Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

15,000-20,000 free Avios – a sign-up deal for Lloyds TSB Avios cards I recommend

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Finally …. after, what, 6 months? …. the sign-up deal for the Lloyds TSB Duo Avios credit cards has been changed.

They have, finally, got rid of the stupid deal which gave you a large pile of Avios but forced you to book a hotel through the Avios hotel booking service before you could redeem them.  This new deal is not perfect, but is much improved.

If you are new to these cards, let me just clarify a couple of things:

These cards are offered by (ie the old Air Miles scheme) and not British Airways Executive Club.  To apply you must have an account at – which will be separately to your BAEC account.  You can open one for free if you don’t already have one.

You can apply for the Lloyds credit cards via the Lloyds TSB website or the website.  However, you only get a sign-up bonus if you apply via

The miles from your card spending will go into your account.  You need to use the ‘Combine My Avios’ function on or to merge them with any Avios points you hold in BAEC.

These credit cards are TOTALLY separate from the British Airways American Express credit cards.  You can apply for the Lloyds TSB cards even if you have the BA Amex cards.

The Lloyds card come as a double pack with an American Express and a MasterCard.  However, you only receive one monthly statement which combines spending on both cards.  It is impossible to just receive one of the cards.

You cannot ‘churn’ the Lloyds TSB Avios cards.  The card rules say that you can only receive one sign-up bonus per lifetime!

OK, let’s look at the deals!

There are two versions of the Lloyds TSB Avios credit cards – a free one, and a version with a £50 annual fee.

The free card

The free card is the Lloyds TSB Duo Avios Credit CardFull details can be found here.

The sign-up bonus is now 15,000 Avios points.  For a no-fee credit card, this is a very attractive deal.

However, to qualify for the bonus you need to jump through a set of hoops.  You must spend £500 on the American Express card (not the MasterCard) in EACH of the first 3 months you have the card.  (A ‘month’ is based on the account opening date, not calendar month.)

Now, I find this to be unrealistically annoying.  Unless you are a heavy spender, doing £500 a month on the Amex could be tricky.  This could be especially true if you are on holiday one month.  It is also not clear what counts as ‘during a month’ – is it based on the transaction date or the date it hits the statement, 3-4 days later?

Realistically, if you go for this offer, be prepared to be spending money on supermarket gift cards each month to ensure that you hit the £500 target.

The earnings rate on the American Express card is 1 Avios per £1.  This is OK, and the same as the free British Airways American Express card.  However, the earning rate on the MasterCard is SHOCKINGLY BAD as just 0.2 Avios per £1!  Under no circumstances should you use the MasterCard! 

The card offers double Avios on foreign spending.  This means you will earn 2 Avios per £1 on foreign currency transactions on the Amex which is an excellent deal for a free credit card.  The MasterCard is still a poor deal, even with double Avios abroad.

If you want a MasterCard or Visa for collecting Avios, the Tesco MasterCard offers a rate 300% better (and 500% better with a transfer bonus) at 0.6 Avios points per £1.  Look at the ‘Credit Cards Update’ page on Head for Points for details on the Tesco card.

The paid card

The annual fee card is the Lloyds TSB Premier Duo Avios Credit CardFull details can be found here.

The sign-up bonus is now 20,000 Avios points.  There is an annual fee of £50.

You need to meet the same ‘£500 per month on the Amex for 3 months’ criteria as for the free card.

The earnings rate on the American Express card is 1.25 Avios per £1.  This is OK, although worse than the 1.5 Avios per £1 on the British Airways Premium Plus Amex.  The MasterCard is still SHOCKINGLY BAD as just 0.25 Avios per £1 – bin it on arrival and stick to the Tesco card.

The card offers double Avios on foreign spending.  This means you will earn 2.5 Avios per £1 on foreign currency transactions when you use the Amex – this is the best earnings rate on ANY credit card for earning Avios abroad.

With the ‘Premium’ card, you also receive a 2-4-1 voucher for Avios redemptions on British Airways when you spend £15,000 across your Amex and MasterCard during the year.

On the face of it, this is a good offer which could be very valuable.  However, it comes with some nasty stings in the tail:

  • It is only valid for Economy flights.  In reality, the Avios website will let you book Economy outbound and a higher class of service for the return.
  • The voucher is lost if you cancel your flights.  This is a lot stricter than the BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher, which is available for re-use if you need to cancel.

In general, I cannot see much value in working towards this voucher.  You would be better off getting the voucher on the BA Amex, which is valid in any class and is not lost if you cancel.  The only reason to get it would be if you have a lot of MasterCard spend – but even here, the pathetic earning rate on the MasterCard multiplied by £15,000 means that your gain from the 2-4-1 will have been wiped out by the very small amount of miles received for your £15,000 of spending.

Should you get the free card or the paid card?

If you intend to keep the cards and spend on them, then get the paid card, at least for the first year.  The extra 5,000 sign-up Avios are worth £50 to most people, and you get the extra 25% on your Avios earning every time you use the card, compared to the free one.

If you intend to cancel the card quickly, here is the question you need to answer.  The paid card gets you 5,000 Avios points in additional sign-up bonus, plus your £1,500 of spend required to get the bonus will generate an extra 375 Avios compared to the free card.  Do you value 5,375 Avios at more than £50?  Most people would say yes, which makes the paid card a better deal.

Important – there is no rush to apply!

The deadline for both of these offers is September 15th.  If hitting the £500 per month Amex spend is likely to be an issue during certain months, you may want to time your application carefully.  You have, after all, got 5 months to sign-up.

Remember that – according to the small print – if you have EVER had a sign-up bonus on the Lloyds TSB Avios cards before, then you cannot have another.  This card is NOT churnable.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 2023)

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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 £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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

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

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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.

Comments (32)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Martyn says:

    Woohoo! Finally worth getting.

  • Daniel says:

    What do you mean it is not churnable?
    If you cancel the paid card will you get the money back?
    And lastly, can you post a link for the application?


    • Daniel says:

      Do you mean you can never apply for this card again, or that if you applied in the future you wouldnt get the sign up bonus?

  • Mark B says:

    Ok, thanks Simon

  • Chris smillie says:

    What’s your thoughts on would you get the bonus if you have had the previous air miles credit card bonus and you have cancelled your card after it changed to avios?

    • Roger says:

      Sadly no. At least that’s what they told me when I asked. The former Air Miles card and the current Avios card are essentially the same product, just rebranded following the change to Avios.

      It may have changed since then, of course, so may be worth asking them.

    • Rob says:

      Fair question, I don’t know to be honest. You could argue with them that the wording says ‘Avios card’ and not ‘Avios or the old Air Miles card’. To be sure, I would get the free card so you haven’t lost £50 if the bonus doesn’t turn up.

  • tangey says:

    So if this is a one hit credit card, the question is, has the bonus ever been more generous, and if so is it worth waiting around to see if it goes higher again. Also, I am guessing the amex card WILL see BA/Amex currency purchases as a cash advance and thus the £TC trick cant be used.

    • Rob says:

      Last year you got a 1,000% bonus (yes, 1,000%) on your UK spend for the first 3 months, and a 2,500% bonus on foreign spend. Hence the 1.1 million Avios I got last year using the card. They’re not bringing that back in a hurry though!

  • Roger says:

    I’ve generally steered clear of using cards abroad that charge a foreign use penalty, at least for my personal spend, and as an existing Air Miles cardholder I missed last year’s Avios bonus bonanza.

    What about non-UK destinations using sterling? We’re off to Jersey shortly and I see that some banks add ‘foreign’ charges for ATM withdrawals. Would we get double Avios for using our LTSB Avios credit card in Jersey?

    • John says:

      I expect that if you get double Avios, you will still have to pay the 3% forex commission or whatever and it will say 1GBP = 1.000000GBP

    • Rob says:

      No idea, it is one of those weird quirks that you never know how it plays out.

      I know some cards, for instance, that STILL charge the 2.99% FX fee even if you let your foreign hotel do Dynamic Currency Conversion and bill you in £.

  • John says:

    Will you get the 20k if you already have a Lloyds CC?

    Lloyds site says you won’t be eligible for introductory offers and they will just change the card type from your existing card to the Avios one.

    But this is not an introductory offer, it is an offer from who receives commission from Lloyds when you take out a card. So it depends on whether Lloyds will pay commission on a new card for an existing customer.

    Anyone have any experience?

  • Richard says:

    How can you use the 2-4-1 voucher for an economy outbound with premium class return? When using the “My account / Use voucher” option on, it seems to limit availability to economy – even though shows mainline BA flights available in business for the same date/route. I have always found that the “use voucher” option is configured to always show only economy availability for both legs of a return regardless of what else there may be in business/first.

    Would love to know how it can be done as I have a 2-4-1 voucher burning a hole in my pocket – collected whilst the 10x bonus was available, but I’d written off the voucher as worthless….

    • Rob says:

      Hmmm. Perhaps they have changed it? I will have a look as I have a voucher unused in my account.

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