Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

TopCashback offering £20 on the £24 Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card

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During July I will be updating the ‘Preparing for Summer’ series of articles that I first ran last year.  These cover the best ways to earn Avios from car hire and hotels and how to save money paying bills abroad.

One of the easiest ways to save money whilst travelling is to use a credit card with no foreign exchange fees.  99% of UK credit and debit cards charge a fee of 2.75% to 2.99% when you use them outside the UK.

A small number of credit cards (including Post Office and Halifax Clarity) do not charge foreign exchange fees.  These two cards are also free.  However good your mileage credit card may be, it is unlikely that the points you will get for using it abroad will offset the 2.99% cash saving you will make with either of these cards.

The Lloyds Avios Rewards card also has no foreign exchange fees.  And you earn Avios points when you spend as well!  This gives you the best of both worlds – a 3% saving compared to using any other credit or debit card AND you earn a chunk of miles back.

The only fly in the ointment with the Lloyd Avios Rewards card was the £24 annual fee.  This meant that you would need to spend £2,000+ on the American Express card abroad before the value of the Avios earned outweighed the fee – otherwise you might as well get the Post Office card instead.

Until Sunday or Monday (the site is not totally clear), however, cashback site Topcashback is offering £20 back when you successfully apply for the Lloyds Avios Rewards card.  This means that the card is effectively free for the first year.

Unless you need to put spending onto another card to trigger a spending target (such as £10,000 on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card to trigger the 2-4-1 voucher) then the Lloyds Avios card is worth a look purely for your Summer spend in foreign currency.

I wrote a fuller comparison of the Lloyds Avios Rewards card and its competitors in this article.

For reference, the representative APR of the Lloyds Avios Rewards card is 22.7% variable including the fee, based on a notional £1200 credit limit.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – October 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our October 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

The following offers will end soon:

  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)

Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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 Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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 Credit Card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (17)

  • tony says:

    I took this card out earlier in the year. On the plus side it came with a six month offer of double avios, but on the downside it had a lousy credit limit and IIRC there was a note saying they wouldn’t even think about lifting that limit for the first six months.

    Was on holiday in the States with the family and very quickly hit the credit limit…

    • Jason K says:

      I received an average credit limit, but with faster payments you can put money on the card instantly, and you can also ‘overload it’ then spend to bring your credit balance down. I put £8k through in one month by doing this.

      The interest free period is useful too.

      But I agree with the bad customer service, it’s terrible. They also initially sent me cards without contactless feature. Took ages to sort that out.

    • Jenni says:

      I applied on Sunday, and this morning had an email saying I’ve not been approved. God knows why as my credit score is excellent. Oh well I’ve had a terrible experience with Lloyds years ago when I briefly had a current account with them so I think I dodged a bullet there.

  • Amandeep says:

    Fully agree with you. Exactly the same situation; with my Lloyds TSB cards expiring, requested to upgrade and I was told they would send me paperwork to sign and go into a branch to prove my identity again (having held avios cards with them since 2007!). Four weeks on and still nothing. Absolutely useless company

    • Rob says:

      You know that Lloyds refuses to work with HFP because of all the complaints you guys make on here?!

      (Seriously.)

      (But I can live with it.)

      • Armo says:

        I will try to avoid dealing with Lloyds after the scandal that was points – gate. I did get £65 pounds compensation out of it. But have said that I will never ever ever take out a LLoyds card out again. Nightmare of a company.

  • Bob says:

    Just to say, against better judgement as had hassle with Lloyd’s before, got the £24 cards and they have been brilliant, no sign up but ended up with over 10500 bonus points (although they gave me a silly low credit limit had to keep paying it off early, which has now got much better). Opened it though cash back so got my £24 or whatever the offer was. Saved a lot on foreign travel, not sure when I’m using the upgrade voucher but my only gripe is the website isn’t run by Amex. Cards now having a rest till we next go abroad, woken up the other Amex cards now, so recommend this for foreign travel etc

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