Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Avios withdraws the Lloyds Premier Avios credit card

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

Avios has withdrawn the £140 Lloyds Premier Avios credit card (not the £24 Lloyds Avios credit card) to new applicants.  The final day to apply was 13th July.

I honestly don’t know why the card has gone.  I doubt it is linked to the imposition of the 0.3% interchange fee cap, because a card with a high annual fee is exactly what the card issuers need now.

The obvious answer would be to say it was pulled because it was rubbish.   It is perhaps closer to the truth to say that the £140 annual fee was too rich for the client base which is generally more mainstream than British Airways Executive Club.

I have grown quite fond of the £24 Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card (reviewed here) despite the woeful customer service provided by Lloyds.  It has a lot going for it, even if you already have a British Airways American Express card:

whilst the card has a £24 fee, you can offset this with a 4,500 Avios refer-a-friend bonus (email me if you need a referral)

there are NO foreign exchange fees when using the card and, even better, you still earn Avios on your spend.  This makes it the most attractive credit card on the market for foreign spending.

the earning rate on the Mastercard may be woeful (0.25 Avios per £1) BUT spending on the Mastercard counts towards the upgrade voucher which you earn for spending £7,000 per year

The upgrade voucher is not really an upgrade voucher.  It lets you book 1 return or 2 one-way Avios seats for the price of the next lowest class.  You can’t use it to book First, but you can book Club World for the Avios of World Traveller Plus, or Club Europe for the Avios of Euro Traveller.  

If you are really smart, you can use it on the few long-haul BA routes which don’t have World Traveller Plus in order to book Club World for the Avios of World Traveller.

For some odd reason, flights from London City Airport are excluded from the upgrade voucher.

The pricing gap between Club World and World Traveller Plus doubled when the Avios scheme was restructured in April 2015.  This made the upgrade voucher more valuable.

My full review of the £24 Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card is here.

The £140 Lloyds Premier Avios card, however, did not offer much to justify the fee.  Let’s see:

there was no refer-a-friend bonus for signing up

the earning rate was higher (1.5 per £1 on the Amex vs 1.25 per £1, and 0.3 per £1 on the Mastercard vs 0.25 per £1) but not high enough to justify £140

the upgrade voucher was triggered at £5000 instead of £7000 – this was of marginal benefit and may even have backfired on Lloyds as cardholders stopped spending at £4900 to avoid activating it early

you got a 2-4-1 voucher on Avios redemptions for spending £12,000 per year.  The problem was that it was only valid on Economy redemptions which are not good value long-haul.  You could get a deal by using the voucher on a Eurostar redemption but few people knew this was an option.

If you placed no value on the 2-4-1 voucher because you don’t redeem in Economy, the only extra value came from the additional 0.25 Avios per £1 on the Amex card and 0.1 Avios per £1 on the Mastercard.  Unless you were spending over £50,000 per year that did not justify the additional £116 of annual fee.


The removal of this card is not a great loss.  The questions now are:

will Lloyds introduce a replacement card with better benefits?

the word on the street is that Amex is cancelling its deals with Lloyds, Barclays and MBNA because – with the 0.3% interchange fee cap – they are no longer profitable.  What will happen to the Lloyds Avios Rewards card at that point?

why do the TSB Avios credit cards still exist?!  They were deliberately designed to be worse than the equivalent Lloyds cards.  I can’t even remember the last time I wrote about them.  The £50 annual fee TSB Premier Avios card must surely be at risk even if the free card survives.

best travel rewards credit cards

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – July 2024 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points for signing up and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

30,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points 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 an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (115)

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

  • BrianDT says:

    Sorry,to confirm, I meant the 2 Avios per £5 overseas spend on the Mastercard bit, ( linked to Supercard as TSB charge you on overseas spend.) That is, until Curve kiss and make up with Amex.

    • Mr Dee says:

      Ah I see, was worried you might be paying unnecessary fees

    • idrive says:

      OT: a bit weird on the imaginecurve website they still show an BA Prem AMEX used on the phone! It is little, but it’s there!!

    • mark2 says:

      Are you sure that Supercard will count as overseas spend?

      • Mr Dee says:

        Good point I can’t see it being charged as a overseas spend and if it was then you would be charged the appropriate fee as they are only giving you double avios as they are charging you the fee.

  • idrive says:

    I have noticed I haven’t received a single BT or Cash Advance Transfer offer from MBNA over the last 6 months! While Barclays is keeping on hummering me with the 0.19% (cash) which is the lowest I have ever seen, obviously!”

  • nick says:

    Hi, I currently have the feee-free Lloyds double-pack Amex and MC, since about 2010 (when it was Lloyds-TSB)

    I have finally decided to get this new £24 version. What are the best steps to take? Can I do a direct switch? Or cancel my existing cards and then sign-up with Rob’s referral link?

  • Go says:

    I got my Lloys £24 amex card 5 months ago. During that period i have earned about 12,000 miles but not one mile has been credited to my avios account yet. I have an ongoing compaint but have been told its one amongst many. Their customer service staff have admitted to me there are serious issues and numerous complaints. So far they have given me £125 compensation with no fuss. When i last spoke to them 4 weeks ago they told me they have no idea how long it will take to fix the issue!

    • mark2 says:

      This could be regarded as one of the best features of the card!
      My wife got £100 for about 1500 missing Avios. It is still happening so time for another claim soon.
      For Lloyds current account holders this card can also Lloyds cash back and, of course, American Express cash back, occasionally on the same transaction. This more than pays for the £24 fee for each of us, leaving the avoided FX fees as profit.

    • Alan says:

      Are you sure haven’t created another account for you? They do this all the time, especially if you live in a flat and the address is laid out differently. They seem to base it all on name and address matching rather than account number. If they have set up another one though they can also merge them for you.

    • Bob says:

      You will get them eventually just keep moaning, it’s a hassle but also keep asking for compensation with every phone call, took me about 8 months to get them all on my wife’s card. Strangely mine worked perfectly from the start. Persevere!

  • Jon says:

    Has anyone had my trouble getting their upgrade voucher from the (£24) Lloyds card? I took mine out last October, hit th £7k spend target and got my voucher in December, which I redeemed a few weeks ago. Meanwhile I’ve spent another £7k this year, several months ago, but still no voucher in my account. The T&Cs definitely say ‘calendar year’ – I have a suspicion their systems are treating it as anniversary year. Either that or it’s just taking a VERY long time to credit. Anyone got any experience on this? Thanks.

    • Genghis says:

      Good spot. I assumed anniversary year. I’d be keen on hearing others’ experience.

      However Jon, if it were me I would complain as the Ts and Cs clearly state ‘calendar year’.

    • Mycity says:

      When I called Lloyds on this they told me upgrade voucher is anniversary year. I’m in a similar position I took my card out last October got my voucher in January, now stopped spending on it till this I could earn another one this year, so I could earn two in a calendar year, but only one per anniversary year, confusing yes but that’s what I was told.

      • BigSi says:

        Thanks Jon, interesting difference in the T&Cs. I’m going to call them and see if I can get an extra voucher. My year runs June – June and I earned my voucher in November 2015 and thought I would get another one in May 2016 as hit the spending targets but Lloyds said no. Would be ok under Avios’ T&Cs.

    • Alan says:

      It’s one per 12 month anniversary year, that seems to be what Lloyds meant by calendar year but their nonstandard use of the term confused everyone! (lots of discussion on here at the time) I took mine out in April 2015, delayed completing £7k spending until Jan and then put through the final amount (so £6.5k spent April to Dec and £500 in Jan). Voucher came through very quickly with email and postal confirmation.

  • Adam says:

    O/T: If I cancel my IHG visa can I apply for the Hilton Visa immediately?

    • Sandgrounder says:

      I think you need to wait 6 months between Barclaycard applications? Anyone confirm?

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Sorry I should have said between cancelling and applying for a new card….?

  • James67 says:

    OT: I’m worried we’re all missing out on something at tesco, almost 9pm and still no sign of Harry!

  • Alan says:

    Semi OT – Supercard now includes basic travel insurance! Bit of a weird addition (esp for free) but seems to come from Wirecard, so will be interesting to see if Curve offer it too. The policy is underwritten by AXA, see Annex B of the emailed T&Cs they emailed out yesterday (not sure the weblink to it yet).

    • Roger says:

      Note the paragraph on SUBROGATION (t+cs page 2). It seems this insurance only takes effect once all other insurances have been used up.

      Apparently no age limit but tight pre-existing conditions clauses.

      • Alan says:

        Haha yup, just read that too. Very stringent conditions on most claims too, requiring lots of info. On the upside I can’t see a requirement to have paid for items on the card, only that you are a cardholder? I don’t quite understand why Supercard/Wirecard are going down the route of offering this though.

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.