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Annual fees can make or break a credit card. While some credit cards come with enough perks or points to easily outweigh the cost of the annual fee, others may be more difficult to break even on. The most important thing when deciding if a credit card with an annual fee is right for you is to make sure your spending habits align with the benefits of the card you choose.
The has a annual fee, but comes with a few sizable benefits to compensate for that cost, provided you have the travel needs and spending habits required to earn those benefits. Here’s a look at the key elements of the card to decide whether it’s worth its annual fee.
After you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on the , you’ll receive a Commercial Companion Ticket good for 12 months.
Whomever you choose as your travel companion, their ticket will be entirely free. Simply book your own economy class ticket from the U.S. to Ireland, then contact at least 30 days prior to flying to lock in your free companion ticket.
Even though one-way tickets from Boston to Dublin can be found in the low $200s, the companion ticket more than makes up for the $95 annual fee. Just remember you’ll need to spend $30,000 on the before you get that free companion ticket.
For the frequent business traveler to Ireland, priority boarding can be a huge perk to help you settle in and get ready to fly in comfort. With the , simply show your card at the boarding gate and receive priority boarding. For travelers who value being among the first to board a plane, this perk represents real value that could make the annual fee worthwhile.
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A credit card welcome bonus can usually offset the first year’s annual fee on any credit card. The offers a sizable welcome bonus to attract new card holders:
These welcome bonuses give you an impressive 100,000 bonus points.
How much can you fly on 100,000 Avios? Redemptions for one-way economy flights on Aer Lingus start at 4,000 Avios points during off-peak times. For routes from North America to Ireland, off-peak economy rewards start at just 13,000 Avios points.
The details below lay out the Avios points redemption rates for popular North America routes to Dublin and Shannon. The 100,000 Bonus Avios, paired with the Avios points you’d earn with your spending, would get you over four round-trip, off-peak trips to Ireland in economy class. That’s certainly worth $95.
Zone 5: From Dublin (to nine North American cities) or Shannon (to Boston or New York):
Zone 6: From Dublin to L.A., Miami, Orlando, San Francisco or Seattle:
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The card lets you earn Avios points quickly. You’ll earn 5 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL within your first 12 months from account opening, and thereafter earn 3 Avios. On hotel accomodations purchased directly with the hotel, you'll earn 3 Avios per $1 spent within you first 12 months from account opening and 2 Avios thereafter, making this a great card for the frequent business traveler. Finally, you’ll receive 1 Avios point per dollar on all other purchases.
Even if you’re only using your for non-travel-related purchases, if you are spending enough to reach the $30,000 required to earn your companion ticket, you’ll also earn at least 30,000 Avios points. These points are a good way to compensate for the annual fee.
The comes with enough benefits to make the annual fee worthwhile, but make sure you will spend enough to meet the requirements for those benefits.
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the , including those best for: