At the beginning of 2019, Bank of Ireland and Aer Lingus joined forces and launched the Aer Credit Card. This is the only way to earn Avios through credit card spend in Ireland, with Avios of course being the name of the frequent flyer points in the Aer Lingus AerClub. Right now you earn bonus Avios if you pick it up, an offer that also ran in 2022.
There is a time limited promotion currently on, where if you sign up to the credit card before 16 February, you are eligible for 5,000 bonus Avios. The only caveat is that you need to spend €1,000 on the card by 16 May 2023, which should be simple enough.
Does 5,000 Bonus Avios Make It A Good Deal?
Many people use a rule of thumb with Avios points that they’re worth 1c or 1p each. It just makes a rough conversion possible when redeeming, so these would be worth about €50.
The card attracts €30 in Government Stamp Duty each year (all cards in Ireland do) and then BOI charge a monthly fee of €7.99, which comes to €125.88 annually. For that, you get two return flights with Aer Lingus each year, but you have to pay taxes and charges. To me, this is not much of a saving, as frequently enough the fare component is the smallest element of the ticket.
You also get two Fast-Track security passes for use at Dublin, Shannon or Belfast and priority boarding at those airports plus Cork. Also, you get two airport lounge passes each year at the four Irish airports. Finally you get 1 Avios per €4 spent, or the ratio is 1:1 for spend on Aer Lingus.
I just can’t get past the fact a monthly fee is charged, plus the interest rate (16.12% variable) and the APR (26.6% variable) is pretty bad when compared to other cards in the market. You would want to be someone who clears their balance in full each month, otherwise it gets very expensive very quickly.
The benefits just don’t cut it for me, even with 5,000 bonus Avios. I think the two return flights, where you still have to pay taxes and charges, is worth virtually nothing. Fast-track is nice, but that saves you €12 if you use it twice. The lounges are €30 a throw, so there’s €60. I can get platinum level travel insurance online for about €70, so there’s €132, so that’s the annual fee covered in year one.
Of course, you then earn Avios in the Aer Lingus AerClub, which is also fine. However, neglect to use any benefit or fail to clear the card balance each month and you are immediately going to lose money on this, bonus Avios or not. I am happy sticking with the card I already have an continue to avoid this. If they were to remove the monthly fee, I’d probably get it, but until then, it’s a no.
What do you think of the bonus Avios offer on the Bank of Ireland Aer Credit Card? Do you have the card? If so, what’s it like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Thanks for the great analysis as always Trent! How can a non-frequent international traveller acquire miles in Ireland considering there are no good credit cards like in the US or UK? Spends via portals, surveys etc. will only get you so far.
Yeah it’s really only the Aer Lingus eStore that I use to boost my balance with the AerClub. I book my hotels through there and usually pick up a few thousand Avios per stay. There are not really many other avenues to earn apart from flying (of course) and the Bank of Ireland card. It’s very different to the much, much larger and more competitive UK and US markets.