Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card Review
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Every calendar year that you spend $30,000 on your card you'll earn an Economy Companion Ticket good for 12 months.
- Earn 100,000 Avios after you spend at least $5,000 in the first three months of opening an account.
- Earn 5X Avios for each $1 you spend on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL within the first 18 months of opening an account (then 3X Avios) and 3X Avios for every $1 you spend on bookings made directly with hotels for the first 18 months (then 2X).
- This card will benefit you the most if you regularly fly between the U.S. and Europe, especially Ireland. If you'd rather more flexibility in how you earn travel rewards, you might want to consider a more general travel rewards card instead.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card is a travel credit card offered by Chase. As a cardholder, you will glean the maximum rewards when you use it to purchase flights on any of the card's associated airlines: Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL, as well as accommodations when you book them directly on the hotel website. For the frequent U.S. to Europe traveler, this card can go the extra mile. It has a $95 annual fee, and a 16.24% - 23.24% Variable APR.
The benefits for this card begin with a generous sign-up bonus. The rewards currency is called Avios, and you will receive 100,000 Avios after you spend at least $5,000 in the first three months of opening the account.
This card also earns Avios on an ongoing basis on purchases made with the card. Rather than a flat rate, the reward structure is tiered. You will earn the highest Avios points when you make specific travel purchases within the first 18 months of opening the account. After that, the rewards can still rack up quickly as you charge, though you’ll still get the most out of your spending when you purchase flights and book hotel rooms.
This is how it shakes out:
- 5X Avios for each $1 you spend on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL within the first 18 months of opening the account. After that you will earn 3X Avios.
- 3x Avios for every $1 you spend on hotels. You must book directly with the hotel within the first 18 months of opening the account. After that you will earn 2X Avios.
- 1X Avios for every $1 you spend with the card on anything else.
There aren’t a huge number of travel benefits associated with the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card, but those that are included can be attractive to travelers who are dedicated to the partner airlines. Benefits include:
- Companion ticket. Every calendar year that you spend $30,000 on your card you'll earn an Economy Companion Ticket good for 12 months. All travel must originate in and return to the U.S., and is only valid on flights between the U.S. and Ireland. There is no surcharge on this ticket, and there are no restrictions or blackout dates for redemption.
- Priority boarding. Want to board early and settle in before the plane gets full? You can with the priority boarding feature. You and any authorized users on your account are eligible for Priority Boarding on Aer Lingus flights originating in the U.S. and Ireland. All you need to do is show your card at the gate.
- No foreign transaction fees. When you use your card outside of the U.S., you won't be charged foreign transaction fees on any of your purchases.
This card also comes with Visa Signature® benefits that can smooth common travel bumps and protect you from consumer problems:
- Baggage delay insurance. With this embedded insurance product, you can be reimbursed for essential purchases such as toiletries and clothing when you experience baggage delays that exceed six hours. The maximum is $100 a day for three days.
- Lost luggage reimbursement. There’s nothing like having misplaced or having ruined luggage on or after a trip. This reimbursement is valuable. If you or an immediate family member you are traveling with checks or carries on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier, you can be covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
- Purchase protection. When you make purchases with this card, you will have extra consumer protection. This benefit covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft (up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account).
- Extended warranty protection. When you buy something that comes with a U.S. manufacturer's warranty, that time frame will be extended by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or fewer.
Moreover, Avios gives you access to special events curated for cardmembers, such as golf excursions in Edinburgh, Scotland and ski and spa vacations in Park City, Utah.
The Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card won’t make much sense if you don't regularly travel out of the U.S., especially to destinations in Europe. Because the rewards are geared toward a few specific airlines, it won't give you as much freedom as a general travel credit card does.
And then there’s comfort and convenience. If you’re looking for a travel card that comes with free entry to airport lounges, this card isn’t for you. Nor does it provide extra baggage allotments or credits toward such programs as Global Entry, TSA PreCheck®, and CLEAR.
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
This card also has a $95 annual fee, but it is a general travel card, so you won’t be locked into specific airlines for high reward accumulation. Although it only comes with a 80,000 point bonus, the minimum spend is a little lower, at $4,000 in three months of opening the account, and those rewards are worth $1,000 in travel when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The tiered point accumulation ranges from 1 to 5 points for every dollar charged: 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card may be more compelling than the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card if you want greater flexiblity in how you earn rewards when you travel.
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Another general travel credit card with a $95 annual fee is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. It comes with a welcome bonus of 75,000 miles, and the minimum spend is just $4,000 within three months of opening the account. These miles are worth $750 toward travel.
You may be interested in this card over the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card if you don’t want to be limited to a few airlines but also want a simpler reward structure. You will earn 5X miles for every dollar you spend on hotels and car rentals when you book them through Capital One Travel, and unlimited 2X miles for every dollar spent on anything else.
An added perk of the Venture card is that it offers up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® membership every four years, which could help take some stress out of airport security lines.
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card vs. British Airways Visa Signature® Card
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is a cousin to the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card, but is designed with the British Airways customer in mind. It comes with the same 100,000 Avios after meeting the $5,000 in three months minimum spend. You’ll get a “Travel Together Ticket” after spending $30,000 on your card in a calendar year. The difference with this card is that you have two years to redeem.
Additionally, the British Airways card offers reward statement credits of $100 for Economy and Premium Economy or $200 for Business and First Class, three times per year, up to $600, when you book a reward flight to London on British Airways and pay taxes, fees and charges with your British Airways card.
The Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card is ideal if you travel extensively between the U.S. and Europe, especially Ireland, and you are happy to book on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL airlines. It’s definitely worth considering if you want to claim the hearty 100,000 Avios sign-up bonus and can meet the minimum spend with no trouble. One companion ticket you will earn after spending $30,000 on the card every year is a terrific value, too. As long as you don’t expect the luxury perks associated with some other travel cards that have higher annual fees, this card can be just the ticket to your travel needs.
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