There is only one card in Ireland where you can earn frequent flyer points on credit card spend. That is the Aer Credit Card issued by Bank of Ireland where you earn Aer Lingus Avios.
New customers who apply for the card between 12 January 2022 and 13 February 2022 are eligible for 5,000 bonus Avios. To get that, you need to open an account and spend €1,000 before 14 May 2022. Is it worth it though?
The Aer Credit Card
When this card was introduced back in 2019, I wrote a piece about what I thought of the card. I concluded that the €7.99 monthly fee, which totals €95.88, largely pays for the benefits given on the card and therefore too expensive.
I found it expensive as I have an AIB Click Visa card, which has no monthly or annual fee (outside of the €30 Government Stamp Duty that everyone pays). It also has a much lower interest rate of 9.11% and an APR of 13.8% versus the Aer Credit Card which has a 16.12% interest rate and a 26.6% APR. If you always clear your balance each month, this is no big deal, but if you carry a balance it certainly will make a big difference. It’s actually the most expensive card Bank of Ireland offer according to their Schedule of Fees.
The 5,000 Points Offer
I had a bit of a look at this offer and it’s actually fine enough. The bonus Avios are going to be awarded before 30 June 2022, so let’s assume you will need to keep the card open at least that long. Checking the Terms & Conditions shows it’s cancellable at any time, and I couldn’t find any penalties for doing so.
Running the numbers shows that if you were to join on 1 February, you’d pay the €7.99 monthly fee that day, 1 March, 1 April and 1 May, which is €31.96. You also pay the €30 Government Stamp Duty, so the total is €61.96, assuming you’re only opening it for the offer. That would be the minimum you’d get away with and you’d also have the other benefits to use as well during that time.
You would also get a paltry 1 Avios for every €4 spent, so you get another 250 Avios as well for making your €1,000 spend, unless that was with Aer Lingus where you get 1 for 1. So, a minimum of 5,250 Avios for €61.96.
That’s a good rate, when you consider that earning 2,500 Avios on a business class airline ticket with BA will set you back at least €240. However, there is one potential fly in the ointment. You can buy Aer Lingus Avios and at the moment 5,000 Avios will cost you €109. Doing it this way with the credit card saves you €47.04 on the direct cost, with all the pain of applying for a card and so on.
Whether the Aer Credit Card is for you or not depends on your circumstances. That welcome offer of 5,000 Avios sweetens the pot, as previously there was nothing given to you for joining. It’s still not for me. I get lounge access with my frequent flyer card, the free flights benefit is of no use (and you need to spend €5,000 to unlock it), the Avios earning on spend is laughable and the card is just plan out and out expensive.
However if you do fly a couple of return trips with Aer Lingus each year and don’t currently have lounge access or travel insurance, the package might be a better proposition. It’s not bad, it’s just not for me and doesn’t excite me. I would avoid it like the plague if I always had a credit card balance outstanding as well, as you’re just throwing away money by having this card with those interest rates. Keep the balance zero each month? Well that changes the metrics.
What do you think of the Aer Credit Card? Do you have it and if so, what is it like? Does this offer entice you? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Captain Florent on Instagram.