British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus “share” the currency called Avios, though each program has its own award chart and loyalty program. It has long been theoretically possible to move Avios between your accounts in each of the three programs (British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, and Aer Lingus AerClub), but many people have had difficulty in doing so. Later this month, it will get a little easier to accumulate Aer Lingus Avios since they are going to become a direct transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards at a 1:1 ratio.
- Aer Lingus will become an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner at the end of August 2018 in the US (and by the end of the year in the UK)
- Points will transfer to Aer Lingus Avios at a rate of 1:1
This is only a mildly exciting development, through I’m a fan of “easier”, so I guess we can call this a net win. In my opinion, the funniest thing was that the press release highlights the fact that Aer Lingus is the newest Membership Rewards airline partner “since Etihad Guest was launched in 2016”. Since you could already transfer from Membership Rewards to either British Airways or Iberia Avios and (at least theoretically) transfer from one of those accounts to Aer Lingus, it doesn’t necessarily feel like a “new” airline partner.
That said, this will save members time and frustration, and for that we can all be (at least a little) thankful. On the other hand, the Aer Lingus award chart doesn’t have anything that stands out as a notable value, though maybe if you are on a paid flight for work and you want to upgrade or you need to top off an account it will be convenient to be able to do so via Membership Rewards.
Overall, this isn’t terribly exciting, but it’s worth being aware in case it becomes useful in the future. We have added Aer Lingus to our list of Amex Transfer Partners.