In the United States, three credit cards allow you to earn Avios, which is the currency of the points of the carriers of the International Airline Group (IAG). These three cards include:
You can assume that there are many differences between the cards, as they are all associated with different airlines. However, the similarities between these cards outnumber the differences.
These cards all currently have amazing welcome bonuses of up to 100,000 Avios, so in this article I wanted to take a look at which of the three cards makes the most sense.
Why all Avios point currencies are the same
As mentioned above, these three cards earn Avios, although they earn different “flavors” of Avios:
Although they are separate loyalty programs, you can transfer Avios between the three programs for free, assuming your loyalty accounts have been open for at least 90 days.
Therefore, when choosing between these cards, I wouldn’t be concerned about the specific scheme you earn Avios with, as you can freely transfer Avios between schemes.
What the three Avios credit cards have in common
The three Avios-generating credit cards have a lot in common, including:
- A welcome bonus of 100,000 Avios after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months; these are the best bonuses we’ve ever seen on these cards, and some of the best bonuses out there
- An annual fee of $95
- 5x Avios for purchases with British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and LEVEL for the first 18 months from account opening, then 3x Avios on such purchases thereafter
- 3x Avios on hotel accommodation when you buy direct from a hotel for the first 18 months from account opening, then 2x Avios on such purchases thereafter
- 1x Avios on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Travel and purchase protection
I cannot stress enough how exceptional these welcome bonuses are, considering the reasonable outlay required to earn 100,000 Avios. We’ve seen offers of up to 100,000 Avios on these cards in the past, but they’ve usually required spending $20,000. This offer is much better.
All of these cards are considered separate products, so you are potentially eligible for each card (including welcome bonuses). Just keep Chase’s standard credit card application rules in mind, including the 5/24 rule.
How are the three Avios credit cards different
Most airline credit cards offer travel benefits, which is one of the main reasons you’ll want to stick with these cards. Each of these three credit cards offers travel benefits tailored to the airline in question:
- Each card has at least one perk that you receive just for having the card, with no spending requirement
- Each card has a benefit you receive if you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year
Let’s see how these benefits compare.
Benefits of the Aer Lingus visa
The Aer Lingus Card offers the following travel benefits:
- Just for having the card, you receive priority boarding on Aer Lingus flights to and from the USA
- For spending $30,000 on the card in a year, you receive an Aer Lingus Economy Companion Ticket, which allows you to bring a companion with you at no additional cost when you book a paid economy ticket
Read my full Aer Lingus Card review.
British Airways Visa Benefits
The British Airways Card offers the following travel benefits:
Read my full review of the British Airways Card.
Advantages of the Iberia Visa
The Iberia Card offers the following travel benefits:
- Just for having the card, you get a 10% discount on paid Iberia flights
- For spending $30,000 on the card in one year, you receive a $1,000 discount voucher on Iberia flights, which can be applied when booking two tickets on the same flight in the same class of service.
Read my full review of the Iberia Card.
Which Avios credit card should you apply for?
Since Avios points can be transferred between the different programs, and since all three cards have the same great bonus of 100,000 Avios, I recommend choosing the card based on the benefits you value the most. Everyone will have a different opinion as to which items above are most valuable depending on which airline they fly with.
Personally, I would rank the benefits of the card as follows:
- The British Airways Card offers the most robust benefits just for having the card (10% off paid flights and up to $600 back on rewards), and also offers the most valuable reward for spending $30,000 on the card (the British Airways Travel Together ticket)
- The Iberia Card offers the second best benefits just for having the card (10% discount on paid flights), and the reward for spending $30,000 on the card (a $1,000 Iberia discount voucher) can also be precious.
- The Aer Lingus card offers the weakest benefits, in my opinion, both for having the card (priority boarding to and from the US) and for spending $30,000 on the card (a budget companion voucher for a paid ticket)
When considering which cards to request, remember that you are potentially eligible for all of these cards. For example, I already have the British Airways card and I plan to take the Aer Lingus card or the Iberia card soon, especially with these bonuses. This could be another deciding factor between these cards.
Which Avios credit card product do you like the most?