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Bits: another Lloyds / Avios horror story, spam Avios emails doing the rounds

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News in brief:

Another Lloyds / Avios horror story

Long-time HfP readers will know that I have softened my stance on the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards over the years.  This is partly because readers convinced me that, despite the appalling Lloyds customer service, the upgrade voucher and lack of FX fees was worth it.  It is also partly because the Avios changes in 2015 made the upgrade voucher more valuable because the price gap between Club World and World Traveller Plus doubled.

Every so often, though, I am reminded what a shambles Lloyds is.  A HfP reader applied for the Lloyds Avios Rewards card in January and has not yet received one single Avios point in his account.  This is the timeline:

  • Reader opens a Lloyds Avios Rewards card in January 2016
  • Card received, spending begins
  • Checks Avios account a few weeks later, nothing there
  • Ring Lloyds which has opened a 2nd Avios account by mistake – but that is also empty
  • Avios merge the two accounts
  • A month later – still no Avios
  • Phones Lloyds, they get in touch with Avios – ‘they are sorting it out’
  • Phones again – Lloyds promise it will be resolved by 31st May
  • Deadline passed
  • Lloyds suggests the reader registers a formal complaint against them (!) – which the reader does
  • Receives an email from Lloyds asking the reader call them on a secure direct line to discuss the complaint.   The email says ‘to prove that this email is genuine, here are the first four digits of your post code’.  The four digits given are completely wrong.
  • Reader is awarded £200 compensation from Lloyds, but still no Avios
  • July – Lloyds gives a solemn promise in writing that the Avios will be sent over within six weeks
  • Six weeks later (this week) – “Due to unforeseen circumstances we’ve not been able to deliver on our commitment of four to six weeks to resolve the issues we have been experiencing regarding Avios points. We are however monitoring this on a regular basis and will be in touch with you as soon as the issue has been resolved.”

The reader has spent £10,000 on the card so far and has not received a single point.  It beggers belief how difficult it can be to actually send the points to an Avios account ……

Spam Avios emails doing the rounds

I suppose it says something about the popularity of the Avios scheme that spammers now feel it worth promoting.

A reader sent me over the following email that she received from “British Airways Promo #417719”:

Congratulations! You won a 10,000 miles British Airways gift card.
A gift card has a value that you can use in full or part payment of a flight booking with British Airways.

In order to claim your gift card, or it’s equivalent value in GBP (399 GBP), simply click the link below and register into our Customer Relationship Management program.

http:// etc
British Airways Customer Service

Obviously there are clear clues here that this is spam – primarily the idea that 10,000 Avios would be worth £399 …..

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards. 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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

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

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

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 (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

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

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (65)

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

  • Henry Young says:

    I have to say that my Lloyds Avios Duo Amex+Mastercard operates without any problems with the Avios appearing within a couple of days each month, including bonus Avios for balance transfers.

    • Nick says:

      You’re one of the lucky ones. It took around 5-10 phone calls to Avios and Lloyds to sort my referral points out. I eventually got the points but it was a headache. I wasn’t giving up on what I was entitled too so I kept on and on to them both.

    • Guesswho2000 says:

      My spending points post ok, but they can’t seem to sort out the referral bonus! They’ve acknowledged its due, but can’t seem to manage actually posting them.

      They’ve promised a resolution on a timescale which is shortly to pass, so I’m looking forward to following up the complaint yet again.

  • Stu R says:

    It actually beggars belief that Lloyds Bank are even still in business!

    A few years back I had their Air Miles CC and, whilst I received all the miles I was due, on and off for 18 months I kept being charged interest, despite paying the balance off in full every month.

    Over the period I received 1000 Air Miles (10000 Avios in today’s money) and a total of £400 in compensation; £80 on one occasion for an agent who was rude to me then hung up, and a final payment of £200 when it was finally properly resolved.

    Last year, 30 years after joining Lloyds as a current account customer, I finally had enough of their appalling customer service and moved all my finances, lock, stock and barrel, to another provider. Absolute shower of *****!

  • Derek says:

    I have a similar story …

    – Opened my account in Sept 2015.
    – Made my first query in Oct 2015 (Was advised that it would be fixed by Jan 2016)
    – Triggered both bonuses by Nov 2015, but didn’t receive my vouchers
    – Issue wasn’t fixed in Jan 2016 was advised Feb, then Mar. After that they refused to give an estimate.
    – Got a Good Will Gesture (£150) in Mar 2016
    – April 2016: Started the process to escalate this is to the Financial Ombusdman. (I wasn’t able to carry this through because Lloyds needed to send me a letter with the case details and permission to escalate to the FOS. They promised it, but never sent it)
    – Received some of the points that I’m owed in May 2016, but short ~20,000 points and still no voucher. Raised another complaint, but was told that they’re still working on it.
    – Started receiving regular credits in June 2016, but still no vouchers and no credit for the remaining points
    – Raised another complaint in June 2016 – but this time spoke to a guy who actually knew what he was talking about. He used to work on the (now disbanded!) Avios operational team. Said he knew who to contact to fix the problem, but it would take 2 more months to fix.
    – 2 more months are almost up and still haven’t had the final credit of missing points, nor any vouchers.

    Maybe it’s time for a class action?

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      You don’t need Lloyds’ permission to refer a complaint to FOS.

      • Stuart F says:

        ^^ This!

        You can go to the FOS 8 weeks after you first reported the problem.

        You only need a “final response” letter from the bank if you want to go to FOS before the 8 week period is up.

        • the_real_a says:

          Just send them proof you have requested a deadlock letter and 7-14 days have passed llyods have not provided one.

  • Ian says:

    The exact same thing happened to me! Apparently the avios were going to a different account they created but I didn’t believe it. Took 9 months to fix but I got £200 compensation and my card fees refunded.

    It’s fixed now though and has been working ever since

  • Gavin says:

    Never had an issue myself but I guess I’ve been lucky. They did block my card yesterday when I tried to buy something on an Australian website but other than that I’ve never had to speak to them

    • Genghis says:

      I think my wife and I have both been very lucky. My only complaint is that the cards are very sensitive to overseas use and then I get a text and told to make payment again. Not great for an FX free card.

    • AlexO says:

      I shop at AussieBum’s too!

  • Alan says:

    On the upside the reader is ultimately going to do very nicely indeed out of their inept handling of the matter by way of compensation!

    Clearly the stupid system of trying (and often failing) to match accounts doesn’t help, but Lloyds CS is a total shambles.

    Just to clarify one small point re the other story in case anyone was worried – a PHP file in of itself isn’t dangerous, it’s just the website clearly was going to be dodgy from the email!

  • Mark says:

    I suggest that the person who’s kissing his avois open a court claim for the equivalent monetary amount to the avois he’s due. Sometimes it’s the only way.

    • Mark says:

      Lol autocorrect makes me smile sometimes!

    • Jon says:

      No need. If the complaint hasn’t been sorted within 8 weeks of submitting it, you can go to the ombudsman who will gove you £££ compensation for you. Saves you upfront court costs and hassle.

      • mark2 says:

        or the easy way –
        Complain to Lloyds and they will give you compensation (probably more than you will get otherwise)

  • vol says:

    Thank you for sharing

    My Lloyds avoidance was back in 1999 when I applied for job

    Did all the interviewing, got good references according to HR after enquiring – only to be told there is no longer a job available

    Refused to transact with them ever since.

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

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