Which US Avios Credit Card Should You Apply For?

Which US Avios Credit Card Should You Apply For?

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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.

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 up to 100,000 Avios (Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening and an additional 25,000 Avios after spending $20,000 within the first 12 months of account opening)
  • A $95 annual fee
  • 3x Avios for purchases with British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL
  • 2x Avios on hotel accommodations when you purchase directly with a hotel
  • 1x Avios on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel and purchase protection

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 up to 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 bonus of up to 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 or most likely to fly with.

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. That could be another deciding factor between these cards.

Which Avios credit card product do you value most?

Conversations (7)
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  1. Wigand Weirich Guest

    Please add or comment on the free avios transfer/use between BAEC and Privilege club.

  2. Daniel Guest

    Has this blog been renamed One credit card at a time

  3. Dan77W Guest

    Getting initial access to all 3 of these avios accounts are a horrendous nightmare. There is a definite disconnect between Chase and these airlines.

  4. Sam Guest

    Better off with transferable points. Just booked an expensive last minute locator with Avios from SEA-YVR for 7,500. Woulda been cheaper with AV lifemiles but AC flights were too late in the day.
    The Avios have value... But they have more when you can shop & transfer. I would pay the extra annual fee for the 90k Amex gold offer for that flexibility+ 4 on groceries & dining.

  5. Eli Guest

    For the companion ticket does it need to be available on milage?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Eli -- For British Airways? Yes, there needs to be Avios availability for two passengers.

    2. Eli Guest

      Thanks, will make my decision today, if I do apply will definitely use your link

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.

Wigand Weirich Guest

Please add or comment on the free avios transfer/use between BAEC and Privilege club.

0
Daniel Guest

Has this blog been renamed One credit card at a time

0
Dan77W Guest

Getting initial access to all 3 of these avios accounts are a horrendous nightmare. There is a definite disconnect between Chase and these airlines.

0
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