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EXCLUSIVE: TSB Avios credit cards withdrawn

The two TSB Avios credit cards were removed from the market this week.  They no longer appear on the avios.com or TSB websites.

TSB gave Head for Points the following statement last night:

We can confirm that the TSB Avios and Premier Avios Reward Credit Cards are no longer available to new applicants. This does not affect current customers who can continue to earn and spend Avios points as normal. TSB Customers can call 03459 758 758 if they need further guidance.

TSB Premier Avios

The TSB Avios credit cards have a complex history.

The original Avios credit cards issued by Lloyds were called Lloyds TSB Avios Duo.

In 2013 Lloyds and TSB were separated, with TSB eventually being sold to a Spanish group.  As part of the divorce, TSB got the dog, the Dire Straits CDs and the Lloyds TSB Avios Duo cards.  With a few tweaks, these were relaunched as the TSB Avios (free) and TSB Premier Avios (£50 fee) credit cards.

Lloyds simultaneously launched the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards.    These were superior to the TSB cards in almost every way.  Most impressive was the removal of FX fees which made – and still makes – Lloyds TSB Avios Rewards the ONLY UK credit cards to offer rewards and no currency conversion charges.

There were originally two versions of Lloyds Avios cards.  The basic version had a £24 annual fee.  There was also a Premier version with a £140 fee.

In July 2016, Lloyds withdrew the Lloyds Premier Avios credit card

And now, in November 2016, TSB has withdrawn the both versions of its Avios cards

The four Avios credit cards are now reduced to one.

TSB Avios cards

Will the TSB cards be missed?

No, not really.

There was no sign up bonus, apart from a limited 4,500 Avios ‘refer a friend’ bonus last year.

The Lloyds Avios cards had been carefully designed to offer a better combination of fees, benefits and rewards so there was little reason to choose the TSB version.  Even if you refused on principle to pay an annual fee, the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard was a better Avios deal than the free TSB card.

There was only one way in which the TSB cards shone out.  They offered double Avios on foreign spending.  This made the TSB Premier Avios American Express card the most generous card on the market to use abroad, as it earned 2.5 Avios points per £1.  That said, the £50 annual fee meant that it still did not make much sense unless you had substantial expenditure outside the UK.  The free TSB card paid 2 Avios per £1 on FX spend – although the 3% FX fee still made this unattractive unless someone else was settling your card bills.

Choice is always good, though, and the withdrawal of these cards means that there is less choice out there if you are looking for an Avios credit card.

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

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Comments

  1. I have the original DUO cards but tend not to use them.
    My goto cards are the Amex Plat & IHG Visa.
    I really should revisit that as having stopped using the BAPP AMEX I no longer have a flight voucher to redeem.
    The single upgrade voucher of the DUO would come in handy. I think the Avios earn rate of the non-AMEX DUO card is pitiful though.

    Will have to have a good read through Rob’s recently updated credit card pages.

    • That said I do still have two BA 2-4-1 Avios vouchers in play. One expires Feb 2017 & the other Feb 2018.
      Which ‘annoyingly’ means I’m going to have to have another holiday before the end of Feb 😉

      Will be a bit holidayed out though being in Thailand now (incredibly cheap QR J), South Africa earlier (another cheap QR J) and Vietnam for Christmas & New Year (gaining full benefits of QR’s Globetrotter campaign 2nd year in a row).
      All thanks to sites like this enabling me to increase my knowledge & awareness of loyalty schemes, good sales fares and unusual routings for value fares.
      Long may it continue.

      • Sorry JAMES, what is QR?

      • Incase you are a bit holiday fatigued, you only have to book before expiry, not travel :)

        • So when I get my 2-4-1 in Jan/Feb 2017 on my premium BA card, I dont even have to BOOK until Jan 2019?

          • From Rules and Restrictions
            All British Airways American Express Credit Cards

            “22. Outbound travel must take place before the expiry date on the Companion Voucher however inbound travel can take place after the expiry date of the Companion Voucher.

          • No, the BA voucher is different to the Lloyds one – it’s more restrictive in that outbound travel also has to take place. Whilst in the topic of vouchers, the GUV2 issued at 2500 TP is more similar to the Lloyds one in that you only have to book travel.

  2. Well that’s quite funny as I applied for the Premier one last weekend and cards on the way! Must have been one of the last people to get in on the card – similar to the Diamond Club days.

    I couldn’t justify sticking with MBNA – I rarely fly Lufty or United and never Virgin so went with the TSB card. The 2.5x Avios foreign spend works for me on the Amex

  3. At the risk of being a little boring ,let me repeat my experience posted a few weeks back for those that may not have seen it..

    Some maybe interested in my experience I had with TSB and this dual package.
    I applied, on line , through the Avios.com site. I was initially attracted to the Double Miles for overseas expenditure, but more of that later.
    Having applied, I received an Email some 2/3 weeks later, ‘Approved ‘, but to take proof of ID into my local branch which I did.
    Another 2/3 weeks went by, with another Email ‘Approved ‘, but to take my proof of ID into my local branch, again.
    The local manager was a little embarrassed but after phone calls admitted they had been ‘lost’ within the organisation.
    No real problem, we were on our way, I thought. Another 2/3 weeks and another Email, this time, telling me that my application for a Current Account had been ‘approved’ !
    Back to the local Branch, more phone calls, more apologies. After a couple of days, received phone call from the Manager that my cards would be with me within ‘7/10’ days, and by way of compensation, 2500 Avios would be credited to my account. Both the Manager and one of his staff were more than helpful at a local level but were badly let down by ‘Head Office. ‘
    Sure enough, the cards did arrive as promised. So, around 2 months from start to finish.
    Now the card/s themselves.
    Stupidly, I initially thought that double Avios for overseas expenditure was quite good, NOT that I was going to use them direct. My thought was to backup the M’card version to Supercard, but doing a small online € purchase, it was of course treated as a UK purchase, not foreign, when I checked. So, they are now both relegated to the bottom drawer…my fault.
    Not quite all bad news though. I have now built up quite a good rapport with the local staff, in fact, we’re all on Christian name terms.
    It’s a pleasure of go in once a month……walk over to the ATM, withdraw £200, courtesy of Curve , then across to the lady on the cash desk, “Good Morning Mike, and how are you today……another 40 Avios?” (!)
    Ps. I guess you all received the Amex flyer, regarding the small retailer promotion in December. Take a look at the T’s and C’s…..the only Amex card not taking part ? TSB Amex !

    • There’s a good reason why the branch experience is reasonable but the HO experience is dreadful.

      Essentially when Lloyds and TSB split, the branches were carved off and the staffing in them remained the same. How it worked at HO level was a bit different.

      There was a fairly large pool of staff. Those with experience but fed-up with what was going on who were desperate for a generous redundancy. Those in-experienced and not very good who saw the opportunity to clear the slate and move on with TUPE benefits and those who wanted to stay where they were.

      So essentially TSB HO was staffed with 90% staff who were rubbish at their jobs and 10% who were bribed with considerable benefits to go.

  4. Will Squires says:

    I noticed TSB cards were excluded from Shop Small this year.

    I imagine these cards will die completely next year when TSB move off Lloyds backend and on to theirs/Sabadels.

  5. The only real benefit I believe is £5 cash back for Apple/Android Pay on the first £100 spend I believe

  6. So a set fee of £50 and 1.25 Avios for a 3p, bargain way to buy Avios, Not. Or am I missing the point.

  7. I had the Lloyds Avios duo cards which I actually found quite good (and I do like to use them abroad) but had a nightmare when I first signed up trying to get the sign-on bonus Avios, although managed to sort it in the end.

    Which leads me to a slightly off-topic question… I’ve subsequently been awarded an Avios upgrade voucher (which I earned via the Lloyds Avios duo) which I want to use to upgrade a 1-way flight for my husband and I, but we are a few Avios short for the reward flight we want to book. I’ve converted all my BA miles into Avios but we have extra Avios in our BA household account under my husband’s name which we were hoping to also utilise. Is there any way I can convert these BA miles into Avios so we can use them for the upgraded reward flight? At the moment it seems I can’t (which is in contrast to the BA companion voucher which lets you use household accounts to book…) If we can’t use it, what is the cheapest way to purchase / acquire the extra Avios we need? Thanks in advance…

    • the_real_a says:

      You can of course purchase them, but depending on when you need to book – why not bring forward your spend at your favorite supermarket and purchase some gift vouchers on your AMEX?

    • Have you thought about transferring his BA Avios to his Avios account then creating a household Avios account (separate again afterwards).
      But check first that you can use the Lloyds voucher with booking from household.

  8. This is just part of the end of points based cards. I reckon in time the only ones left will be fee based cards that have other bells and whistles to keep you interested, but those who casually collected on cards (frequent shoppers as opposed to frequent flyers) will be less likely to apply for them.

    Should we start a RIP page for all the fallen cards? :-)

  9. Waste of space and worst customer service I’ve ever experienced… no loss on my part 😀

  10. I have the “old” Lloyds due cards. If I cancel these cards do I need to wait to apply for the Lloyds reward card?

    • You can upgrade from the old cards to the new one. I went into a branch to do it and they didn’t have a clue but I was able to do it over the phone.

  11. OT. Any options for buying foreign currency and earning Avios?

    • Supercard or Curve via an overseas ATM linked to an Avios MCard

      • Nicola Walton says:

        We have decided to drop Supercard. I had fraudulent use of mine a couple of months ago and the same has happened to my husbands card last week. He hadn’t even used his. The odd thing is the card we had both linked to it was our IHG Visa cards.

  12. Monopolies commission says:

    Less choice also = less competition. I fear for the Llyods Avios card benefits if they were previously targetting the product as being just better than the TSB alternative.

  13. Neil Murray says:

    I’ve got the old Duo cards – badged as Lloyds and no mention of TSB – and I keep getting hit with foreign charges if I use them abroad. What are these Lloyds Avios cards that don’t incur charges for foreign purchases, then???i

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