Innovation in the credit card market is pretty poor in Ireland with few cards offering the types of perks and extras that you can readily get in larger markets such as the USA and the UK. However that’s about to change with the launch today of the Aer credit card.
If you're looking for a credit card that gives you something extra, then the new Aer credit card from Bank of Ireland in partnership with Aer Lingus could be for you.
The new co-branded card offers all the convenience of a regular credit card but comes with a whole host of unique travel rewards for customers.
What do you get?
Each year, customers who sign up to the card will receive:
- Two free return fares to Europe, when you spend €5,000 or more within a year on the card, which you can gift to family and friends if you want. However, you‘ll need to pay the taxes, fees and charges yourself!
- Two fast-track and priority boarding passes at selected airports.
- Two lounge passes at selected airports, worth €30 each, allowing you to relax and rewind in the airport lounge before your flight, with free Wi–Fi, complimentary drinks and snacks, and a range of newspapers for you to browse.
- Worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance, including winter sports cover, which would usually cost around €160 a year.
- Cardholders will also collect 1 Avios for every €1 they spend on Aer Lingus flights, bags and in-flight meals with the card, and 1 Avios for every €4 spent on all other transactions. Avios is the reward currency of AerClub, the loyalty programme of Aer Lingus, which you'll need to join once you get your card to unlock all your rewards. You can spend your Avios on more reward flights with Aer Lingus and its partner airlines to hundreds of destinations worldwide or on hotel stays, car hire and travel experiences.
Card holders also have the choice of 0% interest on purchases for the first six months OR 0% interest on balance transfers for first seven months. Not bad!
Instalment plan feature
The Aer credit card also comes with Bank of Ireland's nifty instalment plan feature, which allows you to transfer a credit card purchase greater than €500 onto a separate, lower interest rate of 6.90% APR and to pay it off in 12 equal monthly instalments.
Here’s how it works:
- If you pay for an item on your credit card that’s over €500, you can apply easily online to put that purchase on an 'instalment plan''.
- The APR you’ll be charged on the purchase is just 6.90%, which in many cases is lower than the rate you’d be charged on a personal loan.
- You can then spread the cost of the item over 12 equal payments over the course of a year.
- You can have two instalment plan purchases on your credit card at any one time.
The instalment plan is a perfect alternative to getting a small loan and Bank of Ireland is the only bank to offer it currently. Just remember that the purchase to be transferred must be a single purchase of €500 or more and any other purchases will be at the normal, higher rate of interest.
What does it cost?
The interest rate on the card is 16.12% variable for purchases and 21.36% for cash advances (though as always we don’t recommend you use your credit card for taking out cash if possible).
There’s also a €7.99 monthly fee as well as the standard €30 annual Government stamp duty.
When all the fees and charges are taken into account, the APR is 26.60%
Is this the right credit card for me?
The Aer credit card comes with some great benefits but unless you’re going to spend over €5,000 a year on the card, you won’t get your two free flights a year, which will be the main selling point of the card for many people. The €7.99 monthly fee also means you’ll pay almost €100 a year for the card on top of stamp duty and any interest that might apply. And remember you’ll have to pay taxes, fees and charges for any ‘free’ flights that you earn.
However, if you’re a big spender and a frequent traveller, the card benefits should outweigh the costs, and the free travel insurance by itself will cover the cost of the monthly fee. And by getting Avios points every time you use your card, you could earn even more free flights each year!
Compare credit cards now on bonkers.ie
Remember to check out all the options before deciding on the card that's right for you.
You easily compare interest rates, balance transfer options, and card features from all Ireland’s main credit card providers right now with our free credit card comparison service.