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Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card Review

Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card Review

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This article was last updated Jun 06, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

The new Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card was unveiled with much fanfare in March. While there are some interesting benefits that come with the card, there are better options out there if you don’t fly the Irish flag carrier regularly.

The card starts with a $95 annual fee, which isn’t waived during the first year. Earn 3 Avios for every $1 you spend on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, LEVEL and OpenSkies purchases.* Earn 1 Avios for every $1 you spend on all other purchases.* The Avios points you earn for travel on Aer Lingus and its travel partners is better than many U.S. airline credit cards. But the points earned in all other categories isn’t as good, especially if you spend a lot on non-airline travel, dining and groceries.

You have a chance to Earn up to 100,000 Bonus Avios in your first year as a cardmember. 50,000 Bonus Avios after $3,000 spend within first 3 months plus 25,000 Bonus Avios after $10,000 spend within your first year. Plus a further 25,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening.* This offer is quite tempting — until you read the small print. You actually have to jump through some expensive spending hoops — spending $3,000 in the first three months and $30,000 in the first year of having the card — in order to get the all the bonus points.

As nice as as a free coach companion ticket each year sounds, you have to ask if it’s really worth spending the required $30,000 a year on the card to get it. And the perks that come with this card are anemic when compared with competing airline credit cards.

The truth is the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card is only appealing to those who travel on Aer Lingus regularly. If you don’t, there are myriad other airline- and travel-branded credit cards with much more robust offerings.

Where the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card stands out in its category

The Avios you earn for spending on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, LEVEL and OpenSkies purchases is better than other airline credit cards, which tend to be in the 2 points per $1 spent range. You get priority boarding on Aer Lingus flights for you and authorized users on your account, for flights originating in the U.S. and Ireland.

If you spend at least $30,000 on your Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card, you’ll earn a Companion ticket good for 12 months. There’s no surcharge on the ticket, and there’s no restrictions or blackout dates for redemption.

Where the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card falls short in its category

You don’t automatically get your Avios points as you earn them. Instead, at the end of your monthly billing cycle, your points are automatically transferred to your AerClub loyalty program account. You have to spend $30,000 on the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card in order to get your free coach companion ticket a year.

Companion tickets must originate in and return to the U.S., and is only valid on flights between the U.S. and Ireland. Unless you do heavy spending on the card, you’re probably better off just buying a ticket from Aer Lingus for your companion.

While you do get priority boarding on Aer Lingus flights, you have to add people as authorized users in order for them to get that same perk.

Compare it with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • Earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Highlights
  • Earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events, and more.

See additional details for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

More Info

What makes the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card really stand out from the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card is the huge difference in their companion passes. Aer Lingus offers one coach-class pass a year after you spend $30,000. But Southwest’s Companion Pass allows you bring a companion along for free on every flight you fly for a year after earning 100,000 Rapid Rewards qualifying points in a single calendar year, either via flying or using the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

You also get 6,000 bonus points every account anniversary year and 1,500 tier qualifying points for each $10,000 in purchases, up to $100,000 a year, which help you achieve Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards A-List or A-List Preferred status.

On the downside, you can only use Rapid Rewards on a handful of international flights in the Caribbean, Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica. The airline has announced plans to fly to four cities in Hawaii, but hasn’t released a start date. So if you wanted to travel anywhere else in the world, you’re out of luck. Your Avios points can be used on Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia flights, which offer more international options.

Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Annual Fee $95 $99
Purchase Intro Rate N/A N/A
Balance Transfer Intro Rate N/A N/A
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Regular Purchase APR 17.49%-24.49% Variable 17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Rewards Earn 3 Avios for every $1 you spend on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, LEVEL and OpenSkies purchases.* Earn 1 Avios for every $1 you spend on all other purchases.* 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus Earn up to 100,000 Bonus Avios in your first year as a cardmember. 50,000 Bonus Avios after $3,000 spend within first 3 months plus 25,000 Bonus Avios after $10,000 spend within your first year. Plus a further 25,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening.* Earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
Foreign Transaction Fee None $0

Which one is best?

  • Sign-up bonus
    • Winner: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
    • It’s simple — Earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open..
  • Annual fee
    • Winner: Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card
    • This card wins because its $95 annual fee is cheaper by a mere $4.
  • Rewards
    • Winner: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
    • The Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card allows you to Earn 3 Avios for every $1 you spend on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, LEVEL and OpenSkies purchases.* Earn 1 Avios for every $1 you spend on all other purchases.* But overall, the Southwest deal is better because you earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Redeeming rewards
    • Winner: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
    • It’s pretty easy. You pay for your flight using the points in your account. There are no blackout dates and if there’s a seat on the plane, you can buy it.
  • Foreign transaction fee
    • Winner: Neither card charges this fee.
  • Extra perks
    • Winner: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
    • The card wins for having far more travel and purchase protection perks.
  • Overall winner
    • The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card wins because of its more generous companion pass, its ease in earning and redeeming points and the chance to earn more points for spending at Southwest Airlines partner hotels and rental car companies.

View our top picks for sign-up bonus credit cards.

The information related to the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publishing.


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