Aer Lingus Visa Card Review: Versatile and Valuable for the Right Flyers

High spenders can earn an extra-generous helping of Avios rewards points — which can be redeemed for flights on several airlines — plus an annual companion ticket.
Sara RathnerJul 1, 2021

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: The card is most beneficial to high spenders who can earn the largest bonus tier and the annual companion pass. Otherwise, its true value comes from Avios rewards points' flexibility.

Aer Lingus Visa Signature® card

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Companion benefit
  • Premium travel protections
  • Early boarding

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Rewards have limited flexibility

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$95

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$95

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 14 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 14 months

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

Fact: Guinness tastes better in Ireland. And thanks to the generous sign-up bonus offered by the — the co-branded card of Ireland's major airline — it's easier to experience that for yourself.

The card, issued by Chase, earns Avios, which can be redeemed not just on Aer Lingus, but also on British Airways, Iberia and multiple other Oneworld Alliance airlines. An annual  for Aer Lingus-operated flights adds an extra dose of value to the card.

But it takes a lot of spending in the first year to earn the highest possible sign-up bonus. And as is the case with all airline-branded credit cards, you get the most out of this card only if you fly that airline often. If not, consider a general for more flexibility.

Card type: .

Annual fee:

Sign-up bonus: 

Rewards:

Aer Lingus distributes rewards points known as Avios, a currency it shares with several other airlines including British Airways, Iberia and LEVEL. The card earns:

Avios are worth around 1 cent apiece, although the value can vary based on redemption options.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits: 

» MORE:

Even if you stop at the lower tier, that sum of Avios can snag you a round-trip economy ticket to Dublin or Shannon from select U.S. cities.

Bring someone else along on your journey for no extra charge when you book an economy ticket for yourself. You need to spend $30,000 on your in a calendar year to receive the companion pass. No taxes or fees are charged on the companion pass, either. Sláinte!

If your #travelgoals extend to other destinations around the world, you can also redeem Avios for flights operated by British Airways, Iberia, and Oneworld Alliance partners like American Airlines.

Your baggage doesn't have to weigh you down when you use the to book your trip. If your baggage gets delayed by more than six hours, you'll be reimbursed up to $100 a day for three days to cover the cost of toiletries and clothing. And if your checked or carry-on baggage is lost or damaged, you're covered for up to $3,000.

Depending on your spending habits, you may need to exclusively use the for a year to earn that sky-high bonus. If you normally rotate through several cards to maximize your earnings on different types of spending, committing to just one card can shortchange your earning potential on other travel loyalty programs, or on cash-back cards.

You'll have to spend $2,500 per month in one calendar year to earn the companion pass. Other airline cards grant you a companion pass when you keep the card for another year and pay the annual fee.

With the , you'll get one companion pass per anniversary year, which is good for an Alaska flight booked on alaskaair.com. Using the pass will cost $99 plus taxes and fees, from $22. Alaska Airlines partners with Aer Lingus, British Airways and the rest of the Oneworld Alliance. The annual fee is .

The also grants cardholders a companion pass for domestic main cabin travel when you renew your card. When you use the pass, you'll pay taxes and fees of up to $75. The card's annual fee is on the high end, however (see ).

When it comes to international travel, Avios are remarkably versatile and can be used with a number of airlines. But Avios are of more limited use domestically. You can redeem them for flights with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, but that's it. And keep in mind that Avios also have an expiration date.

A card like the , on the other hand, offers a lot more flexibility. It features around a dozen travel partners, to which you can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio, and those partners include members of all three major airline alliances: SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld. But more than that, you'll have access to major U.S.-based airline partners as well, including JetBlue, United and Southwest. The card's rewards currency — points — won't expire as long as you have an open card account. The annual fee is .

Take it from someone who once flew from Dublin to New York in the back row of the coach section: Seven hours is a long time. The companion pass you get by renewing the  can be eligible for an upgrade to a Delta Comfort+ or first class seat. Terms apply (see ). But that luxury comes at a price: namely, a annual fee.

If earning Avios will get you where you want to go, the can be a good fit. The card offers the biggest benefit to high spenders, because they'll earn the higher sign-up bonus and the valuable companion pass.

But if you simply don't spend enough to unlock these additional perks, fear not. There are a lot of travel rewards cards that can put you well on your way to your next international trip.

To view rates and fees of the , see . To view rates and fees of the , see .