The Chase Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card is a great option for those who are loyal to Aer Lingus. However, it can also be a great option for British Airways and Iberia lovers. All three are sister airlines and they all earn the same currency.
This card has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year). But that fee can be justified with enough spend combined with use of the card’s benefits.
Like its sister airlines Iberia and British Airways, the Aer Lingus card earns Avios. To be exact, the Aer Lingus card earns 3x Avios for Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia flights. It also earns just one Avios per dollar for all other purchases. This earning structure is typical among co-branded airline cards. However, you will receive the 3x rate for three airlines instead of just one.
The Aer Lingus card can serve as a substitute for the Chase British Airways or Chase Iberia cards. All three cards have the same earning structure down to the same currency.
The Aer Lingus card also comes with a two-part sign-up bonus. You can earn 50,000 Avios by spending $3,000 within the first three months. Thereafter, you can earn another 50,000 Avios by spending a total of $20,000 within the first year. That’s a total of 100,000 Avios for $20,000 in spend.
Aer Lingus and its sister airlines are interesting airlines for redemptions. Surprisingly, Aer Lingus’ own flights are not the best redemption for their points. This is because the airline imposes hefty taxes for fuel surcharges.
Long-Haul Flights: Transfer Partners
The best way to redeem Avios for long-haul flights is to transfer to airline partners. Long-haul flights are those whose distance is greater than 1,151 miles.
British Airways has the following partners:
- Alaska Airlines
- Air Italy
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Fiji Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Jordanian Airlines
- S7 Airlines
- Sri Lankan Airlines
- TAM Airlines
Your mileage may vary with transferring points to partners. However, most partners will charge fewer Avios / partner miles than Aer Lingus.
Short-Haul Flights: Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus’ own short-haul flights are a nice way to redeem points without draining your account. Short-haul flights are those between 501 and 1,151 miles long. The airline offers coach flights of this distance range for 7,500 Avios. They also offer business class flights of this distance range for 15,000 Avios.
The Aer Lingus card’s benefits are what separates it from the British Airways and Iberia cards. However, that’s not good news because it does not have that many valuable benefits.
Commercial Companion Ticket
You will receive one Commercial Companion Ticket when you spend $30,000 per year on your Aer Lingus Card. The ticket is valid for one year and you can only redeem it for an economy class seat.
I don’t suggest going for this benefit because of how high the spending requirement is. You can instead spend that $30,000 (or much less) to earn lucrative sign-up bonuses.
Aer Lingus cardholders and their authorized users will receive priority boarding on flights from the United States to Ireland. All you have to do is show your card to the gate attendant before boarding. This is nice because you will save time and avoid waiting in the airport to board.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You will save 3% on all purchases made outside of the United States with the card. This is huge, especially if you travel to the airline’s home country of the United Kingdom (or anywhere else internationally).
Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance
If you need to cancel your trip because of an unexpected event, this benefit gives you up to $10,000 per trip for non-refundable expenses. Plane tickets, hotel rooms, and tours are included.
Trip Delay Insurance
This benefit covers you up to $500 per ticket if your plane, train, or other common carrier is delayed at least 12 hours. It also kicks in if you require an overnight stay as a result of a delay. The $500 helps cover unreimbursed expenses such as meals and lodging.
Baggage Delay Insurance / Lost Luggage Insurance
This benefit gives you $100 per day up to 5 days if your luggage is lost or delayed. If your luggage is delayed for more than 6 hours, you can redeem for toiletries, clothing, and other essentials.
You’re also covered if you lose your luggage. Chase will credit you up to $3,000 per passenger if you lose your luggage.
Check out these alternatives if the Aer Lingus Card is not for you:
Chase British Airways Card
The Chase British Airways card is one of two co-branded cards from Aer Lingus’ sister airlines. It has the same earning structure and $95 annual fee as the Aer Lingus Card. However, it has more valuable perks including British Airways Executive Club membership and 10% in-flight purchases. Both cards let you earn a companion ticket after spending $30,000 per year.
The Aer Lingus card has a sign-up bonus whereas the British Airways card does not. The latter has a promotion that lets you earn 4x Avios per dollar on the first $30,000 in expenses. That’s a total of 120,000 possible Avios. Thereafter, the rate becomes one Avios per dollar.
The British Airways card is a formidable substitute to the Aer Lingus card. It has better benefits, the same earning structure, and the same annual fee. Plus, the first year’s promotion makes it a better earner in the short-term.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase’s mid-tier travel card is a solid alternative to the Aer Lingus Card. Both cards have $95 annual fees (NOT waived the first year), but the former earns transferrable Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. UR points can be transferred to 12 different partners, including Aer Lingus and its sister airlines.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2x URs on Travel and Dining and only one on non-bonus spend. It also has a sign-up bonus worth 60,000 points. This bonus can be earned after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
Aer Lingus loyalists would be better off with the co-branded card. However, travelers who aren’t loyal to any one airline would be better off with the Sapphire Preferred.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is Chase’s top credit card. Despite its $450 annual fee (NOT waived the first year), you will earn more than the Aer Lingus card and receive more benefits.
This card earns 3x URs on Travel and Dining and only one on non-bonus spend. It also has a sign-up bonus worth 50,000 points. This bonus can be earned after spending $4,000 in the first three months. You have to choose either this card or the Sapphire Preferred because you cannot have both. This exception is called the One Sapphire Rule.
The Sapphire Reserve also offers more than the Aer Lingus card in benefits. Benefits include Priority Pass airport lounge access, a Global Entry / Pre-TSA fee waiver, and primary car rental insurance. It does not offer any airline specific benefits. But that’s typical among premium transferrable points cards.
Those with enough travel and dining expenses will do better with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Also, those who are not loyal to a single airline will do better with this card.
The Chase Aer Lingus card is like the Chase British Airways card and Chase Iberia card in many ways. However, it lacks the perks that come with many other premium and mid-tier Chase cards. That includes the British Airways and Iberia cards.
Overall, the Chase Aer Lingus card is great for Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia enthusiasts. Given its earning structure, it’s more a niche card than an everyday use card. After the sign-up bonus period, travelers should leave it in a safe place and only use it when flying on one of the Avios-earning airlines.
Apply Today: Chase Aer Lingus Card