post devaluation, I found being able to take AA flights for slightly cheaper to be invaluable. Then a funny thing happened, AA tightened up all their award space and I had a bunch of kids. Now all of a sudden I’m searching for four tickets during peak school vacation times. Finding nonstop flights that fit those criteria can be very difficult.
One highly touted usage of British Airways Avios is the ability to redeem for flights from the West Coast to Hawaii for 12,500 per segment. That is indeed a great deal! Except:
They say Avios are great for the West Coast to Hawaii, but that’s contingent on award space
Things get better in September but your kids are probably back in school.
Update : counterpoint from @lsjbrooks
That space does my family very little good but hopefully it helps yours
Looks like you cherry-picked that LAX-Hawaii space. It looks decent in late July and most of August, especially non-HNL. Only east-coast Hawaii casuals go to Oahu 😜
— Tim (@ljsbrooks) March 26, 2018
Anyway, sometimes Avios can be super useful, but I generally haven’t found them to be as useful as the internet says they are. You have to get pretty creative, and if you don’t have a lot of time to do your research, you may just be chasing a shiny new sign up bonus that you don’t have the time to put the work into to use properly. Also, if you’re busy, you might not want to go through the hassle of transferring from Iberia to British Airways. It’s only like, two steps, but there’s the 90 day waiting period yada yada yada…I have found as my time has become more precious these small nuisances add up.
In terms of using the Avios for Iberia flights, I’ve had my eye on BOS-MAD on Iberia in the summer (it’s seasonal) for years now, but have never found enough seats for my family. We’d love to go back to Madrid, and you’d think the Iberia credit card could get us there, but in reality…probably not.
3. It’s another card to keep track of in your sock drawer
The earn potential on the card out of the sign up bonus isn’t very exciting. Most people don’t fly Iberia regularly so it won’t be worth it to spend $30K to get a $1000 voucher. (Though at 3.3% back, it’s not bad if you do I guess). But most people aren’t going to be spending on Iberia or British Airways flights regularly, so this card will only earn you 1 Avios per dollar. Obviously you can do better just by using any Sapphire Card which will earn you a minimum of 1 Ultimate Reward point per dollar which you can of course transfer to Avios.
So, most people will just get this card for the sign up bonus and sock drawer it – that’s not going to be worth the hassle for a lot of people.
4. Is the card worth going past 5/24?
A lot has been made about the fact that the Iberia card isn’t subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. For some people, that’s great because if you’re “LOL/24” you have no chance to ever get back under so any hit of that sweet, sweet Chase is worth it. However, 24 months isn’t that long in the game – I’ve been dropping closer to 5/24 over the past 12 months. We’ve kept my wife permanently below 5/24. So is this card really worth adding to your 5/24 total or putting you over?
Ultimately, the miles and points game is a long game – so make sure you keep that in mind as you make your decisions.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I thought there’d be more compelling reasons to avoid the new Chase Iberia card. Turns out, the reasons are mostly subtle, meaning it’s likely a pretty good card! I thought I’d try a new angle while analyzing the credit card, so I don’t know if I’ll do another post like this in the future. In the end, I think my post has at least convinced me that I’m personally going to pass. Because the fact of the matter is, there aren’t many compelling reasons to get this card either. These days I like to keep my credit card applications to the ones I really want, and I’ll stick with that for now. If you’re looking for a more traditional review, DoC’s got you covered.
How about you, does the Chase Iberia card have a new space in your wallet? For the next month or so at least? Let me know in the comments!
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