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Recently new airlines credit cards being released have been the norm, but how many of them offer 100,000 bonus miles? The answer: not many. If you like discount flights to Europe, the new Aer Lingus credit card gives you the opportunity to earn up to 100,000 Avios and a few other perks that make flying across the Atlantic Ocean more enjoyable.
Besides the bonus offer, this review will help you determine if you should apply for the Aer Lingus Visa Signature credit card.
Key Facts About the Aer Lingus Credit Card
We’ll cover the benefits of the Aer Lingus credit card in more detail, but let’s hit the high points first:
- $95 annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- Earn 3x Avios on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, LEVEL, and OpenSkies purchases
- Priority boarding
- Opportunity to earn an annual Companion Ticket
The annual fee isn’t waived the first year and will be charged with the first billing statement.
Of course, you also have the chance to earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios with the current sign-up bonus that has three tiered spending requirements that you have a year to reach. And don’t forget that you should prioritize other cards because of the 5/24 rule.
Earn Up to 100,000 Bonus Aer Lingus Avios
The biggest draw and rightfully so is the opportunity to earn 100,000 bonus Avios.
This isn’t the first time you’ve been able to earn 100,000 Avios. Maybe you applied for the British Airways Visa on a similar offer, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best credit cards for international travel.
You have one year to reach the tiered spending targets to earn the full 100,000 Avios bonus:
- 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $3,000 in the first three months
- 25,000 bonus Avios after spending $10,000 in the first year
- Receive the final 25,000 bonus Avios after spending $20,000 in the first year
The base sign-up bonus is 50,000 Avios which you can receive almost immediately because of the relatively low $3,000 spending requirement.
Earn Up to 3 Avios Per $1
You will earn unlimited 3 Avios per $1 spent with the following airlines:
- Aer Lingus
- British Airways
All remaining purchases will earn 1 Avios per $1 spent.
Annual Companion Ticket
Although it would be nice if this benefit was an automatic anniversary bonus, it’s still highly valuable if you spend at least $30,000 in total card purchases.
After spending $30,000 in a calendar year, you will receive a Companion ticket that lets your travel companion fly for free on your next flight to Ireland within the next 12 months. This ticket is only good for an economy class ticket when you buy your own ticket with cash, and you only have to pay the fees and taxes on the award ticket.
This benefit isn’t as lavish as the Southwest Companion Pass, but it can still outweigh the $95 annual fee if this is your primary travel credit card.
You will receive priority boarding status on all Aer Lingus flights that you pay for with your Aer Lingus credit card. Your authorized users will also enjoy priority boarding even if you don’t fly along.
Additional Aer Lingus Credit Card Benefits
The Aer Lingus credit card is a Visa Signature credit card.
Some of the additional benefits you’ll enjoy include:
- Exclusive benefits at the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
- Limited time offers to unique events and experiences
- Rental car collision damage waiver protection
Each credit card offers their own unique benefits. For the Aer Lingus credit card, you get to enjoy priority boarding and complimentary companion tickets.
Redeeming Aer Lingus Avios
Earning 100,000 Avios doesn’t happen every day, but can you redeem them any day you want? If not, the Aer Lingus credit card might not be a good option for you.
Unlike many of the other Avios airlines, Aer Lingus doesn’t charge a fuel surcharge on long-haul flights.
Aer Lingus is a 1:1 Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partner. If you own the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points on a 1:1 basis to Aer Lingus to book some of the best award flights listed below.
Fly to Ireland for 13,000 Avios
Aer Lingus flies to Ireland, so the best award route is flying from the Eastern United States and Canada to Ireland. In the off-peak season, a one-way business class flight costs 50,000 Avios and an economy seat costs 13,000 Avios from these airports:
- Boston (BOS)
- Chicago (ORD)
- New York (JFK)
- Toronto (YYZ)
During the peak season, you’ll pay either 60,000 Avios or 20,000 Avios each way.
Once again, you won’t pay a fuel surcharge on any Aer Lingus award flights.
Fly to Ireland from the Western United States for 16,250 Avios
If at all possible, you should try to fly from one of the airports listed above to redeem the fewest Avios possible. When this isn’t the case, you need can still fly for the following Avios in business and economy:
- Economy Class: 16,250 off-peak or 25,000 in peak season
- Business Class: 62,500 off-peak or 75,000 in peak season
The current airports in Aer Lingus’s Zone 6 include:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
Short Haul European Flights for 4,000 Avios
Once you get to Ireland, you can book short haul flights to England and western Europe for 4,000 Avios in the off-peak season. With these low redemption costs, Aer Lingus is one of the most affordable ways to cross the Atlantic and jet around Europe once you finally arrive!
Book an Avios Partner Flight
You can also book a partner flight to get to some of the destinations that Aer Lingus doesn’t go to. You can’t book flights on American Airlines as you can with British Airways Avios, but you can still book flights on these airlines:
- British Airways
On short haul flights, you won’t pay a fuel surcharge with any of these partner airlines either.
- Earn 3x Avios on Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia purchases
- Up to 100,000 Avios sign-up bonus
- Get a free Companion ticket after spending $30,000 a year
- Aer Lingus award flights don’t have fuel surcharges
- No free checked bags
- Companion ticket is only valid when you buy an economy seat with cash
The Aer Lingus credit card is a good option if you are looking for one of the cheapest ways to fly from the U.S. to Europe. It can be a good primary card if Aer Lingus is your go-to airline or a secondary airline credit card to complement your Chase Sapphire. And if you can earn the entire 100,000 point Avios bonus, the pot gets even sweeter for the first year of ownership!
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.