I was then handily emailed some draft marketing documentation currently being used as part of some market research. This shows a Lloyds Avios Rewards Card that would be different to the one we have today:
the American Express card has gone, either because the Amex licence has ended (which is going to happen in the medium term) or Amex has agreed a deal with Avios to be the sole American Express issuer of Avios points in the UK
the earning rate on the MasterCard is improved, from 0.25 Avios to 0.3 Avios per £1
the annual fee remains at £24
The future of the upgrade voucher and the 0% foreign exchange fees was not clear. I don’t believe that the latter is sustainable.
If this turned out to be the finished relaunched product, my recommendation would be entirely driven by whether the upgrade voucher and FX benefits remained.
After all, the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard offers the same 0.3 Avios per £1 – albeit impacted by rounding down – and has no annual fee and has the benefit of diversification. If Avios devalues again, you can use your Clubcard vouchers elsewhere.
You would need to spend £800 abroad on your Lloyds card before the foreign exchange fee saving would overtake the £24 annual fee. However, you could link the Tesco card to Supercard or Curve to remove or reduce that 3% fee anyway so the FX fee should not be the driving factor.
If this new card does turn out to be the one that is launched, it may be the upgrade voucher (or lack of it) which swings your decision.
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