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While not for everyone, frequent Aer Lingus travelers can expect to get excellent value with the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card. This card features fantastic rewards for Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, OpenSkies and LEVEL purchases as well as some attractive bonuses and benefits—especially for big spenders who can spend at least $30,000 per year and earn the companion fare.
- Benefits and Features
- How Does the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?
Review: Our Thoughts on the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card
The short-term rewards of the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card are almost unmatched among airline credit cards. Cardholders who spend $20,000 within the first year can earn 100,000 Avios, which we estimate to be worth $1,500. This is enough to cover the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card's $95 annual fee for almost 16 years.
The annual companion fare ticket is the most valuable benefit the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card offers, and it's worth much more than this card's annual fee. The companion fare—which cardholders can earn each year they make at least $30,000 in purchases—can be redeemed for a free ticket on Aer Lingus economy flights to Ireland originating from the U.S. This is tremendous value considering these flights can cost more than $1,000.
There are some travel benefits the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card lacks that keep it competing with some of the top airline credit cards. For example, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® offers free checked bags for up to four traveling companions as well as a 25% discount on in-flight purchases. These benefits are not usually the main draw of these cards, but they can still be very valuable.
The Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card is a good card, especially for those who can spend enough to earn its massive first-year spending bonus and annual companion fares. However those who don't fly to Ireland often (at least once per year) will likely get better value from a different travel card.
Benefits and Features
The main draw of the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card is that it allows cardholders to earn free flights for making purchases with their cards. Avios is the Aer Lingus version of a frequent flyer mile that it shares with British Airways and Iberia.
The Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card also features a number of first-year spending bonuses that can be extremely valuable for travelers who can meet the requirements. For spending $3,000 within the first three months of your account opening, you can earn 50,000 Avios. We estimate this bonus is worth $750 when redeemed for Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia flights. You'll also earn 25,000 Avios once you reach $10,000 and another 25,000 Avios when you spend $20,000 total within your first year of card membership.
Avios earned with the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card will be automatically added to your Aer Lingus AerClub account and can be used to book flights with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and more on avios.com. We estimate that using your reward flights gets you a value of around 1.5 cents per Avios. Using this valuation, we estimate the rewards rate for this card to be between 1.5% and 4.5%.
AerClub members also have the ability to transfer their Avios to either their Iberia Plus or British Airways Executive Club accounts. This opens up a much greater pool of redemption options, as British Airways and Iberia are both part of the Oneworld® alliance. This means you can redeem your Avios for travel with the following airlines.
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- LATAM Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Jordanian
- S7 Airlines
- SriLankan Airlines
Avios transfers are usually immediate, and there is no limit to how many Avios you can transfer. However, you cannot transfer Avios to or from the Iberia Plus program within the first 90 days of opening an Iberia Plus account.
Annual Companion Pass
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card cardholders who make at least $30,000 in purchases within a calendar year can earn a free companion ticket voucher. Companion tickets are one of the most prized benefits among airline cards, as they allow you a free ticket for a companion on a round-trip flight. However, the companion fare that Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card cardholders can earn is restricted to economy tickets on flights operated by Aer Lingus that originate in the U.S. and fly to Ireland. Because of these restrictions, some cardholders might have a hard time using this voucher.
With the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card, you are eligible for priority boarding on Aer Lingus-operated flights. However—similar to the companion pass—this benefit is restricted to flights departing from the U.S. and returning to the U.S. from Ireland. To receive this benefit, all you have to do is present your Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card at the gate prior to boarding.
How Does the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?
We always recommend comparing credit cards when you're shopping for one. This will help you figure out what's available as opposed to just looking at a card's features with no context. Below, we have compared the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card to three other cards.
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card vs Iberia Visa Signature® Card
The Iberia Visa Signature® Card is the better card if you want to earn Avios but might not travel to Ireland every year. You'll earn a $1,000 discount voucher for spending $30,000 per year. While the value of this benefit is capped at $1,000, it is not restricted to flights to Ireland like the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card's companion fare. Additionally, the discount can be applied to any two same-flight, same-class tickets and isn't restricted to economy seats like the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card's companion fare.
- Earn 3 Avios per dollar spent with Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, LEVEL and OpenSkies as well as 1 Avios per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Make over $30,000 in purchases within a calendar year and earn a $1,000 discount voucher.
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after making $3,000 in purchases within three months of account opening.
- Iberia Visa Signature® Card Review
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card vs Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is easier to use than the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card because it doesn't require extra effort to maximize mile value. This is because the miles earned with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card can be applied to past travel purchases for statement credits where they will have a constant value of 1 cent. In contrast, when redeeming Avios, you will get varying value depending on which flight you choose to redeem them on. For this reason, we recommend the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card to those who aren't willing to put in effort to maximize their rewards.
- Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
- Pay an annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year).
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Review
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is our favorite travel card because of its enormous range of redemption options. As part of the extensive Chase Ultimate Rewards program, you can transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to several airlines and hotel programs. You can move points into airlines from each of three largest airline alliances: Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance. There are more than 60 airlines among the three alliances—significantly more than the 13 you have access to with the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card.
- Earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining as well as 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn $5,000 bonus points for making $4,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening.
- Pay an annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year).
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Review