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

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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? – July 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our July 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. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 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 – 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

30,000 points 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 the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending 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 (75)

  • Peaceful Waters says:

    I got a 1 Avios per £4 foreign spend email offer for the BA Amex fee free card.

  • Graeme says:

    I’ve had the misfortune to spend a lot of time on Royal Air Maroc flights over the last year. It’s usually a pretty shambolic and depressing experience. Finding a good use for the tens of thousands of Safar Flyer points would be a bonus, but I’m highly sceptical they’ll turn out to be convertible.

    • harry says:

      redeem via IB already – better wait to see if you can redeem via BA in future though

  • Longshot says:

    I referred two friends for the Lloyds card in Feb, only just now got the referral bonus for one with the other one still pending. Reason: sign-up email address has to exactly match the referral email address. Although this was rectified, still required manual intervention to trigger the bonus

    • Genghis says:

      I think I’ve been very lucky then recently. Two Lloyds referrals went through within a few days and after application points posted soon thereafter.

  • harry says:

    OK here’s my scenario (and remember, you can already use Safar miles to redeem flights on IB, so not impossible):

    – Safar miles get converted to Avios 1:1
    – New redemption partner is BAEC
    – You can use Miles + cash to redeem for flights on BA

    ie you’ve got a very cheap flight on BA to somewhere you actually want to go!

    BTW – that’s the 8th partner in the Avios scheme…5 additions in the last year or so…is BA going for world domination?…

    • Lady London says:

      No they’re going for Avios domination. This may not be where Avios is going, but frequent flyer schemes have been floated off to other ownership, I think that is where this is going. Once floated off, the offering has gotten worse for members as they will have been bought to make a profit out of.

      Not all of the airlines offering frequent flyer schemes denominated in Avios, are OneWorld, are they? I’m not quite sure.

  • mark says:

    BA Premium card holder – did not get the email, but i would not use it for foreign spend anyway, N&P for me.

    Just earnt my first companion voucher 🙂

  • Egg says:

    no offer for me

  • Will says:

    Is the Lloyds referral link on the website?

  • Mr Dee says:

    It’s obvious Lloyds Credit Card department don’t care about their customers if they are being petty over some Avios points…

    • Nick says:

      Oh, lloyds make that plenty obvious already. Just give them a call and the make it obvious enough

      • mark2 says:

        They gave my wife £100 because they had not replied to her letters about missing Avios points. I consider that excellent caring!

        • Nick says:

          Conversely, they charge my wife interest every month, despite being in her interest free period. every month, my wife has to call up to sort it out. Every month, she wastes an evening doing this. I’m pleased you find them helpful- personally, we have found them to be hopelessly incompetent

          • the_real_a says:

            Make a complaint with them. You should be well compensated. If its not offered ask for compensation.

      • Callum says:

        Lloyds have always been nothing but helpful on the phone and throw compensation at me like confetti if they ever make anything close to being a mistake…

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