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NEW: Use Avios to FULLY pay for Aer Lingus flights – no cash required

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Aer Lingus has launched a major change to its ‘Part Pay With Avios’ model. It is possible that British Airways will follow down the same route at some point.

Effective immediately, you can pay for 100% of your Aer Lingus cash flight ticket using Avios. This includes taxes and charges.

Free really does mean free.

Unfortuately, it also means ‘terrible value’.

Aer Lingus Part Pay With Avios

How did ‘Part Pay With Avios’ work in the past?

Until this week, Aer Lingus had a similar ‘Part Pay With Avios’ set-up to the one used by British Airways.

After you had selected your cash flight, you would be offered a couple of options for reducing the cost.

For example, last time I checked a typical flight from Dublin to Frankfurt, I was offered:

  • €62 off for 10,175 Avios (0.60c per Avios)
  • €125 off for 21,925 Avios (0.57c per Avios)

You could not pay for the entire flight with Avios. You were restricted to the options offered to you, and they would never cover the entire base fare, yet alone the taxes and charges element. You always needed to spend some money.

Frankly, I always found this a bit of a joke. Either:

  • Aer Lingus is happy with people using Avios to part pay for flights, in which case you should be allowed to pay the full amount, or
  • Aer Lingus is not happy with people using Avios to part pay for flights, in which case they should scrap it entirely

The airline has now decided to go with the first option above!

How does ‘Part Pay With Avios’ work now?

Vueling, IAG’s low cost carrier based in Barcelona, has allowed you to pay for 100% of the cost of your flight in Avios for some years. It is odd that it has taken Aer Lingus so long to catch up.

‘Part Pay With Avios’ bookings need to be made at

Note that, at present, this doesn’t work for the new Manchester to USA flights because they are legally operated by a different entity, Aer Lingus UK. They will even have their own airline code, EG.

You make your booking as usual. Seat selection and luggage fees are included in the total which can be paid with Avios.

On the final payment screen you now see something like this:

Aer Lingus Part Pay With Avios

The total of my basket is £125.96. I can settle 100% of this amount, leaving me with absolutely nothing to pay, if I redeem 26,225 Avios.

This works out at a shockingly bad 0.48p per Avios.

You get the same result if you book a flight out of Dublin priced in Euro. In a test, I was offered €113.98 or 20,100 Avios. This is also 0.48p per Avios.

What is the small print?

Here is the small print on using ‘Part Pay With Avios’:

Pay with Avios cannot be used to:

(i) pay for third party ancillaries, for example, DAA Fast Track, DAA Car Parking,

(ii) pay for the addition of other passengers to an existing booking,

(iii) pay for bookings which contain a codeshare segment,

(iv) pay for bookings through one of our customer contact centres,

(v) discount the purchase price of flights or ancillaries in existing bookings, or

(vi) discount any fees related to making changes to an existing booking or discount any booking for 7 or more people (i.e. the maximum number of passengers in one booking that can be paid for using Pay with Avios is six people).

Can you still do ‘standard’ redemptions?


Confusingly, standard redemption flights – priced off the standard Aer Lingus reward chart – are still bookable.

You go to and log-in. You can select your redemption flights as usual if there is availability, paying taxes and charges.

Isn’t this making me do a lot of work?


Before you book an Aer Lingus ticket with Avios you now need to visit two websites and compare two pricing options:

  • to see what it would cost using ‘Part Pay With Avios’
  • to see what it would cost using the standard redemption chart, plus taxes and charges
Nectar Avios light

And the curse of Nectar strikes again …..

It’s ironic that Aer Lingus has launched this shortly after the launch of the Avios / Nectar partnership.

You get 0.8p per Avios if you convert them into Nectar points at the rate of 1 to 1.6. These can be spent as credit at Sainsbury’s, Argos, etc.

If you live in the UK, you would be crazy to redeem for Aer Lingus flights via ‘Part Pay With Avios’ to get 0.48p per Avios. Why wouldn’t you redeem via Nectar and get 0.8p?

In my example above, for example, I am using 26,225 Avios to buy a ticket from London to Dublin costing £125.96.

Why would I do this, when I could convert 26,225 Avios into £209.80 of Nectar points? I could buy the flight ticket for cash and be £83.84 better off.

I accept that, if you live in Ireland with no access to Nectar, it is a different discussion. 0.48p per Avios is still very poor, however.


It never does any harm to give people more redemption options, and Aer Lingus can now claim in its marketing that your flight can be ‘free’. This doesn’t mean it’s a good way to use your points.

You can find our more on the AerClub website here, where you will also find a video on how ‘Part Pay With Avios’ works.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (32)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • David says:

    If you lived in Ireland you can still sign up for Nectar and just drive up to Northern Ireland and spend your points in Sainsbury’s/Argos there.

    • Dublin Boy says:

      The Nectar App is location specific and won’t download outside the UK, you also need a UK address to receive a physical card.

  • Richard says:

    I don’t know whether it’s necessary to be a UK resident to get a Nectar account or not, but if you don’t I guess there would be nothing to stop an Avios collector in (the Republic of) Ireland redeeming for Nectar points at a Sainsbury’s branch in Northern Ireland.

    • lumma says:

      It would be a bit of a mission for someone who lives in Cork though

      • Memesweeper says:

        You should be able to extract some value through eBay. The number of RoI residents without links to the UK is vanishingly small. It’s a bit of hassle but for those with many Avios going to be worthwhile versus 0.4p/point.

        @Rob … Nectar is not “the curse of Avios” but the great benefit 😁 it might even cause Aer L and BA to up their valuation on things like “part pay”.

        • Fraser says:

          To be honest, the value per Avios is so bad that if you live in Ireland you’d be better off buying a return flight to the UK with Ryanair for cash, going to Sainsbury’s/Argos to redeem your Nectar points, then flying back and paying cash for the Aer Lingus flight.

          • Bagoly says:

            Only if time rich and insensitive to the misery that is flying Ryanair!

      • Michael says:

        Don’t forget that there can be a huge differential in grocery prices between ROI and NI, exacerbated by fluctuations in the £:€ rate. This is even larger where there is a duty difference eg alcohol. Supermarkets in border towns in NI tend to be very busy with visitors from south of the border. Sainsbury’s in Newry is one of the busiest store in the UK measured in sales per square foot, and draws shoppers from as far afield as Dublin (60 miles away).

    • Tim says:

      remember Nectar points can be redeemed not just at Sainsbury. Ebay and Eurostar may be useful options for an Irish person without easy access to Sainsbury. Or they could send their points to a friend or family member in the UK to spend in Sainsburys or on fuel

  • Venturelog says:

    This makes sense for airlines. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other airlines offer this and market as free. And most average Avios collectors will take this up.

  • Billy says:

    Does this only work for Euros? I’ve priced up a couple of new EI MAN routes and I’m not offered pay with avios 🧐

    • Rob says:

      Run by a different airline – Aer Lingus UK – which probably explains it.

      • Dublin Boy says:

        I’ve tried a couple of long haul routes ex Dublin and only getting the part pay option, the pay in full with Avios must only be for the European network

        • Rob says:

          Not true.

          I just did it – €336 Dublin to JFK, fully payable if I choose with 63,500 Avios.

  • ECR says:

    On a couple of routes/flights that I have just checked there is absolutely no change whatsoever.

    The flight prices were £39.99 and the only option offerd was to use 5600 avios to reduce by £30, so you still had to pay £9.99 (just over 0.53p per avios). The other one was £29.99 and the option was to use 4050 avios to reduce by £22, meaning still £7.99 to pay (just over 0.54p per avios).

    The cash left to pay is less than the taxes alone so the avios are covering some of the taxes and charges but this was also the case when I last checked on Aer Lingus many months ago

    • ECR says:

      I tried again today using the website this time instead of the app. Using the website it allows me to use avios for the whole fare. Trying again on the app only gives the options above which are not new of covering some of the taxes and charges.

  • TeesTraveller says:

    I see a slightly different screen when I tested this on NCL-DUB and LGW-DUB. It says “TeesTraveller, you currently have 0 Avios which is not enough to be able to use towards this booking. Keep collecting to save on flights.” Unlike your example, it does not show me how many avios would be required to pay for my booking.

    • ECR says:

      I think it only shows options that you have enough avios to pay for. I would normally keep my avios in BA Exec Club, but had previously transferred around 30000 to specifically to allow me to check Aer Lingus flights.

  • Lady London says:

    Do we still earn UA poib

  • Lady London says:

    …points on EI flights? and was there ever a back door to booking UA flights using EI airpoints or avios?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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