American Express Membership Rewards members have a new airline to transfer points to: Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus.
Aer Lingus AerClub becomes the 17th airline frequent flyer program to which American Express cardholders can transfer their valuable points. Like its partner, British Airways, Aer Lingus is accepting points instantly at a one-to-one ratio.
Unfortunately, award bookers haven’t really found a unique use for the AerClub program. The rates are distance based at the same prices as British Airways Executive Club, but charges more than BA in taxes and extra fares — even on Aer Lingus flights (which can be booked through British Airways, already an Amex partner).
Aer Lingus is not a member of an alliance yet, even though it shares a common ownership with founding Oneworld member British Airways. Aer Lingus still maintains a partnership with United Airlines, which offers low-fee MileagePlus bookings on Aer Lingus flights, and Air Canada.
Of course, if you do want to fly on Aer Lingus, award availability is generally good. The 60,000-point sign-up bonus currently available on the Platinum Card from American Express (after spending $5,000 in three months), is enough for a business class seat from the U.S. East Coast to Dublin and beyond.
It’s not possible to use AerClub Avios to book Air Canada, Alaska Airlines or United flights. The only partners Aer Lingus facilitates points redemptions on are British Airways and Iberia.
If anyone finds a good use for this new transfer partnership, please let us know.