Yesterday I spent, frankly, more time than is sensible poring over the details of the new Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of my analysis can be found here. The website for the free card is here, the paid card is here.
However, Lloyds quietly slipped out a 3rd Avios-earning card on Monday – the Lloyds Choice Rewards credit card. Here is my review.
This is Lloyds attempting to take on American Express Membership Rewards, Tesco Clubcard Mastercard or the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex card. Instead of earning Avios points for your spending, you will earn Choice Points. You could convert your Choice Points to Avios, but you also have other options.
Here is the key point of interest for the card – you earn 0.5 Avios per £1 on the Mastercard. That is double what you earn on the Lloyds Avios Rewards card and 2/3rd more than you earn if you paid £140 for the Lloyds Premier Avios Rewards card.
This is part of the reason that I was lukewarm on the £140 Lloyds Premier Avios Rewards card yesterday. If the Mastercard had offered 0.5 Avios per £1 then it would have been a more attractive package.
Here is a full summary of the Lloyds Choice Rewards credit card:
You receive an American Express card and a Mastercard
There is a £24 annual fee
0% interest on purchases for the first 13 months
You earn Choice Points, which convert to 1 Avios per £1 spent on the Amex and 0.5 Avios per £1 spent on the Mastercard
You receive double points on the Amex for the first six months, capped at £2,500 of spend per month
Alternatively, you can redeem your Choice Points for “cashback, shopping vouchers and magazines subscriptions”. You can see details of these here. If you opt for cashback, you receive 1% of Amex spend and 0.5% of Mastercard spend. If you opt for shopping vouchers (Argos, Currys, Homebase, House of Fraser) you receive 1.5% of your Amex spend and 0.75% of your Mastercard spend.
Do I recommend this card?
Not really, if you are a keen Avios collector. It may have more interest to ‘casual’ Avios collectors who want a back-up redemption option.
The Avios earnings rate on these cards is good, but you can do better. The Tesco Mastercard offers 0.6 Avios per £1 spent, compared to 0.5 Avios here, with the possibility of a conversion bonus on top. Tesco also has a wide range of other Clubcard partners if you decide not to redeem for Avios, and has no fee.
The Avios-earning rate on the American Express card is also not market-leading, at 1 Avios per £1 spent. You would be better off with the free British Airways American Express card which does not carry a fee and also offers 1 Avios per £1. Or, of course, the Lloyds Avios Rewards card which offers 1.25 Avios per £1 for the same £24 fee.
In any event, the shopping vouchers option on this card is pretty good, and makes your Avios look expensive. Spend £1,000 on the Amex, for example, and you could get £15 of House of Fraser vouchers or 1,000 Avios. That makes the Avios VERY expensive at 1.5p each. Even taking straight cashback, you would be comparing £10 vs 1,000 Avios, which is a marginal call.
Fundamentally, I am not sure why Lloyds added Avios to this card as an option. I would strongly recommend, if you get this card, that you take your rewards as a shopping voucher – assuming there are things at Argos, House of Fraser or Currys that you would buy.
I’m interested in your comments on this one, since it seems a strange mix of benefits and fee, whilst inadvertently also making the earnings rate on the £140 Lloyds Premier Avios Rewards card look bad.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.