Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Goodbye to the Lloyds TSB Duo Avios cards after 1.1 million Avios!

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Well, sadly not quite Goodbye.  But near enough.

The good – frankly, great – news is that my last set of bonus Avios points from this promotion have just posted, covering the first two weeks of June.  300,000!  Added to the Avios we earned from the preceeding two and a half months, our grand total is over 1.1 million Avios!

This was, without doubt, the most generous Avios or BA Miles promotion ever offered.  If you missed it, I explain the background here.  The key was the 25 Avios per £1 offered for overseas spend.  

We really went for this – luckily it coincided with an expensive holiday at Sandy Lane in Barbados (trip report here!), where even more luckily the hotel agreed to refund the hefty deposit we had already paid on a different card and charge the entire amount to our Lloyds TSB Amex.  Another lucky break came when I was able to book £2,000 of flights for a friend, booking them in a foreign currency even though they were ex-UK.

I have also pre-booked our next three holidays, pre-paying the hotel rooms but on refundable rates which allow me to cancel at any time.  If our plans change, I will trigger a refund which, almost certainly, will be deducted at the standard rate of 2.5 Avios per £1 rather than the 25 Avios per £1 I earned on the way in.

I am not sorry to see the back of Lloyds TSB, though.  Their operation of this card has been nothing short of appalling.  I was lucky to at least receive the bonuses I was due, since many people who applied in the first couple of months that this deal was available did not receive it, and had to spend many hours on telephone calls, emails and letters to Lloyds TSB.

I did, however, fall foul of their over-zealous fraud procedures.  The card first got blocked in the first week we had it, when I bought something from an overseas website.  It got far, far worse when I pre-paid some money onto the card to cover the cost of the Barbados holiday.  Not only was the card blocked, but I had to go to a Lloyds TSB branch with a) our passports, b) utility bills and c) a bank statement from HSBC showing the transfer of funds from my current account to Lloyds.  And this was for putting the card into credit, not going overdrawn!

And why did we have to put the card in credit?  Because they gave us a credit limit equivalent to 5 days of my wife and I’s combined income!  Not surprisingly, it didn’t go far.

We also never got access to their online card services, because of a ludicrously complex security process which we could never be bothered to complete, involving as it did us both having to call Lloyds TSB to validate the fact that we had asked online to activate online billing.

Sadly I cannot actually cancel the cards yet, because I need to keep them open in case I end up cancelling any of the prebooked holidays and triggering a refund.  I will be doing my best to say goodbye to them soon, though.

However, when you look at them objectively, even at the standard earning rate of 1.25 Avios per £1 on the Amex, they are not bad cards.  For some people, especially with the 2-4-1 economy companion voucher which can be triggered on MasterCard spend as well as Amex spend, it could even be a better deal than the British Airways Amex.  I intend to explore this slightly heretical idea in a post in a few days.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

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