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Lloyds TSB and their obscure rules to stop you getting your credit card bonus

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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 ….

Lloyds Avios

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 …

Comments (35)

  • James67 says:

    Seems to be more ill feeling on this than any topic so far on HfP. Any possibility we could have an online petition as part of the blog and forward to BA to highlight pur dissatisfaction with Lloyds? I’m so hoping Lloyds will get dumped in favour of MBNA sometime soon. Also nothing seems to be happening at Barclays despite their now being able to market amex. Somewhat disappointing given their aggressive strategy in the States.

    • John says:

      This has nothing to do with BA, it’s Avios.com

    • Rob says:

      I agree. I simply cannot see Lloyds surviving long-term as the avios.com card partner. You may be right in that, despite MBNA’s best efforts, they cannot dislodge Amex as the main UK card provider but get the avios.com contract as consolation.

      Given Barclays p*ss-poor admin of the Hilton and Priority Club cards, where points often don’t appear for months on end, you really don’t want those idiots getting involved either. Although they aren’t as bad as Lloyds (just).

      • James67 says:

        I just love those idiots Raffles. They have creditex a card I am not even using with first £40 about 9 months ago and unbrlievsbly a further £50 last month for being a good customer 🙂 For whatever reason they love me as much as amex appears to hate me!

  • Tim Rogers says:

    I had pretty much exactly the same problem – and I suspect pretty much everyone who tries to claim these promotions from Lloyds does. I made a formal complaint and they found in favour of themselves. Perhaps I should have gone to the Ombudsman too…

  • danksy says:

    I thought I was special!!!

    I’ve had exactly the same problems as listed here, No access to online statements, my card wasn’t activated until 1 week before the end of the 1st month, so to be honest I didn’t even bother with the other two months!

    Mrs Danksy applied and was accepted but with a pathetic £1,500 limit, which means that to achieve her companion voucher by spending £15k a year she would need to max out the credit limit nearly every month! So far she has ‘exceeded’ her credit limit by no more than £5 on each occasion and been charged £12 each time, all because of the poor access to online statements etc.

    When I have rung up to pay the bill (on her behalf) they wont accept my debit card (even though she authenticates her personal details – and I’m a credit card customer) due to security details.

    It’s just rotten through and through, we wait with baited breath if we get the signup bonus, but it was a pointless waste of £50 each IMHO!

    • John says:

      Why would you ring up to pay a bill?

      • Jamie says:

        I’m guessing because he can’t get access to the account online.

        I got my statement the other day and as i can’t access my account I’ve actually sent a cheque off to pay my bill. It’s like going back in time !

  • ggg1970 says:

    I phoned Lloyds today to find out deadlines due to the bizarre 40 day month decision. They said it was an Avios decision and Avios said it was a Lloyds decision!! Despite hitting the spend on each of the three months (not knowing about the 40 day rule) I now find that I’ve actually got another month to satisfy the threshold before I quaify. Spoke to Avios again and they are raising a query and will look at the circumstances – not hopeful but at least its not Lloyds making the decisions…….will see what happens.