News in brief:
Lloyds hits a new low in credit card referral behaviour
If you have ever tried to refer a friend for the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards, you will know that it is only slightly more fun than having a tooth extracted without anaesthetic.
I recently heard from three readers who I had referred who had just received their referral links – six to seven months after I had requested them. After the first one of these was reported I actually raised it with Avios who gave me a reader-specific explanation …. but then I heard about the 2nd one …. and the 3rd one …..
Even on the rare event that a referral link turns up, don’t count your chickens.
Another reader just got in touch to say that Lloyds has refused his 4,500 Avios referal bonus. The reason? Apparently, back in 2007, he had held a different Lloyds credit card for a short period although it is nearly a decade since he cancelled it. On this basis he is apparently not a ‘new’ customer of Lloyds and therefore he does not qualify for the ‘refer a friend’ bonus!
It is clearly only a matter of time before anyone who has ever used a Lloyds ATM to withdraw cash is also told that they are also a Lloyds ‘customers’ and can’t have a bonus either ……
Potential chance of 5,000 free Avios from Royal Air Maroc
Let me state up front that I am very negative about the chances of this actually working out. Readers keep emailing it to me, however, so I decided to publish it and you can make your own call as to whether you want to bother.
Royal Air Maroc, the national airline of Morocco, is currently offering 5,000 free Safar Flyer miles if you open a family account.
This sounds utterly irrelevant, I admit. However …. Royal Air Maroc is about to switch its reward currency to Avios as I wrote here.
This leads to a potential chain of events which could go like this:
Royal Air Maroc joins Avios (very likely)
The conversion rate of Safar Flyer miles to Avios is 1:1 (no idea if likely or not)
Royal Air Marco becomes a ‘Combine My Avios’ partner (not hugely likely in my view given that Meridiana is not in ‘Combine My Avios’ and you cannot move Flybe credit card ‘Spend & Fly’ points either)
You move your 5,000 free Safar Flyer miles into 5,000 Avios
I would not be betting my own money on all of the above things coming to pass, but if you want to give it a go you will find details of how to open your Safar Flyer family account on their website.
American Express FX promotion
Finally, American Express sent certain British Airways Premium Plus cardholders a special offer yesterday. It is not clear if the offer is targetted or not.
For all foreign spending done before 31st August, you will receive 3 bonus Avios for every £8 spent in foreign currency.
It is not clear from the wording if this is every £8 per transaction (which would be a con, as a £7.99 purchase would get no bonus) or on your cumulative foreign spending.
Assuming the latter, this still isn’t a great deal. It would take your earning rate from 1.5 Avios points per £1 up to 1.875 Avios per £1. Due to Amex’s 2.99% FX fee, you are paying 1.6p per Avios compared to using a 0% credit card.
Unless you are struggling to hit your £10,000 target to trigger your 2-4-1 voucher, you would be better off getting a ‘no FX fees’ credit card such as Lloyds Avios Rewards (review, £24 fee) or using a free Supercard (read more here) linked to any other reward MasterCard or Visa.
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.