Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card Review: An Overlooked Card

Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card Review: An Overlooked Card

Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card Limited time offer! Earn 85,000 Avios | Annual Fee: $95
Apply Now Terms Apply.
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card Limited time offer! Earn 85,000 Avios | $95
3x Avios points on Aer Lingus
Annual Companion Certificate
Priority Boarding on Aer Lingus Flights
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Link: Apply now for the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card

In this post I wanted to take a close look at the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card, which is one of the lesser-known Chase cards. It’s a card that many people haven’t had before, and also one that potentially offers a lot of value, so I think it’s worth being aware of. Let’s talk about everything you need to know about Aer Lingus’ US credit card.

Aer Lingus Credit Card Basics For May 2024

If you’re familiar with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card (review) or Iberia Visa Signature® Card (review), then some aspects of the Aer Lingus Card may sound familiar.

The cards have a lot of similarities. The major differences are that the cards each offer perks for travel on that particular airline, and the cards also accrue different Avios currencies.

Earn 85,000 Aer Lingus Plus Avios

The Aer Lingus Visa Card currently offers a welcome bonus of 85,000 Avios after spending $5,000 within the first three months.

Personally, I value Avios at ~1.3 cents each, so to me 85,000 Avios are worth ~$1,105.

Earn Aer Lingus Avios with the Aer Lingus Card

Aer Lingus Card $95 Annual Fee

The Aer Lingus Card has a $95 annual fee. This is not waived for the first year, and there’s no additional fee to add authorized users.

Aer Lingus Card Eligibility

The welcome bonus on the Aer Lingus Card isn’t available to those who currently have the card, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months. However, you are eligible for this card if you’ve had the British Airways Visa Card or Iberia Visa Signature Card, so this is a great complement.

It’s also worth being aware of Chase’s other general policies on card approvals.

Earning Avios With The Aer Lingus Credit Card

The Aer Lingus Card has no foreign transaction fees and offers contactless payment, but does the rewards structure actually warrant putting spending on the card? Generally I’d say no, but it does depend, as I’ll get into below.

3x Avios Per Dollar Spent On Flights

When paying with the Aer Lingus Card, you’ll earn 3x Avios per dollar spent on purchases with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL.

2x Avios Per Dollar Spent On Hotels

When paying with the Aer Lingus Card, you’ll earn 2x Avios per dollar spent on hotel accommodations when paid directly to the hotel. This applies across all hotel groups. That’s better than nothing, but there are better credit cards for hotel purchases.

1x Avios Per Dollar Spent On Other Purchases

For everyday spending, the Aer Lingus Card offers 1x Avios per dollar spent, which isn’t much to get excited about, as there are better credit cards for everyday spending. The exception is if you’re trying to reach $30,000 of spending, for reasons I’ll get into below.

Redeem Avios for travel in Aer Lingus business class

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Aer Lingus Card has no foreign transaction fees, so it’s potentially a great card to use for purchases abroad.

Contactless Payment

The Aer Lingus Card features contactless pay technology. This means you can pay using your card without even swiping it whenever you see the contactless pay symbol (in the age of coronavirus, this is something people may value more than in the past.

Aer Lingus Credit Card Purchase Protection

The Aer Lingus Card offers some solid purchase protection, as do many Visa Signature products. As always, make sure you check your cardmember agreement for all of the details, since there are terms & conditions. What should you expect?

Secondary Car Rental Coverage

The Aer Lingus Card offers auto rental collision damage waiver coverage. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card.

Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the US and abroad. Do note that in the US the coverage is secondary to your personal insurance, though.

Get rental car coverage with the Aer Lingus Card

Purchase & Extended Warranty Protection

The Aer Lingus Card offers some useful protection:

  • Purchase protection on new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account
  • Extended warranty protection, extending US manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less

Baggage Delay & Lost Luggage Reimbursement

The Aer Lingus Card offers baggage protection:

  • Baggage delay insurance reimburses you up to $100 per day for three days for essential purchases when your bag is delayed by over six hours
  • Lost luggage reimbursement reimburses you for up to $3,000 per passenger when you or your immediate family members’ checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by an airline

Aer Lingus Credit Card Benefits

In addition to the excellent welcome bonus, the main reason I would consider the Aer Lingus Card is because of the great perks that it offers. There are two main perks — one you get just for having the card, and the other you get by spending $30,000 on the card. Here’s how those benefits work.

Priority Boarding On Aer Lingus Flights

Just for having the Aer Lingus Card you receive priority boarding on Aer Lingus flights to and from the United States:

  • This is available to both the primary cardmember and authorized users
  • To be eligible, cardmembers must show their valid Aer Lingus Visa at the gate prior to boarding
  • This is only valid for travel on Aer Lingus flights, and not for travel on partner airlines

If priority boarding is something that you value, this perk is well worth being aware of.

Earn An Aer Lingus Economy Companion Ticket

There’s one major incentive to spend money on this card — the Aer Lingus Card offers an economy companion ticket when you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year.

How does this companion ticket voucher work?

  • You earn the companion ticket based on spending $30,000 in a calendar year (eligible spending must post to the billing cycle before December 31)
  • When you book a paid economy ticket on Aer Lingus, you can take a companion with you at no extra cost
  • No taxes and fees apply for the companion ticket
  • The companion ticket will come in the form of a voucher that will be emailed to an eligible member within four to six weeks of completing eligible spending
  • To redeem the voucher, you need to email [email protected], and you’ll receive a response within 72 hours
  • The primary cardmember must be one of the travelers
  • Travel needs to be completed within 12 months of the date of issue, and the voucher has to be redeemed for a ticket at least 30 days in advance
  • This is not valid for travel on any partner airlines

While this is better than nothing, personally I wouldn’t get too excited about this:

  • There’s quite an opportunity cost to putting spending on an Aer Lingus Card, and spending $30,000 for an economy companion voucher is a lot
  • While the cost of tickets does vary, often transatlantic flights can be had for $500 or so, and therefore the value isn’t that huge
  • That being said, if you fly Aer Lingus transatlantic in economy with any frequency, this could still be worth it
Spending on the Aer Lingus Card could earn you a companion voucher

How To Redeem Aer Lingus Avios

While a lot of people might be familiar with the British Airways Executive Club program, not as many people are probably familiar with the Aer Lingus AerClub program. So let’s take a look at what you can expect in terms of redemption opportunities.

Redeeming AerClub Avios On Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus AerClub Avios are especially valuable for redemptions on Aer Lingus, where the program generally offers the best redemption rates. Aer Lingus has roughly distance based award pricing, with both peak and off-peak award costs.

As is the case with other Avios currencies, Avios pricing is per segment. So you can expect to pay the following number of Avios for transatlantic flights on Aer Lingus to the United States (Aer Lingus operates some transatlantic flights out of Dublin, Manchester, and Shannon):

  • Transatlantic flights to the Northeast and Midwest of the United States cost 13,000-20,000 Avios in economy, or 50,000-60,000 Avios in business class
  • Transatlantic flights to the rest of the United States cost 16,250-25,000 Avios in economy, or 62,500-75,000 Avios in business class

The good news is that the surcharges on these awards are really mild, so this is a great Avios redemption option, especially compared to travel on British Airways.

Redeem Avios for Aer Lingus business class

Transfer Aer Lingus Avios To British Airways Avios

While there are some good uses of AerClub Avios for travel on Aer Lingus, if you’re looking for other redemptions, the good news is that you can transfer these Avios at no cost.

You can transfer Avios between Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and Qatar Airways. This is a great way to leverage the sweet spots of each program, whether it’s British Airways Executive Club or Iberia Plus.

So when considering which card to apply for, don’t worry about the exact “flavor” of Avios being earned, since you have quite a bit of flexibility.

Is The Aer Lingus Credit Card Worth It?

The Aer Lingus Card has a phenomenal welcome bonus, so this is a card that many people should consider, as we’ve never seen a bonus this good on the card.

The bonus after completing minimum spending could be enough for a roundtrip transatlantic Aer Lingus business class ticket, which is an exceptional value.

Personally, this isn’t a card I would use for everyday spending, since you can earn Avios through transferrable points currencies, in particular with American Express and Chase cards.

For some people there may be value beyond the sign-up bonus as well:

  • If you fly Aer Lingus with any frequency, the priority boarding perk could be worthwhile
  • Some people who fly Aer Lingus may find it worthwhile to spend $30,000 on the card for an economy companion ticket, though personally, that’s not how I would direct my credit card spending

Comparing The Aer Lingus & British Airways Visa

There’s overlap between the Aer Lingus Visa Card and the British Airways Visa Card, so which is better? The cards have a lot in common:

  • You are eligible for both of these cards, so you can pick up one if you’ve had the other (or just get them both if you’ve had neither)
  • They have the same annual fees, and spending bonus categories
  • They have the same welcome bonuses (within their respective Avios currencies)
  • You can transfer Avios between Aer Lingus and British Airways, so for all practical purposes the points currencies are the same

Then there are a few differences:

  • The Aer Lingus Card offers priority boarding, while the British Airways Card offers a 10% discount on British Airways flights, as well as an award surcharge rebate; in fairness, Aer Lingus has much lower surcharges than British Airways, but I’d still say the British Airways Card wins here
  • The Aer Lingus Card offers a companion voucher for a paid economy ticket after spending $30,000, while the British Airways Card offers a companion award ticket valid for any class of service after spending $30,000

Personally, I think the British Airways Card is more well-rounded, but anyone who has allegiance to Aer Lingus may prefer the perks offered by the co-branded card.

See here for a full comparison of cards earning Avios.

Redeem Avios for British Airways first class

Bottom Line

The Aer Lingus Credit Card is one of the lesser-known Chase credit cards, though it’s one worth considering. The card has a nice welcome bonus of 85,000 Avios. You’re eligible for the Aer Lingus Card even if you’ve had the co-branded credit cards of British Airways and Iberia (even though they all earn Avios).

Some will find the long-term benefits of this card to be worthwhile — the Aer Lingus Card offers priority boarding on Aer Lingus flights, and if you spend $30,000 on the card in a year you get a companion voucher for a paid ticket in economy.

Aer Lingus Avios are very useful for transatlantic business class travel on Aer Lingus, given the solid onboard product, low award costs, and reasonable fees. If you’re looking for redemptions beyond that, you can transfer Avios to either British Airways or Iberia.

If you want to learn more about the Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card or want to apply, follow this link.

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  1. henare Diamond

    I was surprised to see the discussion about contactless pay. It's 2024. Are there any cards worth having that do not feature contactless pay?

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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.

henare Diamond

I was surprised to see the discussion about contactless pay. It's 2024. Are there any cards worth having that do not feature contactless pay?

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