Aer Lingus is part of the group owned by IAG (International Airlines Group), and is partnered with other IAG-owned airlines including British Airways and Spanish-based Iberia. Each of these airlines uses the Avios mileage currency and therefore, these miles can be transferred between the three airlines.
While these three carriers use the same currency, they each have their own loyalty programs and award charts and each has its own pros and cons. Consequently, these “good” differences between the programs help make Avios an incredibly versatile program jam-packed with flexibility and value.
AerClub, the loyalty program of Aer Lingus has its own set of redemption rules and, fortunately, it’s own unique advantages and sweet spots.
This card comes with a great welcome bonus. While this is one of the highest welcome bonuses available today, it also has one of the largest minimum spending requirements.
The structure of the spending requirement is broken down into a few different tiers. Earn 50,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus earn an additional 50,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening. The last tier is for the Aer Lingus economy companion ticket, awarded when cardholders spend a total of $30,000.
A $30,000 spending requirement is on the higher end compared to similar cards and will not make sense for everyone. However, if you can manage to meet this high spending requirement, the bonus points and companion certificate can provide great value. If you are unable to meet at least the second-tier $20,000 spend, this card may be one to pass on. Especially after considering Chase’s 5/24 rule which restricts card applications by how many new revolving credit accounts you have been opened in the last 24 months.
Lastly, the card earns 3 Avios per dollar spent on purchases made with Aer Lingus and its partners, Iberia and British Airways. You can earn 2 Avios per dollar spent on hotels when you book directly with the hotel. This means no bookings through third party sites like Expedia or Orbitz. You’ll earn 1 Avios per dollar spent on all other purchases with no limit to the number of Avios you can earn.
The first thing to understand is Aer Lingus’s award chart. The program is distanced-based, meaning that rather than assigning a miles cost by specific regions of the world as zone-based programs do, Aer Lingus issues costs by the number of miles flown. Distance-based award charts generally have better redemption options for a larger variety of short haul flights and more wiggle room with routings. The six pricing tiers are listed in Aer Lingus’s award chart.
Next, Aer Lingus’s award chart implements a peak and off peak pricing structure. Popular travel dates, like the Christmas holidays, spring break and summer months fall under peak pricing. Off-peak accounts for all the other days and makes up around two-thirds of the year.
With all this information, let’s see how everything comes together. Some of the best value when redeeming Avios with Aer Lingus is for flights from the East coast of the U.S. and Canada to Ireland.
Boston to Dublin is just 13,000 Avios one-way in the off-peak season, and the taxes and fees are significantly lower than what you would pay when booking with partner British Airways.
You’ll need to visit Avios.com to book your flight or call Aer Lingus.
Forbes Advisor collects data from several government agencies to determine the spending and baseline income in various categories for an example household. The 70th percentile of wage-earning households bring in $100,172 annually and are able to charge $26,410 to credit cards each year.
The Chase Aer Lingus credit card earns the following:
- 3 Avios per dollar spent on Aer Lingus, Iberia and British Airways
- 2 Avios per dollar spent on hotels when booked directly with the hotel
- 1 Avios per dollar spent on all other purchases
Forbes Advisor estimates that an average consumer will spend $1,755 per year on flights, so for someone flying on Aer Lingus or one of their sister companies and using the Aer Lingus card to pay for those flights, they would earn a total of 5,265 Avios. In addition, this household will spend a further $2,820 each year on other hotel purchases. This means that Aer Lingus cardmembers could potentially amass 5,640 Avios a year.
Other expenses that can reasonably be charged to a credit card add another $16,101 in annual spending and would earn 16,101 Avios, for a total of 26,826 Avios earned each year in addition to the first-year welcome bonus.