It is now five years since Aer Lingus AerClub was launched. We don’t cover it much on Head for Points but – as you can earn Avios in AerClub which can be moved across to British Airways Executive Club via ‘Combine My Avios’ – it is worth knowing about how it works.
I thought our Aer Lingus A330 business class review earlier this month (Rhys flew from Manchester to Barbados) was as good an excuse as any to cover this topic again. There will also be an Aer Lingus A321LR single aisle long haul business class review in July as I fly from Dublin to New York.
The key point you should remember – in my view – is that United Airlines is an AerClub partner, despite being in Star Alliance! I wrote a separate article about this here. You can earn Avios in AerClub when you fly United Airlines.
How do you earn Avios in AerClub?
Earning Avios from flying Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus flights earn Avios in AerClub at the rate of 3 per €1 spent. This is based on the cash price of your flight, excluding “Government taxes”. In the small print of AerClub, however, it says “excluding taxes, fees and charges imposed other than by Aer Lingus”. This means that they may also deduct landing charges etc which will leave very little behind.
For flights not paid for in €, you will earn:
- 4 Avios per £1
- 3 Avios per US$1
- 2 Avios per Canadian $1
Flights booked in other currencies will be converted to €. You do not earn Avios on ancillary charges such as baggage or seat selection fees.
If you have AerClub status (not British Airways Executive Club status) you earn a tier bonus:
- 25% for Silver
- 50% for Platinum
- 75% for Concierge
I won’t focus on the tier levels as I assume 99% of HfP readers are focused on the British Airways Executive Club scheme.
Earning Avios from flying Aer Lingus partners
Because Aer Lingus is not in the oneworld alliance, you cannot credit oneworld partner flights to AerClub.
The truly odd United Airlines partnership remains. You earn 100% of miles flown for Premium Economy and Business Class, and between 0% (sub-classes F, I and X) and 75% of miles flown in Economy depending on ticket type. If you find yourself flying United, crediting to AerClub to earn Avios will often be a lot more useful than earning a handful of Star Alliance miles which may never be spent.
You can also credit British Airways flights to AerClub at the same rates as you’d receive in British Airways Executive Club.
Earning Avios in AerClub from non-flying partners
Given that AerClub is now five years old, the list of non-flying partners remains weak. It will soon get weaker, with supermarket partner SuperValu pulling out in May.
The only exclusive deals which you won’t also find via British Airways Executive Club are:
- The Merrion, Dublin hotel – earn 2 Avios per €1 spent
- Decathlon (Dublin store) – earn 5 Avios per €1 spent
- Appleby Jewellers, Dublin – earn 1 Avios per €1 spent
- Devine’s Worldwide Chauffeur Services – earn 3 Avios per €1 or £1
- Oliver Bonas – earn 5 Avios per €1 spent online or in the Belfast store
- Aer Lingus Holidays – earn 1 Avios per €1 spent
- The uninspiring Aer Lingus / Bank of Ireland credit cards – we wrote about the Aer Lingus AerClub Aer Credit Card here
There is one upside here. As long as you use a different email address and payment card, you should be able to claim a new ‘first time booker’ bonus on a Kaligo or Rocketmiles booking because you can give your AerClub number instead of your BA Executive Club number.
How do you spend Avios in AerClub?
This HfP article shows you everything you need to know about how to redeem Avios points on Aer Lingus which can lead to substantial tax savings when flying to North America. Ignore the bits in that article about BA Executive Club redemptions needing a telephone call.
In a key change in early 2022, Aer Lingus redemptions finally became bookable online via ba.com. A sneaky extra chunk of taxes means that it is still better to book via AerClub as this HfP article shows.
In order to make a booking using AerClub Avios, you need to log in at avios.com using your AerClub account number. In summary:
- you can book Aer Lingus flights via avios.com using AerClub Avios
- taxes are likely to be lower than if you book the same flight on ba.com using British Airways Executive Club Avios
- the peak and off-peak chart differs from the British Airways one, and the same peak and off-dates apply whether you book via avios.com or BAEC
Note that you cannot redeem Avios on United Airlines even though you can earn them.
The key thing to know about AerClub is that it lets you earn Avios when flying with United Airlines.
It will also let you earn a 2nd ‘first time hotel booker’ bonus from Kaligo.com or Rocketmiles because you can now credit a booking to AerClub. There are also a few minor exclusive partnerships but they are unlikely to interest most HfP readers, with the possible exception of The Merrion hotel deal if you are travelling to Dublin.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2023)
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 with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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 10,500 Avios.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.