Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card Review [2021]: A Big Bonus Offer, But Few Airline Perks

The Aer Lingus Visa card comes with a big bonus offer, but is this card worth its cost?
Last updated May 13, 2021 | By Kevin Payne

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The Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card comes with a generous welcome bonus and earning potential on multiple airlines. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer too many other perks common with co-branded airline credit cards. Because it earns Avios, rewards are redeemable on several airlines, including British Airways.

In this Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card review, we’ll take a closer look at this card’s perks and drawbacks to determine whether it's the right option for you.

Generous Aer Lingus Rewards

Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card

Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card

Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card

Benefits

  • Up to 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • Free companion ticket when you spend $30,000 on your card in a year
  • No foreign transaction fee

Drawbacks

  • Limited redemptions
  • Has annual fee

In this article

Who should get the Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card?

The Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card can be a good option for travelers who frequently fly Aer Lingus or other airlines attached to Avios, like British Airways and Iberia. Because the bonus is broken down into two tiers, it makes sense to get this card only if you can spend enough to reach the second bonus tier. Although the bonuses are generous, there probably aren’t enough perks to make this card worth it in the long term.

Cardholders who spend $30,000 during a calendar year earn a companion ticket good for a round-trip economy ticket between the U.S. and Ireland. The pass expires 12 months after it’s issued. Although it’s a valuable perk, it requires high spending and only benefits cardholders with specific travel plans.

This Visa card is not for casual travelers and those who don’t travel internationally. They would benefit from general travel credit cards that earn more versatile rewards.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer Chase
Credit card network Visa
Annual fee $95
Intro bonus Earn up to 100,000 points: 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months; plus, another 50,000 points after you spend $20,000 in the first year
Reward rate 5X points on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL flight purchases in the first 12 months (3X after that); 3X points on hotels (when booked directly through the hotel) for the first 12 months (2X after that); 1X points on everything else
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: Cardholders can earn up to 100,000 points: 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months; plus, another 50,000 points after you spend $20,000 in the first year
  • Companion pass: When you spend $30,000 in a calendar year, you receive a pass good for one round-trip economy ticket between the U.S. and Ireland.
  • Priority boarding: The Aer Lingus Visa makes you and one authorized user eligible for priority boarding on flights to or from the U.S.
  • No foreign transaction fees: Cardholders don’t pay extra fees when using this credit card internationally.
  • Contactless spending: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, having a contactless card for in-person shopping adds extra peace of mind.

Drawbacks to the Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card

  • High spending minimums: Although it offers chances at a substantial welcome bonus and a companion pass, the Aer Lingus Visa requires that you spend a lot to reach those rewards.
  • Annual fee: The Aer Lingus Visa Signature card comes with a $95 annual fee, but doesn’t offer as many travel perks as cards with comparable fees.
  • Domestic limitations: Avios are flexible travel rewards, but they are more useful for frequent international travelers than those who typically travel domestically.

Earning and redeeming Aer Lingus Avios

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your Avios points can add up with the Aer Lingus Visa Signature card. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1 cent.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $1,240

Year two earnings: $240

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which looks at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee.

The values listed above don’t take specific spending on Aer Lingus and its partners into account. If you’re a frequent flyer on Aer Lingus or one of its partners, you’ll get even more value from this card.

Best ways to earn

Earning the welcome bonus is the primary way to rack up the Avios points. Cardmembers can earn up to 100,000 points: 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months; plus, another 50,000 points after you spend $20,000 in the first year. If you can spend that much on the card, you’ll pocket some precious travel rewards.

With card spending, the best way to earn Avios is to spend on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and LEVEL flights (after the first 12 months), which earn 3X Avios per dollar spent. You’ll also earn 2X Avios per dollar spent at hotels (after the first 12 months) using your Aer Lingus card. All other purchases earn only 1X Avios per dollar spent.

Categories Rewards rate
Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and LEVEL flights (after the first 12 months) 3X
Hotels (after the first 12 months) 2X
All other purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

Avios are a valuable reward that can be used for several redemption options, but your best value is redeeming them to fly for free. You can use Avios to book flights directly on Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia. British Airways is part of the oneworld alliance, which opens the door to even more airline partners.

You can also use Avios to upgrade your economy ticket to business class on many flights, which gives you access to a fully lie-flat seat, free in-flight Wi-Fi, luxury dining options, and more. There’s nothing better than extra personal space and comfort when taking a transatlantic flight.

Other redemption options include hotel accommodations, rental cars, and various travel experiences.

Aer Lingus Visa Signature transfer partners

With your Aer Lingus Visa Signature card, you’ll gain access to AerClub, Aer Lingus’ rewards program. As mentioned above, cardmembers earn Avios, a fairly flexible rewards currency.

Cardholders have the option to redeem Avios for rewards flights at Avios.com. Besides Aer Lingus, you can use Avios to book flights on other airlines like British Airways and Iberia. British Airways is a part of the Oneworld Alliance. By transferring your Avios to British Airways, you’ll gain access to rewards flights on 12 more airlines:

  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • S7 Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines
  • Fiji Airways
  • Alaska Airlines

Oneworld alliance airlines travel to over 3,200 destinations in almost 600 countries or territories around the globe. It also gives cardholders access to popular domestic airlines American Airlines and Alaska Airways.

Using Avios through British Airways can be confusing, especially because no official Avios awards chart is published publicly. Redemptions are broken into zones and whether flights are peak or off-peak. Do your research to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your points before you book flights.

Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card FAQs

Is the Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card a good card?

The Aer Lingus Visa is a good card for someone who plans to meet the first-year spending requirements to earn the highest welcome bonus. It’s also a good card for regular travelers on Aer Lingus or partner airlines.

What credit score do you need for the Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card?

A good-to-excellent credit score is likely required to qualify for the Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card. A good FICO credit score is at least 670, and any score 800 or above is an excellent score.

How many Avios points do I need for a free flight?

Travelers need a minimum of 8,000 Avios to book a rewards flight through Avios.com. Some Aer Lingus flights are as low as 4,000 Avios one-way. Keep in mind that the flight won’t be completely free. You’ll still end up paying taxes and fees on any award ticket.

How do I use my Aer Lingus Avios points?

You can use your Avios points to book flights on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and several other oneworld partner airlines. You can also redeem points through Aer Club, Aer Lingus’ loyalty program, for hotel stays, flight upgrades, rental cars, and a host of other travel experiences.

Other cards to consider

For a more versatile travel rewards card, check out Chase Sapphire Preferred. It’s one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards available and for good reason. With access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards programs, the card offers flexible travel rewards with only a $95 annual fee. Cardholders can book travel directly through the Chase portal or transfer points to one of its many travel partners. It also features a large welcome offer and other valuable travel perks.

Another option to consider is the Amex Gold Card. This card also comes with a sizable welcome offer, and cardholders can earn flexible Amex Membership rewards points. Plus, it offers high earn rates for everyday spending categories like groceries and dining. The Amex Gold Card offers some of the travel perks missing with the Aer Lingus credit card, like baggage insurance and car rental insurance. Although it has a $250 (See rates and fees) annual fee attached, the value offered by this Amex card more than covers the cost.

Generous Aer Lingus Rewards

Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card

Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card

Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card

Special Offer

Earn up to 100,000 points: 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months; plus, another 50,000 points after you spend $20,000 in the first year

See how these cards compare:

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • 80,000 point sign-up bonus
  • Up to $50 statement credit for grocery store purchases
  • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits
American Express Gold Card
American Express Gold Card
  • 60,000 Membership Rewards point welcome offer
  • Rose gold is back! Choose your color.
  • $120 in dining credits
  • $120 in Uber Cash
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Terms apply
  • See rates and fees

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.