Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Comparing the two best options for a ‘no FX fees’ credit card

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The Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card (representative APR 23.7% variable, including the £24 fee) was a game-changer when it launched in October 2013.  For the first time, we had a credit card which offered NO FOREIGN EXCHANGE FEE – AND gave you Avios points for your spending as well.

Historically, it was almost always a bad idea to use a mileage card for overseas spend.  This is because all other miles and points cards – and indeed almost all other UK credit and debit cards – charge a foreign exchange fee of 2.99%.

I want to use this post to compare the Lloyds Avios Rewards card with the The Post Office Money Platinum Credit Card (representative APR 17.8% variable, issued by Bank of Ireland UK).  This is one of the few free credit cards to charge no foreign exchange fees on purchases.

How do the two cards compare?

 The Post Office Money Platinum Credit Card stacks up like this:

no annual fee

0% charge on foreign purchases

2.5% fee (min £3) when you withdraw cash abroad

no rewards programme

no sign-up bonus

comes as a Mastercard

The Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card stacks up like this:

£24 annual fee

0% charge on foreign purchases

3% fee when you withdraw cash abroad

1.25 Avios per £1 spent on the American Express card and 0.25 Avios per £1 spent on the Mastercard

4,500 Avios points sign-up bonus if you are referred by fellow cardholder – email me at rob at headforpoints.com if you would like a referral link

comes as a double pack of American Express and Mastercard

Which card is better for you?

Which card works best for you is purely down to how much money you think you will spend abroad in a year, and how much you value an Avios point at.

Let’s assume you value an Avios at 1p.

The fee on the Lloyds card is £24 per year whilst the Post Office card is free.

The Lloyds Avios Rewards card is therefore a better deal if you will earn more than 2,400 Avios per year from foreign spending based on a 1p per Avios valuation.  This would require spending something between £2,000 (if 100% of your spend was on the Amex) and £9,600 (if 100% of your spend was on the Mastercard) per year.

If you do not think you will spend this much on your credit card abroad each year, you should go with the Post Office Money Platinum Mastercard instead.

The Post Office card is also a better deal if you simply don’t want to spend any ‘real’ money chasing more Avios points at the moment.


best travel rewards credit cards

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 3rd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher 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

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

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

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

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

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (7)

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

  • Volker says:

    Many of my bookings on the BA website are Avios redemptions. Would you still benefit if I use your link for these?

    • Raffles says:

      Unfortunately not, no.

      I do benefit from Holiday Inn / Crowne Plaza etc redemptions though as he helps towards volume targets.

  • Susan says:

    I now have a note on my fridge door to remind me to go via HFP before I book/buy anything!
    Only too happy to support given the multitude of great deals you’ve helped me find.

  • Bobby says:

    You don’t actually disclose what you would earn per transaction. Might transparency be fair/equitable?

  • ts77 says:

    More than happy to book my s/h BA flights / buy amazon/ebay stuff via clicking the link here. I appreciate that you put a lot of time and effort into running these pages so giving something back only seems right.

  • avidsaver says:

    Hi again Rob
    Sorry to hear you won’t earn anything from my booking.
    Just for the record… I’ve dug around the BA website (don’t know why I didn’t do it in the first place, apologies for taking up your time) under “Seating changes/refunds” it says: “You may change your seat at any time, and pay the difference in price when applicable. If you change your seat to one of a lower price, we will not refund the difference.” I also called the helpline and initially they said “no I would lose the money” but when I mention the web info they checked and confirmed this upgrade would be OK – I would just pay the difference of £30 (Club world being £65). We will see…..

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

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