There are three credit cards in the United States that earn Avios, the points currency of International Airline Group (IAG) airlines. These three cards contain the:
You could assume that there are many differences between the cards as they are all linked to different airlines. However, the similarities between these cards outweigh the differences.
These cards all currently have exceptional welcome bonuses of up to 100,000 Avios, so in this post I wanted to see which of the three cards makes the most sense.
Why all Avios Points currencies are the same
As mentioned above, all three of these cards earn Avios, although they earn different “flavors” of Avios:
While these are all separate frequent flyer programs, you can transfer Avios between all three programs for free, assuming your frequent flyer accounts have been open for at least 90 days.
Therefore, when choosing between these cards, I wouldn’t worry about which particular program earns you Avios, as you can freely transfer Avios between the programs.
What all three Avios credit cards have in common
All three credit cards that earn Avios 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 one of the best bonuses out there
- An annual fee of $95
- 5x Avios for purchases with British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and LEVEL during the first 18 months from account opening, and 3x Avios for those purchases thereafter
- 3x Avios on hotel accommodations when you buy direct from a hotel for the first 18 months from account opening, then 2x Avios on those purchases thereafter
- 1x Avios on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction costs
- Travel and purchase protection
I cannot emphasize enough how exceptional these welcome bonuses are, given the reasonable spending requirement to earn 100,000 Avios. We’ve seen some offers up to 100,000 Avios on these cards in the past, but overall they had to spend $20,000. This offer is much, much better.
All of these cards are considered separate products, so you may be eligible for each card (including the welcome bonuses). Just keep in mind Chase’s standard credit card application rules, including the 5/24 rule.
What’s different about the three Avios credit cards?
Most airline credit cards offer travel benefits, which is one of the main reasons you’ll want to keep these cards. Each of these three credit cards has travel benefits tailored to the specific airline:
- Each card has at least one benefit that you receive just for having the card, with no spending requirement
- Each card has one benefit that 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 having the card gives you priority boarding on Aer Lingus flights to and from the United States
- Spending $30,000 on the card in a year will receive an Aer Lingus Economy Companion ticket, which allows you to bring a Companion with you at no extra cost when you book one paid Economy ticket
Read my full review of the Aer Lingus Card.
Benefits of the British Airways Visa
The British Airways Card offers the following travel benefits:
Read my full review of the British Airways Card.
Benefits of the Iberia Visa
The Iberia Card offers the following travel benefits:
- Just for having the card you will receive a 10% discount on paid Iberia flights
- If you spend $30,000 on the card in a year, you will receive a $1,000 Iberia discount voucher, 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 exceptional bonus of 100,000 Avios, I recommend choosing the card based on the benefits you value most. Everyone will have a different opinion on which of the above is most valuable based on the airline they are loyal to.
Personally, I would rank the card benefits like this:
- The British Airways card offers the most robust benefits for just having the card (10% off paid flights and up to $600 in award discounts), 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 be also be valuable
- The Aer Lingus card offers the weakest benefits in my opinion, both for having the card (priority boarding to and from the United States) and for spending $30,000 on the card (an economy coupon for a paid ticket)
Keep in mind that you may qualify for all of these cards when considering which cards to apply for. For example, I already have the British Airways Card and I plan to pick up the Aer Lingus Card or Iberia Card soon, especially with these bonuses. That could be another deciding factor between these cards.
Which Avios credit card product do you like the most?