Review: Aer Lingus Credit Card Really Worth It?

Update: The Aer Lingus credit card is no longer available. We’re leaving the following review up for educational purposes only.

Aer Lingus MasterCardSince the vast majority or Air Lingus flight routes are within Europe, not many Americans are even familiar with this carrier, let alone the fact that they have a US credit card offer. For the most part it’s only marketed to Americans who fly to/from Ireland.

Managed and issued by Barclay’s US subsidiary, Barclaycard, the Aer Lingus MasterCard is available without an annual fee.

Are the rewards worth it?

Here’s the credit card in a nutshell:

  • 1 point per dollar on regular purchases.
  • 2 points per dollar on Aer Lingus purchases.
  • The signup bonus is 5,000 points, awarded after your first purchase or balance transfer. And if you carry a balance, the interest rate (as of the date of this review) is 15.99% or 24.99% and you do NOT get a 0% intro offer.
  • No special benefits. Many airline credit cards give you perks when flying such as a free checked bag or priority boarding. Not the case with this one, you don’t get anything extra. Those points are the only purpose for having the card.

But how much are Air Lingus points/frequent flyer miles worth?

You can redeem 25,000 points for $200 off a transatlantic ticket or vacation package. A quick calculation reveals that each point in this scenario is worth just 8/10th of a penny.

With that math, it means you’re getting…

  • 0.80% on regular purchases
  • 1.60% on Aer Lingus purchases
  • A signup bonus worth $40

Like they say, you get what you pay for. With no annual fee, it’s no surprise you’re getting such little value in return.

You will do better by going with a general travel rewards card. Not only can you earn high rewards elsewhere, but you can also get more benefits like no foreign transaction fees (you will pay 3% with the Aer Lingus card).

My favorite one in 2013 is the new Barclaycard Arrival MasterCard. You earn 2 miles per dollar spent and you can use those to pay for any travel purchase (including Aer Lingus flights) at a conversion of 1 mile = 1 cent.

That means you’re basically earning 2% back on your spending.

And it gets better. When you redeem the miles, 10% are given back to you to use again. That means your net rewards value is 2.2%.
The one appealing thing about the Aer Lingus credit card is that it has no annual fee. But if that’s what you’re after, your best bet is still going with a general travel rewards card. There are a couple on the market that have no annual fee and give a better rewards value than Aer Lingus.

Last updated April 4, 2014

 
Comments
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Beware of this card. Almost impossible to redeem points. Program is being discontinued & all points must be used in 2015. Aer Lingus allocates very few seats to this program and I for one have been unhappy at the way I have been treated.

I regularly use this card in lieu of rental company cdw in Ireland. Some car rental companies go out of their way to hide this. Enterprise are one company who allow it. U need to get proof of coverage from provider (call number on back) and u are good to go

We originally obtained the Aer Lingus MC because we travel to and from Ireland fairly regularly, and we were (mis)informed that the card’s car rental insurance coverage (when you use the card to charge your rental) would work in Ireland. We did research and could find nothing specific about it, so we applied for and received the card only to find out that, like virtually all other cards, this card does NOT provide car rental insurance coverage in Ireland. Should have taken the extra time to just pick up the phone and call and ask someone at Barclaycards… Lesson learned! We will be cancelling this card and just using our general Travel Rewards VISA from our bank.