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Chase is on fire!  Hot on the heels of the new Iberia Plus credit card, Chase has announced a new Aer Lingus credit card coming this spring.  Aer Lingus is part of the Avios family.  You’ll be earning Avios with this card, just like swiping the new Iberia card and Chase’s longtime fan favorite – the British Airways Visa.

The Aer Lingus card will be released sometime this spring, and the sign-up bonus is currently unknown.  The benefits of the card seem to be a mix of the British Airways and Iberia card benefits.

(Check out Aer Lingus business class!)

Fingers crossed that this card isn’t subject to 5/24!  I think it’s a safe bet, knowing that the British Airways card isn’t held to the 5/24 rule, and the first handful of data points suggest the rule doesn’t apply to the new Iberia card either.

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus Credit Card Benefits and Earning

  • 3 Avios per $ spent on Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, LEVEL and OpenSkies purchases
  • 1 Avio per $ spent on everything else
  • Spend $30,000 in a calendar year for a companion ticket when purchasing an economy class ticket (new)
  • Priority boarding on flights to and from the U.S.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Purchase protection

The reported earning structure for the Aer Lingus credit card is the same as Chase’s new Iberia card.  I’m going to guess that the British Airways card will mimic this earning structure in the future as well, as all three cards are tied to the Avios program.  I’ll never complain about more bonus categories!  Interestingly, both of these cards exclude Kulula and Flybe, two of the Avios program’s other airline partners.

Chess

Although I’m still partial to AmEx (because I can’t get a UR card…) Chase seems to be blowing its’ competition away the past few years!

Priority boarding doesn’t really impress me, but it might be useful.  In fact, I’m currently sitting on an American Airlines flight while I type this, having boarded in Group 5.  I get Group 5 boarding (out of 9 groups) because I currently have an AAdvantage Platinum Select from Citi.  Unless you’re really gunning for that overhead space, I don’t see the benefit to priority boarding on an airline with assigned seats.  Southwest on the other hand, I’ll take priority boarding whenever I can get it!

Companion Ticket

While some of the other benefits aren’t as impressive, I’m holding out to see what the companion ticket entails.  According to BusinessWire, the Aer Lingus card claims a “Ticket for a companion when a ticket is purchased in economy class, after $30,000 spend in a calendar year“.  If the terms and conditions aren’t too restrictive, this might be a great reason to MS this card.

Each of Chase’s 3 Avios earning cards grant the cardholder something at the $30,000 spend level.  On British Airways, you’ll earn a free ticket for a partner when you book an award flight.   A la Companion Pass, you’ll still be responsible for the taxes, fees, and any carrier charges.  The new Iberia card will give you a $1,000 discount voucher, that can only be used toward the purchase of tickets for 2 travelers.  The terms on that one are fairly wide, but it must be a flight on Iberia metal.  It’s a pretty useful offer to those that can make use of Iberia’s limited network in the states.  For the Aer Lingus card, I bet we’ll see something Companion Pass style (free ticket, but must pay taxes/fees) or Alaska Airlines style (heavily discounted/flat rate ticket for companion).  Either way, it’s a good offer, but the restriction to economy class will disappoint those heavy point optimizers out there.

What are Avios?

Avios are widely used for shorthaul flights on British Airways partners.  Although they’ve increased the price of the distance-based award chart for US flights, there’s still some great value to be had in the states, Southeast Asia, and Europe.  I think we’ll probably see a similar sign up bonus on the Aer Lingus credit card to Chase’s existing Avios cards.  Currently, both the Iberia and British Airways cards offer a two-tiered sign up bonus:  Spend $3,000 in 3 months for 50,000 Avios, then a total of $10,000 in your first cardmember year for an additional 25,000 Avios.

Avios can be combined across multiple programs.  If you have the British Airways card already, consider getting either the Iberia or Aer Lingus credit card to boost your Avios balance.

H/T to Business Wire and Doctor of Credit

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