Aer Lingus Rewards MasterCard review: Europe flight deals, but confusion and restrictions abound

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Aer Lingus Rewards MasterCard:

(Update 26 June 2014: this card is no longer available to new applicants; it has been removed from the Aer Lingus and Barclaycard websites.)

  • Card issuer: Barclays (excludes Iowa residents)
  • Type: World MasterCard/Platinum MasterCard (automatically considered for lesser Platinum if rejected for World)
  • Sign-up bonus:
    • 5,000 points after first purchase
    • Possible same bonus if approved for Platinum Card
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Annual fee waived first year: N/A
  • Additional cardholders: $0
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Rental Car Collision Damage Waiver (CDW): Secondary
  • Earning:
    • Note: points earned on this credit card are separate from Aer Lingus Gold Circle points earned in their Gold Circle frequent flyer program; points can only be redeemed for the below options
    • 2 points/$1 on Aer Lingus purchases
    • 1 point/$1 everywhere else
  • Redeeming (selected options):
    • 15,000 points—1 ticket on shorthaul (inter-European) flights
    • 25,000 points—$200 off ticket or vacation package purchase
    • 45,000 points—1 transatlantic economy round trip ticket
    • 65,000 points—Upgrade to Business Class with purchase of a transatlantic economy ticket (excludes flight numbers EI 104/ EI 105 JFK/DUB)
    • Terms claim you must call 30 days in advance!
  • Special benefit(s): None
  • Annual benefit(s): None

Review: Interesting only for frequent Aer Lingus flyers to earn 2 points/dollar on Aer Lingus purchases and redeem for shorthaul (intra-Europe) and transatlantic economy flights. Bizarre separate points program from Aer Lingus’ Gold Circle frequent flyer program so other award options in Gold Circle are not available with the credit card, nor is there ability to pool points balances from the credit card and Gold Circle activity. Too much confusion, too many restrictions.

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