The Lloyds TSB Duo Avios credit cards have often been painful cards to own, entirely due to Lloyds TSB and their lax customer service. We had the cards for a period last year (during which, admittedly, I did earn 1.1 million Avios!) and at no point did we ever manage to get access to their online statements.
At one point I was forced to go into a branch to prove that the money I had paid my bill with came from my own bank account. As my normal statement had not yet arrived and Lloyds TSB did not accept online prints, I was forced to go to HSBC and get them to print me a statement on their headed paper ….
The latest problems revolve around the rules for getting the bonus Avios on the Duo and Premier Duo cards.
On the face of it, the bonuses are impressive:
You get 15,000 Avios when you spend £500 per month – for the first three months – on the American Express which comes with the free Duo cards
You get 20,000 Avios when you spend £500 per month – for the first three months – on the American Express which comes with the £50 fee Premier Duo cards
With Lloyds TSB, though, nothing is that simple.
As far as they are concerned ‘per month’ does NOT relate to your statement month. It relates to separate monthly periods FROM THE DATE YOU WERE APPROVED FOR THE CARD.
And here is the interesting bit. It is impossible for you to know what day you were approved for the card.
It could be the day you apply, if instantly approved. It is certainly NOT the day you receive your card – as you are already approved on the day they authorise your card to be manufactured. It is NOT the day from which your statement months run.
I have been contacted by two people in recent weeks who have been refused the bonus by Lloyds TSB. Both had spent £500 on the American Express card in each of their first three statement months. However, Lloyds has declared in both cases that they failed to spend £500 during each of their first three months counting from the approval date.
One person even appealed against this decision to the banking ombudsman. Amazingly, they found in favour of Lloyds TSB. This is despite the fact that Lloyds TSB does not tell you the date you were approved!
To be fair to Lloyds, once I had got my own cards up and running last year, they were fine – my Avios posted promptly. They certainly have customer service issues, though.
If you DO intend to apply for these cards and try to earn the 15,000 Avios or 20,000 Avios sign-up bonuses, all I can suggest is:
Make a note of the date you apply and the date your card arrives. Let’s assume you apply on the 10th July and the card arrives on the 20th July.
In Month 1, make sure you spend £500 within 1 month of the date you applied, ie July 10th to August 10th (in case they approved you immediately and started counting from that date)
In Month 2 and Month 3, make sure you spend £500 between the anniversary of the day the card arrived and the day you applied, ie between August 20th and September 10th, and between September 20th and October 10th. This is the only way of guaranteeing that your spend will fall between your ‘card approval’ anniversaries.
Are the Lloyds TSB cards worth the trouble? The bonus is certainly worth having. More importantly, the Lloyds TSB Premier Duo Avios American Express offers the best rate on the market for foreign currency spending – a whopping 2.5 Avios points per £1.
Please post below if you’ve had any interesting experiences with Lloyds TSB over these cards …