Perhaps the biggest downside living in Ireland for me is the lack of an airline branded credit card to earn frequent flyer points. For people into the miles and points scene, this is a great way to rack up a lot of miles for later redemption.
There are other ways to earn lots of points, which I have to do because there is simply no other alternative. Let’s have a look and see what they are.
Branded Credit Card
Aer Lingus is the flag carrier of Ireland, and their AerClub uses Avios points as the currency. There is no credit card in Ireland, as I mentioned. Guess what though? They do have a credit card, the kicker is that it is only available for residents of the United States.
The Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card gives you 50,000 bonus Avios if you spend $3,000 in your first three months. You get 25,000 more once you spend $10,000 in the first year and yet another 25,000 if you hit $20,000 in spend. For a $95 annual fee, I’d be in… but alas…
Other Ways To Earn
Hotel booking sites Kaligo and Rocketmiles have been responsible for netting me tens of thousands of Avios. When their pricing is the same or similar to booking directly, I’ll go through them for the bonus points. They are trustworthy and I’ve never had any issues.
Earning points on day to day spend is possible. When I lived in the UK, I had a Tesco Clubcard and converted my shopping points to British Airways Avios. In Ireland, I shop mainly at SuperValu and convert my points to Aer Lingus Avios. It’s not much, but it all adds up.
Newspaper subscriptions are also decent earners. I received 18,000 Avios for subscribing to the Irish Independent last year, which was very handy indeed. It is still available at €160 for the digital edition, which is great.
Finally, while there’s no branded credit card, I can still earn my miles the old fashioned way. Yes, that’s right – paying for my airline tickets and earning the points from flights. It is the main way I earn all my points, and it really influences my booking decisions.
Hopefully one day Aer Lingus will partner with an Irish bank and offer a branded card to the local market. It’s something I would certainly be interested in, especially if it was with a big bank, like AIB. Hint, hint.
Regardless of that, there are still many ways to earn miles and points. My recommendation for Irish people – and others in a similar situation – is keep an eye on every avenue that can earn and relentlessly focus on them. You can still come out with lots of points to play with.
What do you think of the lack of a branded credit card? Does it affect you? What are your strategies for earning frequent flyer miles? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image via Chris Lofting via Wikimedia Commons, also found at Airliners.net