It’s back! Get 18,000 Avios for £143 – but now with a big catch

AerClub, the new Aer Lingus Avios-based frequent flyer scheme, and Ireland’s Irish Independent / Sunday Independent newspapers, have brought back their very generous deal for taking out a digital subscription to the newspapers.

You don’t even need to have an AerClub account.  The Avios can be dropped into a British Airways or account instead.

What is the deal?

You will earn 18,000 Avios points when you take out a DIGITAL subscription to the Irish Independent or Sunday Independent newspapers for €160 (£143).

This works out at 0.79p per Avios if you use a credit card with 0% FX fees.  If you use a card with a 3% FX fee the cost rises to 0.82p per Avios.

You can sign up via this website here.

Sunday Independent

But there is now a snag ….

In theory, the 18,000 Avios deal is now restricted to residents of the Republic of Ireland.  This may be due to the fact that Head for Points readers ordered a few hundred subscriptions last time this offer ran, with little intention of renewing them beyond the (loss making, almost certainly) first year.

If you live outside the ROI, you will only receive 9,000 Avios.  That makes it a poor deal unless you actually want the digital newspapers.

I have absolutely no idea how the Irish Independent intends to police this, however.

There are only two ways it can be done:

there is a compulsory field on the sign-up form for a mobile phone number – do they intend to ring up anyone who doesn’t give an Irish number?

the credit card fields require your postal address to validate the payment – although that, in itself, does not mean you don’t live in Ireland

You can’t easily get around the 2nd point because the newspaper only takes Visa and MasterCard, who DO require matching country validation to approve your payment.  Amex does not, so if they had taken Amex – which they don’t – you could have set the country to Ireland and it would still have gone through.

So, how can you get around this?  Assuming that they are basing this entirely on the home country of your credit card (you are not asked for your home address at any point apart from on the payment form) you may need to ask a friend or relative in Ireland if they can pay on your behalf.  You would be responsible for cancelling the subscription before your next annual payment was taken, however.

Or perhaps they intend to ring everyone who applies, on the Irish mobile number they give, to check that they really live there?  We don’t know.

(EDIT: the comments suggest that the Curve Card does not use address verification as it is technically a prepaid MasterCard. This would allow you to make up an Irish address.)

And if you do live in Ireland ….

If you live in Ireland, you may find the physical bundles to be more valuable.  These allow you to order a physical home-delivered copy of the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent every day for six months for €349 and earn 30,000 Avios on top.

Perhaps you have a friend or relative in Ireland who would like some free newspapers?  You will get the 30,000 Avios for €349 for this deal irrespective of where you live although the delivery address must be in Ireland.

Note that you will need to cancel your subscription before it expires otherwise it will roll over.

Is 0.79p per Avios a good deal?

Yes.  It is difficult to lose money redeeming Avios for flights on this basis.

This is my general ‘what is an Avios point worth?’ article.  You’ll see that you should be getting well over 1p per point in most redemption scenarios.

Of course, if you are would actually read the digital newspapers then it is a very good deal indeed!

Irish Independent digital offer

How do you get your Avios?

The process is explained on this page of, which has not yet been updated to reflect the new digital package.

You will be sent a voucher code by email – a reader in the comments section was told it would arrive within 21 days.  You head to the Avios voucher redemption website here, select which programme you want to drop the Avios into and then input your code.  Easy!

There is no closing date currently given for this offer.  The sign-up page is here.

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  1. There must be some hotels, radio or TV stations which might like a free copy….or twenty.

    • Stuart_f says:

      Or a doctor’s surgery or dentist etc. Would make a nice change from a 3 year old copy of Take a Break.

  2. What if BA (or Avios) are the ones who match addresses? The same that they do now for some credit cards (e.g. I can not longer get Avios from my American credit card until my BA profile address is set to the US)

  3. Anytime I get this issue, I use a FairFx prepaid EUR mastercard for payment and this seems to work regardless of the address I give.
    Obviously, not sure if it will work in this case but worth a try.

  4. OT just been awarded my first 2 for 1 voucher thanks to Rob and currently looking at booking flights to Nassau it comes to 125000 Avios for 2 people in club and £1253.76 in charges from Heathrow but from Manchester it’s still 125000 Avios but the charges are £1670.16!. Is this normal an extra £416.40 just to fly from Manchester to LHR?

    • Have you clicked through to the final booking page, Aaron? There’s a known glitch where the taxes are falsely inflated until the final page. It’ll be a little higher but shouldn’t be anything like that amount.

    • Have you gone through to the final cost page. Some have said it seems to price high when you select flights but on the final payment page the figure drops down.

    • Ah yes that explains it! It goes to £1385 when you click through thanks for the help!

      • Excellent, glad that worked. It’s been an issue for a few months now although suspect BA don’t bother as much about getting it fixed as it doesn’t affect London departures 😉

  5. IF there are any other ways to get around the second point pls share – don’t have any friends in roi

    • Renwaldo says:

      I have relations in Ireland that would be happy to get this offer. Not sure of best way to do it, possibly they buy it on their card and you reimburse me or something? email is if you want to discuss 🙂

  6. I signed up for the original offer and got my 18,000 avios at the time thinking 0.79p per avios wasn’t too bad and then last week i got an email from Avios with another voucher for 18,000. I’ve validated it and the points deposited to my BAEC no problem so in all I got 36,000 avios for £146.80 = 0.41p each. Very happy indeed!

  7. Alex (above) got in there first but if anyone else wants details of Irish residents who would appreciate this offer I am also happy to help. I already got the subscription myself. sohanlon at – can use Irish credit card in exchange for sterling into my UK account if that sounds not too dodgy

  8. So if I use AMEX it should work?

  9. Anyone from or someone who know someone from ROI who would be interested in doing a ” Joint Venture ” with a Portuguese partner !?

  10. I did the for my wife and myself. I have an address in Ireland I can use.

    Would it worked if we double dipped?

  11. I just paid using a German credit card. Left the mobile number empty (or just entered some bogus number) – and used my German billing address, but chose Ireland instead of Germany as the billing country. Seems like it went right through.

    I don’t think BA will do any validation of addresses as Reach Home Delivery will be paying for the avios. So they’re the only one with an incentive to verify your address (non-residents will be less likely to renew their subscriptions). BA won’t care.

  12. If you pay using your curve card, it does not address, or even country, check. On several occasions I have left the address fields blank and only added a country without issue. I seem to remember when booking car hire with avios, it was cheaper to use a credit card issued in the country of hire. Curve delivered again!

  13. I’m actually delighted this is back as I live in Dublin and it was reduced to 9,000 before I pulled the trigger last time. Didn’t muck around this time, all paid for – now to see if I get credited correctly. I’m sure I will, Irish card with an Irish bank and I live in Dublin.

  14. Did anyone who does not live in Ireland who has an Ireland phone number, but paid using a UK card get the full 18000 points?
    To be honest, (and no offence meant to those above), following this post, I am not interested if you live in Ireland and got the points, or if you “think” BA will not check but have not received the 18000 points, or if you actually received the points on the previous (different) offer. I need to know if I will waste my money by only getting 9000 points instead of 18000.
    I could give away the print copies, but then I am paying over 1p a point, as opposed to 0.82p a point for digital version only.
    Maybe too late now for a useful answer, but please post if you did, or did not get the full points, and if they re-launch this offer it will be a BIG help, unlike the posts above which are interesting, but no help.