Ireland's best rewards credit cards

You could get cashback, Avios, or access to exclusive offers and experiences when you spend with a rewards credit card. Here are the best cards and incentives in Ireland.

Avant Money Reward+ Card

Why we like this card

The Avant Money Reward+ Card has flexible rewards to suit you.

For your introductory offer, you can have your €30 stamp duty paid or enjoy 0% interest on purchases for 1 month, balance transfers for 2 months and money transfers for 3 months.

For your ongoing reward you can get 15% interest refund on retail purchases or 1.25% cashback on retail and entertainment spending - the highest rate in Ireland.

If you clear your balance every month, the cashback option could work well, but if you only make the minimum payment, the interest refund might be a better option.

Pros

  • Highest cashback and interest refund rates
  • Access to 300+ offers with the Avantages loyalty programme*
  • Add up to 3 extra account holders to your card
  • Versatile introductory and ongoing rewards to choose from

Cons

  • Rewards capped at €12pm for cashback and €24pm for interest refund
  • Travel and services don’t qualify for cashback
  • Refunded interest and cashback can’t be used to pay your card bill

*What is the Avantages loyalty programme?

Avantages is a scheme for all Avant Money credit card holders, that offers discounts, competitions and learning resources.

By registering your card and setting up an online account, you can sign up for Avantages and access these rewards:

  • Exclusive experiences
  • Discounts on top brands
  • Cashback & rewards
  • Competitions
  • Bank of courses, blogs & articles

The bottom line

This card offers the highest cashback and interest refund rates on the market, great if you want money back on your everyday spending.

Bank of Ireland Aer Credit Card

Why we like this card

If travel is your passion then the Bank of Ireland Aer Credit Card could be perfect for you.

You could get a bunch of travel rewards worth over €267 per year for a small monthly fee. Here are the rewards you can enjoy each year:

  • Fast track and priority boarding passes x2
  • Lounge passes x2
  • Return flights to Europe x2 (excluding taxes & charges)
  • Worldwide multi trip travel insurance for the family
  • Increase your Avios whenever you use your card

Redeeming your rewards is easy. You’ll just need to join the Aer Lingus loyalty club, AerClub, and link your account to your credit card profile.

Pros

  • Travel perks worth nearly triple the annual card charge
  • Earn Avios as you spend, to use as you wish
  • 0% on purchases for 6 months or balance transfers for 7 months
  • Low rate instalment option for large purchases

Cons

  • €7.99 monthly charge
  • Free European flights are subject to a €5,000+ spend each reward year
  • It has the highest APR (Annual Percentage Rate)

The bottom line

A great deal for travel enthusiasts who use their card often, clear the balance each month and can utilise all the travel rewards.

AIB Platinum Visa Card

Why we like this card

The AIB Platinum Visa Card is a bit more niche in its appeal, but ideal if fancy hotel stays are your thing.

You’ll get 0.5% cashback (capped at €225) if you spend more than €5,000 over 12 months, and perks relating to the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection.

There’s no 0% interest period to transfer your balance or make purchases but it does offer a low rate for both over 12 months and the lowest APR of all the rewards cards.

You’ll need to have a salary of €40,000 or more to qualify for the Platinum card.

Why choose a rewards credit card?

You’ll get incentives in return for spending on your rewards credit card, and, the more you spend, the bigger the benefits you’ll receive.

Some rewards cards also offer 0% interest periods on balance transfers and purchases but they may not match up to a card that’s designed for this. Take a look at our best balance transfer cards and purchases deals.

There are different types of rewards available depending on which card you choose, the main ones include:

  • Cashback and interest refund
  • Air miles (Avios) to use on travel e.g. flights and accommodation
  • Exclusive offers, discounts and experiences
  • Introductory offers e.g. free stamp duty
  • Access to learning resources

How do rewards cards differ from other credit cards?

The main difference is the reward element that other credit cards don’t offer, though this can mean the APR is slightly higher sometimes.

Purchase cards usually offer longer 0% interest periods to help you pay off a large purchase.

Balance transfer cards allow you to transfer another card balance over and again, there’s usually a long 0% interest period to pay the balance off.

You can use a rewards card in the same way as a regular credit card and it’s likely to share the same features and functionality, for example:

  • money transfers
  • purchases
  • cash withdrawals
  • balance transfers
  • instalment plan option for larger purchases
  • up to 56 days of zero interest
  • add extra cardholders for free

The key is to know what you want the card for and how you’ll use it, to work out which type is best for you, and what features you need.

Which reward card is right for you?

The right card and benefits will depend on your individual spending and lifestyle habits, as well as your finances and any qualifying criteria.

For example, there’s no point choosing a card that offers travel perks like Avios if you’re not a seasoned flyer, particularly as you’ll usually pay a monthly fee.

You need to find the best matched rewards so that you’re sure to make use of them.

Don’t be enticed by exclusive offers and experiences that you won’t actually use, instead, opt for the biggest cashback reward to spend how you like.

How does cashback work?

Cashback works by giving you back a percentage of what you spend on your rewards card. The more you spend and the higher the percentage, the more you’ll get back.

For example, if you spend €500 in a month and the cashback rate is 1%, you’ll get €5 cashback credited the following month.

You’ll only get cashback on approved transactions which vary depending on the credit card provider.

What cashback exclusions are there?

It depends on the card supplier, here’s what our featured ones cover and what’s excluded:

  Approved spends Excluded spends
Avant Money Supermarkets, department & hardware stores. Entertainment e.g. pubs. Flights, hotels, accommodation. Services e.g. car hire, utilities & healthcare. Gambling.
AIB - Cash advances, fees, refunds, interest, funds transfers received. Spends when you’re 2+ months in arrears.

Check that you’re happy with what’s included and excluded when you choose a card.

How to choose the right rewards card

There are a few things to check and ask yourself before picking a card, for example:

  • How much are you likely to spend on the card each year? Some cards apply a minimum spend of €5,000 to get the top rewards, so check.
  • Can you pay off the balance in full each month? If so, the APR is less important and a cashback option will work well. If you can only make the minimum payment, an option like interest refund will be better, and look for a low APR.
  • Are you a frequent flyer? Collecting Avios will be your priority if so. If not, a more general reward like cashback will offer more flexibility.
  • Do you have a balance to transfer or are you planning a large purchase? Pick the longest 0% interest period on balance transfers or purchases.
  • Do you enjoy trying new things or shopping? Some rewards include top brand retail offers, discounts on hotel stays, and unique experience days that may suit you.
  • Do you meet the qualifying criteria? Some cards have a minimum salary requirement for example, so check the small print.
  • Are you happy to pay a card fee? Not all rewards cards have a monthly fee. If there is one, tot up the benefits and make sure you’ll save money overall.

Once you’ve decided on the rewards that will benefit you the most, check other fees that may apply and the Typical APR.

You’ll want the APR to be as low as possible, particularly if you won’t be able to clear your balance each month.

Rewards credit cards FAQs

Do I have to pay a monthly fee for a rewards card?

It depends on the card, so always check.

The Bank of Ireland Aer credit card costs €7.99 a month but if you meet the minimum spend requirement, you can benefit from travel rewards worth €267 a year.

You’ll need to weigh up whether any fee will be covered by the rewards on offer, otherwise it won’t be worth paying for a card.

What are Avios?

Avios are the reward points you can collect when you join AerClub, the loyalty programme for Aer Lingus.

You can redeem Avios in full or part against flights, hotels and car hire, depending on how many you’ve collected.

You’ll get 1 Avios for each €1 you spend on Aer Lingus products and services. Other transactions may offer a different ratio of Avios per spend e.g. 1 Avios for every €4 spent.

How does interest refund work?

When you pay for things on your credit card, they will accrue interest if you don’t clear the balance in full each month.

Interest refund is where you get a percentage back of the interest e.g. 15%, that’s credited to your account the following month.

The Avant Money Reward+ card caps the interest refund reward at €24 a month and the interest on cash withdrawals is excluded.