This article takes a look at what Aer Lingus is offering now in terms of loyalty and how you can turn any points earned to your advantage.
How AerClub works
Like most other loyalty programmes when you join AerClub you earn points each time you fly.
In this case, they’re called Avios points. However, there are other ways to generate Avios points without flying, and we’ll get to this below.
AerClub involves tiered membership
When you first join AerClub, you’ll be in their Green tier which is the most basic but there are 3 other tiers – Silver, Platinum and Concierge - which offer more and more perks at each level.
However, to get above the Green tier, you’ll need to be a heavy user of Aer Lingus flights: for example, to get from Green to Silver you need to be going on 21 ‘Saver’ flights or 13 ‘Plus’ flights a year. Read more about Aer Club tiers and benefits here or below.
Four ways to earn Aer Lingus Avios points
1. Booking Aer Lingus and partner flights
Aer Lingus Flights
In the Green tier you earn 3 Avios points per €1 spent on flights only. It excludes taxes or any extra spend on seating or baggage. You can earn more Avios points on the other tiers – the higher the tier, the more points.
You can also earn Avios when flying with British Airways and United Airlines too. And you earn Air Miles points on top of this.
2. By shopping at hundreds of retailers
The Aer Club eStore is primarily an online store (but with some retailers you can earn points in-store) where you can earn Avios points by spending at a variety of well-known brands. These include department stores, hotels, fashion, iTunes and sports stores.
Depending on the brand, you can earn up to 12 Avios points per €1 spent at the merchants.
You just need to click through to the brand’s website via eStore to qualify for the Avios points.
You can also earn points at a handful of instore retailers including Decathlon
Their offers section contains some of the best current deals.
You also get 20% extra points for your first shop via eStore.
Points are credited to your account within 5 weeks of spending unless it's a hotel / travel related merchant. These can take 3-4 months which is one drawback of the programme.
3. Using the Aer Credit Card
Issued by Bank of Ireland, you earn 1 Avios point per €1 spent on Aer Lingus products and services. Using your card outside Aer Lingus means you’ll only earn 1 point per €4 spent. So, unless you’re a frequent flyer you need to be spending a lot on your card to accumulate points.
However, its non-points benefits (which you get each year) are great: 2 free flights, 2 lounge passes and value-for-money travel insurance more than exceeds the €7.99 per month card fee.
4. Special Aer Lingus partnered shopping events
From time to time Aer Lingus will team up with retail outlets like Arnotts or Kildare Village and run shopping events where you can earn Avios points and win some prizes.
How can I use my Avios points?
Apart from spending them on Aer Lingus flights you can also use them against other travel related activities like hotels and parking. You can also use your Avios to purchase flights with Aer Lingus partners: British Airways, Vueling and Iberia Air.
What’s an Avios point worth?
It varies depending on where you are going and what class you’re flying.
As an experiment, I pretended to book flights to London and NYC. In both cases I was given the option of paying for the part of the flight with my Avios points. On the NYC flight, 1,000 Avios pts gave me a discount of €7.40. While the London flight gave me €6.30 off for the same points.
And the important bit - any tricks of the trade when using AerClub?
Here are our favourite hacks below:
Redeeming Avios points against flights can be great value. While the cost of flights can fluctuate on routes, the number of points on these routes remains static. So, when cost of flights goes up, using points will really deliver for you. See Avios and routes here
Sign up for the British Airways Executive Club programme too. It’s free. Sign-up takes minutes. It also uses Avios as its rewards currency. Aer Lingus Avios can be transferred to BA Avios and vice versa. When booking a flight, compare what discount your Avios will get you at aerlingus.com vs britishairways.com. Transfer your points to BA if you’re getting a better deal. Avios.com lets you transfer your points across.
If you’re travelling to Europe, always compare flight costs versus budget airlines costs. While it can feel great using your points for discounts, if you can get cheap flights it may be better to hold on to your points and use them another time.
Check out our discounts page to view the best travel deals out there.
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