Avios changes – is the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card now more valuable?

The Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards (my full review of the card is here) have not been hugely successful since they were launched by avios.com.  The poor customer service offered by Lloyds has disguised the fact that cards do have good reasons to hold them.

The lack of foreign exchange fees on the cards is almost unique in the UK credit card industry saving you 3% on every transaction you make on the card outside the UK.  What is GENUINELY unique is that you also earn Avios points on those transactions.  No other card in the UK offers zero foreign exchange fees AND rewards.

That isn’t what this article is about, though.  It is about one of the other perks of the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards – the upgrade voucher.

On the £24 version of the card, you receive an upgrade voucher for spending £7,000. On the £150 Premier version of the card, you receive an upgrade voucher for spending £5,000 – this lower target does not by itself justify the fee on the Premier card!

If you are a typically a solo traveller, the upgrade voucher may be more useful to you than the 2-4-1 voucher issued with the British Airways American Express card.

Lloyds Avios Rewards 2

The vouchers are not, in fact, ‘upgrade vouchers’.  What they do is allow you to book a redemption in World Traveller Plus, Club World or (for short-haul) Club Europe for the Avios points of the class immediately below.

There does NOT need to be Avios availability in the lower booking class, only in the class you will be flying in.

The voucher lets you upgrade one return flight or two one-way flights. If you want to upgrade two one-way flights, they MUST be done in the same booking with both passengers travelling together. You CANNOT upgrade one one-way flight now and another flight next month as the voucher expires as soon as it is used once.

Whilst the voucher is only valid for 12 months, you only need to BOOK within this period.

How many Avios can you save?

At present, the mileage benefit from using the voucher is limited.  Taking London to San Francisco as an example, it would only save you 25,000 Avios points.  That is the difference between a Club World and World Traveller Plus return redemption.

Let’s remind ourselves of the new BA redemption chart from April 28th:

Redemption chart 2

California is Zone 6.

Off-peak, the Lloyds voucher would now save you 60,000 Avios points return.  A Club World redemption would be 125,000 Avios whilst World Traveller Plus is reduced to 65,000.

At peak times, the voucher would save you 50,000 Avios points return.  A Club World redemption would be 150,000 Avios whilst World Traveller Plus is 100,000.

Whilst best suited to a solo traveller, the Lloyds voucher would also make a decent dent in the Avios points required for a couple when used for 2 x one-way tickets on the same flight.

There is no rush to go out and get the Lloyds Avios Rewards card – you might as well focus on maximising sign-up bonuses and booking what you can before April 28th.  Once we get past that date, however, I may start to give the Lloyds card more coverage.

In particular, one thing we need to think about is this – for a couple, does it now make more sense in some scenarios to have two Lloyds Avios Rewards cards than one BA Premium Plus Amex card?  This is a topic to which I will return.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Last chance to apply for the BA Amex cards before the sign-up bonus drops
Flybe flights now available for Avios redemption on ba.com
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Comments

  1. As I put above, I used this voucher for a cw ow for two adults from pos to lgw but this had to be done over the phone as you cannot do one ways on the phone. At £24 per year, feel it’s worth it even if you end up using it on a club Europe sector

    • It’s not just the £24 though, but the requirement to spend £7K that might otherwise be put to use earning sign-up bonuses elsewhere.

      In principle I’m tempted to go for it alongside the BAPP 2for1. Taking our overseas spend into account I think we could meet the spend target for one of each in a year. However whether we’d be able to amass enough avios to put both to good use without paying a high price for top-ups is another matter.

      With a referral bonus (if we qualify having had Airmiles cards previously) and double avios on the Amex in the first six months it is probably worth giving it a go for year at least. Hmm, definitely one to go and mull over….

      • The double Avios for the first 6 months makes it very attractive, that’s even before the upgrade voucher is taken into account.
        Regards preferring to choose Lloyd’s account holders for applications, would that include business account holders as well?

      • Mark, Could you not rotate the plat and the BAPP every year, one referring the other, alternate years, def worth it, we do that, plus tesco clubcard and just manage to get the amount needed. ESP now with the plat, adding supplementaries at 10k each, quite a lot of avios to be had right now in the next coupe of weeks. Am right in the middle of this plan at the mo… Worth a thought. We pay as many bills etc with amex to up the numbers etc. thanks for the info.

  2. Mark, 8.58 pm. I get your point about the voucher. What I am asking is, if we can use it on BA departing from a Low APD point outside the UK, ie departing from BRU. And yes always the risk of a positioning flight delayed, thus the plan to stay overnight each end of the trip, and enjoy a mini city break out and back. If anyone knows if it can be used in this way, that would be great.

    • Good point. I suspect the only way to really find out would be to try it…. you would of course have to shell the extra avios for the leg back to London as well as getting yourself to the start point when upgrading an outbound. Even if it is possible that would substantially eat into the tax saving, especially when considering the hassle of doing it and the disruption risk.

      Inbound you’d presumably have to use the avios for the onward flight to Europe even if you don’t turn up for it.

  3. the Lloyds Upgrade Voucher and 241… do i have to use these with Avios points booking or can i use them in anyway with BAEC?

    • No. They can only be used for Avios bookings via avios.com (although the points can easily be transferred from BA). You can’t use them for cash bookings.

  4. OK. Card applied for. I didn’t see any option to add a companion card holder though as part of the application process. I assume that is possible later on?

    • I have to say LLoyds is now much more efficient, now that TSB has been jettisoned.
      Did an application for my wife last Wednesday, accepted immediately, PIN arrived yesterday.
      Didn’t see anywhere to put her Avios account number or a supplementary card.
      This compares to, 18 months ago applying for a similar card, accepted immediately but she had to visit a Lloyd’s branch ( I can’t remember why but now TSB branch) 4 times, taking 45 mins each time, they did 3 credit checks,( without our knowledge) and accepted her for a platinum card as well, which she didn’t apply for.
      3 months later I emailed Lloyd’s when no card( or Avios bonus) had appeared and they compensated her £130 for the inconvenience and for the fact the Avios bonus offer had now finished.
      The 2 applications are a world apart!

      • It sounds as if you did not get the 9000 Avios for inviting each other which causes a small delay?

        • I thought it better to wait for a second card, in 6 months, as I don’t want to initiate the double Avios bonus( if it’s still available)on the 2nd card until the first card’s double Avios bonus has expired.
          I did a referral via Raffles.
          I can only put just under £7k through the card, in the first 6 months, as I want to try and trigger the vouchers together.

  5. So…. is there anywhere on the Lloyds site where you can keep track of how far off your voucher you are?? :)

    Also, where does your voucher ‘appear’ when it’s been earned? :)

    • There is no “tracker”, but it isn’t really a hassle to keep a note of your spend each month. Just add up the total spend since the annual fee was charged and if/when it reaches £7000 then the voucher should be issued fairly soon after.

      The voucher is added to your avios.com account, and shows in the “vouchers” section of your account.

      • Agreed, was just being lazy and couldn’t be bothered go through 6 months worth of statements :)

        Looks like I’m £400 short :)

  6. Don’t sneer too loudly at the supposed £500 limit given by Aqua.

    FWIW my limit is £3,200. Not as much as on some other cards but interesting enough to use outside the UK earning 0.5% rebate and making a Faster Payment if necessary to keep within the limit.

  7. Nice article, Rob – agree of definite interest going forward given the need only to have availability in the upgraded class (likely CW for most aiming for max value). Also having a year to hit the £7k is reasonably generous. Definitely going to investigate this one!

  8. the upgrade voucher on Lloys Premier Card says that it can upgrade bookings made on ‘Full Avios Purchase’. Does ‘Full Avios’ include BAEC points bookings?

  9. Did I see previously that you can convert an existing Lloyds credit card to this type?