The Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards (my full review of the card is here) have not been hugely successful since they were launched by avios.com. The poor customer service offered by Lloyds has disguised the fact that cards do have good reasons to hold them.
The lack of foreign exchange fees on the cards is almost unique in the UK credit card industry saving you 3% on every transaction you make on the card outside the UK. What is GENUINELY unique is that you also earn Avios points on those transactions. No other card in the UK offers zero foreign exchange fees AND rewards.
That isn’t what this article is about, though. It is about one of the other perks of the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards – the upgrade voucher.
On the £24 version of the card, you receive an upgrade voucher for spending £7,000. On the £150 Premier version of the card, you receive an upgrade voucher for spending £5,000 – this lower target does not by itself justify the fee on the Premier card!
If you are a typically a solo traveller, the upgrade voucher may be more useful to you than the 2-4-1 voucher issued with the British Airways American Express card.
The vouchers are not, in fact, ‘upgrade vouchers’. What they do is allow you to book a redemption in World Traveller Plus, Club World or (for short-haul) Club Europe for the Avios points of the class immediately below.
There does NOT need to be Avios availability in the lower booking class, only in the class you will be flying in.
The voucher lets you upgrade one return flight or two one-way flights. If you want to upgrade two one-way flights, they MUST be done in the same booking with both passengers travelling together. You CANNOT upgrade one one-way flight now and another flight next month as the voucher expires as soon as it is used once.
Whilst the voucher is only valid for 12 months, you only need to BOOK within this period.
How many Avios can you save?
At present, the mileage benefit from using the voucher is limited. Taking London to San Francisco as an example, it would only save you 25,000 Avios points. That is the difference between a Club World and World Traveller Plus return redemption.
Let’s remind ourselves of the new BA redemption chart from April 28th:
California is Zone 6.
Off-peak, the Lloyds voucher would now save you 60,000 Avios points return. A Club World redemption would be 125,000 Avios whilst World Traveller Plus is reduced to 65,000.
At peak times, the voucher would save you 50,000 Avios points return. A Club World redemption would be 150,000 Avios whilst World Traveller Plus is 100,000.
Whilst best suited to a solo traveller, the Lloyds voucher would also make a decent dent in the Avios points required for a couple when used for 2 x one-way tickets on the same flight.
There is no rush to go out and get the Lloyds Avios Rewards card – you might as well focus on maximising sign-up bonuses and booking what you can before April 28th. Once we get past that date, however, I may start to give the Lloyds card more coverage.
In particular, one thing we need to think about is this – for a couple, does it now make more sense in some scenarios to have two Lloyds Avios Rewards cards than one BA Premium Plus Amex card? This is a topic to which I will return.
(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards? Click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)