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 points from credit cards? – August 2022 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:
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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus 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 a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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.