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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)

  • Mr Dee says:

    Barclaycard seem to have an offer for selected customers this month for bank transfers @ a rate of 0.9% for 12 months and balance transfers for 2 years.

    There is also a Virgin money card that gives you cash in the bank for 32 months @ 1.69%.

    I expect to see more offers at lower rates over the next few months.

  • Colin Elliott says:

    Tried three times to get a Lloyd’s card via this Refer a friend link, with no email sent to friend by Lloyd’s. On contacting Avois, they said apply directly for the card on their website and Lloyd’s will pick up that it’s the same email address and pay the bonus! Hard to see that happening since they can’t even seem to just pick up that I’ve used their official Refer a friend procedure three times.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I think Lloyds don’t have a leg to stand on declining that last referral: the T&Cs are quite clear:

    The ‘friend’ that you recommend can be anyone who is aged 18 years or over, a UK resident and not currently hold, have previously held or be in the process of applying for a Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards Credit Card Account.

    Doesn’t say anything about other Lloyds credit cards. If your reader has already complained, I’d take it up with the Financial Ombudsman Service. I can’t see how it’s anything other than an open and shut case.

    • Andrew says:

      I am still waiting for a single avios to post after getting the Lloyds Avios CC before xmas. Raised as a complaint but still not resolved although I did get some £ compensation

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        You can take your case to FOS eight weeks after complaining. I’d recommend that route if it’s been that long and you haven’t had the Avios you are due.

        • The_Real_A says:

          Andrew – have you checked with Avios that they have not opened a totally new account number for you? This happened to me, they simply merged the accounts and I could access all missing Avios.

        • Genghis says:

          Potentially give Lloyds one more chance before complaining to FOS. Lloyds will be charged £550 but if you tell them that that is what you’re doing, they may be more likely to offer you some more compensation.

  • Bluejosh says:

    Thanks for sharing that one – what’s the Amex deal? Can’t see it on my account.

  • Genghis says:

    OT. Spent just over £10k on BAPP to trigger 241. 241 spent. Most avios have been transferred to BAEC. We’d like to cancel the card but we’re due a refund which would take us about £150 below the £10k spend in aggregate and into negative avios on BAPP. Does anyone have experience on what Amex might say in such circumstances?

    • Worzel says:

      Genghis, you are joking-aren’t you? 🙂 .

      • Genghis says:

        I’m being serious Mr Gummage. Do you reckon I should divert some spend onto BAPP to contra the refund? I keep track of how much we spend from the counter and understand the £150 fee isn’t included in any spend targets.

        • Genghis says:

          “Crisis” averted, I think. Calcs done – we had spent a bit more than we think. Once the refunds come off we’ll still have spent just over £10k. We’ll still have a negative avios balance in BAPP though. I’ll report back.

          • jlrichards says:

            If you have a negative balance on your Amex, simply close down the card – they won’t request the Avios back. You can then open a new card later on.

          • Nick says:

            I would read the guidance on here about cancelling the card before using the voucher before actually calling Amex.

            Out of interest, why cancel? It’s a great card for ongoing spend.

          • Genghis says:

            Thanks Nick. I’m aware of the guidance. I’m a bit of a card churner and another round of sign up bonus plus referrals will certainly add to the avios balance (and we’ll get a 6 month few refund). We have other cards for better ongoing spend when not chasing a target (BMI Diamond Club).

    • Alan says:

      Are you sure you haven’t spent more than you think? The fee shouldn’t be included in the spend target progress.

  • harry says:

    Hadn’t seen the Sainsbury’s deal. 36m & 40m interest free – crazy but great if you have run up debts/ cheap loan alternative/ schmoozer.

  • Alan says:

    I’ve never had a Lloyds referral email work! The key thing seems to be to make sure you use the same email address for making the referral as the person will use for replying, this seems to flag the email address as being a referral one and therefore increase the chances (although by no means guarantee!) of receiving the referral points.

  • Nick says:

    Re Safar Flyer, all I can say is good luck to anyone that’s happy to scan their families ID cards, passports, etc. and send them to anyone!

    It’s not something I’d personally ever do.

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