(EDIT: This article was updated in May 2016)
The Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card (representative APR 23.7% variable, including the £24 fee) was a game-changer when it launched in October 2013. For the first time, we had a credit card which offered NO FOREIGN EXCHANGE FEE – AND gave you Avios points for your spending as well!
Historically, it was almost always a bad idea to use a mileage card for overseas spend. This is because all other miles and points cards – and indeed almost all other UK credit and debit cards – charge a foreign exchange fee of 2.99%.
I want to use this post to compare the Lloyds Avios Rewards card with the The Post Office Money Platinum Credit Card (representative APR 17.8% variable, issued by Bank of Ireland UK). This is one of the few free credit cards to charge no foreign exchange fees on purchases.
How do the two cards compare?
The Post Office Money Platinum Credit Card stacks up like this:
no annual fee
0% charge on foreign purchases
2.5% fee (min £3) when you withdraw cash abroad
no rewards programme
no sign-up bonus
comes as a MasterCard
The Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card stacks up like this:
£24 annual fee
0% charge on foreign purchases
3% fee when you withdraw cash abroad
1.25 Avios per £1 spent on the American Express card and 0.25 Avios per £1 spent on the MasterCard
4,500 Avios points sign-up bonus if you are referred by fellow cardholder – email me at raffles [at] headforpoints.co.uk if you would like a referral link
comes as a double pack of American Express and MasterCard
Which card is better for you?
Which card works best for you is purely down to how much money you think you will spend abroad in a year, and how much you value an Avios point at.
Let’s assume you value an Avios at 1p.
The fee on the Lloyds card is £24 per year whilst the Post Office card is free.
The Lloyds Avios Rewards card is therefore a better deal if you will earn more than 2,400 Avios per year from foreign spending based on a 1p per Avios valuation. This would require spending something between £2,000 (if 100% of your spend was on the Amex) and £9,600 (if 100% of your spend was on the MasterCard) per year.
If you do not think you will spend this much on your credit card abroad each year, you should go with the Post Office Money Platinum MasterCard instead.
The Post Office card is also a better deal if you simply don’t want to spend any ‘real’ money chasing more Avios points at the moment.
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.