Which US Avios Credit Card Should You Apply For?

Which US Avios Credit Card Should You Apply For?

7
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each product or service. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

There are three credit cards in the United States that earn Avios, which is the points currency of International Airline Group (IAG) carriers. These three cards include the:

You might assume that there are lots of differences between the cards since they’re all associated with different airlines. However, the similarities between these cards outnumber the differences.

These cards all currently have exceptional welcome bonuses of up to 100,000 Avios, so in this post I wanted to take a look at which of the three cards makes the most sense.

Why all Avios points currencies are the same

As mentioned above, all three of these cards earn Avios, though they earn different “flavors” of Avios:

While these are all separate frequent flyer programs, you can transfer Avios between all three programs for free, assuming your frequent flyer accounts have been open for at least 90 days.

Therefore when deciding between these cards, I wouldn’t be concerned about which specific program you’re earning Avios with, since you can freely transfer Avios between the programs.

You can transfer Avios between all three programs at no cost

What all three Avios credit cards have in common

All three credit cards earning Avios have a lot in common, including:

  • A welcome bonus of 100,000 Avios after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months; these are the best bonuses we’ve ever seen on these cards, and among the best bonuses out there
  • A $95 annual fee
  • 5x Avios for purchases with British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL for the first 18 months from account opening, and then 3x Avios on those purchases after that
  • 3x Avios on hotel accommodations when you purchase directly with a hotel for the first 18 months from account opening, and then 2x Avios on those purchases after that
  • 1x Avios on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel and purchase protection

I can’t emphasize enough how exceptional these welcome bonuses are, given the reasonable spending requirement to earn 100,000 Avios. We’ve seen some offers of up to 100,000 Avios on these cards in the past, but they’ve generally required spending $20,000. This offer is much, much better.

All of these cards are considered separate products, so you’re potentially eligible for each card (including the welcome bonuses). Just keep in mind Chase’s standard credit card application rules, including the 5/24 rule.

All three cards have welcome bonuses of 100,000 Avios

What’s different about the three Avios credit cards

Most airline credit cards offer travel perks, which is one of the main reasons you’ll want to hold onto these cards. Each of these three credit cards has travel perks tailored to the particular airline:

  • Each card has at least one benefit that you receive just for having the card, with no spending requirement
  • Each card has one benefit that you receive if you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year

Let’s take a look at how those benefits compare.

Advantages of the Aer Lingus Visa

The Aer Lingus Card offers the following travel perks:

  • Just for having the card you receive priority boarding on Aer Lingus flights to & from the United States
  • For spending $30,000 on the card in a year you receive an Aer Lingus economy companion ticket, whereby you can take a companion with you at no additional cost when you book one paid economy ticket

Read my complete review of the Aer Lingus Card.

Receive priority boarding on Aer Lingus flights

Advantages of the British Airways Visa

The British Airways Card offers the following travel perks:

Read my complete review of the British Airways Card.

Earn a companion voucher that can be used for first class

Advantages of the Iberia Visa

The Iberia Card offers the following travel perks:

  • Just for having the card you receive a 10% discount on paid Iberia flights
  • For spending $30,000 on the card in a year you receive a $1,000 Iberia flight discount voucher, which can be applied when booking two tickets on the same flight in the same class of service

Read my complete review of the Iberia Card.

Earn a $1,000 Iberia flight discount voucher

Which Avios credit card should you apply for?

Given that Avios points can be transferred between the various programs, and given that all three cards have have the same exceptional bonus of 100,000 Avios, I’d recommend choosing the card based on the perks that you value most. Everyone will have a different take as to which of the above are most valuable based on which airline they’re loyal to.

Personally, I’d rank the card perks as follows:

  1. The British Airways Card offers the most robust perks just for having the card (10% off paid flights and up to $600 in award rebates), and also offers the most valuable reward for spending $30,000 on the card (the British Airways Travel Together Ticket)
  2. The Iberia Card offers the second best perks just for having the card (10% off paid flights), and the reward for spending $30,000 on the card (a $1,000 Iberia discount voucher) can be valuable as well
  3. The Aer Lingus Card offers the weakest perks, in my opinion, both for having the card (priority boarding to & from the United States) and for spending $30,000 on the card (an economy companion voucher for a paid ticket)
You can earn lots of Avios with these bonuses

As you consider which cards to apply for, remember that you’re potentially eligible for all of these cards. For example, I already have the British Airways Card, and I plan on picking up either the Aer Lingus Card or Iberia Card soon, especially with these bonuses. That could be another deciding factor between these cards.

Which Avios credit card product do you value most?

Conversations (7)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. tassojunior Guest

    AmEx often has 40% bonus transfers to BA. I find that's the easiest/cheapest way. Chase often has bonuses too from Ultimate Rewards cards. BA not great but Iberia can be a PITA to deal with and Avios expire quick there.

  2. Dick Schmitt Guest

    I have a British Airways Card for more than 25 years and have accumulated hundreds of thousands of miles over the years. I applied for and received both the Aer Lingus and Iberia cards because I found the 100,000 miles Avios award very attractive. That said, I have spent the last two months trying to find my account at both airlines (Chase said they would set it up). Call Chase and they say call the...

    I have a British Airways Card for more than 25 years and have accumulated hundreds of thousands of miles over the years. I applied for and received both the Aer Lingus and Iberia cards because I found the 100,000 miles Avios award very attractive. That said, I have spent the last two months trying to find my account at both airlines (Chase said they would set it up). Call Chase and they say call the airlines. Call the airlines and they have no idea of what you are talking about. Any ideas about how to correct this?

  3. Ken Guest

    When do we expect another flight review from you? I was hoping to see you competing for the US in curling, paired with a flight review to Beijing

  4. lsbuffs Guest

    I used to have the BA card and found I was unable to put through paid upgrades (using cash or Avios) when my paid ticket included the 10% discount. There was something about the bucket that discounted fare booked into that wasn't eligible for upgrade. It's been a few years since I tried that and could have been a one-off, YMMV.

    100,000 Avios is quite useful, especially if you wait until very close to departure....

    I used to have the BA card and found I was unable to put through paid upgrades (using cash or Avios) when my paid ticket included the 10% discount. There was something about the bucket that discounted fare booked into that wasn't eligible for upgrade. It's been a few years since I tried that and could have been a one-off, YMMV.

    100,000 Avios is quite useful, especially if you wait until very close to departure. I'm two for two in the past few months upgrading my LHR-PHX paid tickets using Avios to Club World. Of course it helps that loads have been relatively light due to Covid.

  5. EndlosLuft Guest

    The British Airways Card only gives a 10% discount on flights departing the US! So forget about using the discount if you are traveling within Europe or anywhere else in the world. This is a major downside vs the Iberia card. You should let your readers know.

  6. Reno Joe Guest

    Ben, you jest. All three. (Using your links.) Then combine all 300k Avios into one account.

    The current minimum spending requirements are easy. In days past, to get the full bonus on the BA card, one had to spend $30k!!!

    1. Bill Guest

      I have the BA. I was thinking of getting the other 2 for the 200,000 AVIOS........right? This seems like a no-brainer unless I am missing something.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

tassojunior Guest

AmEx often has 40% bonus transfers to BA. I find that's the easiest/cheapest way. Chase often has bonuses too from Ultimate Rewards cards. BA not great but Iberia can be a PITA to deal with and Avios expire quick there.

0
Dick Schmitt Guest

I have a British Airways Card for more than 25 years and have accumulated hundreds of thousands of miles over the years. I applied for and received both the Aer Lingus and Iberia cards because I found the 100,000 miles Avios award very attractive. That said, I have spent the last two months trying to find my account at both airlines (Chase said they would set it up). Call Chase and they say call the airlines. Call the airlines and they have no idea of what you are talking about. Any ideas about how to correct this?

0
Ken Guest

When do we expect another flight review from you? I was hoping to see you competing for the US in curling, paired with a flight review to Beijing

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published