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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)

  • JohnT says:

    Lloyds Avios from first statement have posted OK, but not the sign-up ones (yet).! Will keep an eye in case Avios setup a new account for that or something!

  • Genghis says:

    What does having a balance sitting on a credit card do to one’s credit score?

    • The_Real_A says:

      It reduces it – as the Pot of potential loan is reduced by your outstanding amount across cards.

    • Alan says:

      It’ll play a small factor in that there will be credit utilisation but as long as you are making the monthly repayments without a problem and aren’t pushing the limits on all you cards it shouldn’t cause too many issues. I’m not making any mortgage applications etc in the near future so I’m not too worried. Just got the Creation IHG card despite having that balance sitting there 🙂

      • the_real_a says:

        I disagree on “small factor”. It depends on the size of the balance Vs your overall potential credit amount. This was the single biggest factor with issues i had with my credit score. Despite clearing the balance every month, the amounts purchased each month were very large (expenses) and the credit agencies are updated on the statement generation date (so a large % of my potential credit was taken each month) – so best to clear the balance before the statement date if this is factor for you.

        • Alan says:

          Perhaps should have just said factor rather than small factor, all depends on percentage utilisation of credit – in my case the balance transfer onto Halifax is only about 20% of total credit so not really having much impact.

  • Seb says:

    Is there anyway for me to claim Avios and Tier Points on the Etihad Business Sale that is out at the moment? I vaguely remember reading it was possible in th past

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I disagree. Avios is acting as a credit broker for Lloyds, so Lloyds are accountable for their conduct. The FCA has made it clear that regulated firms cannot evade responsibility through the use of third parties.

    • mark2 says:

      Probably true.
      I meant that you are more likely to get some sense out of Avios (always the optimist).


    Folks, I am in the process of getting my Avios Household account deleted as Avios said i couldnt get the card if we had a household account.

  • Paul says:

    Completely OT post here, apologies.

    If I have a supplementary AMEX Gold card on my partner’s account am I eligible for the sign up bonus for opening a primary account of my own or does the supplementary card fall under the exclusion of “You will not be eligible for any Welcome Bonus award if you currently hold or have held any Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Card in the past six months.”


    • harry says:

      you can still get the sign up bonus, no problem

      get your partner to refer you for 9000 points & 2000 extra for you

      • Paul says:

        Thanks. I had twigged the 2,000 referral already luckily (HfP did get the original referral)

        • harry says:

          you do understand that your partner refers you & gets 9000 Avios
          plus you get 22000 Avios instead of 20000?

  • Ammar says:

    Flying BHX to JFK with Finnair in a month in economy class O and – was thinking how to maximise points, had a look at where to, i get 25% miles flown if avios/IB, 50% with finnair and 100 with AA’s programme. Not a member of the latter two programmes.

    Any thoughts or clever ideas of where to redeem….
    Also any tips on maximising time to NYC with any offers/passes you recommend would be helpful

    Staying at IC Times SQaure, courtesy of points collection via hfp….thank you!

    P.S not sure how many miles it is with AA but could use for a ME flight in the future if I can find other ways to collect, but dont travel much to the USA, more east.

  • Nick M says:

    OT (FAO Harry)

    Please could somebody run through the procedure for stacking the Holiday Extra discounts?

    Also, is there any reason why Gatwick South shortstay won’t offer me a price for a weekend in October?


    • harry says:

      1. register your Amex card for the promotion (available for both Amex Amex cards & non-Amex Amex cards such as MBNA Amex)
      2. find your deal on Holiday Extras via – proceed to payment page but do not pay yet
      3. either take pot luck & pay with your Amex card – some say this works just fine
      4. or open a new window, go to the defined Holiday Extras Amex page & copy & paste your payment details from earlier, exactly the same payment details should pop up.
      5. Pay & you’ll get an instant success email from Amex

      btw if you are going for DriveFly Meet & Greet parking, you get 15% off first of all, but if you go through to payment then leave it idle for an hour or so then press back button, try again same dates & you’ll get 31% discount

      • harry says:

        Defined HE Amex page is

        That’s what I do – 100% success on about 10 different statement credits so far

        • Nick M says:

          Brilliant, thanks a lot!

          • Nick M says:

            Thanks Harry – I’ve had the email confirmation… Weekend parking with meet & greet for less than the train ticket would cost

          • harry says:

            oh yeah I forgot to mention

            DriveFly (on HE) offer different prices for different LHR terminals. They even miss out T3 for some dates. You can’t change terminal on the HE online site, once booked (possibly by phone for a fee, though).

            But if you choose the cheapest option on your dates, at the wrong terminal, you can phone up DF & they’ll switch terminals for you free of charge.

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