Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Lloyds credit card referral madness, possible 5000 free Avios, Amex FX promo

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

Royal Air Maroc

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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.

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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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 Amex Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

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 Rewards Plus credit card

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:

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

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 card

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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (75)

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

  • idrive says:

    OT: anyone heading to Farnborough tomorrow?

  • Radiata says:

    FWIW – regarding AMEX BA cards FX spend bonus Avios – I rang up Customer Services today as have been using the AMEX BAPP card over the last ten days or so abroad.

    I am told that (from 13 July) to 31 August, for both “classic and premium” BA AMEX card holders, the 3 bonus Avios per £8 spend applies. Perusal of my “view earned Avios” statement shows transactions to 13 July as yet so will wait a day or two and check again.

    • mark2 says:

      And my wife and I each got the 9,000 Avios introduction bonus.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.