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How Rewarding Is The New Lloyds AVIOS Credit Card?

Yet another airline reward card bites the dust this week as Lloyds bank start their notifications for the changes that are coming to the Lloyds AVIOS credit card. What does this mean for you however, and it is it good or bad news?

The current Lloyds AVIOS credit card

AMEX and Mastercard duo

The current Lloyds AVIOS credit card a combined AMEX and Mastercard on one account. This is a great way to ensure that you can always earn AVIOS, even in locations that don’t accept AMEX. Admittedly, the rate for the Mastercard is pretty paltry in comparison to the AMEX but something is better than nothing.

Earnings rate

For every £1 spent on AMEX, you earn 1.25 AVIOS, but on the Mastercard you have to spend £5 to earn the same amount.

Upgrade ticket

When you spend £7,000 in a year, you earn an upgrade ticket to upgrade one class. We used this for a trip to Stockholm and it wasn’t the easiest to redeem, so I won’t lose sleep over its loss.

The voucher is pretty restrictive in use, as it allows two people to upgrade one way, or one person to upgrade a return flight. Great news for singletons but not so useful for happy couples!

The voucher allows you to upgrade from Economy to World Traveller Plus, or World Traveller Plus to Club. Sadly, there’s no option to upgrade from Club to First, but this perk has disappeared with the new cards. It never compared favourably with the British airways companion voucher in any case.

Free foreign exchange

Finally the current cards offer free foreign exchange.

Annual fee

These benefits are not free, but the modest annual fee of £24 is probably recoverable by taking advantage of the free foreign exchange if you travel overseas regularly.

Lloyds Duo Retirement approaches

So, now these cards are gradually being phased out, thanks to the EU’s change in credit card legislation. So, how do their replacements compare?

The NEW Lloyds AVIOS credit card

Old Lloyd’s AVIOS cards New Lloyd’s AVIOS cards
Free foreign exchange Yes No – 2.95% Fee
Annual fee £24 Nil
Upgrade voucher Yes, after spending £7,000 per annum No
Mastercard earnings rate 1.25 for every £5 2 for every £5
AMEX earnings rate 1.25 for every £1 Not applicable

Comparing the old with the new cards

Although the Mastercard earnings rate has improved, this card is unlikely to persuade you to cancel your GOLD AMEX or British Airways American Express cards. However, if you want a back up card, for those occasions when a vendor does not accept AMEX, then this could be a useful option, offering a slightly higher earnings rate than previously.

The card’s ancillary benefits have clearly been eroded, however for those desperate for AVIOS, this card is an improvement.

On the other hand, the Virgin Atlantic free card offers an earnings rate of 0.75 Flying Miles per £1. On that basis, this card looks particularly unattractive, but I’ve already covered some of the issues that we have with collecting Virgin Flying Miles in the UK.

Virign credit cards held by young female
Source: Virgin Atlantic

Verdict

Whilst these cards are stingy on benefits, given the ever receding number of airline credit cards in the UK, they offer a valuable back up for those concerned about their inability to use AMEX.

This is especially the case if you wish to collect AVIOS, as Virgin’s recent offering may look more attractive, but it is harder to earn substantial Virgin Flying Miles. It is harder yet to redeem Flying Miles, unless you happen to be a frequent transatlantic flyer.

What do do you think?

Of course, it’s not all about me. What do you think of these new cards and which would you opt for? AVIOS or Flying Miles?

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 80 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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7 comments

  1. Can anyone confirm who i need to speak with to get my 241 voucher? I just reached the spend limit.

    • Hi Scott, assuming you are referring to the British Airways ticket and not the Lloyds upgrade voucher, you do not need to speak to anyone. It should be showing on your BA Executive club account already. It is automatically applied.

      • Hiya, thanks for the replay. I was actually talking about how to get the 2-4-1 voucher 🙂

        • Hi Scott, this post talks about how you earn a 241 companion ticket . If you are remotely tempted to opt for the free BA AMEX card, I urge you to also read this post which explains why the blue BA AMEX card is a bad idea.

          If you have already achieved the minimum spend on one of these cards though, you don’t need to speak to someone. It will appear automatically and you should get an email confirming this.

  2. Disagree completely with your casual dismissal of the upgrade voucher – for a significant number of people that was THE reason – and for many the only reason – to hold the card! (Or it was combined with a fee-free fx – but other cards did this too, it was the upgrade voucher that was the key thing it had).

    The mastercard earning was not that great – such that nobody would spend on that (other than to hit the target, if that was a challenge on the Amex alone).

    1.25 Avios per £ wan’t that great either on the Amex (compared with 1.5 AA on the free MBNA AA cards, or up to 3 per £ on the BA amex).

    The Amex issued BA Amex offers nothing to appeal to the single traveller. The 241 is useless, the earning rates don’t appeal – compared to the opportunity to earn convertible Amex MR or SPG points giving you flexibility. And the numbers don’t add up on the premium card – if you are not wanting the 241.

    “The voucher is pretty restrictive in use, as it allows two people to upgrade one way, or one person to upgrade a return flight. Great news for singletons but not so useful for happy couples!”
    – That seems flexible to me. Much more flexible than a 241.
    Sure you can’t get F, but you have the option to use it for one or two people.

    You could also apparently (although I never did) use it for departures originating outside the UK. Avoiding APD, and further boosting flexibility.

    “It never compared favourably with the British airways companion voucher in any case.”
    It DID for MANY, MANY people.

    Couples already have 241 revenue fares during sales, and save on their accommodation costs. This was a true perk for solo flyers, it also was relatively effective way to ensure it was only used in a recreational context – given that the reason for 241 revenue fares is to avoid corporates using them.

  3. Sad to see this go. May use new card as Amex Gold back-up but not otherwise.
    Still have an upgrade voucher to use. I have used two already, I found it remarkably easy to use. There needs to be a shake up here in the UK after Brexit on cards and their bonuses, or will we stick with European directives that are already in force?

    • Yes it is pretty worrying. We have introduced a law from the Eu which I cannot see any benefit from. Guess it’s small fry compared to some of the bigger issues though!

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